Translation:He thinks he is somebody, but he is nobody.
Do people use "iemand" and "niemand" in Dutch as they do "somebody" and "nobody" in English to denote someone who is (not) important, successful and the like?
Yes, but I think it's not used as commonly as in English. Dutch probably loaned this usage from English quite recently, since you also can come across a sentence like: hij is een nobody.
We don't say "hij is een niemand", though we could say "hij is helemaal niemand", if you mean to offend or insult.
It's not quite the same. Literally, nietsnut is someone who is useless (nut=use), but it's often used to describe someone who is lazy
Like Susande said we sometimes use it in Dutch, but I would say phrases like "Hij is een nul" (lit. He's a zero) or "Hij is niks waard" (lit. He's nothing worth) are more common.
You can either include it or exclude it; both work perfectly fine. It's basically just a matter of preference. ^_^
Why is the first part inverted and the second isn't? Isn't it suppose to be opposite?
Shortly, when you have dat, the verb goes to the end. It's the opposite with maar (and en, want, etc), these don't make the verb move to the end. Sorry for this brief answer, but I hope you understood ^^
I would think that if he is nobody then why are we using hij instead of he? unless we really don't like this guy and have to stress the point. Sad
Is it correct that there is no comma before the relative clause in Dutch?
.....marihudson1 Not really! Would it not be applicable to someone who wants to be our focus day day out, while gaslighting at the same time, guided by the following from many before him: "Mundus vult decipi, decipiatur ergo" (The World wants to be deceived, therefore deceive her). What do you think?
I wrote "He thinks THAT he is somebody, but he is nobody." and it was marked incorrect? Do you really have to drop the "that"?
Assuming it's your report, since it is the only one in the system and from the same time you posted, you forgot to type he after that: He thinks that is somebody,...
That is not good English.
Here, in English, "thinks" is being used as a transitive verb: you're conveying what he is thinking. He is thinking what? He is thinking that he is someone. The subordinate clause "that he is someone" serves as the object of the verb "thinks."
As a matter of usage, we can (and often do) drop the conjunction "that" to yield "He thinks he is someone."
In "He thinks to be someone, but he is nobody," you're missing information. Who or what is to be someone? He? She? The dog? His neighbor? From the Dutch sentence, we know it is "hij." So we need to put "he" into it. Yes, we already have "He" at the beginning, but all that tells us is that "He" is the one doing the thinking. We need it again, and then we need to conjugate "to be" to match "he." "He thinks that he is someone, but he is nobody."
This can get confusing, I know, when you consider other verbs. "He plans to be someone," "He hopes to be someone," are fine, but those sentences speak of some future act that he is planning or hoping to do (or, in this case, to be). This is different from stating a present fact that he thinks (that he is someone). If you wanted to talk about a fact that he hopes is the case right now, you would have to do the same thing you do with "thinks": "He hopes that he is somebody."
I hope. I hope what? I hope that I have not made a mess of this explanation.