Querneus wrote: Kullman wrote:
El Forastero wrote:¿Ese libro hace cuánto tiempo que lo leíste?
¿Ese libro cuánto tiempo hace que lo leíste?
Those two sentenceS can be used, but the question marks are misplaced.
Ese libro ¿hace cuánto tiempo que lo leíste?
Ese libro ¿cuánto tiempo hace que lo leíste?
I strongly disagree with your style here...
Is this something you'd say is normal in Spain? I hardly ever come across single short noun phrases followed by the opening question mark. Usually it's something longer, or an adverbial.
I would caution that you've probably said and heard things a lot that you wouldn't expect to see written.
The structure Kullman used is something I might never actually have seen written, but it's something I definitely have heard used quite frequently. In fact, I have a feeling (caveat emptor: memory problems still ongoing) that I've heard something similar toEse libro ¿hace cuánto tiempo que lo leíste?
and that it would often be subtitled as:¿Hace cuánto tiempo que leíste ese libro?
...because the spoken form has a very specific purpose -- the item spoken first is in the "focussed" position deliberately to draw attention to it -- whereas the written form is considered more neutral and "no destaca tanto" (sorry, weirdly can't finish this sentence in English) so takes less attention to comprehend.
It is maybe worth pointing out that when I learned French in high school, we always spoke in sentences with direct objects next to the verb, but my experience later in life was that French is particularly keen on only having one noun in a clause and almost always uses a noun followed by a clause including a pronoun to refer back to the noun in the focused position:
eg mon frère, il est professeur
Or actually now that I think about it, you could have the noun seperate from the clause even if it only used an adjective:Ma copine, elle est belle!
I imagine I glommed onto the spoken Spanish pattern quickly because it was so similar to the French, so never caused me any problem.
The other thing I would say is that Latin had extremely fluid order, and Castillian doesn't have the case system to help disambiguate, so different orders are genuinely seen as "default" in different dialect regions, and I don't think that's really "Spain vs Latin America", because there's at least as much variation in Latin America as there is in Spain, so if there's something that's common "in Spain", it's probably only in a part of Spain, and probably also common in some part of Latin America even though it's not universal.