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02 / 06 / 2009

VERB-OBJECT WORD ORDER: meaning and examples

Good morning everyone. I hope you enjoyed your long weekend!

Do you now what's wrong with the following English sentences?

i) I finish always my work at ten o'clock.
ii) I like a lot pizza.

Although one can understand these sentences, they sound quite strange to native speakers because there is an adverb (always / a lot) between the verb (finish / like) and its object (my work / pizza).

One of the most common errors that I hear amongst Spanish-speaking English students is this sort of change in word order. That's probably because in Spanish it is perfectly acceptable to put an adverb between a verb and its object.

iii) Acabo siempre mi trabajo a las 10:00.
iv) Me gusta mucho la pizza.

Remember that, in general, English verbs like their direct objects to be placed directly after them.

He hits always his sister. (incorrect) --> He always hits his sister. (correct)

I criticise usually politicians. (incorrect) --> I usually criticise politicians. (correct)

Just being aware of this tendency can be helpful, but eliminating this error from your conversation can take time. Be aware of this error, but be patient in correcting it.

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Hope I day enjoy...Just kidding...I hope you enjoy your day!