I am not sure if I should put 跟 before 在 or the other way round. For example:

我跟朋友(一起)在饭馆吃饭 or 我在饭馆跟朋友(一起)吃饭

Can I use both, but the meaning is slightly different?

跟:with (who)

跟朋友 with friends

跟家人 with family

在 : in (where)

在饭馆 in the restaurant

The order of 跟朋友 and 在飯館 is not important in Chinese.

  • cf。"实用现代汉语语法"522页:多项状语 二、递加关系的多项状语(二)递加关系状语的排列顺序 1。在描写性的状语中,描写动作者的在前,描写动作的在后。例如:(1)成瑶_笑盈盈_地_斜_视着华为。2他_不动声色_地_一件件_处理着。3她_像跟谁辩论似地猛然_仰起了头。。。_ 2。除了大部分副词以外,限制性的状语按下列顺序排列(see previous Q:[link](The word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence)) 3把两类状语排在一起,总的顺序是:1表示时间的状语;2表示语气。关联句子的状语;3描写动作者的状语 表示目的、依据、关涉、协同的状语;5表示处所、空间、方向、路线的状语;6表示对象的状语;7描写动作的状语 4。几点说明 1表示动作发生时动作者所在的空间、处所的"在。。。"以及"从。。。'既可以位于(3)前,也可以位于(3)后。例如:(1)他_在家里愉快地_度过了暑假. 他_愉快地在家里_度过了暑假2姑娘_不好意思地在众人面前_唱了起来。姑娘_在众人面前不好意思地_唱了起来。3早晨他_从家里高高兴兴地_走出来。早晨他_高高兴兴地从家里_走出来。 – user6065 Apr 16 '16 at 21:08

Lets just simply translate this into English.

跟: with

我跟朋友(一起)在饭馆吃饭: I'm here with friends in the restaurant eating.

我在饭馆跟朋友(一起)吃饭: I'm in the restaurant eating with friends.

So the answer is, both are correct grammatically, both means the same, depends on which one you like to use.

Both are ok. But there are slightly difference(and the difference is really very small so you can use any of them as you like in daily life).

My understanding:

我跟朋友(一起)在饭馆吃饭: you emphasize that you are with friends

我在饭馆跟朋友(一起)吃饭: you emphasize that the action "吃饭"

In daily use, both are ok and nobody will tell the differents, I think. But in grammar the first sentence emphasized in "whom you have meal with", while the second sentence emphasized in"the location in which you have meal", this kind of emphasis is very very lightly

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