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  5. "De vrouw eet een appel, want…

"De vrouw eet een appel, want zij houdt van fruit."

Translation:The woman is eating an apple because she loves fruit.

July 26, 2014



I am curious about the difference between "want" and "omdat." I know if "omdat" had been used, the sentence would change to "De vrouw eet een appel, omdat zij van fruit houdt" - does that simply become too complicated for this early in the work?


As I understand it....

After 'omdat' , you give the REASON for what you said in the main clause.

Ik leer het Nederlands omdat mijn boot in Brouwershaven ligt

After 'want' you explain WHY you said what you said in the main clause.

Ik hou van Brouwershaven want mijn boot ligt daar

Most of the time it's possible to use either 'want' and 'omdat'.

Ik ga thuis, omdat ik moe ben

Ik ga thuis want ik ben moe

In the first example, I am telling you WHY I am going home . In the second example, I am telling you why I have SAID that I am going home.

Or that's how I worked it out with my ever patient Dutch pen friend


The explanation is correct. One little thing about your example: 'I go home' can not be translated as 'ik ga thuis'. 'Thuis' is an adverb that denotes a location, whereas 'I go home' implies a movement:

  • 'I go home': 'ik ga naar huis' (literally: 'I go to home').
  • 'I am home': 'ik ben thuis'


My understanding, having read this, some other pages, and having thought about the difference between "because" and "since" in English, is:

"A" omdat "B": When you are explaining that A is because of B.

"A" want "B": When you are explaining that B is because of A

Does that sound right? I think I can arrive at your example that way too.


Hi Phil,

The order of A and B in the effect-reason/cause sequence remains the same, independently of whether you use want or omdat.

After reading about it, this is what I got:

Want: A want B

√ Coordinating conjunction> SVO word order

√ Cannot be placed at the beginning of sentences.

√ Perceived, subjective reason for something we say.

√ There's an element of interpretation, no necessity is implied.

√ 'A' is the result/conclusion, B is the evidence on which you're based to say 'A'. B doesn't cause A.

√ Some people might argue it could be translated as for (as old fashioned as it sounds).

Ik blijf thuis want mijn moeder is ziek.

Here it's implied that I prefer to stay home since she's sick (but perhaps someone else could stay and take care of her, it's just I'd rather do it myself - it's not necessary, there are other alternatives).

Het zal wel regenen, want de lucht is erg donker.

(It is going to rain, for the sky is quite dark). The dark sky is not what will cause the rain, but just what we are observing that makes us think it'll rain.

Omdat: A omdat B

√ Subordinating conjunction> SOV word order.

√ Can be placed at the beginning of a sentence.

√ External, objective reason for an action/state of affairs.

√ There's a causal relationship (cause-effect relationship), and thus an element of necessity is implied.

√ 'A' is the effect, 'B' is the cause that originates 'A'.

√Some people argue that for is not a possible translation here.

Ik blijf thuis omdat mijn moeder ziek is.

Here it's implied that it is necessary for me to stay home and take care of my mother (perhaps there's no one else to do so).

Ze is gestorven omdat ze in een ontploffing was.

Here it's implied that the explosion was the cause of her death.

Anyway, according to my partner (native Dutch speaker), want and omdat are always interchangeable except for certain grammatical contexts (presence/absence of SOV word order and sentence initial position/lack thereof).

Any thoughts?


"the woman eats an apple, as she loves fruit"-is it not also correct translation?


I typed, "The woman eats an apple, because she like fruit", and I got it wrong. I know I made a typo by typing "like" instead of "likes", but when I hover over "houdt van", one of the translations is "likes", so I should've at least gotten the "You made a typo" thing instead of "You used the wrong word". The list of correct translations also didn't include "The woman eats/is eating an apple because she likes fruit"; it was just "loves fruit". I'm guessing that's a mistake, so I reported it.


You've already described your mistake since likes is accepted.

I understand you would have liked to get a message that you had a typo, though that is handled by an algorithm.


Duo is not forgiving when it could either be a typo or a wrong word / wrong word tense. Duo is forgiving if there's no likely other word it could be. Maan for man--not OK. One is moon, one is man. Ditto like for likes, or vice versa; it can be a grammar mistake or a typo, duo doesn't read minds. In contrast, Alstubliefft for alstublieft = "typo."


Do you not invert houden van and zij since the clause doesn't start with the subject/verb or?


'Want' is a coordinating conjunction, so 'zij houdt van fruit' is another main clause and therefore there's no inversion. If a subordinating conjunction had been used, there would have been inversion.

  • "De vrouw eet een appel, want zij houdt van fruit." (coordinating)
  • "De vrouw eet een appel, omdat zij van fruit houdt." (subordinating)


So it is less the idea expressed that makes a clause subordinate or coordinating, and more to do with the particular word used to express it? That does not sound right... At least it is confusing...


Can someone explain the comma here? In English, a comma wouldn't be necessary.


There shouldn't be a comma.

The Dutch use commas less than commas are used in English.

Mostly they are used when it is necessary to indicate that two verbs that follow each other are nevertheless in different clauses - as they do when a subclause comes first in the sentence, so requiring the verb in the main clause to invert.

Toen ik in Zeeland was, zeilde ik op het Grevelingenmeer


Regarding the use / non-use of commas in co-ordinate / subordinate clause pairs, I find it interesting that (as I see it) usage is reversed as between Dutch and English!

  • Ze eet een appel want zij houdt van fruit = She eats an apple, because she loves fruit
  • Ze eet een appel, omdat zij van fruit houdt = She eats an apple because she loves fruit


I wrote ze instead of zij in the second part of the sentence and got it wrong. Does it have to be zij, or did I get it wrong because the audio is saying zij instead of ze? I can never hear the difference between ze/zij, je/jij, etc.


If it's an audio exercise, you have to pick the right one. Don't despair, I had a hard time hearing the difference between Portuguese ela and ele for quite a while and at some point I just heard it :-) Use the slow audio if necessary!


Ze and je are pronounced with a schwa. I don't know what your native language is, but I hope my comparisons will help you. The sound of the -e in ze and je sounds like the -e in the or in differ.

The pronunciation of ij tends to present some regional variations: some speakers pronounce it wuite close to the English word eye, while others say it like the -ay in May. I'm mostly exposed to Flemish, and they tend to pronounce it in the second way I've described (at least, the speakers I've heard -check Martine Tanghe from the VRT nieuws, for instance).

Thus, compared to English:

Zij> 'zay'

Jij> 'yay'


Why isn't "want" a subordinate conjunction? it is related to cause.


in how many ways one can say "because" in Dutch?


Omdat (sub. Conj. - from now on, s+)

Aangezien (s+)

Doordat (s+)

Daar (s+)

Want (coordinating conjunction)


I was dinged on another question when I translated houden van as 'love' in reference to a thing- it only means 'love' when applied to people, otherwise it means 'like'... At least that was supposedly why I got it wrong. Is this a misunderstanding of the rule?


Houden van

  • Between people = to love
  • Anything else = to love or to like


What is the difference between 'want' and 'vanwege'? Thanks.


Want (coordinating conjunction, cannot be placed at the beginning of sentences, doesn't alter word order)= because

Vanwege (preposition)= due to, on account of, owing to, because of

Source: http://www.vandale.nl/opzoeken?pattern=Vanwege&lang=ne


why is it 'zij houdt van fruit' and not just' zij houdt fruit.' 'she loves from fruit?'


What's the difference between "vinden..leuk" and "houden van" and when do we use each one?


Could "Hou van" be translated as "to like"?


I don't think so: in English you could say: "I like apples but I love pears". This in Dutch would be "Ik vind appels lekker, maar ik houd van peren"

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