Verb Patterns

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.
'The principal punished' ... whom? The boy.
The direct object is the answer to the question whom or what.

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.

Sections in this article

Tense rules - overview
The simple present tense
The present progressive tense
The present perfect tense
The present perfect progressive tense
Present tenses to talk about the future
The simple past tense
The past progressive tense
The past perfect tense
Correct use of the past perfect tense
The past perfect progressive tense
Past verb forms with present or future meaning
The simple future tense
The future progressive tense
The future perfect tense
Tenses in subordinate clauses

See also

Adverb clauses
Adjective clauses
Noun clauses
Transformation of sentences

See also

Common mistakes in the use of nouns
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 1
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 2
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 3

More CBSE English Grammar worksheets

Passive voice worksheet | Simple past tense
Passive voice worksheet | Past continuous tense
Passive voice worksheet | Simple future tense
Passive voice worksheet | Future perfect tense


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