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II. The Position of the Object

a) The Place of the Direct Object

§ 479. The direct object is usually placed after the verb unless the indirect object precedes it.

He offered me his help.

However the direct object may be put before its verb or may be severed from the latter by other parts of the sentence.

She lavishly displayed for my pleasure all her charms... (Bronte).

§ 480. Sometimes the object is pushed to the front of the sentence. It occurs:

  1. When the direct object is an interrogative word which is naturally placed at the head of the sentence to form a spe­ cial question, as in What did you dot Who (m) will you meet there*

  2. When the direct object serves to connect two thoughts 1.

/ see he is ready to apologize. This he can't avoid.

3) When the object is made emphatic, the speaker wishing to attract attention towards it. Not asyllable did she utter. Here the particle not emphasizes the word syllable.

§ 481. The direct object is separated from its verb by some other parts of the sentence — adverbial complements, pre­positional objects — when it is intentionally placed at the end of the sentence for the sake of emphasis, logical stress.

And unexpectedly he saw against the background of the forest two approaching figures. (Betteredge).

b)The Position of the Indirect Object

§ 482. The indirect object cannot be used in the sentence without the direct object. The indirect object is regularly put before the direct object as in That gave me a new idea.

The only possible exception to the rule is the use of the direct object it before the indirect object, / gave it him. In

1 А. И. С m и p н и ц к и и, op. cit., p. 216.

274

A. I. Smirnitsky's 1 opinion this can be easily explained by the nature of it which denotes a thing and not a person and cannot be mistaken for the indirect object.

The indirect object cannot be pushed to the front of the sentence because that would impair its only distinct formal feature — its position immediately after the verb, before the direct object.

c)The Position of Prepositional Objects

§ 483. In most cases they follow the direct object, though for stylistic purposes, I. E. For emphasis and expressiveness, they may be placed at the head of the sentence.

Cf. / didn't tell him about Mary's departure. About Mary's departure I didn't tell him.

Occasionally the prepositional object js placed before the direct object (particularly if the prepositional object happens to be a '/o-phrase').

/ tecommended to him some effective measures.

III. The Position of Adverbial Complements

§ 484. Adverbial complements are often referred to as the most mobile par'ts of the sentence 2. We must bear in mind, however, that the position of adverbial complements is not altogether free, though it is more varied than that of the other parts of the sentence.

§ 485. Adverbials of place and time are normally placed either at the end of the sentence (e. g. It happened о п Wednesday), or at the beginning of the sentence (О п Wednesday he came again. Along the narrow street moved a queer procession.).

In case there are both an adverbial of place and an adver­bial of time, the former comes nearer the verb than the latter.

They were married in Brighton in 1876.

1 Op., cit , p. 217.

2 А. И. С м и p н и ц к и и, op cit., p. 228; Б. А. И л ь и ш, op. cit., р. 42; Н. Sweet, op. cit. § 1833, etc.

275

Adverbials of indefinite time and frequency (always, never, seldom, ever, often, etc.) are placed before a synthetic predicate verb and within an analytical predicate verb.

Cf. / always helped him. I have always helped him.

A. I. Smirnitsky * explains this position of the adverbials in question by their functioning as a sort of time attribute to the verb, owing to which they form an inalienable part of the predicate.

If these adverbials are placed at the head of the sentence they become emphatic. Never shall I forget that day.

Adverbial complements of manner are likewise closely allied with the verb and are mostly placed either after the verb (or after the object) or within the analytical form.

"Good-bye", she answered softly. (Galsworthy). He moved nervously about, while Carrie looked at him confusedly. (Dreiser).

He has openly defied the law.

IV. The Position of Attributes

§ 486. Attributes may precede or follow the word they modify and accordingly we distinguish prepositive and post­positive attributes. Both prepositive and postpositive attrib­utes are placed in close proximity to the noun modified.

My dear girl. Her desire to p I e a s e was quite appar­ent.

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