Urdu is my first language, yet I can't really think of any sentences off the top of my head where Urdu doesn't follow the SOV order. A sentence like : میں گھر جا رہا ہوں (I am going home) follows the order. In what situation(s) would Urdu and Hindi use free word order?

  • For the benefit of those who can't read Nastaliq, could you transliterate to the Latin alphabet? Topicalization is a common reason for deviating from the usual SOV order.
    – prash
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 10:21
  • Mainh Ghar Jah Rahah Hoonh. And that makes sense! Thank you for that, very interesting and i'll read a little more into it.
    – nai
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 22:13
  • @prash Deviating from SOV doesn’t necessarily equal free word order, though. I don’t know Hindi/Urdu, but in many languages, topicalisation still plays by fairly fixed word order rules. Languages like (poetic/literary) Classical Latin and Ancient Greek appear to have allowed truly free word order, but very few spoken languages do. Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 7:56
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I never said or implied that deviating from SOV equals anything of the sort. OP asked for a reason for not following the customary SOV order, and I provided it.
    – prash
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 16:39
  • @prash I realise you didn’t say deviation from SOV equals free word order, but the question does specifically ask about free word order and appears to conflate the two, so it’s easy to read your comment as also conflating them. I thought it worth clarifying that your comment gives an example of deviation, not (necessarily) free word order. Commented Jul 23, 2022 at 1:53

1 Answer 1


Sub Obj Verb us nae bili ko mara. He beat the cat.

Obj Verb Sub Bili ko mara us nae. He beat the cat.

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