I've never seen this word order before. How common is it to place the subject before an interrogative, like "dónde"?
Very common, remember you can switch word order in Spanish for emphasis.
I've always been taught that the subject goes behind the verb and the interrogative in a question. For example, in English, if we asked "Where are you going?", in Spanish, it would be "¿Adónde vas tú?"
It's not that its incorrect. Trust me. At first sight it looked weird to me too. Then I remember putting the tu/usted/él etc. at the front is always an option if you need or want to clarify whom you are speaking to or about.
Like if we say, and you, have you been?. You! Where are you putting the meat?! Clearly a terrible, unspiring sentence but if we are at the same DL point, all they are trying to teach here really is how to conjugate poner.
I have tried it in a couple of other sentences and it was, in fact, deemed wrong. You won't often see this word order in writing, but it's widely used in speech.
The only thing I can think is that the main question was "where did YOU put the meat?", as opposed to "WHERE did you put the meat?" I feel some accusation going on.
Well, "do", but yeah, that sounds right. It's so weird because never have I ever heard this word order in my life and it sounds wonky. I'll ask my Spanish teacher about it and see what she makes of it.
I see it as a question by someone helping to unpack groceries and they are loading the fridge, hey where do you put the meat?
Good scenario, but doesn't explain why Duo begins the question with ""tú." Seems as though it would be "¿Dónde pones la carne?" or "¿Dónde tú pones la carne?"
EDIT (a week later): I now understand that my first suggestion (¿Dónde pones la carne?) is the usual way of asking the question and that my second suggestion (¿Dónde tú pones la carne?) is simply wrong. Apparently, Duo's purpose is to have us understand that, if you are going to use a pronoun with a question word, the pronoun precedes the question word.
So, now I have two more questions:
1) What if the verb form doesn't make the subject clear (e.g., two kids unpacking groceries in their mother's kitchen)? Would it be more common to hear ¿Ella dónde pone la carne? than ¿Tú dónde pones la carne?
2) What about using a noun, not a pronoun, with question words? For example, "Where does the cook put the meat?" Would that be ¿Dónde el cocinero pone la carne? or ¿Dónde pone la carne el cocinero? or something else?
Please forgive me if I'm taking up time/space with basic questions, but it has been a very long time since I supposedly learned some Spanish.
Good questions. And what is the significance of the structure. Does it add emphasis or not or is it just a minor change?
Maybe like: You! where do you put the meat? In English I am guessing
Yes I did overlook that critical element :) So I have edited my response accordingly. Thanks for that
How is that possible? "Where do you put the meat?" is the official answer.
You put the meat where? is another way of saying this, but it wasn't accepted.
I think that the word order in spanish is not that strong as in for example in english. I speak hungarian and in this language I can say sometimes the same sentence in four different word order and it would mean the same thing. I think this is probably what happens in spanish too. It doesnt count as much where you put the words as in english or german.
This is a strange thing Duolingo drills into people. Subject pronouns are only absolutely necessary in Spanish to specify a third person or to emphasize the subject. "¿Dónde pones la carne?" is both totally fine and more natural.
Seems to me that this is one of those situations where most spanish speakers would omit the first word tú knowing that the verb tells u who they are addressing. but it was added into the sentance by DL to show us students the technically correct way that the sentance should (could) be said. Like writing yo te amo. Instead of just te amo.
Is there someone who can answer these questions about the word order?
I get the impression this is like being at a job orientation and you ask, Where do you put the meat? But you are asking for yourself, Where does one put the meat?
It may be easier to understand if there was a comma after the tú. This would create a pause and be easier to understand.