Word Order – Rearranging


REARRANGING AND REARRANGING AND REARRANGING

Now let’s create a longer sentence with adverbs and things like that, and see how many ways there are to rearrange it in order to suit our need for emphasis. We won’t go through all possibilities. That’s impossible! English uses verbal stress on more important parts of the sentence or there’s another solution: it is…that… I also indicate the words of primary and secondary importance.

Az egér vidáman futkos a padláson egész nap.
The mouse is running happily on the loft all day.

Az egér a padláson futkos vidáman egész nap.
The mouse is running happily on the loft all day.

Az egér futkos a padláson vidáman egész nap.
The mouse is running happily on the loft all day.

Az egér egész nap a padláson futkos vidáman.
The mouse is running happily on the loft all day.

More rearranging:

Vidáman futkos az egér a padláson egész nap.
It is a happy way the mouse is running on the loft all day.

Egész nap vidáman futkos az egér a padláson.
It is all day that the mouse is running happily on the loft.

A padláson futkos vidáman az egér egész nap.
It is the loft where the mouse is running happily all day.

Futkos vidáman az egér a padláson egész nap.
It is running what the mouse is doing happily on the loft all day.

You see there’s actually not much you can mess up in a Hungarian sentence. If you put a word somewhere else, that alone doesn’t make the sentence unintelligible. However, that doesn’t mean there are no rules. So far we’ve been talking about the topic prominent point of view, not rules! And what are the rules? Basically, the same rules any other language has in a way or another.

These are rules you can’t change under any condition!

We’ll discuss them in the next entry. But now let’s see another sentence.

The boy is embracing the girl slowly.

A fiú lassan átkarolja a lányt.
A fiú átkarolja lassan a lányt.
A fiú átkarolja a lányt lassan.
A lányt átkarolja lassan a fiú.
A lányt lassan átkarolja  a fiú.
A lányt a fiú lassan átkarolja.
Lassan átkarolja a fiú a lányt.
Lassan karolja át a fiú a lányt!*
Lassan átkarolja a lányt a fiú.
Átkarolja a fiú lassan a lányt.
Átkarolja a lányt lassan a fiú.
Átkarolja lassan a fiú a lányt.
Átkarolja lassan a lányt a fiú.

These sentences are all possibilities for that one English sentence above. What you see in these sentences is NOT RULES. It is topic-prominent aspect meaning you choose how to speak. You think the verb is more important? Put the verb at the beginning of the sentence. You think the adverb lassan/slowly is not really important? Put it at the end of the sentence if you want.

As I said, English uses verbal emphasis or the construction: it is…that/who…

The sentence marked with an * is an exclamation, so the prefix of the phrasal verb goes after the verb.

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