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I apologize if this question is too basic, but I was doing some beginner exercises on an app (no, not that app), and it marked this as incorrect:

あのアメリカ人はラーメンをフオークで食べていますね。

The correct order, it insisted, should be:

あのアメリカ人はフオークでラーメンを食べていますね。

However, on the linked video found on this question, both should technically be correct, right? Is the app wrong to mark it incorrect, or am I misunderstanding the flexibility of Japanese sentence structure?

If it's not technically incorrect, what would the first order imply or indicate that the second, which I gather is the standard order, wouldn't?

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Both sentences are perfectly correct and natural as far as the word order goes. In this case, neither is more natural than the other.

But let me point out these:

  • It's フォーク (fork), not フオーク (fu'ohk).
  • ね is for light confirmation. If this sentence is more like "Hey, look at that American!", you should say this instead:

    あのアメリカ人はフォークでラーメンを食べています

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  • Thanks! The first was a typo (I'm actually not sure how to type ォ on Linux yet, but I will try to figure it out). The second is great to know, but unfortunately, I had to work with what the app had suggested. But your correction doesn't inspire confidence in the app now!
    – cmw
    Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 0:12
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    @cmw In software which I use, x + ... creates small characters (e.g. xo for ぉ/ォ, xtu for っ/ッ).
    – Arfrever
    Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 0:15
  • @Arfrever ありがとうございます!
    – cmw
    Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 0:37
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    @cmw To input ォ by itself, you can use xo, but you can just use fo to input フォ. The small-o is typically used with フ, so it's worth remembering (and shouldn't be hard to remember).
    – naruto
    Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 0:39

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