Could you help me understand the change in meaning when I invert these sentences?

A shop of long standing

A long standing shop

We are a family of seven.

We are a seven family.

1 Answer 1


For sentence 1: In this case changing the word order will not change the meaning of the sentence. What you did is placing the prepositional complement (of long standing) at the end, which emphasizes the fact, that it has existed for along time.

I don't think that "We are a seven family." would be semantically correct or at least have I never heard anyone say it this way. I believe it would be similar to this example:

  • He passed William the ball.
  • William he passed the ball.

Where the indirect object is put in front, which is usually not done.

  • yes,I assumed that mostly the word behind "of" is more emphasized than when it comes before noun.
    – fdf l324
    Mar 14, 2018 at 14:02
  • @fdfl324 My pleasure. :) If you feel like an answer solved your question, please mark it as 'accepted' by clicking the green check mark. This helps keep the focus on older questions which still don't have answers.
    – Levyce
    Mar 14, 2018 at 14:20

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