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I get that there is a differece between a statement and a question. E.g:

Juan viene. 》 ¿Viene Juan?

Pero a veces es diferente.

Hay una canción que se dice: "PR somos tú y yo". ¿Por qué no dice "tú y yo somos de PR"?

Este es un ejemplo que no entiendo.

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    Note that songs are places where the style matters, and swapping subject and object is quite common there.
    – fedorqui
    May 23, 2016 at 13:48
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    También existe «Viene Juan» y «¿Juan viene?». El orden depende del contexto y el énfasis o contraste que se le quiere dar a la oración. Ojo: «PR somos tú y yo» y «tú y yo somos de PR» no son equivalentes. «PR somos tú y yo» es equivalente de «tú y yo somos PR» (no hay «de»), y «tú y yo somos de PR» es equivalente de «de PR somos tú y yo» May 23, 2016 at 13:54
  • Related, possible duplicate: What is the common construction of questions spoken by native speakers of Spanish?. Bottom line: it's common to invert the order for questions (i. e. verb-subject), but in Spanish word order is free so keeping a subject-verb structure is also okay, and could be the preferred option for, for example, long questions (as in the question linked).
    – Yay
    May 23, 2016 at 20:34

1 Answer 1

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You can change the order without problems. In Spanish, the phrasal structure is very flexible.

The phrase:

"Juan fue ayer al cine con Ana"

It has the following valid forms:

"Al cine con Ana, fue ayer Juan"

"Ayer, Juan fue al cine con Ana"

"Con Ana, al cine fue ayer Juan"

Anyone speaking spanish will understand and accept all of them as correct.

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  • So there is no rule when to or when to not do it? (Except with questions) May 24, 2016 at 9:34
  • Exactly, in spanish the phrases have two parts, subject and predicate(That includes the verb) and it's accepted in any order if you respect that. This is actually a rule. This is valid for basic phrases, not for imperative, interrogative, negative or excalmative.
    – Malkev
    May 24, 2016 at 9:47
  • 100% agree @guifa: "El orden depende del contexto y el énfasis o contraste que se le quiere dar a la oración" Put the word you want to focus on at the beggining: Al cine con Ana, fue ayer Juan and Ayer, Juan fue al cine con Ana focus on cine and ayer respectively
    – Ra_
    May 24, 2016 at 13:29
  • Actually, there's no real restriction even in interrogative. Subject-verb order in questions is very typical of Caribbean Spanish: ¿Cómo tú estás? May 24, 2016 at 14:29
  • "Al cine con Ana, fue ayer Juan" This sounds like Yoda. "Obi-Wan to the movies with his padawan went". You do understand but you won't use it in everyday talking. It is good for poetry or space movies.
    – DGaleano
    May 24, 2016 at 14:35

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