This paper presents a corpus study of the order between subject and object in German main and embedded clauses. Since prior studies have shown that object-subject (OS) sentences are rare in comparison to subject-object (SO) sentences, for both main and embedded clauses two corpora were assembled: One corpus containing both SO and OS sentences, and a second corpus containing only OS sentences. In ... [Show full abstract] accordance with prior work, the rate of OS sentences was low, but the construction of a corpus restricted to OS-sentences still allowed a statistical analysis of OS-sentences. For embedded clauses, the main results of the current corpus study are: (i) Accusative objects predominate in SO-sentences but dative objects in OS-sentences. (ii) The use of OS order is tied to lexical-semantic properties of verbs and their arguments. OS order occurs mainly when the subject is inanimate and the object animate. The verbs used in OS-sentences are mainly ditransitive verbs in the passive voice and unaccusative verbs. (iii) Weight had no significant effect on order. For main clauses with either subject or object in the prefield somewhat different results were found. Following the presentation of the corpus results, we discuss how they fit into current conceptions of word-order variation.