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Clause Pattern: Subject – Verb – Direct Object – Prepositional Object
(SVOd Op )

Understanding the construction and use of the subject – verb – direct object - prepositional object clause pattern

This pattern consists of a subject A noun phrase (a person or a thing) or a nominal clause normally placed before a verb phrase and which acts as the performer of the verb. more..., a complex transitive verb A verb which requires a direct object and an object complement (also known as an object predicative) in the form of a noun phrase or adjective, by an obligatory adverbial (including a prepositional object). more..., or a complex prepositional verb Verbs composed of a lexical verb and a preposition and which take a prepositional object. more..., a direct object A direct object is the "thing" which is directly affected by a transitive verb. It may be a noun, noun phrase, nominal clause, an ing-clause, a to-cause, or a pronoun. more... and a prepositional object Objects consisting of a noun phrase or nominal clause normally placed after a prepositional verb (deal with, look at, depend on, consist of, contribute to, lead to, come from, etc.). more....

  • Theysubject might tellditransitive prepositional verb a newspaper reporter or a government officialdirect object aboutpreposition of the prepositional verb a secret crime they witnessedprepositional object. (Archambeault and Webber 2019)

  • Theysubject warnditransitive prepositional verb users direct object ofpreposition of the prepositional verb fake news,prepositional object and try to prevent them from sharing it unknowingly. (Byron 2019)

  • Our bodies rely on the Sun to reset this cycle and keepditransitive prepositional verb itdirect object atpreposition of the prepositional verb precisely 24 hoursprepositional object. (Stevens 2015)

  • During the 2011 to 2012 financial year, London’s universitiessubject contributedprepositional verb a total of £5.8 billionnoun phrase topreposition of the prepositional verb the cityprepositional object and supported 145,921 jobs (directly and indirectly) across all skill levels. (Addie 2017)

  • The US plastic recycling industrysubject has askedprepositional verb congressnoun phrase forpreposition of the prepositional verb a US$1 billion (£800 million) bailoutprepositional object. (Stringfellow, Williams, and Roberts 2020)

  • Our immune cellssubject — T cells and B cells — can defendprepositional verb usnoun phrase frompreposition of the prepositional verb virusesprepositional object. (Quinn and Mehta 2020)

This pattern is also used with passive verbs where what was the object in the active is moved to a subject position (this is common in academic texts).

  • Passive: Additionally, many modern storiessubject are based onprepositional verb older storiesprepositional object. (Gruner 2019)

    Active: Writerssubject baseprepositional verb many modern storiesnoun phrase onpreposition of the prepositional verb older storiesprepositional object.
  • Passive: We also know that intense emotionssubject are associated withprepositional verb stronger memories and preferencesprepositional object. (McAndrew 2019)

    Active: We also know that wesubject associateprepositional verb intense emotionsnoun phrase withpreposition of the prepositional verb stronger memories and preferencesprepositional object. (McAndrew 2019)

Test your understanding of this Subject – Verb – Direct Object – Prepositional Object
(SVOd Op ) pattern
Go to the (SVOd Op) exercise page

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