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Clause Pattern: Subject – Verb – Prepositional Object (SVOp )

Understanding the construction and use of the subject – verb – prepositional object clause pattern

This pattern consists of a subject A noun phrase (a person or a thing) or a nominal clause normally placed before a verb phrase and which acts as the performer of the verb. more..., a prepositional verb Verbs composed of a lexical verb and a preposition and which take a prepositional object. more..., and a prepositional object Objects consisting of a noun phrase or nominal clause normally placed after a prepositional verb (deal with, look at, depend on, consist of, contribute to, lead to, come from, etc.). more....

  • If wesubject come acrossprepositional verb a new virusprepositional object … our immune cells can’t recognise it straight away. (Quinn and Mehta 2020)

    Many prepositional verbs can be replaced be a single lexical verb, as in this case: "come across" = "discover"
  • One big scientific studysubject looked atprepositional verb 168 different groups of peopleprepositional object, from small communities that gather and hunt their own food, to bigger and busier cities. (Cushing 2020)

    Many prepositional verbs can be replaced be a single lexical verb, as in this case: "looked at" = "examined"
  • Mother chimpanzeessubject care forprepositional verb their own infantsprepositional object and no other chimps help, not even fathers or grandparents. (Bogin 2022)

  • Unstable atomssubject turn intoprepositional verb stable atomsprepositional object over time at a steady and predictable pace. (Skromne 2022)

  • Many peoplesubject hear the name “Big Bang” and think aboutprepositional verb a giant explosion of stuff prepositional object, like a bomb going off . (Lam 2020)

  • A lack of sleepsubject can also make us more emotional and can contribute toprepositional verb depression prepositional object. (Krigolson 2023)

  • What octopuses eatsubject depends onprepositional verb what species they are and where they live two prepositional objects. (Spencer and Papastamatiou 2022)

Test your understanding of this Subject – Verb – Prepositional Object (SVOp ) pattern Go to the (SVOp) exercise page.

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