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  5. "The midfielder likes to play…

"The midfielder likes to play soccer."

Translation:De middenvelder speelt graag voetbal.

October 14, 2014



Is there a rule about where to place "graag" in the sentence? I tried "de middenvelder speelt voetbal graag" but was marked wrong. Is it always after the verb?


This link can probably clarify, it's part of an extensive set of pages on Dutch word order.



There's quite a bit to study there, but first look still has me puzzled. :) One of the correct orders following that chart is: subject (de middenvelder) + finite verb (speelt) + direct object (voetbal) + manner (graag)

Is there an exception here, or is "graag" a part of an expression with finite verbs rather than an indicator of manner?


It has to do with the direct object which can be in two different positions. See this page. If it is a specific direct object, then this comes at the beginning of the 'middle part'. If it is non-specific, it comes at the end of the 'middle part'.

I'll replace voetbal by het spel (specific) and een spel (non-specific).

  • De middenvelder speelt het spel graag.
  • De middenvelder speelt graag een spel.

Voetbal is non-specific too, so it gets the same position as een spel.


Thanks, that's quite a nice explanation :D I was really confused with just the time, manner, place order. (though that helped a lot too, for most cases)


You're welcome. :) I can imagine it gets confusing, not being 100% about the standard rules and then peculiar exceptions like inversion in sub clauses and this (non-)specific direct object are thrown in the mix as well. Just keep on practicing and ask questions. :)

The upside of the word order thing is that in 99% of all cases you will be understood even if you make mistakes.

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