Do Spanish speakers understand an anastrophe when they hear one? For your reference, an anastrophe is defined as:

Noun - the inversion of the usual order of words or clauses.

Most notably, this is how Yoda from Star Wars speaks. Some examples would be:

Anastrophe: "Persuade you, I will." Normal: "I will persuade you."

Anastrophe: "To die of old age is to walk there by foot." Normal: "To walk there by foot is to die of old age."

So, my question is whether this would be lost in Spanish, or merely incorrect structure grammatically speaking, but people would still understand what is meant.

  • 2
    Understand we certainly would, but find it usual we wouldn't. :) Spanish uses this all the time, but Yodaspeak is often forced even for Spanish.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Oct 26, 2019 at 23:09

1 Answer 1


I've always used the term "hipérbaton" for the change of normal syntactic order you refer to.

The answer is that such phenomenon exists and is quite usual in Spanish, even more than in English (Spanish is much more flexible than English), and even more usual in literature, where it is a popular figure of speech. Many cases of "hipérbaton" are associated with emphasis:

A: Tengo un vecino insoportable.

B: Insoportable es mi vecina. (Unbearable, that is my neighbor.) (The suggestion is: My neighbor is really unbearable, not yours.)

Another example:

  • Persuadirte, no quiero. (Persuade you, I don't want to.)

Note: According to the Wikipedia article above, "anástrofe" is a special case of "hipérbaton" where the object to a preposition precedes the preposition. However, in this other article it is described practically in the same way as "hipérbaton".

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