SOV‏‎ in English Sentence Structure

Sentence Structure

SOV stands for:

{subject} + {object} + {verb}

* I + dinner + made.

* We + car + buy.

* an asterisk at the beginning of a sentence shows it’s ungrammatical

In this sentence structure the subject comes first, the object second, and the verb third. English is not an SOV language but rather an SVO language.

SOV languages have a strong tendency to use postpositions rather than prepositions, to place auxiliary verbs after the action verb, to place a name before a title or to place demonstrative adjectives before the nouns they modify.

SOV languages also show a tendency towards using a time – manner – place ordering of adverbs in a phrase.

Amongst many SOV languages there are: Armenian, Basque, Bengali, Burmese, Hindi, Japanese, Mongolian, Nepali, Persian, Punjabi, Somali,Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, Urdu.

Also partially SOV are German and Dutch. In these languages in fact the SOV pattern applies only to subordinate clauses, while the main clauses retain the SVO pattern.

Useful Links

SVO‏‎ – Subject Verb Object – all about the subject, verb, object sentence construction we are so familiar with.

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2 Comments

  1. Jessamine P.

    there are some errors:”Also partially SOV are German and Dutch(.) in these (language) languages in fact the SOV pattern applies only to subordinate clauses, while the main clauses retain the SVO pattern.

    • Jenny Scott

      Thanks for that Jessamine! Updated now…