Word order: Kun je ook naar dvd's kijken op deze computer?

Dalieux

Member
Portuguese - Brazil
My grammar book states that in clauses containing a modal verb, the verb in infinitive comes at the end of the clause, after every element.

Having said that, I've come across "Kun je ook naar dvd's kijken op deze computer?". To my understanding, the prepositional phrase "op deze computer" is an integral part of the clause, so I wonder why it's not instead "Kun je ook naar dvd's op deze computer kijken?".

Are both examples possible? If so, I must assume there are exceptions to the "verb in infinitive goes to the end of the clause" rule.
 
  • eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    Grammar is not my forte. So I can't explain it but I can say this:
    Kun je ook naar dvd's kijken op deze computer?" :tick:
    Kun je op deze computer ook naar dvd's kijken?:tick:
    Kun je op deze computer ook kijken naar dvd's ? :tick:
    Kun je ook naar dvd's op deze computer kijken? :thumbsdown:
    Kun je ook kijken naar dvd's op deze computer? :tick:
    Kun je ook kijken op deze computer naar dvd's? :thumbsdown:
    And even, with the right intonation to make it sound as a question:
    Op deze computer kun je ook naar dvd's kijken?:tick:
     
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    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Kun je ook naar dvd's op deze computer kijken? :thumbsdown:
    So the alternative I imagined would be correct is actually wrong. It seems as though the "naar DVD's" and "kijken" elements must be placed next to each other, otherwise it doesn't sound natural.

    However, "Kun je even het raam voor me openen?" has the elements "het raam" and "openen" separated by the prepositional phrase "voor me", and I know this sentence is correct because it's in my grammar book.

    So I stand confused... is there any good grammatical reason for
    Kun je ook naar dvd's op deze computer kijken? :thumbsdown:
    Kun je even het raam voor me openen?:tick:
    ?
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    That's why I used :thumbsdown: and not :cross:
    It's not :cross: but it sounds bad to my ears. :thumbsdown:

    Originally I wrote comment without using :cross: or :thumbsdown: : "To me it doesn't sound good, it's probably not correct".
    But go ahead, I'd never say it that way. Especially not the second one :thumbsdown:

    And as the accents are different, the meaning can shift too and be slightly different.

    @Dalieux: As we all know, unfortunately you can't explain everything with rules and grammar. And as I said: I'm no grammar buff.

    Anyhow, If Peterdg is right, everything goes, all variants.. The second sentence has also 4 possible placements of VOOR ME. . . Everything goes.... Even 'even' can take other places....
     
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    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Thanks for the clarification, I also had interpreted the thumbs down as an "incorrect".
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    (a) Kun je ook naar dvd's op deze computer kijken?
    (b) Kun je even het raam voor me openen?


    (a) is strange because you put a place/instrumental ADV in front of the verb, thereby splitting up a prep. phrase and the inf. it refers to.
    (a) Kun je ook op deze computer naar dvd's kijken?
    (a) might not be quite impossible if your prep.obj. were "dvd's op deze computer", but that is an unlikely interpretation.

    (b) is fine, if not perfect, but certainly in Flanders we prefer the "natural" word order with the IO outside V + catapult-V... Certainly in informal contexts we often say: "Ik zal het doen vandaag", whereas grammatically "Ik zal het vandaag doen" is correct.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Bijvoorbeeld: Ik zal het geven aan jou...

    "Ik zal (pv) het geven (katapult-V) aan jou ( IO, indirect object/ meewerkend voorwerp - dat ik hier buiten de tang (pv --- katapult-V) heb gezet).
     
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