Subject and verb placement

Readers expect the verb, a word that describes an action, in a sentence to be near the subject of that sentence. However, some authors tend to insert a lot of text that describes the subject between the subject and verb.

In these cases, when the reader reaches the verb, they can forget what the subject was. They will then have to go back to the beginning of the sentence for clarification. Your reader should only have to read your writing once to understand your ideas. To improve the readability of your manuscript, keep subjects and verbs close together in your sentences.


BAD: The patient’s liver readings [s] at 48 hours after exposure to the virus had increased [v] by 50%.
GOOD: The patient’s liver readings [s] had increased [v] by 50% at 48 hours after exposure to the virus.