Verb and Noun placements

Jemma

Hi,

Ho una domanda.
Quando arriva la notte in inglese è When the night arrives/comes. However, why does the verb comes before the noun (la notte)? Is this a general rule in Italian?

Grazie
 

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi Rachelyeo,

Unlike other languages, the SVO order in Italian is flexible. Depending on the element you want to highlight, the verb might change position and be placed before the subject.

Quando la notte arriva would be totally fine to say, but quando arriva la notte is widely used and it ended up being the norm, like a collocation. In descriptions, verbs that precede the subject they modify have a "poetic" feel to them.

Ha chiamato/telefonato Marco. Marco has called.
Marco ha chiamato/telefonato. Marco has called.

English is more rigid as the construction "Has called Marco" wouldn't be allowed, but both sentences are totally normal in Italian and are equally used.

Hope this helps!

Lucia

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