Verb in the first position

[woordvolgorde]
According to many, the word order is one of the hardest parts of the Dutch language. If you are also struggling with subordinate clauses, inversion and the like, this is the place to be.
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k.tihanyi
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Verb in the first position

Post by k.tihanyi » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:50 pm

Hi,

I have seen some cases when the verb was in the first position, and which don't figure among the for me known cases (question, imperative, expression of regret). For example:

Ben je klaar, dan mag je uitgaan.
Heb ik al gedaan.
Heb vandaag niets gedaan.
Lopen twee mannen in de park.
Ik kwam hem tegen. Zegt hij tegen mij: lang niet gezien!
...

Could anybody give me some indication when the apparently strong "verb in the second position" rule can be broken?

Thanks in advance

ngonyama
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Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: Russisch, Xhosa

Re: Verb in the first position

Post by ngonyama » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:48 am

k.tihanyi wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:50 pm
Hi,

I have seen some cases when the verb was in the first position, and which don't figure among the for me known cases (question, imperative, expression of regret). For example:

Ben je klaar, dan mag je uitgaan.
This is a pseudo-question: Ben je klaar? Dan mag je weggaan.
Heb ik al gedaan.
This suffers from omission: [Dat] heb ik al gedaan.
Heb vandaag niets gedaan.
Again omission: [Ik] heb vandaag niets gedaan. This works mostly because the forms "ben" and "heb" are unique for first person anyway.
Lopen twee mannen in dehet park.
Omission: [Er] lopen twee mannen in het park
Ik kwam hem tegen. Zegt hij tegen mij: lang niet gezien!
[Toen] zeg hij ..

This sort of omissive style is not uncommon. It is a kind of minimalistic story telling. Any redundant information is left out, a bit like in the old telegrams. Telegramstijl it used to be called, but who remembers telegrams. Twitterstijl?
...

Could anybody give me some indication when the apparently strong "verb in the second position" rule can be broken?

Thanks in advance

k.tihanyi
Waardevol lid
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:57 pm
Country of residence: Italy
Mother tongue: Hungarian
Second language: Italian
Third language: English
Fourth language: German
Gender: Female

Re: Verb in the first position

Post by k.tihanyi » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:27 am

Hi Ngonyama,

Thank You very much for all of your stupendous answers. With this message I would like to thank you in a special way for each of them.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!!!

K.

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