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ENGLISH WORD ORDER

SVOMPT

SUBJECT + VERB + OBJECT + MANNER + PLACE + TIME


S = subject (Who? What?) Charles

V= verb (a verb in any tense) goes, did, have been

O = object (can be direct, indirect, or both expressed by a noun or a pronoun)

M = manner (an adverb describing how and in what way an action is carried out) e.g. fast, dangerously

P = place (an adverbial of place – To where? Where?) e.g. to work, home

T = time (an adverbial of time – When?) e.g. every day, in the evening


Charles goes by car fast to work every day.

George bought a new house easily online in the evening.


For the beginners and not so advanced students, it is better to follow this word order. As you can see, it is strict in English in comparison to Czech and other synthetic languages* whose WO is more flexible. Think about your mother tongue and how different or similar it is in structure in comparison to English.


Here is an example of translation into Czech which can be done in various ways.

Charles goes by car fast to work every day.

Karel jezdí rychle do práce autem každý den.

Každý den jezdí Karel do práce rychle autem.

Každý den Karel jezdí do práce autem rychle.


You do not have to follow SVOMPT by stating all the parts every time you put a sentence together. It is sometimes not necessary to mention all the information, or we do not even know it.

It often happens that you have structures like in the following examples, which are correct as well:


S+V+O: I have a brother.

S+V+P: I go home.

S+V+T: She arrived late.

S+V+O+P: My mum left the dog in the garden.

S+V+O1+O2: My boss gave me a special benefit.

V: Hurry up! Go away!

….


There are of course some possibilities how to change the word order in English sentences, but that is a topic for advanced students. Now, focus on the basics. Now, let’s check out the WO of questions.


QUESTIONS:

1 AUXILIARY + SUBJECT + VERB + the rest of the sentence

(Yes/No questions)

Have you got a well-paid job?

Were you at work yesterday?


2 QUESTION WORD + VERB + SUBJECT + the rest of the sentence

(Wh/How questions)

Where are you from?


3 QUESTION WORD + AUXILIARY + SUBJECT + VERB + the rest of the sentence

What have you bought for Christmas?

How have you been all this time?


Question words: how, who, where, when, why, what, which, whose


ADVERBS:

1 ADVERBS OF FREQUENCY

Usually, often, sometimes, always, never, etc.

- Before the main verb: I often go to work by car.

- After the verb BE: I am never late.

- In sentences with more verbs (auxiliary + main verb) the adverbial is after the auxiliary one (before the main): I’ve never been to London.


2 ADVERBS OF MANNER

These are written after the verb of object:

I spelled his name correctly.

She sleeps well.


3 AT THE BEGINNING OF A SENTENCE

Expressing a speaker’s stance, emotions etc.

Luckily, we didn’t forget the passports at home.

Unfortunately, the shops were closed.


THERE IS / ARE (existential phrase)

There is a church on the hill.

On the hill, there is a church.


Practise the correct word order here:



Why does the word order matter? Well, look at these two signs and think about what they say.

Which restaurant would you go to if you needed to work online A or B?






The right answer is of course A. It means that Wi-fi is available.

B says that the place does not provide wi-fi connection.


There are similar phrases you can see around. Compare:

Gluten-free (without gluten)

Sugar-free (without sugar)

Wi-fi free


If you see free sugar, free tea etc., it means you do not have to pay for it.






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