Among the following sentences:

Schön ist es hier.

Es ist schön hier.

Hier ist es schön.

Es ist hier schön.

I am wondering what are the differences among them. Could anyone help?

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    Es gibt schon X Fragen zur Wortreihenfolge. Was ist das besondere an diesem Satz, so dass wir die Frage schon wieder behandeln müssen? Arbeite die Unterschiede zu ähnlichen Fragen heraus und stelle sie neu! – user unknown Feb 9 '17 at 1:17

The difference is not in meaning, but in emphasis.

Schön ist es hier = "Wow, nice place!"

This emphasizes the pleasantness of the place as opposed to other qualities, such as expensiveness of a restaurant (which might well go along with niceness).

Es ist schön hier = "This is a nice place."

This emphasizes the niceness as well, but not as forcefully.

Hier ist es schön = "This is a nice place."

Emphasizes the place rather than the quality. You might say that after you've tried another, perhaps less nice place.

Es ist hier schön = "The place is nice."

This emphasizes nothing in particular, and in fact is least likely to be said; it sounds more like a textbook definition than part of normal conversation.

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  • Many thanks for your post. I am wondering whether the second sentence ,, Es ist schön hier'' could be an answer to such a question as ,,wo ist es schön''? – Lynnyo Feb 8 '17 at 10:50
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    That would be intellegible, but dispreferred, precisely because of the emphasis business. The more preferred type of answer would be alternative (3) or (4). – Kilian Foth Feb 8 '17 at 11:43
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    @Lynnyo: You put on position 1 what you want to emphasize. When you was asked »Wo ist es schön?« then you want to emphasize the location in your answer, because this was the topic of the question. So you put ”hier" on position 1, and so you get: »Hier ist es schön.« There is also a second reason to choose this word order: It is the same as in the question. It is not very usual, but you also can put ”wo" at another position in your question. You can ask »Es ist wo schön?« As said before: Unusual, but grammatically correct. The best answer for this question would be: »Es ist hier schön«. – Hubert Schölnast Feb 8 '17 at 16:15

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