If you've already had a go at making your own SentenceBuilder resources on, you are likely to have experienced issues with sentences which don't appear quite as you would like them to.

Maybe you've wanted to know how to include annotations in the SentenceBuilder but not have these appear in the sentences that it generates? e.g. markers for masculine and feminine, such as "(m)" or "(f)"

Perhaps you've wanted to know how to make the English items appear in the correct order, for things like nouns and adjectives? e.g. "une voiture rouge" = "a car red" ???

Or how to solve the word order issues in German, especially around verbs being sent to the end of the clause? e.g. "Ich bin ins Kino gegangen" = "I am to the cinema gone" ???

These problems occur because sentences are generated (in both the L1 and the L2) by simply combining the items as they appear in the SentenceBuilder, moving from left to right.

You need to add something extra -- beyond just the SentenceBuilder contents -- if you want your SentenceBuilder to generate sentences that work.

And that something extra is... 

Direct translations + word order transformations: a German example

Very often the direct translation of chunks within a SentenceBuilder into English can produce L1 English sentences that are far from ideal.

Here's a German example:

In this example the English translation for the sentence (e.g. I ate ice cream) has been split across the first SB row so that it matches the German, as we would expect. In fact, though, the sentences generated by the SB are, for example:

Ich habe Eis gegessen >> I ice cream ate
Du hast Fußball gespielt >> You football played
Sie hat eine Tour gemacht >> She a tour did

This is logical and inevitable if the language is entered into the SB in this way and the sentences are not transformed.

So how can we improve on this?