Order of Words in a Sentence

To make meaningful sentences we need to arrange words in a particular order. The usual order of words in an English sentence is as follows:

In an affirmative sentence, the subject usually comes before the verb.

  • She is my friend. (Subject – she, verb – is)
  • It is my bag. (Subject – it, verb – is)
  • The dog barked. (Subject – dog, verb – barked)
Interrogative sentences usually begin with an auxiliary verb followed by the subject.

  • Is she your friend? (Auxiliary verb – is, subject – she)
  • Is it your bag? (Auxiliary verb – is, subject – it)
  • Did the dog bark? (Auxiliary verb – did, subject – dog)

The object usually comes after the verb.

  • He killed the snake. (Subject – he, verb – killed, object – snake)
  • I love my mother. (Subject – I, verb – love, object – mother)
When there are two objects, the indirect object (which usually denotes a person) usually comes before the direct object (thing).

  • She brought me a cup of coffee. (Indirect object – me, direct object – cup of coffee)
  • I told them a story. (Indirect – them, direct – story)

When an adjective is used attributively, it comes before the noun it qualifies.

  • Few children came.
  • She is a beautiful girl.
  • He is a lazy boy.
When an adjective is used predicatively, it comes after the verb.

  • She is beautiful.
  • He is lazy.

An adverb is usually placed close to the word it modifies.

  • He is a rather lazy boy. (Here the adverb rather modifies the adjective lazy.)
  • I was pleasantly surprised. (Here the adverb pleasantly modifies the verb surprised.)

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