Subject + Verb + Object
The subject, verb and object normally go together. We do not usually put other words between the verb and the object.
- I play football
- He sees Jack
- We eat apples
Study the following examples. Notice how the verb and the subject go together every time.
- Do you watch television every night? (Not - Do you watch every night television?)
- Our teacher speaks Spanish quickly (Not - Our teacher speaks quickly Spanish)
- Everybody liked the match a lot (Not - Everybody liked a lot the match)
Normally the verb and the place go together:
- Walk to the park
- Go home
- Live in the centre
If the verb has an object, the place goes directly after the verb
- Meet a friend in a restaurant
- Take somebody to a bar
when? how long? how often?
Usually goes after the "place".
- We arrived home at ten o'clock
- I have been in Madrid since June
- Did you drive to work this morning?
Study the following examples. Notice how the place goes before the time:
- I went to Madrid on Monday
- We arrived at work three hours late
- They didn't go to the zoo yesterday as it was too dark
It is sometimes possible to put the time at the beginning of the sentence:
- On Monday I went to Madrid
- Yesterday, they didn't go to the zoo as it was too dark
probably, almost, never, usually, etc
This adverbs go with the verb in the middle of the sentence
- I never smoke
- We usually go to work by car
Here are some general rules as to the positioning of adverbs:
1. If the verb is one word (e.g. walk / speak / does, etc) the adverb usually goes before the verb.
"have to". In this case adverbs go before "have to".
- They often speak Spanish to each other
- Children always have to do their homework.
2. Adverbs go after "am / is / are / were"
- We are always hungry
- They are never late
3. If the verb is two or more words (e.g. do smoke / can swim, etc) the adverb goes after the first verb.
- Laura and Vicky have never been to America
- Maria doesn't usually smoke