Like any other adverb, the adverb s-v-o bounces around in a sentence, usually front and back, but it can, usually set off in commas, come in the interior as well. For example, “Whenever the weather gets too hot, we drive to Flagstaff to cool off.” “We drive to Flagstaff to cool off whenever the weather gets too hot.” “We drive to Flagstaff, whenever the weather gets too hot, to cool off.” “We drive, whenever the weather gets too hot, to Flagstaff to cool off.” The signal word, called a subordinating conjunction, shows the relationship of the s-v-o to the main verb, telling, like any other good little adverb, when, where, why, how, under what conditions, and to what extent. And unlike the adjective s-v-o signal word, which most often acts as part of the pattern, the adverb s-v-o signal word most often isn’t part of the pattern, acting only as a connector. There are about thirty of these signals, some of which can also be used as prepositions; it all depends on what sort of word structure follows it. For example, “After we left the gym, we went home.” “After school, we went home.” The first after is a subordinating conjunction; the second after is a preposition. The adverb s-v-o is the most unusual of all the structures, with a crazy number of oddball connections to the word or words it’s describing. Enough of this introductory chitchat, now you can look at some sentences and patterns.
That was the easy stuff. Now let me show you some of the crazy things this adverb s-v-o can do. Sometimes the signal word can be part of the pattern, sometimes the signal word simply disappears, sometimes the signal words get just plain wacky. How about a little police scenario.