Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Word order in English sentences

Phillip Sparkes of Northern Kentucky University has published an informative piece on English word order. SparkesAs an example, he presents this confusing sentence “Many linguists, that modern languages from a common ancestor came, accept.” A speaker of contemporary English can barely understand that sentence because its words are out of the expected order. Sparkes’s article may help students understand why some sentences are awkward. It also contains a helpful discussion of the passive voice, explaining why it is hard to understand and when it may be appropriate.


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