"What do they need?"
Translation:Що їм треба?
10 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
True, Що їм треба? - that's the neuter word order.
However, Що треба їм? is also quite natural if you emphasize їм. For example, you don't really expect Tom and Mary to come here, and when you see them you're really surprised, and you give the word them a little push here:
What do they need?
It would be very natural in Ukrainian to put їм at the end here:
Що потрібно їм?
It's always difficult to answer a why question. It just happens so that the verb треба needs the dative case - which grammar case to use is not some mysterious metaphysical decision that depends on the intrinsic sense of a sentence, it just depends on the verb, it's as superficial as this.