Really? I'm a bit confused now. I thought :
Wanneer was dit boek geschreven = When was this book written (simple past) Wanneer werd dit boek geschreven = When was this book being written (past continuous)
Your sentence 'When has this book been written' sounds like present perfect to me.
Please correct me if I'm wrong. Could you please explain.
The difference is the active or passive voice: whether the subject does something (active) or something happens to the subject/the subject lets something happen to them (passive).
- He stole my car last week - Hij heeft vorige week mijn auto gestolen.
- They have painted the front door - Ze hebben de voordeur geschilderd.
- My car was stolen last week. - Mijn auto werd vorige week gestolen.
- The front door has been painted. - De voordeur werd geschilderd.
The passive voice in English always has the verb 'to be' in the sentence. In Dutch, this is always translated as the verb 'worden'. The passive form can be in any tense:
- I am invited - Ik word uitgenodigd.
- He was arrested - Hij werd gearresteerd.
- They must be cleaned - Ze moeten worden schoongemaakt.
- It is painted - Het wordt geschilderd.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it. Although it's a bit confusing to me - if you always have to have 'worden' in passive voice irrespective of the tense, then how would you differentiate between 'He was arrested' (simple past) and 'He was being arrested' (past continuous) in Dutch (both being in passive voice of course) if both were to be translated as 'hij werd gearresteerd'? Could you please elaborate further?
You're welcome! :)
You are correct, both are translated to 'Hij werd gearresteerd', since (in Dutch) we don't (reallyt) have a continious tense ('aan het' wouldn't work in this case; I think it doesn't work at all in the passive voice, but I am not sure).
Since in Dutch there is no continious tense (other than 'aan het'), we don't have such a difference. To me, 'Hij werd gearresteerd' could be either that he was arrested or that he was being arrested. If the difference is important, we will add other words, like 'op dat moment' (at that moment), or something like that.
(Does that sound weird?)