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In my Russian studies I came across this sample line and this comment:

"Yes, there is no apple here". - <<Да, здесь нет яблока.>>

Comment: "A general rule to follow in Russian is that new information is presented at the end of the sentence. This sentence is emphasizing the absence of a particular object, an apple. If you wanted to emphasize the location, here as opposed to there perhaps, then здесь would take the final position in the sentence."

If I wanted to emphasize the location would I write: <<Да, яблока нет здесь>> или <<Да, нет яблока здесь>>?

My gut says it's the first option but I'd like to know why.

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  • If you wanted to emphasize the location, here as opposed to there Which is "not here but there", isn't it? This is to be translated into Russian directly.
    – Matt
    May 30 '16 at 6:49
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To emphasize the location, if by that you mean underlining the fact the apple is not here, say "Да, яблоко не здесь".

They like to say word order is non-important in Russian phrases. This is generally not true, but to some extent all the reorderings mentioned are possible. Fun fact is, a particular word ordering changes not the semantics, but rather stylistic coloring of the phrase. "Яблока нет здесь" sounds like in a 1980s Gothic lyrics, while "Нет яблока здесь" is more like early XX century symbolism.

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