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What is the correct word order in a Frisian sentence?

In Frisian, the position of the verb is very important in the word order of a sentence. The position of the verb depends on the type of clause
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Let’s have another close look at word order in Frisian. In Frisian, the position of the verb is very important in the word order of a sentence. The position of the verb depends on the type of clause. In the main clause, the conjugated verb stands in second position. The word order is subject, conjugated verb, rest.
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For example: “Ik wenje yn ‘t sintrum.” I live in the city centre. “Wy sille mei ús allen ite.” We are going to eat together. “Dat is sa.” That’s right. An emphasised element can be put in the first position. The verb, like English, still stays in the second position followed by the subject. This is called inversion.
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This is the word order: stressed element, conjugated verb subject rest.
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For example: “No wenje ik yn Ljouwert.” Now I live in Leeuwarden. “Dan moat ik fuort.” I have to leave then. “Yn Bûtenpost wennet myn famylje.” My family lives in Buitenpost. In Frisian, we can emphasise an element by moving it to the first position. In other languages, however, for example English, this is just done by simply changing the volume. Let’s look at these sentences. “Myn broer wennet yn Switserlân. Yn Switserlân wennet myn broer.” Both meaning my brother lives in Switzerland. The second sentence could be translated
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like: “It is in Switzerland that my brother lives.” This sounds rather awkward in English, but in Frisian this word order is quite normal. Some more examples. Mind the position of the verb, the second spot.
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“Ik wenje yn Fryslân.” I live in Friesland. “No wenje ik yn Fryslân.” Now I live in Friesland. “Ik sis dat net.” I don’t say that. “Dat sis ik net!” I won’t say that. In questions, the word order changes. Look at these examples. Yes/no questions - “Wenje sy ek yn Ljouwert?” Do they also live in Leeuwarden? “Ha jim ek fakânsje?” Do you have a holiday? “Hast ek in tún?” Do you have a garden? Question word questions “Hoe let begjinne we?” What time do we start? “Wêr wenje se?” Where do they live? “Wa is jim dosint?” Who is your teacher?
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The word order of a yes/no question is as follows: conjugated verb, subject, rest. For example “Wenje sy ek yn Ljouwert?” “Ha jim ek fakânsje?”
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And the word order of a question formed with a question word
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is: question word, conjugated verb, subject, rest.
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For example: “Hoe let begjinne we?” “Wêr wenje se?” “Wa is jim dosint?” In a sentence with more than one verb, the conjugated verb comes in second position, and the other verbs are at the end. For example “We kinne by my ite.” We can eat at my place. “Ik sil in lekkere pizza meitsje.” I’m going to make a delicious pizza.

How important is word order in a Frisian sentence? The answer is very important, as explained in the video above and words below.

Word order

In Frisian, the position of the verb is very important in the word order of a sentence. The position of the verb depends on the type of clause.

Main clause

In the main clause, the conjugated verb stands in second position.

The word order is:

subject – conjugated verb – rest

For example:

Ik wenje yn ‘t sintrum. I live in the city centre
We sille mei ús allen ite. We are going to eat together.
Dat is sa. That is right.

 

Emphasised element

An emphasised element can be put in the first position. The verb still stays in the second position, followed by the subject. This is called inversion.

This is the word order:

stressed element – conjugated verb – subject – rest

For example:

No wenje ik yn Ljouwert. Now I live in Leeuwarden.
Dan moat ik fuort. I have to leave then.
Yn Bûtenpost wennet myn famylje. My family lives in Buitenpost.

 

Questions

In questions, the word order changes.

The word order of a yes/no question is as follows:

conjugated verb – subject – rest

For example:

Wenje sy ek yn Ljouwert? Do they also live in Leeuwarden?
Ha jim ek fakânsje? Do you have a holiday?

 

The word order of a question formed with a question word is:

question word – conjugated verb – subject – rest

For example:

Hoe let begjinne we? What time do we start?
Wêr wenje se? Where do they live?
Wa is jim dosint? Who is your teacher?

 

Sentences with two verbs

In a sentence with more than one verb, the conjugated verb comes in the second position and the other verbs are at the end.

For example:

We kinne by my ite. We can eat at my place.
Ik sil in lekkere pizza meitsje. I am going to make a delicious pizza.

 

Practise with Quizlet

Would you like to practise Frisian grammar? Please visit our grammar section on the word order on Quizlet.

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Introduction to Frisian

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