Skip to content

  1. Home
  2. EngelskChevronRight
  3. Working with GrammarChevronRight
  4. Word OrderChevronRight
SubjectMaterialFagstoff

Fagartikkel

Word Order

The term word order refers, strictly speaking, to the relative order of subject and verbal, but in this unit we will also look at other aspects of the order of clause elements.

Words
Words

Declarative sentences

In declarative sentences the normal order is Subject + Verbal. If the verbal consists of two verbs and is split, e.g. by sometimes, as in the third example, we still have the normal S + v order. After an adverbial at the beginning, we still have the S+V, cf. example four.

The police officer (S) accepted (V) my apology.
Nobody (S) has heard (V) anything from him since Monday.
I (S) have (v) sometimes (Adv) wondered (V) why he sold the property.
From time to time, Ralph (S) wondered (V) why he had accepted the job.

Interrogative sentences

In interrogative sentences, some part of the verbal comes before the subject. This is called inverted word order (‘omvendt ordstilling’).

Did (v) the police officer (S) accept (V) your apology?
Has (v) anybody (S) heard (V) anything from him?
Do (v) you (S) sometimes wonder why he sold the property?

Exceptions

When a declarative begins with a negative element that makes the sentence negative, we use inverted word order. When the question word is subject, we get normal word order even in interrogatives.

Under no circumstances (ADV) must (V) you (S) pull the plug.
Only under special conditions (ADV) do (V) we (S) agree to extend the deadline.
Who (S) went (V) in first?
Which song (S) won the song contest?


Inverted order occurs even with non-negative openers. These examples with adverbials at the beginning followed by the V+S order have a literary flavour.

At the end of the long corridor (Adv) was (V) a door leading out to the back garden (S).
From behind the bushes (Adv) came (V) a very strange noise that he couldn’t identify (S)

Norwegian and English Compared

If we place an element which is not the subject in first position in Norwegian, the verb has to go right after it, cf. Av og til lurte Ralph på…. English keeps its normal word order in such cases, unless the first element is an extra insertion that does not belong to the pattern of the clause.

  • From time to time, Ralph (S) wondered (V) why he had accepted the job.
  • Of course I’ll be able to complete it.
  • Av og til lurte (V) Ralph (S) på hvorfor han hadde akseptert jobben.
  • Selvfølgelig skal jeg klare å bli ferdig

Fronted Elements

It is rare for English to place an object or a verb first in the sentence. In Norwegian it is far more common. There is often a kind of contrast between what has been said before and the information in the fronted element

  • Ærlig talt, dette må du lære deg fort.
  • Til og med radioen lot han ligge igjen.
  • Naboene brydde han seg lite om.
  • Fiske skulle han i alle fall gjøre.
  • Honestly, you will have to learn this quickly.
  • He even left the radio behind.
  • He couldn’t be bothered about his neighbours.
  • He’d certainly do some fishing.

This type of fronting does occur, most often in spoken English, but is best avoided in more formal writing. That is why the translations on the right are best.

Hypothetical Situations

In hypothetical situations like those below, English must include would. Norwegian can do without it.

  • Hadde du hørt på meg, hadde du ikke fått dette problemet.
  • Hvis Marie hadde søkt, hadde hun sikkert kommet inn.
  • If you had listened to me, you would not
    have
    ended up with this problem.
  • If Marie had applied, she would no doubt have been admitted.

Reported Speech

When we report what other people have said, there are certain principles governing the reporting clause. The final she below is unacceptable because we need a heavier element in end-focus position. But when the subject is a noun, we can choose normal or inverted word order.

”That’s not fair”, shouted Ida/Ida shouted/ /she shouted/*shouted she.

Learning content

Working with Grammar

What is core content and additional content?
SubjectEmne

Læringssti

SubjectEmne

Fagstoff

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Adjectives

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Positive, Comparative and Superlative of Adjectives

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Positive, Comparative and Superlative of Adverb

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Anticipatory IT OR THERE

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Definite / Indefinite Articles

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Capital Letters

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Concord Between Subject and Verbal

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Concord

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Indefinite Pronouns and Determiners

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    How to Work with Instructions

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    It or There

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    About Nouns

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Capital Letters

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Nouns

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Pronouns

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Relative Pronouns

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Verb Tense

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Who and Which

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Word Order

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    -ing Form of the Verb

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    The -ing Form not Used as a Verb

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    S in Endings

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    To Do-Auxiliary Verb

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    To Do, to Be, to Have

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    The Definite Article: The

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    The Indefinite Articles: A/An

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Prepositions

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Adverbs

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Adverbs/Adverbials

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Descriptive Language

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Formal and Informal Language

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Working with Projects - Grammar Checklist

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Interrogative Pronouns

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Text Cohesion

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Verbal Nouns (ing-form)

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
SubjectEmne

Oppgaver og aktiviteter

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Can you find the adjectives?

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Adverb or Adjective

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Articles (More Advanced)

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Basic Grammar Terms - Drag and Drop

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Concord, 2

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Ing-form or Infinitive, Translation

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Ing-form or Infinitive

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    It or There, Translation

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Choose between It and There

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Nouns, Plural or Singular

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Nouns, Translation

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Plural or Singular

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Plural, Singular or Uncountable?

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Countables and Uncountables

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Proper Nouns and Common Nouns 1

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Proper nouns and common nouns 2

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Task 1: Prepositions

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Task 2: Prepositions

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Reflexive Pronouns

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Who or Which?

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Possessive Pronoun Quiz

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Pronouns, Translation

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Relative Pronouns 1

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    The Present Continuous (-ing)

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Verbs: is or are?

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Conjugate These Verbs

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Word Order Tasks

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Word Class, Drag and Drop

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Task: Was or Were?

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Irregular verbs

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Tasks: Concord

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Ing-form or the Infinitive?

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Task: Fill in the Adverbs

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Can you find the nouns?

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Match Idioms, English - Norwegian

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Choose Between It and There

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Has or Have?

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Articles - Translation

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Capitalize or not when used within a sentence?

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Homonyms (spelled alike)

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Pronouns, Advanced

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Relative Pronouns 2

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Tricky Words in English - (Spelling)

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Some or Any

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Styles of Writing - Tasks

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Phrasal Verbs

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Phrasal Verbs, Multiple Choice

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Phrasal Verbs, Find Synonyms

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Vocabulary

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Restrictive relative clause or not?

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Noun, Verb, Adjective or Adverb?

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Nouns: Test your knowledge

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Confusables

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Idioms - Multiple Choice

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Choose the correct preposition 3

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Choose the Correct Preposition

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Choose the Correct Preposition

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Adverb or Adjective

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff