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Adjective Word Order

VR143

VR143

Hi 

also cuando mi perro murió, cuando murió mi perro

you advise both are ok but some like the verb next to the adverb

 

what about this…

debemos mantener nuestros escritorios ordenados , i wrote this

but ordenados nuestros escritorios  keeps coming up,

 

ordenado , tidy , i think is an adjective , so why does this swap to go after verb ?

confused i am ..

please help again , thanks 

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola VR143!

(I've split this question out from the previous thread just to help other users to find it more easily.)

Thanks for your question! This is another example of how word order can be more flexible in Spanish than in English: both of these sentences are correct, and both can be used to mean “(We) must keep our desks organized / tidy”:

1. Debemos mantener nuestros escritorios ordenados.
2. Debemos mantener ordenados nuestros escritorios.

The difference between them is that Sentence #1 would simply be the most common/natural way to say “(We) must keep our desks organized,” while Sentence #2 would be a way of emphasizing that the desks should be organized - as opposed to something else (e.g. "No no, we must keep our desks organized, not polished"). We get that emphasis because the adjective ordenados “organized” directly follows the verb mantener “to keep.”

I hope that this has helped to clear this up! Do let me know if you still have any questions!

Saludos,

Liss

VR143

VR143

Here i go again Liss,

 after reading cuando mi perro murió could also be 

cuando murió mi perro,    verb - adverb hug each other ,

is it same scenario for --- el mismo día que murió el padre de Gabriel.

I not sure , but i dont think que is an adverb so why does the verb go next to que?

thanks

 

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola VR143!

This is another great example of the flexibility of Spanish word order!

When you say a sentence like Llegamos el mismo día que murió el padre de Gabriel “(We) arrived on the same day that Gabriel's father died,” you have the option of following the relative pronoun que “that” directly with the verb (i.e. que murió el padre) or with the subject (i.e. que el padre murió). Both are fine, but putting the verb first gives it a bit more of a natural-sounding flow.

The reason why this happens here is because we have a relative pronoun (que) starting a new clause (que murió el padre de Gabriel) and it's common for the verb to come directly after the relative pronoun in instances like these. 

In fact, now that you mention it, this is tied to a better explanation of what's happening in the previous sentence we discussed: Estuve muy triste cuando murió mi perro “I was very sad when my dog died.” Here, cuando (which is what's called either a "conjunctive adverb" or an “adverbial conjunction” at this point) is beginning a new clause as well: cuando murió mi perro. So a better, more universal rule of thumb for us to set out is that the verb can often come after words that begin new clauses like these. 

(However, it is still true to say that the verb likes to stay close to the adverb - you can see better examples of that in phrases like Siempre dice el profesor que … “The teacher always says that …”).

I hope that has been helpful, and I also hope that I haven't made it too confusing! :) 

Sometimes when we get right down to the linguistic reasoning behind things, it can make everything a bit more confusing than it needs to be. So it might be easier to simply remember that the verb might come before the subject in some places in Spanish, but things are flexible and you don't need to worry about following that sort of style if you don't want to!

Saludos,

Liss

VR143

VR143

Hi ,

lesson 13.2 

tal vez no entiende la importancia de la amistad .

I know there is a series of lessons coming up on subjunctive which i am starting to learn, and in most of my books they say -tal vez -it requires the use of subjunctive so should it be entienda or are there other rules for tal vez.

 

also just another little thing i dont understand

 

qué color me gusta más 

la pintura que más me gusta 

 

both end in i like the most but why one before and one after 

 

thanks..

 

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola VR143!

Tal vez “maybe” is a bit tricky because sometimes it is used with the subjunctive, and sometimes it's not. It all depends on how much doubt/uncertainty you want to show. We have a full explanation on this in the section titled “Subjunctive... Sometimes” in Level 3's Lesson 16.5: The Subjunctive Revisited. If you're just starting out on the subjunctive now, I would recommend working through the introductory lessons on the subjunctive first, so that you really have a handle on this mood and when it's used, before coming back to the question of tal vez “maybe.” That will help you better understand why tal vez can use two different moods, and when that's possible.

As for the word order in the two phrases you mentioned, it works the same way as with “what color pleases me most” and “the painting that most pleases me” in English. The position of “most” (and so más in Spanish) is flexible here. You could just as well say “what color most pleases me” or “the painting that pleases me most”; it doesn't amount to any real difference in meaning.

I hope that this is helpful!

Saludos,

Liss

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