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  5. The woman sees the skirts


The woman sees the skirts

Die Röcke sieht die Frau.

How come that is the right translation? shouldn't it be:

Die Frau sieht die Röcke

July 26, 2012



'Die Frau sieht die Röcke' and 'Die Röcke sieht die Frau' mean exactly the same. In the second sentence there's put a bit more emphasis on 'die Röcke', but apart from that subtle difference both sentences are equivalent. However, as siebolt already pointed out, the most common word order is 'Die Frau sieht die Röcke'.


I think this is an example of how word order can be different in German.


Still: "Die Röcke sieht die Frau" is not my first choice. the normal order would be: "Die Frau sieht die Röcke."


@LAAlam: "Die Röcke sieht die Frau" is a perfectly valid German sentence and no comma is needed here. You are right that the inverse word order isn't used very often in spoken language. It has already been pointed out that 'Die Frau sieht die Röcke' is used more frequently.


I believe you could compare it to (for lack of a better example) how Yoda (from Starwars) speaks.

It's the same to say:

"You must watch the game"


"The game you must watch"


i would leave out the comma of both the phrases with you crossing the street. If we have to be strict, you would even have to translate the second one with "I am running over the street." Like wataya said: no comma behind Röcke. Just emphasize the word Röcke and everything is fine. Besides: many ambiguities are solved by the phrase itself. Instead of "Die Röcke" we put "Den Bruder" and the article in Akkusativ makes it cristal clear, that the woman is seeing and the brother is being seen. Of course it does not work always, but it helps.


Thank you all for the very useful answers!

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