1. tdd1984
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    tdd1984 New Member

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    Using the Verb before Subject or After?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by tdd1984, Dec 7, 2010.

    I was reading somewhere that generally you should include the subject first. Then include the verb after that. Should I always make sure the subject / noun comes before the verb?

    I seem to always use the verb first when creating an unordered list on a word document. I suppose the sentences in unordered list start after the : ?
     
  2. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    Er... I'm pretty good at this stuff, usually; but seriously, you need to run that by me again.

    Sorry, I'm probably being thick here.
     
  3. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Do you mean?
    You do:... ran Nana
    Instead of: Nana ran
    ..? Bit confused here xD
     
  4. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    Well, thank the Maker I'm not the only one.
     
  5. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    Umm i think i know what he is saying

    He is asking if the verb (lets go with running) comes before the noun
    since he says a noun lets use the good old friend Bob.
    Bob was running to the store for a quick bite.

    Now he is saying (i think)
    that he read somewhere the subject (in this case Bob) comes first
    and he is asking if this is true (once again I'm not sure)



    to answer the OP's question


    I don't see anyway for the verb to come before the noun in the sentence I typed, but something like this might work.


    As he just started running, Bob noticed he had forgot his money.


    so in other words

    99% of the time the noun will come before the verb
    but there are some times it wont be.

    Edit not sure if pro nouns are deferent
     
  6. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    Ah. Quick question to the OP: is English your native language? I ask because, in some languages, you would indeed usually place the verb before the noun. However, this is not usually the case in English,

    As far as I'm aware. Someone shall now appear and destroy me, no doubt.
     
  7. m5roberts
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    m5roberts Member

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    Good question.

    Here's something I googled about subjects/verbs. http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/grammar/subverag.htmlThere is an example given that has the verb before the noun, but it's not as common of a structure (Over the ripples glides a small canoe). Haha. Actually, that sentence starts out like another example, when it says "There is an example given..." Subject first, it would read "An example is given..."

    And just to be clear:

    You still have the subject before the verb here. In this case, "he" is the subject to the verb "started" and "Bob" is the subject to the verb "noticed". You were right to have brought up pronouns. It's easy to lose them when you've also got proper nouns.
     
  8. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    "While running to the store, Bob noticed he had forgotten his money."

    Isn't this a case of passive vs. active voice?
     
  9. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Grammatical or stylistic passive voice?

    There's the technical passive:

    "But was being run to the store [by his wife]."

    Your example isn't stylistically passive either. I can't recall the name of the construction that starts with an 'ing' verb, but it's just a different construction. The only thing to be aware of is it implies the introductory action will take place for the duration of the sentence, as indicated by the 'while'. Many sentences of this construction leave out the 'while,' as it's implied, but then grammar can break down:

    "Running to the store, Bob bought a soda."

    This flawed construction can often be found in manuscripts, and even in published works, but implies Bob somehow bought something at the store while still running to it. This of course would only work with something like pizza and Bob using a smart phone to order take-out as he's still running to the store. ;)


    Then there's the passive style, that isn't technically passive but may shift the focuses away from the expected or be intentionally weaker to create a passive feeling:

    "She was dreaming of the land of Oz"

    Which is weaker, and more passive (feeling) than the stronger, more straightforward:

    "She dreamed of the land of Oz."

    It's a stylistic difference that some writers will use in passive-feeling moments, like dreams or incidental thoughts. But the passive construction from a grammar perspective would be:

    "The land of Oz was dreamed of by her."


    I think. I'm not the best at grammar, despite the classes and stuff. :p


    To the OP: no clue what you're talking about. heh.
     
  10. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are no strict rules. Fiddle about with a few simple sentences to see how things work out. Folk naturally, and sometimes for sound grammatical reasons, go with the subject before the verb.

    The cat (subject) sat (verb) on the mat (object). Works pretty well

    On the mat sat the cat. Arguably less natural.

    Sat the cat on the mat. Dr Seuss/ little fella in Star Wars territory.
     
  11. VcatoV
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    VcatoV New Member

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    The English language is structurally based upon S(ubject) V(erb) O(object), and almost all sentences are some variant of this. Reversal of the order does indeed sound weird (SOV is called "Yoda talk", where the verb is last...but in languages like Latin, is indeed fairly common).

    I would say that, for the most part, you should stick to the simple SVO. In prose writing, most people prefer a more rigid adherence to this; in poetry, it is quite common to toss things up. My rule of thumb: only break the rules when you want to really emphasize something.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    generally, yes... but if/when you do the opposite, make sure you have a good reason for doing so and that it reads well...

    what do you mean by 'an unordered list'?... and how does that relate to a verb?... you really need to give examples when you ask questions like this, so everyone won't have to guess and probably come up with irrelevant advice/answers...
     
  13. m5roberts
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    m5roberts Member

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    No, I'd say that's more sentence inversion. If you drop the comma and reverse it, it would say "Bob noticed he had forgotten his money while running to the store." But that doesn't matter. Even inverted, you have your subject before your verb, because, even though "running" is the first verb in your sentence the way you have it written, it is not the one that goes with your subject (Bob). If you break it down into its simplest form, you have "Bob noticed."
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    passive would be:

    The money was lost by Bob...

    vs active:

    Bob lost the money...
     
  15. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, the subject (Bob) is still before the verb (noticed) in the independent clause, and the subject (he) is still before the verb phrase (started running) in the dependent clause.

    The only case I can think of where the verb comes before the subject is in the archaic/poetic question form "Breathes There A man With Soul So Dead Who Never to himself has said this is my own my native land." In that case the verb "Breathes" comes before the (existential) subject "there". But that's a bit obscure.
     
  16. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    All you are doing here is changing the position of the prepositional phrase from the back of the sentence to the front. This has nothing to do with Subject / Predicate sentence structure.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    for the verb to start the sentence, it would have to be something like this:
    it's sadly too common for new/unseasoned writers to do this, putting an 'ing' verb at the start of many of their sentences... it's usually not a good idea to do it at all...
     
  18. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    The status of verbs and subjects is tricky there. You're still not putting the main verb before the subject. The main verb is "noticed", and Bob still comes before it. "Starting to run" is an adverbial clause, and as such doesn't really have a subject, but rather acts on a verb. If the subject of that verb wouldn't also be the subject of the verb in the adverbial clause then you would have a dangling participle, which is often a bad thing (not always, as some prescriptive types would insist). That doesn't really make Bob the subject of "noticed", though.

    Anyway, there's nothing wrong grammatically with having the adverbial clause at the beginning (see the Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, section 11), although you might have a preference against it.
     

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