The English language
has its own word order.
meaning demands that we place the subject of an independent clause as the
first word of a sentence. In turn, the subject is followed by the finite
verb, which is followed by other information, such as the object. Linguists call this SVO (subject,
verb, object) order.
Another way to explain SVO order is to
state that the subject of the independent clause (what the clause is about) is followed by what is called
the predicate. The predicate contains the finite verb phrase and any
other information that may be included in the clause, including object,
complement, prepositional phrases and / or other adverbials, and dependent
A problem ensues when
information comes before the subject of the independent clause. Linguists
call this a grammatical
refers to the first information given in an independent clause. If the
subject appears first, the theme is unmarked.
Occasionally, an adverbial is placed before the subject, and the theme is
refers to the part of the clause that follows the theme.
unmarked theme: The Titanic
rheme: sank in April of 1912.
marked theme: In April of 1912,
rheme: the Titanic sank
on her maiden voyage..
unmarked theme: Jack
rheme: lived in Wisconsin when he was a boy.
marked theme: When Jack was a boy,
rheme: he lived in Wisconsin.