Word Order in English Sentences


Word Order in Positive Sentences

The basic rule of English syntax for positive sentences is that between a subject and an object of a sentence there should be a verb (or a predicate). Simply put, English sentences have the following basic structure:

subject – verb (predicate) – object.

e.g. A dog (subject) is running (verb) after a ball (object).

A more complex sentence structure is complemented by indirect objects, and the modifiers of time and place.
subject – verb (predicate) – indirect object – object – place – time.

e.g. Jack (subject) said he would tell (verb) me (indirect object) his story (object) later (time), at home (place).

Word Order in Negative Sentences

Word order in negative sentences does not differ too much from the structure of positive sentences; the main difference is that in negative sentences, you also need to use an auxiliary verb depending on the tense.negative sentences

e.g. I (subject) don’t want to talk (auxiliary + verb) about it (object) right now (time).

Auxiliary verbs can be also called helping verbs, as they are needed to form tenses, or express different shades of time and mood. Among the most common auxiliary verbs, one should remember the following: do/did, all forms of “to be,” have/has/had.


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