Subject Object Verb

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In linguistic typology, Subject Object Verb (SOV) is the general order of words in a language's sentences: "Sam oranges ate". The SOV type is the most common type found in natural languages. It corresponds roughly to reverse Polish notation in computer languages. Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Latin, Burmese and most Indian languages belong to this category.

German and Dutch are basically SOV, but employ SVO in main clauses. See V2 word order.

SOV languages tend to have the adjectives before nouns, to use postpositions rather than prepositions, to place relative clauses before the nouns to which they refer, and to place auxiliary verbs after the action verb. Some have special particles to distinguish the subject and the object, such as the Japanese ga and o. SOV languages also seem to exhibit a tendency towards using a Time-Manner-Place ordering of prepositional phrases.

An example in Japanese is: 私は箱を開けます。(watashi wa hako wo akemasu.) meaning "I open a/the box/boxes." In this sentence, 私 (watashi) is the subject (or more specifically, topic) meaning "I" as in first person singular, and it is followed by the は (wa) subject marker. 箱 (hako) is the object meaning box (in Japanese no distinction is made between whether a word uses "a" or "the", or plural or singular unless specifically stated), followed by を (wo) which is the object marker in Japanese. 開けます (akemasu) is the verb which means "to open" and is at the end of the sentence.

The permutations in the order of most common to rarest are:

See also

es:Sujeto Objeto Verbo eo:Subjekto Objekto Verbo ja:SOV型 pl:SOV


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