word order vs order of the words

Brigitte_anna

Senior Member
Russian
Let's say I want to ask why the order of two words is reversed. Could you please tell me which phrases sound natural (idiomatic) and which don't?

Why is the word order changed?
Why is the word's order changed?
(I think this is incorrect)
Why is the words's order changed? (is it correct?)
Why is the order of the words changed?

Or maybe the question would better be put another way, for example, like this?

Why are the words rearranged?
 
Last edited:
  • Brigitte_anna

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Why is the word order changed? :tick:
    This one is confusing me. Because we don't say e.g. "the song lyrics" - we say "the song's lyrics", right?
    I guess "the song lyrics" mean something general, lyrics encountered in songs, not e.g. in poems.
    This is the reason I feel unsure about "the word order" - as for me it more likely means something general... Isn't it so?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    "Word order" is noun1 + noun2 = noun2 associated with noun1 -> the order associated with the words.
    When speaking of syntax, the noun phrase "word order" is almost a set phrase.
    Because we don't say e.g. "the song lyrics" - we say "the song's lyrics", right?
    Wrong. The same guidance applies "noun1 + noun2 = noun2 associated with noun1"

     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    We can say either "the song lyrics" or "the song's lyrics"; it really depends on the context. "The word order" here means "the order of the words in this particular sentence."
     

    Brigitte_anna

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Hmmm... I tought when we use noun1 + noun2, the noun1 becomes an adjective. So that "poem lyrics" means "poemical lyrics in general". Actually it can mean both, something particular and something general, depending on the context?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I tought when we use noun1 + noun2, the noun1 becomes an adjective.
    I am not sure what difference that would make - as it happens both nouns remain nouns although the first modifies the second.

    You should believe us when we say "song lyrics" is perfectly fine in English and means lyrics associated with a/the song.
     

    Brigitte_anna

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I am not sure what difference that would make - as it happens both nouns remain nouns although the first modifies the second.
    I'd say particular/general or adjective/belonging:
    the song's lyrics - the lyrics of the song
    the Jessica's hasband - the husband of Jessica

    but
    a/the director chair - an expensive chair for directors, not one of a concrete director:D
    You should believe us when we say "song lyrics" is perfectly fine in English and means lyrics associated with a/the song.
    I do :)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You have now introduced the genitive: I don't think this is helpful to your understanding.

    We now have
    1. noun1+noun2 -> Door handle -> the handle associated with doors/a door/the door
    2. genitive noun+noun -> door's handle -> the handle belonging (stronger than associated - closer to possession or origin) to the door
    3. adjective+noun -> handled door -> a door with a handle
    4. preposition + noun - the handle to/of / for/ in/on,through, etc. the door -> in which the relationship between the handle and the door is expressed.
     
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