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我今天去电影院 今天我去电影院

I've also noticed that other words can be before or after the subject:

如果我是你 我如果是你

What is the difference in nuance of placing such words before or after the subject, if any?

  • In the case of 今天 it is a matter of placing an adverbial adjunct (状语) before the verb (its regular position) or at the beginning of the sentence (for emphasis, which is not always permissible), this is discussed in Chinese grammars. – user6065 Aug 21 '16 at 22:42
  • Same as in english. Today I went to the movie. I today went to the movie. I went to the movie today. – user4452 Aug 22 '16 at 4:52
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It's really a matter of emphasis. The greater emphasis is on the word that goes first.

今天我去..., means, Today, I am going out...

On the other hand, with 我今天去...,

the emphasis is on the 我 or I.

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As an independent sentence, there is no difference between the two sentences. but if there is context, things could be different.

e.g.

你们俩已经去电影院守了好几天了,今天我去(电影院),你们俩歇着。

if you replace "今天我去" with "我今天去",the feeling is different.

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I guess this kind of grammar is not unique only in Chinese. generally it's most likely that it's the same with English.

can we say in English:

Today I went to the cinema.

I today went to the cinema.

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  • I think 'I went to the cinema today.' is more natural than 'I today went to the cinema.', but your point still stands – Zukaberg Oct 21 '16 at 14:26

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