1 : Je früher du kommst, desto mehr Zeit haben wir.

OK? : Wir haben desto mehr Zeit, je früher du kommst.

2 : Je länger er unterwegs war, umso besser gefiel ihm das Land.

OK? : Das Land gefiel ihm umso besser, je länger er unterwegs war.

Not only is the normal word order of "je" and "desto/umso" is switched around, but the "desto/umso" clause is also not inverted.

It almost seems as if the speaker had not initially intended to use this "the more ... , the more" sentence constuction but rather it was sort of an afterthought.

  • 3
    All your examples are perfectly acceptable. Switching the order of clauses (that's what you did) almost never changes the meaning of the sentence but only the emphasis, which rests on the leading clause.
    – Janka
    Feb 12, 2017 at 11:32
  • 1
    This site confirms that the inversion is possible but to me as a native speaker it sounds unusual.
    – Arminius
    Feb 12, 2017 at 15:01
  • To me it does not. Must be a regional thing.
    – Janka
    Feb 12, 2017 at 19:07
  • When I was a child my parents taught me the order "umso ... desto". And the second sentence sounds very unfamiliar at least, if not "wrong".
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Feb 13, 2017 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


I have no professional background on that, but — though I’ve never seen desto in the first part of a sentence — I think they are both correct.

See also desto and umso in the Duden.


As a native German speaker, I do not have any professional background either. But I would say that the first example can not be turned around that easily.

With the second one I am not quite sure. It could be valid but I would rather say:

Das Land gefiel ihm immer besser, je länger er unterwegs war.

I know that this would not match the "je" and "desto/umso" construct, but maybe it's helpful anyway.

  • 2
    Wenn man nicht so recht weiß und keine Begründung vorbringen kann, dann muss man nicht antworten. Was man selbst geschmacklich bevorzugen würde, das kann man auf einem Blog posten oder hier in einem Kommentar, wenn man etwas Reputation gesammelt hat. Feb 13, 2017 at 15:35
  • ich vermutete, dass es dennoch hilfreich wäre. Bitte entschuldigen Sie der Herr
    – shove
    Feb 13, 2017 at 16:01

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