https://www.duolingo.com/jjsperling

Word Order

I am still struggling immensely with Dutch word order. If any one knows any videos or anything that could help me out that'd be fantastic. (Preferably something simple and not too wordy)

11/18/2018, 1:29:13 AM

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lksaltern
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On the positive side, Dutch and German have very similar word order, so once you've mastered Dutch, German will be a lot easier.

I can try to describe some of the basics (which you might already know). Hopefully it's not too wordy.

In most sentences there is a "finite" verb, which is the verb that changes depending on whether it goes with ik, jij, hij, etc. That verb usually goes in second place.

Ik koop een boek.

Jij koopt een boek.

Etc.

If the sentence begins with something other than the subject, the verb still has to be in second place. Notice how ik has to move to third place so that koop can stay in second place.

Vaak koop ik een boek.

Any other parts of the verb go at the end.

Ik heb een boek gekocht.

If there's a lot of other stuff that needs to go into your sentence, it gets shoveled in between the finite verb in second place and the other verbs at the end.

Ik heb gisteren een boek in de winkel gekocht.

When combining two sentences into one, one of the two smaller sentences might get introduced with a word that sends the finite verb to the end. It depends on what that introducing word is. For example, omdat sends the finite verb to the end, but want (which means about the same thing) keeps the finite verb in second place within the sentence that follows.

Ik heb geen boek gekocht, omdat ik geen geld had.

Ik heb geen boek gekocht, want ik had geen geld.

Unfortunately, you have to learn which words are like omdat and which are like want.

11/18/2018, 2:19:43 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Orchideeee

If I may add something to this: You say that if a sentece begins with a different word than the subject, the verb has to be in second place and give an example with 'vaak'. I agree with that. In a different section of your reply, you say that if there's other information that has to go into a sentence, it gets shoveled in between the finite verb and the other verbs. And in the example you use 'gisteren'. I don't think this is the right word to use in your example, because 'gisteren' says something about the time, just as 'vaak' does. Words that say something about time in the sentence, ususally come first, or they come right after the fininte verb. So: 'Gisteren (or 'vaak' etc.) heb ik een boek in de winkel gekocht' or 'Ik heb gisteren (or 'vaak' etc.) een boek in de winkel gekocht'. The part of 'in de winkel' is right however! This is extra information that can be omitted. The extra information can also be placed right after the finite verb followed by a subject: 'Gisteren heb ik in de winkel een boek gekocht'.

Hopefully this helps you a bit.

Ps I am a native Dutch speaker and even for me it's sometimes very confusing, but luckily I have had a course in linguistics :)

11/19/2018, 3:10:07 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/lksaltern
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How did you like your linguistics course? After working 23 years as a software developer, I'm now back at school, where I'm pursuing my dream of working on a linguistics degree. We'll see if anything comes out of it :)

What I was taught when I was studying Dutch in a more formal setting was that adverbial words and phrases that come after the finite verb tend to be in the order of 1st: time, 2nd: manner and then 3rd: place. So using an example from one of my textbooks:

Ik heb (1) vanmorgen (2) met tegenzin (3) in de sportschool getraind.

This seems to conform with your comment about time expressions coming right after the verb. As a native speaker, what do you think about the claim regarding tijd + manier + plaats word order?

11/19/2018, 8:07:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Orchideeee

I liked the linguistics course, although it wasn't going very deep. I am studying Dutch Sign Language and the linguistics courses we have now are focusing on Sing Language specifically. Good luck studying!

I think the claim 'tijd+manier+plaats' is right, although there are some varieties. You can place 'tijd' in front of everything but then you have to switch the finite verb and the subject. You can also put 'plaats' at the very last of the sentence, in order to do that you don't have to change anything else.

But obviously for beginners and not-native speakers the claim regarding 'tijd-manier-plaats' is good to use!

11/20/2018, 7:58:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/lksaltern
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Good to know. Thanks!

11/20/2018, 2:53:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/baerghest
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This might help: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.00

The one that always confuses me is that Dutch places time so early in the sentence.

11/18/2018, 6:28:52 AM
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