To convey the intended meaning words must be arranged in the proper order in a sentence. The following is the usual order of words in an English sentence.
Subject before the verb
The subject usually comes before the verb in an English sentence.
- The dog bit the postman. (Subject – the dog, verb – bit, object – the postman)
- The people rang the bell for joy.
Object after the verb
The object usually comes after the verb.
- The King wears a crown. (Subject – the king, verb – wears, object – a crown)
- The boy killed the spider. (Subject – the boy, verb – killed, object – the spider)
Indirect object before the direct object
If there are two objects, the indirect object usually comes before the direct object.
- She told me a story. (Indirect object – me, direct object – story)
- Lend me your ears. (Indirect object – me, direct object – your ears)
Adjectives used attributively comes before the nouns they qualify.
- The other day I saw a little clownwith a crooked nose.
- King Francis was a hearty king and loved a royal sport.
When an adjective is used predicatively it comes after the noun.
- The child is asleep.
Position of the adverb
The adverb is generally placed close to the word which it modifies.
- He solved only two problems.
- He never tells a lie.
- He is a lazy boy.
When an adverb is intended to modify the sentence as a whole, it is placed at the beginning of a sentence.
Certainly he made a fool of himself.