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Word Order in English Sentences

Transitional Words

❶Jermaine gave his girlfriend a dozen yellow tulips. Captain Kirk told the crew a story.

Grammar & Style

List of Transition Words
5.1 Word Order
Basic Sentence Structures

The action writes is performed for or to the indirect object me. Even though the indirect object is not found after a preposition in English, it can be discovered by asking to whom? Dad baked the children some cookies. For whom did Dad bake the cookies? The indirect object, children. On a separate sheet of paper, identify the subject, verb, direct object, and indirect object in the following sentences.

On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the sentences in the correct order. If the sentence is correct as it is, write OK. English speakers rely on the following two common ways to turn sentences into questions:. Sierra can pack these boxes. Can Sierra pack these boxes?

Add the verb do , does , or did , and add a question mark:. Jolene skated across the pond. Did Jolene skate across the pond? On a separate sheet of paper, create questions from the following sentences.

An adjective is a kind of descriptive word that describes a noun or a pronoun. It tells which one , what kind , and how many. Adjectives make your writing more lively and interesting.

Keep in mind, a common error that English language learners make is misplacing the adjectives in a sentence. It is important to know where to place the adjective in a sentence so that readers are not confused. If you are using more than one adjective to describe a noun, place the adjectives in the following order before the noun:.

Adjectives can also be placed at the end of a sentence if they describe the subject of a sentence and appear after the verb. My English teacher is excellent. On a separate sheet of paper, place the following sets of adjectives in the correct order before the noun.

The first one has been done for you. Write a paragraph about a memorable family trip. Use at least two adjectives to describe each noun in your paragraph. Proofread your paragraph, and then exchange papers with a classmate. This is a derivative of Writing for Success by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA.

For uses beyond those covered by law or the Creative Commons license, permission to reuse should be sought directly from the copyright owner. Learning Objectives Identify the basic structures of sentences. Determine ways to turn sentences into questions. Define adjectives and how they are used. Basic Sentence Structures The most basic sentence structure in English is a subject plus a verb. Common Prepositions about beside off above between on across by over after during through against except to along for toward among from under around in until at into up before like with behind of without.

Exercise 1 Copy the following sentences onto your own sheet of paper and underline the prepositional phrases. Linda and Javier danced under the stars. Each person has an opinion about the topic. The fans walked through the gates. Jamyra ran around the track. Maria celebrated her birthday in January. Tip A quick way to find the direct object is to ask what? Tip Even though the indirect object is not found after a preposition in English, it can be discovered by asking to whom?

Exercise 2 On a separate sheet of paper, identify the subject, verb, direct object, and indirect object in the following sentences. Captain Kirk told the crew a story. Jermaine gave his girlfriend a dozen yellow tulips.

That hospital offers nurses better pay. Dad served Grandma a delicious dinner. Mom bought herself a new car. Exercise 3 On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the sentences in the correct order. The pizza Jeannine burnt. To the Mexican restaurant we had to go for dinner. Jeannine loved the food. So full were we during the walk home. I will make the pizza next time. Questions English speakers rely on the following two common ways to turn sentences into questions: Move the helping verb and add a question mark.

Add the verb do , does , or did and add a question mark. Add the verb do , does , or did , and add a question mark: Exercise 4 On a separate sheet of paper, create questions from the following sentences. Slumdog Millionaire is a film directed by Danny Boyle. The story centers on a character named Jamal Malik.

This is especially true in academic writing since it is better to avoid direct questions when using a formal tone. When we use statements with questions embedded in them, it is important to pay attention to the sentence word order after the question word. From this handout, you will learn how embedded questions are formed differently from regular questions and discover strategies for checking the use of embedded questions in your writing.

In the first example above, we have a regular question with inverted word order: In the second sentence, we have the same question, but this time it is embedded in a statement. Embedded questions are structured differently than direct questions:. While regular questions take inverted word order, embedded questions take regular sentence word order. Sometimes, an embedded question will not have a question word. A question embedded in a statement also takes regular sentence punctuation.

We use a period, not a question mark, at the end of an embedded question. Since questions are uncommon in academic writing, it is better to avoid them and turn them into statements. Identify all the embedded questions in this text. Although these studies have investigated professional development for childcare providers, it is still not clear how researchers should fully understand this area.

More studies are needed to determine whether some programs are more effective than others or not. Researchers need to ask what types of programs will have the greatest effects on the providers practices, and in turn on the children in their care. Additionally, much research is still needed to gain insight into the opinions of the providers. Since they are the ones that will be directly affected by these trainings, researchers should investigate what providers hope to get out of trainings, and ask what they think works best in training.


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In the second how, the word order was in Old English, and the changes that have happened in order to become contemporary English word order; taking into account the word order in other languages (in this case compared to Spanish). This paper will discuss the different processes that change word order in English and some examples of how .

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Word order refers to the conventional arrangement of words in a phrase, clause, or sentence. Compared with many other languages, word order in English is fairly rigid. In particular, the order of subject, verb, and object is relatively inflexible. 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.

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-See if you use questions in your writing. Since questions are uncommon in academic writing, it is better to avoid them and turn them into statements. -To make sure that the word order in embedded statements is correct, look for question words in the middle of the sentences, and check that a question word is followed by a subject and verb (not an . If your first language is not English, you will most likely need some extra help when writing in Standard, or formal, English. New students of Standard English often make similar kinds of errors. Even if you have been speaking English for a long time, you may not feel as confident in your written English skills.