Word Order in English for ESL learners: who, what, where, how and why

 

Word order is super important in English.  This is true for native speakers and for those who are not native speakers. Either way you cut it, especially in the context of business and law, word order can change the meaning of a statement to the point of incurring liability for the speaker or drafter.

Here is the rub: many English learners have a strange perception of word order in English. Some of what they say is cute; but often, it is either dangerously wrong or so cumbersome it becomes confusing.

Here is an example of what I mean. Let’s say I said:

The goods will be, by overnight train, delivered to XZP by TCL, because there is an airline strike, on May 1 2014.

There are a couple of things going on here.

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