Word order or Order of Words?

Word Order in Positive Sentences

For the beginning, remember this simple rule:

 If you are a more advanced learner, remember the following rule:

 

Word Order in Negative Sentences
The word order in negative sentences is the same as in affirmative sentences. Note, however, that in negative sentences we usually need an auxiliary verb:



Word Order in Subordinate Clauses
In subordinate clauses, the word order is the same as in simple affirmative sentences. (Conjunctions are often used between two clauses):

Position of Time Expressions
(e.g.: recently, now, then, yesterday)

Adverbs of time are usually put at the end of the sentence.
If you don’t want to put emphasis on the time, you can also put the adverb of time at the beginning of the sentence.

Note that some time expressions are adverbs of frequency (always, never, usually usw.). These are usually put before the main verb (except for ‘be’ as a main verb). (see also Position of Adverbs)


Position of Adverbs

Adverb of Manner
(e.g.: slowly, carefully, awfully)

These adverbs are put behind the direct object (or behind the verb if there’s no direct object).


Adverbs of Place
(e.g.: here, there, behind, above)

Like adverbs of manner, these adverbs are put behind the direct object or the verb.

 


Adverbs of Time
(e.g.: recently, now, then, yesterday)

Adverbs of time are usually put at the end of the sentence.

If you don’t want to put emphasis on the time, you can also put the adverb of time at the beginning of the sentence.

 


Adverbs of Frequency
(e.g.: always, never, seldom, usually)

Adverbs of frequency are put directly before the main verb. If ‘be’ is the main verb and there is no auxiliary verb, adverbs of frequency are put behind ‘be’. Is there an auxiliary verb, however, adverbs of frequency are put before ‘be’.

 

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