Of vs als
Can someone explain the difference to me?
"Of" means or, and "als" means if. Does that clarify things? What is confusing to you?
Edit to add some example:
"Goed of fout?" - "Right or wrong?"
"Als jij gaat, ga ik ook" - "If you go, I will go too"
I understand "of" means "or", but in some cases, it seems that it can also mean "if". In the Present 2 skill, it is frequently used as such. An example from that lesson is, "Wij weten niet of er genoeg tijd is." Why would one not use "als" here and other sentences such as "Ik weet niet of hij thuis is."
Ahh, okay. I had forgotten about that use of "of", I can see how that is confusing. So if I understand you correctly, you want to know when the English word "if" should be translated as "of" and when as "als".
If you can substitute the "if" with the word "whether", then the Dutch translation uses "of". This happens in subordinate clauses that contain some uncertainty. Example:
"I do not know if/whether he is at home" - "Ik weet niet of hij thuis is"
When "if" is used to describe a condition that has to be fulfilled, Dutch uses "als".
"If it rains (condition), then I stay home" - "Als het regent, dan blijf ik thuis"
I hope that helps!
Keep in mind that 'als' also has another meaning of 'as' in different contexts. For example, it is used for comparing things that are equal.
E.g. 'Ik ben net zo groot als jij' = ' I am just as big as you'.
or 'Ik heb net zo veel appels als jij' = ' I have just as many apples as you'
Furthermore, ' zoals' = ' such as' , and ' Ik werk als dokter' = ' I work as doctor' .
This is why the Dutch word 'alsof' means ' as if'..... In this case ' als' works as ' as' and ' of' works as if!