Language in Diversity

WORD ORDER

WORD ORDER

A.    Verb + Object; place and time

1.      Verb + Object

The verb and the object of the verb normally go together. We do not usually put other words between them:

Ex.       Do you clean the house every week-end? (Not “do you clean every week\end the house”)

Our guide spoke English fluently (Not “Our guide spoke fluently English”)

At the end of the street you’ll see super market on your left (Not “At the end of the street you’ll see on your left super market”)

2.      Place and Time

We usually say the Place (where?) before the time (when/how often/how long?)

Ex.       They have been in Singapore since August (Not “they have been since August in Singapore”)

We arrived at home every morning (Not “We arrived every morning at home”)

You really shouldn’t go to bed so late (Not “You really shouldn’t go so late to bed”)

Note:

*        It is often possible to put the time at the beginning of the sentence:

Ex. Since August, I have been in Singapore

Every morning I arrived at home

      On Monday I’m going to Canada

*        Note that you cannot use Early or Late at the beginning of the sentence in this way:

Ex. So late you really shouldn’t go to bed

Early you awake up

 B.     Adverbs with the verb

  1. We put some adverbs (for example: Always, also, probably) with the verb in the middle of a sentence:

Ex.       The house has probably decorated by Lady Alice

He was feeling tired. He was also thirsty

Jimmy always comes to his company by train

  1. Study these rules for the position of adverbs in the middle of a sentence. (they are only general rules, so there are exceptions)

*        If the verb is one word (go, cook, etc.), we usually put the adverb before the verb.

Ex. Carrey always cleaned her room and also cooked the dinner (not cooked also)

Jack hardly ever watches television and rarely reads newspaper

They almost come to the lake before they get a trouble

Note:

–        Note that these adverbs (always, often, also, etc.) go before Have to.

Ex.       We always have to wait for a long time for the train

–        But adverbs go after am/is/are/was/were

Ex.       He was feeling tired. He was also thirsty

Roy always comes late, He is never on time

The traffic isn’t usually as bad as it was this morning

*        Sometimes a verb is two or more words (can’t remember, doesn’t smoke, has been stolen, etc.). We usually put the adverb after the first part of the verb.

Ex.             His neighbors have always lived in Singapore

Penny can’t draw a picture. He can’t even write

The house was only built a year ago and it’s already falling down

Note:

In negative sentence probably goes before the negative. So we say:

Ex.             I probably won’t say anything            or         I will probably not say anything

(but not I won’t probably say anything)

  1. We also use All and Both in these positions

Ex.       Claudia and Jack have both applied for a job

They are all going out, looking for something to eat

Bronson’s wives are both waitress

We all arrived at the air port at 6 P.M.

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