SVOMPT – Word Order in English
SVOMPT – Word Order in English

The SVOMPT rule is the most important rule in English. As there are very few declinations in English, the word order rule is the one that keeps the sentences understandable. If you do not apply this rule, your sentences will make no sense.

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Unfortunately, there are very few textbook that teach this grammar explicitly. For example, I teach the textbooks Happy House, Happy Street, Project, Inside Out and Headway and none of them teaches SVOMPT. The rule is taught only implicitly. But I think that this is so important that you need to teach it explicitly. Thus, if your textbook fails to do so, set apart two lessons and teach this rule.


To make your work easier, you will find an infographic and a worksheet which you can use in your lessons here.

SVOMPT – explanation

To explain the basic rule you can use the following infographic which I published several years ago. It is nice and comprehensive but for some students it might be a bit overwhelming. (You can find the whole post on SVOMPT here.)

SVOMPT word order mind map

This time I try to make things a bit easier and I created the following infographic.

SVOMPT simple infographic

When explaining the rule, emphasize that you cannot leave out the subject. You have to express it and it has to be followed by the action that the subject makes. After the action object follows. Object is the thing that has been somehow affected by the action. Then the adverbs follow.

Students have to remember that each sentence has to contain the SUBJECT and VERB. The other parts might or might not be there.

SVOMPT worksheet

To practise the grammar, here is a worksheet with three exercises.

In the first exercise, students circle the sentences that are correct. You might use the exercise before the explanation.

In the second exercise, students place the word in brackets into the correct position.

In the third exercise, students put the words into the correct order.

In the last exercise, students write sentences about the animals, using the words in the pictures.

SVOMPT – word order in English
SVOMPT – word order in English

SVOMPT rule is one of the most important rules in English. If students learn to follow this rule, their English will improve dramatically, and they will be understood. Once a student knows some words and follows the SVOMPT rule, we can say that he/she can speak English.

[showmyads] I love Darren Crown’s explanation of the origin of the SVOMPT word order. In his humorous book “Angličtina na rovinu” he writes that English was first used by a primitive tribe whose members did not want to use their brain too much and thus they created a word order which is always the same – Subject, Verb, Object, adverbs of Manner, adverbs of Place and adverbs of Time. So let´s stop looking for some complicated explanations and let´s think like the primitive barbarians and stick with the SVOMPT word order.

SVOMPT – mind map

The path shows the way an affirmative English sentence is created. You start with a Subject at the top and then you go down and add the words according to the SVOMPT rule.
SVOMPT word order mind map

SVOMPT – games and quizzes

At the moment you feel you understand the grammar it is time to put your knowledge into practice. First, to be able to follow the rule you have to know what part of speech a given word is. You must know whether it is a Subject, Verb, Object, adverb of Manner, adverb of Place or adverb of Time to place the word into the correct place in an English sentence. To help you with this, you can try the following quiz where your task is to tell what part of speech a given word is. If you pass the test, you can play the game Angry finches.

If you want to play the quiz on the full screen, click on the button below.

SVOMPT – what is this word

In the second quiz your task is to put the sentence into the correct order. If you pass this quiz, you can improve your vocabulary in the game called Word Boggle.

If you want to play the quiz on the full screen, click on the button below.

SVOMPT – Arrange the sentence

Both games and quizzes are in HTML5 so they should play on all mobile devices.