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WORD ORDER. A term for the order in which words appear in phrases and SENTENCES. In such highly inflected languages as Latin and Sanskrit, word order is relatively free, since the relations between words can be signalled by inflections, but it is relatively fixed in English: for example, an adjective generally precedes the noun it modifies (tall woman) and a preposition precedes its complement (on my table). The normal order of sentence elements in English is Subject—Verb—Object: Tony wants an egg.