Position of ~時間? Word Order

Hi Guys.

I’m studying with the Genki books and came across something curious.

I have this same sentence written in two different ways:

“Mary waited for takeshi for an hour”

1-. メアリーさんはたけしさんを一時間待ちました (Appears like this in the Grammar explanation section)
2-. メアリーさんは一時間たけしさんを待ちました (Appears like this for an exercise on the Answer key)

In a previous chapter Genki mentions that word order in japanese is flexible, but for this specific case (~時間) It doesn’t say where it should be placed.

Also, Genki presents a typical word order that goes like this:

Topic, time, place, object, verb.

So by this i would guess that ~時間 as it specifies time, should be placed after the topic like in number 2 mentioned above. But then again, i understand this might be flexible.

What do you think? Where would you place ~時間 ? Is it the same?


Personally, I think the first one sounds more natural. I think for me that’s because the position of the 「を」 in between the person and the time makes the parsing clearer (it makes it easier to tell that 「一時間たけし」 is not a single thing).

But like you said, both are correct, and paired with intonation they’ll probably serve to place the emphasis on different aspects (either on the time waited, or on the person waited for).

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