Jump to content
Linguaholic
Improve your knowledge of any language online

Word order


Trellum
 Share

Recommended Posts

The word order in dutch is one of the things that is making things so hard for me.  Simple sentences involving the subject, one verb and an object are not hard at all, but the longer ones are. Can a native speaker give me some tips on how not to mess the word order every time?

By the way, I have no troubles with sentences that have two verbs in them, like for example: ''ik ben ziek geweest'', but when they have more words and verbs in them I am not sure what goes where, specially if one of those words is ''nog'' or ''niet'' or both!

Thanks in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's difficult. It just all feels natural to me, but can you give some examples on what you're stuck on, maybe I can give you some pointers.

There's an article on Wikipedia, titled Subject-verb-object, which includes this interesting bit:

Some languages are more complicated. For example, Russian, Finnish and Hungarian languages allow all possible combinations: SVO, OVS, SOV, OSV, VSO, VOS. Word order is often changed to emphasize a different part of the sentence or to change the nuance of the meaning. In Polish all 6 permutations are allowed, moving word/phrase to the front or, less commonly, to the back of a sentence or clause add emphasis e.g. "Roweru ci nie kupię" (I won't buy you a bicycle), "Od piątej czekam" (I've been waiting since five).

In German, Dutch, and Kashmiri SVO in main clauses coexists with SOV in subordinate clauses, as given in Example 1 below; and a change in syntax – for instance, by bringing an adpositional phrase to the front of the sentence for emphasis – may also dictate the use of VSO, as in Example 2. (See V2 word order.) In Kashmiri the word order in embedded clauses is conditioned by the category of the subordinating conjunction, as in Example 3.

Example 1: "Er weiß, dass ich jeden Sonntag das Auto wasche" (German: "He knows I wash the car every Sunday", lit. "He knows, that I every Sunday the car wash"). Cf. the simple sentence "Ich wasche das Auto jeden Sonntag", "I wash the car every Sunday".

Example 2: "Elke zondag was ik de auto" (Dutch: "Every Sunday I wash the car", lit. "Every Sunday wash I the car"). "Ik was de auto elke zondag" translates perfectly into English "I wash the car every Sunday", but, as a result of changing the syntax, inversion SV->VS takes place.

Example 3: "mye ees phyikyir yithi.ni tsi temyis ciThy dyikh" (Kashmiri: "I was afraid you might give him the letter", lit. "to.me was worry lest you to.him letter will.give"). If the embedded clause is introduced by the transparent conjunction zyi the SOV order changes to SVO. "mye ees phyikyir (zyi) tsi maa dyikh temyis ciThy".

English developed from such a reordering language and still bears traces of this word order, for example in locative inversion ("In the garden sat a cat") and some clauses beginning with negative expressions: "only" ("only then do we find X"), "not only" ("not only did he storm away but also slammed the door"), "under no circumstances" ("under no circumstances are the students allowed to use a mobile phone"), "on no account" and the like. In these cases do-support may or may not be required, depending on the construction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sure I can  :amazed:  By the way, so glad to see you back! I had started to think you weren't coming back  :cry:

The phrases I have problems the most are the ones that start with ''maar'', ''omdat'', ''nu'' and so on.  What is the rule with those?  I ask because I have noticed something odd about the verbs in the end of a phrase that starts with ''Omdat'', like for example: ''Omdat ik van jou hou''.  That confuses me a lot!  Why does the verb have to go to the end of the sentence?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...