Where is the most important information in the following sentences?
In written English we tend to put the most important information and new information at the end of the sentence. The information that comes before it is usually background information . Background information tells us the topic or sets the time or location etc... for the most important or new information.
How do we know which information is new and which is old?
Take a look at the following sentences:
Yesterday evening I saw a great movie. The movie was about a secret government project.
New information is usually signaled by a or an.
Old information is usually signaled by the.
Let's examine our examples more closely...
In the first sentence, a great movie is new information. This is the first time we have been told about this great movie.
However, notice that in the second sentence we used The movie.... By this time we have already been told about the great movie so it has become old information.
Finally, also in the second sentence we have ...a secret government project. The subject of the great movie is new information to us. We hear for the first time that it's a movie about a secret government project.
* a, an, and the have many other uses as well. Showing new and old information is just one use of these articles. top