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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 subjectSee the glossary definition , a ditransitiveSee the glossary definition prepositional verbSee the glossary definition , a direct objectSee the glossary definition and a prepositional objectSee the glossary definition .

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

  • Theysubject warnditransitive prepositional verb users direct object ofditransitive 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 atditransitive 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 toprepositional 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 forprepositional 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 fromprepositional 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 onprepositional 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 withprepositional verb stronger memories and preferencesprepositional object. (McAndrew 2019)

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