"Hey, Hank," said Bass, after word came back of the successful outcome."Great news, we got the loan.Just one thing.How are we gonna pay it back"

Is the normal word order same as below?

"Hey, Hank," said Bass, after word of the successful outcome came back."Great news, we got the loan.Just one thing.How are we gonna pay it back"

2 Answers 2


"Came back" is a phrasal verb. "Word came back" is an idiomatic expression based off of the phrasal verb, but you can use the phrasal verb in other ways.

The dentist gave her an injection after the surgery, but a few hours later the pain in her jaw came back with a vengeance.

It wouldn't be wrong to rearrange the words as in your example. It would just be more awkward, because it places the prepositional phrase ("in her jaw") farther away from the noun it modifies ("pain"):

... but a few hours later the pain came back in her jaw with a vengeance.

It also moves the adverbial phrase ("with a vengeance") farther away from the verb it modifies ("came back").

It's good writing style to keep modifiers close to the words they modify. However, in your example you have to decide whether it's better to do this

... after word of her successful outcome came back

or to keep together the idiomatic expression:

... after word came back of her successful outcome.

Both sound fine. Which sounds better is just personal opinion.


This was my original comment:

"They are both bad English in my opinion. I don't live in a place where people say that. But I am American, so who knows".

But I think I was wrong after reading it several times. I think they both are okay, but I would side with the first one.

  • 1
    I'm American and they both sound fine to me. If you're going to assert something like this, you should make more of an effort to back it up.
    – Andrew
    May 10, 2019 at 5:31
  • Okay you are right, I think I was reading it out of context. I think the first one sounds better, but they both are okay.
    – wavery
    May 10, 2019 at 5:40

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