The most common order of a sentence is: subject + finite verb + rest of the sentence.
- Hij woont in Amsterdam.
The subject need not be the first word of the sentence. Sometimes you begin with the verb or another part of the sentence. It depends which part you want to give stress. There is one rule, however: it is not allowed to put any words between the subject and the finite verb.
Sometimes the finite verb precedes the subject (inversion).
If a sentence is a question.
- Woont hij in Amsterdam?
If a sentence begins with an interrogative pronoun (wie, wat, waarom, wanneer).
- Wanneer komt hij naar Amsterdam?
If a sentence begins with an adjunct of time.
- Vanavond komt hij naar Amsterdam.
If a sentence begins with an adjunct of place.
- In Amsterdam kent hij vele mooie plekjes.
If a sentence contains a finite verb and a perfect participle, the perfect participle is at the end of the sentence.
- Hij heeft drie jaar in Amsterdam gewoond.
If a sentence contains an adjunct of time and an adjunt of place, the order is first time then place.
- Hij woont al drie jaar in Amsterdam.