significance of the word order: Er zählt nicht die Cents

< Previous | Next >

globalconcoction

Senior Member
Hindi
Gutentag,

I would like to now if the 2nd sentence is correct. what is the difference in both the setences?

Die Cents zählt er nicht.
Er zählt nicht die Cents.
danke
 
  • Robocop

    Senior Member
    (Swiss) German
    Principally, both are correct but it depends very much on the context if or, respectively, which can be used.
    Example:
    Paul überlegt immer sehr genau, bevor er sich entschliesst, etwas zu kaufen. Aber er zählt nicht die Cents.
    Paul zählt jeden Abend voller Erwartung seine Einnahmen. Bloss die Cents zählt er nicht.

    It is not easy to find adequate examples...
     
    Last edited:

    Kurtchen

    Senior Member
    German - Norddeutschland
    sentence structure in german will forever remain a mystery though.:confused:
    Comes with the territory ;)

    cf.
    Er zählte nicht die Cents -> He did not count the cents.

    Die Cents zählte er nicht. -> The cents he did not count.

    The only difference really is that in German you reverse the word order (O-V-S) completely, whereas in English (O-S-V) only the object is moved to the beginning of the sentence. Has to do with English being less flexible due to its (largely) non-inflecting nature...
    :)
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    The cents he did not count. Just a question: Is this correct and used in modern English?
    (In this case, it showed the difference good.)
    I wouldn't say that it were grammatically wrong, but it certainly is not common at all to change word order in modern English (standard language or colloquial, doesn't matter really), general use of modern English mostly adheres to SVO order.

    A sentence like "The cents he did not count" might appear in a poem or in literature, probably some proverbs also have such (for English) strange constructions, but you wouldn't find them in a newspaper and you wouldn't hear them in a film.

    Probably a native speaker could verify this.
     

    Kurtchen

    Senior Member
    German - Norddeutschland
    The cents he did not count. Just a question: Is this correct and used in modern English?
    It's Yoda speak ;) As for the what and why see sokol's post. I was merely trying to elucidate the issue, but perhaps the example was ill-chosen. Apologies if that's the case

    :)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top