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Subject and verb order in a sentence

In most sentences, the verb comes straight after the subject of the sentence, like this:

Barry hit the ball.

The verb is ‘hit’ and it comes straight after the subject ‘Barry’. Of course, sometimes, there are also adjectives and adverbs in the sentence, but the verb still comes after the subject:

Red-faced Barry energetically hit the ball.

‘Red-faced’ is an adjective and ‘energetically’ is an adverb. But the verb still comes after the subject ‘Barry’.

This isn’t always the case. Sometimes the normal order can be swapped around, or inverted as it’s often described:

There is a table in the hall.

In this sentence, the verb is ‘is’. The subject of the sentence is the ‘table’. Notice how the verb comes first, followed by the subject of the sentence. To help me understand these types of sentences I always like to reword them in my head to get the order of the subject and verb as it normally is:

The table is in the hall.

Probably the most common situation where this swapping occurs is in a question:

Will Dave come over for dinner?

The subject of the sentence is ‘Dave’ and it comes after the verb ‘will’. Once again, I like to reword it in my head so it’s in a more familiar order:

Dave will come over for dinner?

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