How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
There are seven basic patterns of clauses, based on combinations of the Clause elements of Subject, Verb, Object, Complement, Adverbial (SVOCA):
S / V: The cat / scratched
Because people generally expect this order to occur, when the order is changed, it often causes use to pay additional attention, as the difference from the norm may signify something unusual that requires additional cognitive processing.
In the S / V / O / O pattern, the two objects can be switched. The grammatical meaning remains the same, but the difference in order makes
The man gave me a dollar
The man gave a dollar to me
Notice here how in the first clause, the 'me' comes first, giving it a sense of primacy. In the second phrase, the dollar has subtly gained primacy. This effect can, in fact, be totally reversed, if emphasis is placed on the final word.
Poets sometimes deliberately rearrange this order, in order (sometimes using archaic forms) both to use this as an attention-getting device and to create deliberate other effects.
Wordsworth: Ten thousand saw I at a glance.
Keats: Round many western Isles I have been.
This type of rearrangement can be used to give a traditional or even mystical sense to a statement.
Yoda: Strong in the force, you are.
The above seven combinations can be rearranged in limited ways. In particular, by moving the end element to the beginning, it can be given particular emphasis (especially when verbal intonation is added to it).
O / S / V: The door / was scratched / by the cat
Note here how the door, although now still the object that is scratched, is now made more important than the cat. Putting the object first has given it a sense of importance, using the primacy effect.