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The below sentence appears in the article “Niederlandes Wahlgewinner Rutte. Sieg der Vernunft.” from Der Spiegel:

Trotzdem hat [Marine] Le Pen hat immer noch reelle Chancen, französische Präsidentin zu werden.

It seems that the author of the above sentence was hesitating where to place the verb hat and ultimately forgot to remove the redundant one. So, which hat is redundant: first or second? Or is the sentence actually correctly written?

  • Der Spiegel has already corrected the mistake. – raznagul Mar 16 '17 at 9:17
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Hat is the finite verb in your example sentence. Thus, it can appear at only three possible positions: first, second or last. Last position would imply a subordinate clause which in turn would require a corresponding conjunction which is not present. (And there is no hat suggested at the end of the sentence.) And first-position finite verbs are only possible if they are imperatives, questions (not the case) or unmarked conditional clauses (also not). This means that hat must be in second position.

The second hat is therefore only possible if trotzdem were a conjunction that occupies zeroth position. But that cannot be the case here because it is not connecting two main clauses: it is merely the first word of a main clause.

Because trotzdem is not a conjunction it occupies the first position, hat must follow immediately (we are obviously in a main clause) and placing it after the subject is not an option.

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In this case »Trotzdem« starts a main clause, so

Trotzdem hat [Marine] Le Pen immer noch reelle Chancen, französische Präsidentin zu werden.

is correct. Kill the second »hat«, a double »hat« is no option.

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No, this sentence is not correct. The correct position of "hat" is the first:

Trotzdem hat [Marine] Le Pen immer noch reelle Chancen, französische Präsidentin zu werden.

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