Wait what?

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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Wait what?

Post by gerritgerrit » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:07 am

I've been reading a few things and there have been a few times where I have come across sentences as the following:

Hoop ik altijd.
Vandaag ben ik naar een winkel geweest.

Why is it this way?

Like Verb + pronoun + other.

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Re: Wait what?

Post by Crecker » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:12 pm

Hi gerritgerrit!

For the first sentence I can't give you an answer, I would wait for someone who knows more than me about it!

For the second one, instead, I can try to tell you why: verb-subject inversion occurs, among others, when a sentence starts with something which is not the subject (normally to put emphasis on that word/aspect).

You would usually find this order: Subject - Finite verb - Time - Manner - Place - Other verb(s)

Your sentence starts with the word Vandaag, which is not the subject. Another way to write the same sentence would be: "Ik ben vandaag naar een winkel geweest".

I suggest you to have a look on this part of the grammar guide.

Note that I am not a native speaker and I tried to help you with my tiny knowledge of the language. Someone more expert will surely give you a more exhaustive answer soon!
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Re: Wait what?

Post by ngonyama » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:52 am

Crecker is right about the second sentence.

Ik ben vandaag .... geweest

can also be said

Vandaag ben ik ... geweest.

If you do that it puts a bit more emphasis on vandáág and it causes inversion ik ben ==> ben ik.

The first sentence is not really a normal sentence, but it can be the second one of a serie, like:.

Dat is heel mooi. Denk ik zo.

Notice that the same principle holds here. The first sentence is essentially the object of the second stated first. Normally you would say: Ik denk zo dat dat heel mooi is. The reversal of order puts the emphasis on the first bit and causes inversion. However, I must admit that stylistically this is not very pretty. It sounds like you forgot to mention something and add it as an afterthought. In spoken colloquial language that is not unusual but in written Dutch not. It sounds like written down spoken language.

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