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Old English Grammar & Syntax

 

Characteristics of OE Word Order

    

·         OE word order shows strong tendency to put the verb element at the end of the clause, so that the object comes forward

 

·         It was normal practice to invert the subject–verb order if a clause began with an adverb (e.g., the linking word þa "then")

 

·         This is especially noticeable where the phrase Ond þa "and then..." is often used (see the examples on the previous page)

 

·         The inversion continued to be used throughout Middle English, and did not really start going out of use until the sixteenth century

 

·         It can still be heard today, when we invert subject and verb after a few initial adverbs with negative meaning, such as hardly, barely, and scarcely ("Scarcely had she left when...")

 

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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

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