Word order help please

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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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meertaligheid
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Word order help please

Post by meertaligheid » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:58 pm

Hoi iedereen,

I need help with this sentence please.

"I need to buy a gift for my Dutch teacher."

Initially, I thought it would be, "Ik denk dat ik moet mijn nederlandse lerares een cadeautje kopen.

However, my Dutch friend/teacher says it is "Ik denk dat ik een cadeautje moet kopen voor mijn nederlandse lerares.

Can someone please point out where I am making my mistakes? Are there any other possibilities in word order?

I'd really appreciate it!

Dank je wel!

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Bert
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Re: Word order help please

Post by Bert » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:47 pm

Hello,

Your Dutch friend/teacher is right.
"Ik denk dat ik een cadeautje moet kopen voor mijn Nederlandse lerares."

The sentence above expresses that the teacher's nationality is Dutch (whatever she teaches). However, if the lady teaches Dutch:
"Ik denk dat ik een cadeautje moet kopen voor mijn lerares Nederlands."

About the word order. Because of the 'dat' you must put all the verbs at the end of the sentence. E.g.
"Ik vermoed dat Jan Engels wil studeren."

meertaligheid
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Re: Word order help please

Post by meertaligheid » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:48 am

Could you please elaborate and clarify this word order usage for me using dat?

I'm trying to find it on the grammar section, but am not having any luck.

Thank you.

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Joke
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Re: Word order help please

Post by Joke » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:15 am

You can find information on the word order in sentences after 'dat' on this page and more here.

Note that in your sentence, the indirect object (voor mijn lerares Nederlands) is placed after the verbs. This is not the 'standard' word order, but very common. See here.

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Bieneke
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Re: Word order help please

Post by Bieneke » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:56 am

Ik denk (1) dat (2) ik (3) een cadeautje (4) voor mijn lerares Nederlands (5) moet kopen (6).
  1. FF of the main clause (see: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.04)
  2. Conjunction (a subordinating conjunction, to be precise: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.58)
  3. Subject (in a subordinating clause, the subject always follows immediately after the conjunction: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.56)
  4. Direct object
  5. All verbs in a subordinating clause (see also http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.57)
  6. Indirect object (see http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.35)
Some components, like the indirect object, can be placed at the end (http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.68). That would give us:

Ik denk (1) dat (2) ik (3) een cadeautje (4) moet kopen (6) voor mijn lerares Nederlands. (5)
Bieneke

meertaligheid
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Re: Word order help please

Post by meertaligheid » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:22 am

Thank you Joke and Bieneke very much.

This really helped!

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