"He is happy because he has drunk beer."
Translation:Hij is gelukkig, want hij heeft bier gedronken.
'Hij is gelukkig, omdat hij bier gedronken heeft' (or 'heeft gedronken') is also correct.
Could someone please explain why it MUST be "want" and not "omdat" in this particular sentence... just looking for clarity as BOTH are used quite a bit for the word "because".
Omdat is also accepted, though bear in mind that they use a different word order:
- omdat hij bier gedronken heeft/heeft gedronken.
- want hij heeft bier gedronken.
- omdat hij bier gedronken heeft - That he is happy is caused by the fact that he has drunk beer.
- want hij heeft bier gedronken - That he has drunk beer provides an argument for the fact that he is happy.
Wow! I appreciate your clarifying that; but darned if I can figure out why one form of "because" has a different word order than another. I know it probably has something to do with the fact that both are used AS because, but neither is quite that word. Dank je wel.
Omdat = Subordinating
- With omdat a reason is given for the main clause, the main clause is caused by the sub clause.
Want = Co-ordinating clause
- With want an argument is given for the main clause, something happens in the main clause and the sub clause provides an argument why that happens
Often both can be used, though the meaning of the sentence can be slightly different and sometimes only one can be used
- Hurry up, because I'm hungry - Schiet op, want ik heb honger
You give an argument, for the main clause. The main clause is not caused by the sub clause so you cannot use omdat here.
- I say this because you look tired - Ik zeg dit omdat je er moe uitziet.
You give a reason, for the main clause. The main clause is caused by the subclause, hence you cannot use want
- He isn't here because I don't see him.
- Hij is niet hier, want ik zie hem niet - You provide an argument for the main clause
- Hij is er niet, omdat ik hem niet zie - That I don't see him is not the reason/cause why he isn't here. Hence you cannot use omdat here.
Also note that want shouldn't be placed at the start of a sentence, whereas with omdat you can.
I've edited my original comment to clarify the difference in this sentence.
Thank you very much for such a lengthy explanation. It appears that omdat is also used in a sense as "although" as well as "because"... but with all that information, especially the cause/effect vs statement/reason ... it clears up a lot. Many thanks!