Word order in sentences

The order of words in an English sentence is very important and it's called syntax.

Notes

When it comes to English syntax, there are some rules to follow. Don't worry, it's not as hard as it seems. Always remember to start with a subject!

Study the following rules on word order in English sentences and test yourself!

Learn FREE with videos and interactive exercises

Neutral word order

Neutral sentences are divided into two main parts: the subject and the predicate.

Examples:

  • John likes music.
  • The cat is on the table.
  • The child watched the rabbit.

Word order in simple sentences

Simple sentences have just one clause. The word order in simple sentences depends on the type of sentence.

Statements:

  • I saw you yesterday.
  • I don't like it.

Questions:

  • Do you like cakes?
  • Did you see it?

Commands:

  • Buy a ticket now.
  • Don't buy a ticket now.

Statements

The normal word order for statements:

  • subject + verb phrase
    Kate is working.
  • subject + verb phrase + direct object
    I am writing a letter.
  • subject + verb phrase + adverb
    She runs fast.
  • subject + verb phrase + direct object + adverb
    She bakes a chocolate cake every Sunday.

In negative statements the basic word order is the same, but we add NOT after an auxiliary or a modal verb:

  • I am not sleeping.
  • She can't sing.
  • They didn't help me.

Word order worksheet

Now that you know everything about English word order, it's time to practice!

Test your abilities and learn how to form an English sentence!

You can download the worksheet below: