Free TOEFL test
TOEFL | English Grammar for Students | Arrangement, Or Order Previous   Up   Next   

Arrangement, Or Order

The student of good English must have observed that there is a certain fairly well defined order of using words.

In general those words should be used, and that order followed, which will best convey the thought of the speaker or the writer. A few of the most common rules of order are:

1. That which comes first in time should be stated first.

2. The things thought of together should be closely connected.

3. A subject precedes its predicate.

4. The modifiers of the subject immediately precede or follow it.

5. The direct object follows the transitive verb.

6. The complement of a predicate follows the incomplete verb.

7. An adjective modifier is placed as near as possible to the noun or pronoun it modifies.

8. An adverbial modifier should be placed as near as possible to the word it modifies.

9. When two words are used correlatively each should be followed by the same part of speech.

10. Prepositions should be placed as near as possible to the words they govern.

11. Every pronoun should have a distinct antecedent.


The antecedent of the pronoun it, when used with impersonal verbs, cannot always be determined.

In poetry and impassioned prose these rules of order are often changed for effect.

Apply these rules of order to several of the best prose selections with which you are acquainted.

  • Previous: Government
  • Table of Contents
  • Next: Figurative Language
  • Previous   Up   Next   

    About  |   TOEFL®  |   TOEIC®  |   IELTS  |   GMAT  |   GRE®  |   Online Degrees  |   Buy Now  |   Partners