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I found this among the subtitles to an episode of Die Chefin:

Dann dehnen wir die Spurensuche eben aus. Kann man verlangen.

I do not understand how the word order could be correct in the second sentence. Is this an imperative or what?

If this is an ellipsis, that does not explain the wrong word order. Would it not have been more correct to create the ellipsis with

Man kann verlangen?

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  • Ellipsis tag added for better re-use and easier look-up.
    – guidot
    Dec 22, 2020 at 17:14

1 Answer 1

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The word order is not really correct as it is colloquial speech: one word is missing. The correct sentence should be:

Dann dehnen wir die Spurensuche eben aus. Das kann man verlangen.

As pointed out by RHa in comments this is called „ellipsis“:

The linguistic term for this is ellipsis. – RHa

And as RDBury showed this is also used in English sentences from time to time:

It's a feature of most languages that you occasionally have to fill in missing elements to make a sentence grammatical. For example "What was Micheal doing? Rowing a boat." The second part "Rowing a boat" is not grammatical on it's own, but the subject "Micheal" and time frame were established in the previous sentence, so the missing elements, "Micheal was", are implied. Wikipedia has more details. – RDBury

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    It's a feature of most languages that you occasionally have to fill in missing elements to make a sentence grammatical. For example "What was Micheal doing? Rowing a boat." The second part "Rowing a boat" is not grammatical on it's own, but the subject "Micheal" and time frame were established in the previous sentence, so the missing elements, "Micheal was", are implied. Wikipedia has more details.
    – RDBury
    Dec 21, 2020 at 18:56
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    The linguistic term for this is ellipsis.
    – RHa
    Dec 21, 2020 at 20:58
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    I would not call this incorrect. Also, omitting a leading das is colloquially very common.
    – Carsten S
    Dec 22, 2020 at 1:16
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    Related: german.stackexchange.com/questions/60632/…
    – RHa
    Dec 22, 2020 at 7:23
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    didn't know that. thank you for the information @infinitezero
    – Tode
    Dec 22, 2020 at 13:54

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