Order of Words in a Sentence to Add Emphasis

The lion was sleeping in the jungle.

A small mouse came and started running up and down the lion.

Never did he think that the lion could get angry on him and eat him.

We all know this famous story of a lion and a mouse. Never is highlighted in the passage to emphasize on what the mouse never thought.

We have a basic structure of a sentence.

But we can alter it to emphasize on certain parts of our sentence.

We need emphasis in a sentence to give strong advice, express opinion clearly, to disagree, to show concern or to entertain.

First we will learn what the basic structure of a sentence is.

The basic structure of a sentence is ‘subject+verb+object’.

‘She’ is the ‘subject’ followed by ‘verb’, ‘sat’ and then the ‘object’, ‘car’.

Now, we will see how we can alter our sentences.

A sentence can be written either in ‘active voice’ or ‘passive voice’.

When a sentence is written in ‘active voice’, focus is on the ‘subject’ who does the action.

Like here we see the subject is ‘Nancy’ performing the ‘action’.

By using passive voice, we can emphasize on what happened rather than telling who or what did it.

So here the emphasis is on the ‘glass table’ which broke and not on the subject ‘Rahul’.

There are many other ways to add emphasis.

Like, you could use the phrases depicting time in the beginning of a sentence.

Here, the emphasis is on ‘time’ that soon he reached office, the meeting started.

Next, we could also put emphasis by changing the basic word order.

Use the helping verb ’Is’ in the beginning of the sentence and make the sentence a question.

We can use following words in the beginning of the sentence to show emphasis.

Let us see an example.

‘In no way’’ in the beginning, puts emphasis on what the person doesn’t agree with.

‘Never have I seen’ such great dancing. Using the word ‘Never’ in the beginning adds emphasis.

Another way is to use the word ‘only’ in the beginning.

To add emphasis to the key facts or phrases, use words such as especially, particularly, above all, remarkably, and most importantly.

Lets see an example for the same.

The emphasis is put on the punctuality of the President above all other things.

Similarly, words like Usually, Carefully, Obviously can be used in the beginning.

One more way you could add emphasis to your sentence is to divide the sentence into two clauses.

Let’s see how we do it.

In the first sentence, subject ‘mother’ is in the beginning.

We would now divide this sentence into two clauses to add emphasis to the subject mother.

In the second sentence, ‘It’ is followed by ‘might be’ and then the subject followed by the second clause.

We will take one more example from the famous lion mouse story.

This sentence has less emphasis. The lion was caught in the net.

But this has more emphasis:

‘It was the lion’, is the first clause and ‘who was caught in the net’, is the second.

Let us do a Revision

The basic structure of a sentence is ‘subject+verb+object’.

We can put emphasis by Using Passive voice, altering the basic order of the sentence and by making the statement a question.

Use the phrases depicting time in the beginning of a sentence.

Use the words like hardly, never, seldom, rarely, no sooner, not only, nowhere, in no way, never before in the beginning.

Use phrases such as especially, particularly, above all, remarkably, and most importantly.

Divide the sentence into two clauses, could also add emphasis to the subject.

The End.