"She is his personal secretary on Monday."
Translation:Zij is zijn persoonlijke secretaresse op maandag.
Why is it not "Zij is op maandag zijn persoonlijke secretaresse"? Doesn't the time normally immediately follow the subject/verb pair?
While you're somewhat right, the two sentences would sound a little different to natives. Since we can pretty much choose how to phrase our sentences, we put the thing we want to put emphasis on in the last part of the sentence. This has to do with the melody/flow of the Dutch language.
- Zij is op maandag zijn persoonlijke secretaresse. - If someone were to say this to me, the 'persoonlijke secretaresse' part would stick out to me. I would reply: "what kind of work does she do the rest of the week?".
- Zij is zijn persoonlijke secretaresse op maandag. - This would put the emphasis on the fact that she is his personal assistant 'on Monday'. I would reply: "what about Tuesday?".
While both sentences mean the same thing, and there is absolutely no rule about whether to use one or the other, stick to this: if you can shuffle the sentence, try putting the thing you want to emphasize last. I think you might notice a slight difference in English too.
Hope that helped!
Awesome, thanks! That's definitely clears things up - and is very interesting.
For what it's worth, the two forms in english would be "On Monday, she is his personal secretary" and "She is his personal secretary on Monday". They mean exactly the same thing to me - the emphasis doesn't change depending on the word order :)