Confused with word order and reversed words

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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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Konall
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Confused with word order and reversed words

Post by Konall » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:26 pm

Hallo allemaal! Ik kom uit Frankrijk en ik Nederlands leer sinds 6 maanden. My worst difficulty with Dutch is the word order in the phrases, and even with my penpal's explanations, I'm still confused.
How do I make long sentences? with several verbs, commas... it's one of my problems when I try to practice. I understood with simple phrases but with longer... that's really hard.

Then, I have another problem, not really about word order, it's about the reversed words... I don't in which context "ik ben" (for instance) becomes "ben ik". Could you explain me with examples, please?? Bedankt!! :D

Don't hesitate to ask me if you didn't understand what I mean.

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BrutallyFrank
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Re: Confused with word order and reversed words

Post by BrutallyFrank » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:20 pm

Maybe this answers your question about word order: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.00
"Moenie worrie nie, alles sal reg kom" (maar hy het nie gesê wanneer nie!)

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Konall
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Re: Confused with word order and reversed words

Post by Konall » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:00 pm

Hallo! dankjewel! It helpt me. But I still have the problem the reversed verbs. In which case have I to transform "Ik denk" to "Denk ik"? :)

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Re: Confused with word order and reversed words

Post by ngonyama » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:24 am

Konall wrote:Hallo allemaal! Ik kom uit Frankrijk en ik Nederlands leer sinds 6 maanden. My worst difficulty with Dutch is the word order in the phrases, and even with my penpal's explanations, I'm still confused.
How do I make long sentences? with several verbs, commas... it's one of my problems when I try to practice. I understood with simple phrases but with longer... that's really hard.

Then, I have another problem, not really about word order, it's about the reversed words... I don't in which context "ik ben" (for instance) becomes "ben ik". Could you explain me with examples, please?? Bedankt!! :D

Inversion like "ben ik" can occur in question:

Ben ik te laat?

It can also happen when something else gets put first in the sentence to emphasize it:
Ik ben niet te laat --> Te laat ben ik niet.

What gets put first is often an adverb like "morgen, gisteren" etc. but it can actually be a whole phrase.


Don't hesitate to ask me if you didn't understand what I mean.

Konall
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Re: Confused with word order and reversed words

Post by Konall » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:29 am

Hoi! dankje for your explanation but honestly I'm still confused. I understood with questions and the adverbs like "morgen, gisteren, vandaag" but for the rest, I don't understand.

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Re: Confused with word order and reversed words

Post by ngonyama » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:25 am

It would help if you were more specific, because the word order problem has quite a few twists and turns.

What I tried to explain is simple inversion. It happens if something is put in the first slot of the sentence:

Ik ga vroeg naar bed.
Vanavond ga ik vroeg naar bed.

It can be a sentence:

Als ik moe ben, ga ik vroeg naar bed.

But there is another problem that has nothing to do with inversion. Dutch has two slots where the verb can end up. One is near the subject, the other is at the very end of the sentence This becomes clear in subordinate clauses. These are sentences that start e.g. with a conjunction like als (if, when)

Ik ben moe
Als ik moe ben, ....

It also happens in an indirect clause that starts with 'dat' (that)

Ik ben moe
Ik zeg dat ik moe ben

Or after a relative pronoun like die or dat (which)

Dat is de man die moe is.

If you have a separable verb like meegaan, the adverbial part 'mee' ends up in the final slot in ordinary sentences:
Hij gaat met de trein mee

In a subordinate the rest of the verb joins it in the final slot and they recombine:
Ik zeg dat hij met de trein meegaat

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