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Subject Verb Object
In linguistic typology, subject-verb-object (SVO) is the sequence 'subject verb object ' in neutral expressions: Sam ate oranges. Languages are classified according to the dominant sequence of these constitutents of sentences. This sequence is the second most common.
An example of this order in English is:
- I played a game of Go yesterday.
In this, I is the subject, a game of Go is the object and played is the verb.
The other permutations in the order of most common to rarest are:
- Subject Object Verb Sam oranges ate. (e.g., Japanese, Persian, Hindi, Latin, Turkish, Tibetan, Tamil, Punjabi, Quechua)
- Verb Subject Object Ate Sam oranges. (e.g., Welsh, classical Arabic, Hawaiian, Berber)
- Verb Object Subject Ate oranges Sam. (e.g., Fijian, Terena , Malagasy)
- Object Subject Verb Oranges Sam ate. (e.g., Jamamadi, Xavante)
- Object Verb Subject Oranges ate Sam. (e.g., Guarijio, Hixkaryana)
Some languages are more complicated: in German, SOV is basic, but finite verbs appear after the subject when they appear in the main clause: GŁnther ist nach Berlin gefahren, Gunther has travelled to Berlin (where ist is the finite verb, directly after the subject GŁnther, and gefahren is a non-finite verb, a past participle, in the standard verb-final position). German verbs appear before their subjects when an adverb modifying the verb, or a phrase acting as such an adverb, is at the beginning of the sentence. This is called V2 word order.
Likewise, Dutch is SOV/V2, and subordinating clauses remain SOV. For example:
- Zij werkt niet omdat het zondag is
is literally "She is not working because it Sunday is" rather than "...it is Sunday."
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