Are any of these formats regarding the word ordering within the sentence generally preferred to the other in general writing? Are there any special considerations if a more formal style is preferred or if I want to achieve as high readability as possible?

As a non-native speaker of English I have a general perception about the first format being the standard form, but I've never really thought about it and can not deny the possibility that it could just be an arbitrary stylistic form that just happened to get standardised inside my head.


Say that I want to describe my apartment to a friend:

In my apartment I have chosen to follow a modernistic look.


I have chosen to follow a modernistic look in my apartment.

Or that I'm writing an abstract for an academic paper of mine:

In this thesis, my main argument is that B is caused by A.


My main argument in this thesis is that B is caused by A.

What should I know and think about this in order to make a more conscious stylistic choice here?

1 Answer 1


The two examples you give in the body of your post contain alternatives identical in meaning.

However, the example in your title shows a case in which the two variants are not equivalent, due to context.

Within this question I am asking about word order.

Associates within with the verb asking, therefore the subject of the question is general rules on word order. There is only one question in this example.

I am asking about word order within this question.

Associates within with this question, therefore the subject of the question he is asking could be general rules on word order, or the word order in the question to which he is referring. There could be two questions in this example.

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