"No, Duo was not here."
Translation:Hayır, Duo burada değildi.
Why cannot burada be before Duo? It feels like I'm used to start the sentence with the location.
But here, the location also happens to be the other side of the equation.
If you were to say: "Duo was not rich," which is like: Duo ≠ rich, you would say: "Duo zengin değildi."
Now replace "rich" with "here":
"Duo was not here" → Duo ≠ here: Duo burada değildi.
This is different from the usual sentences where the location is just some extra information, like: "Duo is reading his book here," which can be rendered as: "Burada, Duo kitabını okuyor." The location isn't the most crucial element of this sentence, so wherever you put it is going to be fine in this context. Does it make sense?
Yes thanks, but "wherever you put it is going to be fine in this context."? Can I put it wherever I want to in that sentence?
Duo burada kitabını okuyor. / Burada, Duo kitabını okuyor. / Duo kitabını burada okuyor. / Duo kitabını okuyor burada.
On Duolingo, we tend to accept only the first one. (Due to some technical limitations).
Yup. Well, it's the one where nothing is particularly stressed (maybe kitabını is). Depending on the situation, you can alter your word order. For example: "Duo kitabını burada okuyor," stresses the "burada". There you're saying: Duo is reading his book HERE - and not anywhere else.
If you're not über-stressing any particular word, just stick to the: "Subject + everything else + object + verb" type of syntax.
Because the emphasis of the sentence is on "Duo", not on the place "burada". Was the emphasis on the place, "burada" would come first.