Translation:He thinks that he is somebody, but he is actually nobody.
in first part, because of "dat" the verb goes to the end of the sentence. in the second part, "maar" does not change the verb order. however, having "eigenlijk" as the beginning of that sentence, "inversion" takes place. see the links below for further details:
I've read the comments and links here, and I'm still confused. I'm understanding the word order for the first part of this long sentence, and then I'm lost on the second part. The use of "maar" is a coordinating conjunction, so it joins two equal clauses, right? So... how does that rule apply here? I actually see three parts to this. First, "Hij denkt" (Simply a subject and a verb in nice V2 order), then the "dat" statement -- "dat hij iemand is" -- with the verb moved to the end because of it being a "dat" statement. Then "Maar"........ ???? If this final part of the sentence is "equal" to what went before, does that mean it's subject to the V2 order in the first part of the statement? Nope, obviously not. Is it subject to the rules of the "dat" statement with the verb at the end? Nope, obviously not. So, what am I missing here with this "coordinating" conjunction?
That’s a great question, and you’ve made some fantastic observations as well. Let me see if I can explain the word order a bit.
The sentence as a whole reads: “Hij denkt dat hij iemand is, maar eigenlijk is hij niemand.” The first part of the sentence, “Hij denkt” is indeed a main clause, just as you observed. Just a subject followed by a finite verb, with nothing fancy.
You’re right about the second part as well: “dat hij iemand is”. Here, “dat” is a subordinating conjunction that requires the verb “is” to move to the end of the clause. Thus, “dat hij iemand is”.
The last part of the sentence “maar eigenlijk is hij niemand,” is a bit different from the previous two parts of the sentence. “Maar” is indeed a subordinating conjunction. However, the reason why we don’t have main clause word order here is because of the word “eigenlijk”. Because of the addition of that word, “hij” and “is” have to change places so that the verb remains in the second position of the sentence. This is known as inversion. Without the word “eigenlijk”, the clause would follow main clause word order: “maar hij is niemand.”
I hope this helps! If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Veel success met je Nederlands!
I seem to recall that the part after "maar" doesn't need to be reordered. But of course "eigenlijk is hij niemand" is also a correct way to say the part itself. So does this sentence have to be in this way, or can I also say "Hij denkt dat hij iemand is, maar hij is eigenlijk niemand"?