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Verb patterns and structures
Subject + intransitive verb
Some sentences have just two words – a noun and an intransitive verb.
Subject + transitive verb + direct object
A transitive verb must have an object. The normal order of words in an English sentence is subject + verb + object.
‘John likes’ …what? Milk.
Subject + verb + object + adverb particle
Some verbs are followed by particles (e.g. put on, take off, give away, bring up, call in). Sometimes the particle is detached from the verb and put after the object.
The particle is put after the object, when the object is a personal pronoun (e.g. him, them, me, us, it) or when it is comparatively short.
When the object is long or has to be made prominent or when it is qualified by an adjectival phrase or clause, the particle comes before the object.
Subject + verb + indirect object + direct object
This order is preferred when the indirect object is shorter than the direct object or when the direct object has to be made prominent.
Subject + verb + direct object + preposition + indirect object
This order is preferred when the direct object is shorter than the indirect object, or when the indirect object has to be stressed.
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