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Today I wanted to explain basic particles to someone, so I started with an English sentence that I translated in Japanese while keeping the syntax the same. I ended up with:

昨日、(私は)東京に妹と電車で行きました。

Now, immediately I realized I found this sentence odd because I was expecting 東京に to come right before 行きました. After changing this, I was mostly satisfied but it made me wonder, what about swapping 妹と and 電車で?

Japanese is often understood as a SOV language, yet I can't help to find certain "syntactic preferences", such as having 東京に right before 行きました. What are some other such preferences? Are they detailed somewhere?

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