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Rams Write: Awkward Syntax: Subject-verb-object

Here you'll find a student-generated guide to writing and composition.

Introduction

Syntax refers to how a sentence is formed. A strong sentence contains a subject, a verb, and an object. 

Note: Creative writers often play around with syntax to make a sentence more lyrical, or to give it rhythm.

Syntax

Syntax

Subject → Verb → Object

Examples

Example 1

Incorrect: To grandmother's house we go.

Correct: We will go to grandmother's house. 

Explanation: The incorrect statement does not follow subject, verb, object agreement. It starts with the subject, then goes to the object and lastly, the verb. 

Example 2

Incorrect: The car was driven by the girl to school.

Correct: The girl drove her car to school.

Explanation: The correct statement sounds smoother and follows the subject, verb, object agreement.

Example 3

Incorrect: The bone was chewed by the dog.

Correct: The dog chewed on the bone. 

Explanation: The first sentence is passive and long-winded. Rearranging the sentence to follow subject, verb, object agreement achieves clarity.

What is a subject?

Subject

A subject refers to who or what is performing the action in the sentence.

What is a verb?

Verb

 

A verb expresses the action. 

What is the object?

Object

 

The object is whoever or whatever is being acted upon.

This page was created by/ MLA Citations:

Fall 2019 

Angela Anderson, Framingham State U, Class of 2023

Maria Santiago, Framingham State U, Class of 2023

Samson Prosper, Framingham State U, Class of 2023

Michael Sosnovsky, Framingham State U, Class of 2023

 

Works Cited

“Basic English Sentence Structure II Subject+verb+object.” YouTube, uploaded by Railway Online Form, 23 September 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=enXLVg68aUM.

Chen, Wenxin, "ACT Word of the Week: Syntax." ACT, 13 November 2018, mavpulse.com/13023/news/act-word-of-the-week-syntax/.

Laser, Michael. "Improving Awkward Sentences." College Writing Clinic, collegewritingclinic.com/sample-lesson-plans/improving-awkward-sentences/.

"Learn English - Subject verb Object," YouTube, uploaded by efjack, 23 April 2009, www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QhdZ6m2E8w.

MemeLorde47, "Star Wars Yoda," 2016, i.imgflip.com/1ljusc.jpg.