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Needs more info on contrary orderings in questions. How (un)common is the Dutch situation? Is there any semantic difference in the VSO ordering in French questions and the SVO ordering? --Anonymous, Apr 2 2004 13:30 UTC

Dutch seems just like modern scandinavian languages, anyway...

Added information about Finnish word order in questions. --Aarnepolkusin, 2005-02-06 20:08 UTC

Rather than including information from Dutch or Finnish, which are not, properly speaking, VSO languages, how about a bit of information about Welsh or Arabic! Bathrobe 4 April 2005


Maybe a bit on traits that are common (or universal) to VSO languages. For example, no VSO language uses postpositions. 14:07, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

About this article and the article of "Verb Subject Object"[edit]

I think the article Verb Subject Object shall be merged into this article, because they are almost the same, and it seems that "Verb Agent Object" is the better name for this kind of word order.--KOS-MOS 14:00, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Which order did Yoda use in Star Wars?[edit]

Was it a real order? Or did they just make up something that sounded different? Will (Talk - contribs) 03:13, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Generally Object Subject Verb; but I think they were more consistent about it in The Empire Strikes Back than in the prequel trilogy. --Jim Henry 20:28, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
See also these Language Log posts:
Yoda's syntax the Tribune analyzes; supply more details I will!
Unclear of Yoda's syntax the principles are, if any
--Jim Henry 20:31, 6 October 2006 (UTC)


French does use VSO to show questions, but also uses OVS, in that object pronouns do go before the object and subject. 20:41, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

About the deletion of the inversion passage[edit]

I deleted some information about VSO order used in questions in French, Spanish and English. The reasons for this are as follows

  • Spanish does allow strings like Mató Juan al perro "Juan killed the dog", but this does not imply that they are questions, but has to do with the information status of the NPs. I feel that this string would rather not be used as a question, but Mató al perro JUAN? could be. I can provide a more detailed argument for this, but this would probably too much depth for this article. I am not against the inclusion of these interesting inversions in Spanish, but claiming that they are used to form questions is certainly wrong. Intonation is used for this in Spanish.
  • French inversion is more complicated than indicated here. You cannot say Mangeait Sam des oranges, but you have to say Sam mangeait-il des oranges?. This surely does not qualify as inversion
  • For English, the argument is the same: Ate Sam oranges is simply ungrammatical. Did Sam eat oranges? is of course the correct version, but you will notice that the order is still (AUX) SVO. Jasy jatere 22:11, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
As for the French part, yes it is true that it's ungrammatical to say "Mangeait-Sam des oranges ?", and preferably said "Est-ce que Sam mangeait des oranges ?", rather than what you suggest "Sam, mangeait-il des oranges ?". This last sentence is still VSO, the only thing different is that you specified the person before the phrase, but the phrase itself doesn't change since it still has verb-subject-object order (il is a personal pronoun which replaces the name Sam, acting as subject of the verb). Otherwise, the statement for reversing sentence order to form a question remains true. As is using interrogative pronouns to form questions, such as qui, que, quand, etc., which may in turn form diverse constructions in SVO, OSV or OVS sentences. For example À qui parles-tu ? (OVS), Qui veut étudier le français ? (SVO). Using interrogative pronouns affects sentence construction, and are used in specific cases (i.e. Did Sam eat oranges? - Est-ce que Sam mangeait des oranges ? ; but Did he eat oranges? - Mangeait-il des oranges ? / Est-ce qu'il mangeait des oranges ?). - Io Katai 02:40, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Inversion in Dutch and German[edit]

In Dutch, switching from SVO to VSO is done not only to change the sentence into a question, but also when another part of the sentence is moved to the front for emphasis, e.g. the SVO "Hij eet soms een appel" (He sometimes eats an apple) can be changed to the VSO "Soms eet hij een appel" (Sometimes he eats an apple) to stress "soms" (sometimes). I believe the same is true in German: "Manchmal ißt er einen Apfel". (talk) 00:50, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

But isn't that more to do with the Germanic V2 word order? Tripsin (talk) 21:59, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
That's true. I was just reacting to the fact that the article seems to state that the word order in Germanic languages is only changed to VSO for questions. (talk) 22:36, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of that topic, the phenomenon in Spanish, as it is presented here, looks very much like V2 order to me, at least going by the definitions I know and those that are given in Wikipedia itself. You may have SVO or VSO on the surface, but on an underlying level, it's essentially V2 (finite verb obligatorily in second position) while the rest can be shifted around freely, as long as only constitutent precedes the verb. I know, this is original research and does not belong into the article, but if somebody could clarify this (does Spanish have V2 order? if not, what's the difference?), that would be great. --Ubel (talk) 13:38, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

Breton with the exception of Cornish[edit]

Examples of languages with VSO word order include ... Brythonic languages (Welsh, and Breton with the exception of Cornish) ....

Is Cornish considered a subset of Breton? It's tricky to restructure the phrase to avoid that implication; my least awkward solution is "Brythonic languages except Cornish (i.e. Welsh and Breton)", but that gives inappropriate emphasis to Cornish. —Tamfang (talk) 21:27, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Brythonic languages (Welsh and Breton, but not Cornish) ? (talk) 22:24, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
...two of the three B.l. (...) ? —Tamfang (talk) 00:27, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Cornish uses the VSO order. See Cornish language#Grammar. Bodrugan (talk) 02:00, 14 April 2014 (UTC)


Added Finnish to the question VSO languages (hän ajaa autoa -> ajaako hän autoa?). -- (talk) 18:31, 17 December 2010 (UTC)


Polish (and other Slavic languages) has partial VSO, too: "Mówią ludzie, żeś za męża wyszła" = *Speak people that you got married. We may add such examples here. Zezen (talk) 08:14, 11 July 2017 (UTC)