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     Table of Contents Chapter 10 10.4 Position of the elements in a phrase
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Chapter 10: Pronouns

  10.4 Position of the element in a phrase

As said before, there is a certain word order for the direct and the indirect object.

subject verb object object
  Der Mann schenkt der Frau (indirect) das Buch (direct).
  The man gives the book (direct). to the woman (indirect).

There are two things to be noticed. First:
In German the
indirect object is before the direct object.
In English the
direct object is before the indirect object. (= meaning it's the other way round compared to German). And second:
In German as well as in English it is quite clear which is the direct and which is the indirect object. In English because mostly it is used with the preposition to, in German because the indirect object is in Dative that has another form than the basic form. Therefore you could change the word order wildly and still would be clear which one is direct, the indirect object and who is subject. Even though nobody would talk like this - of course!


Der Frau schenkt der Mann das Buch.
To the woman gives the man the book.

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