Are both

Ich kann es mir nicht leisten

Ich kann mir es nicht leisten


1 Answer 1


There are both grammatically correct, but this one

Ich kann es mir nicht leisten.

is the much more common variant. This is because it follows the default order: pronoun accusative objects before dative objects. The alternative

Ich kann mir es nicht leisten.

places es out of order and emphasises it too much in most situations. Please note that this default oder above does only apply to pronoun accusative objects. For noun accusative objects the default order is after dative objects. That's why it's

Ich kann mir diese Wohnung nicht leisten.

and not

Ich kann diese Wohnung mir nicht leisten.

(Actually, those are only rules of thumb. The real rule is known information before new information but you can hardly construct good sounding sentences with that one. As it's pretty hard to decide what is known information in the sense of German grammar.)

  • 1
    "Ich kann es mir nicht leisten", but "Ich kann mir das nicht leisten". It seemingly doesn't have to do so much with pronoun or noun, but with definite and indefinite, no?
    – bakunin
    Mar 19 at 16:34

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