deport from

WildWest

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello, native speakers. I need to consult you about the sentence below, which is from an episode of This American Life called "No Place Like Home" and first published in 2014:

"We deport from the United States about 250,000 people every year to Mexico."

If I were given these words and asked to make a sentence, I would make it as follows:

"We deport about 250.000 people every year from the U.S. to Mexico."

As you all know very well, the usual order of words in a sentence is expressed as "Subject+Verb+Object+Prepositional Phrase". However, this order is not followed up there. Are we allowed to seperate a transitive verb from its object that way? Apparently we are. I often stumble across such unusual arrangement of words in sentences by native speakers. Could you tell me if there is any rule to follow in making such constructions? Could you also provide me with a website dealing specifically with this if you know any?
 
  • WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Thanks for your fast reply, Andy :)

    It seems to me that I should be prepared for native speakers changing the usual arrangement of words in colloquial speech.
     

    Bondstreet

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    In my opinion, the writer here has brought forward the "United States" in order to give some emphasis to the sense of "out of" or "out of from" the US:

    "We deport from the United States about 250,000 people every year to Mexico"

    A politician giving a speech could change the word order in several other ways in order to give emphasis to Mexico (perhaps in contrast to some other country), or 250,000 people, or the United States...

    We deport to Mexico from the United States about 250,000 people every year

    To Mexico we deport from the United States about 250,000 people every year

    From the United States we deport to Mexico about 250,000 people every year

    About 250,000 people every year we deport to Mexico from the United States...


    More on sentence inversion here:

    random-idea-english.blogspot.co.uk inversion and fronting

    google.co.uk English inverted word order emphasis
    .
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Why would somebody writing "This American Life" need to mangle a sentence to emphasise that the deportations are from America? If the reader was likely to have any doubt then your "From the United States we deport to Mexico about 250,000 people every year" would do the job without any mangling.
     

    WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Actually, it was something that the host, Ira Glass, said between two acts rather than something in a written transcript. However, one can go to the website and read it if he wants.
     
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