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Old English Grammar & Syntax

 

Old English Syntax

 

      As a West Germanic language, Old English syntax has a great deal in common with Dutch and German

 

      Old English is not dependent upon S (subject), V (verb), O (object) or "SVO" word order in the way that Modern English is

 

      The syntax of an Old English sentence can be in any of these shapes: SVO order, VSO order, and OVS order

 

      The only constant rule, as in German and Dutch, is that the verb must come as the second concept

 

      That is, in the sentence "in the town, we ate some food", it could appear as "in the town, ate we some food", or "in the town, ate some food we"

 

      This variable word order is especially common in poetry

 

      Prose, while still displaying variable word order, is much more likely to use SVO ordering

 

      Word order became less flexible as time went on: the older a text is, the less likely it is to have a fixed word order

 

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OLD ENGLISH GRAMMAR & SYNTAX

  Old English vs. Modern English

  Word Order in Modern English

  Old English Syntax

  Examples of Old English Word Order

  Characteristics of OE Word Order

  Change in Word Order Patterns

OLD ENGLISH

  The Origins of Old English

  Main Influences on Old English

  The Lord's Prayer in Old English

  Beowulf Home

  More

 

 
 
 
 

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