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  5. "Het is rustig, dus hij zegt …

"Het is rustig, dus hij zegt iets."

Translation:It is quiet, so he says something.

August 3, 2014



I was under the impression that after a 'dus', the verb and subject become inverted. ex. : "Het is rustig, dus zegt hij iets."

.. or as in the other examples (with omdat) where the verb moves to the end.

Can anyone provide some clarification on when inversion does (or doesn't) occur in subordinate clauses?


'Dus' is not a subordinating, but a coordinating conjunction (like 'en', 'maar' and 'want'). The verb and subject only invert after a subordinating conjunction (like 'omdat', 'voordat' and 'terwijl').


Does that mean that Het is rustig, dus zegt hij iets is wrong? Sounds normal to me (native speaker).


Since Dutch is not my native language, I can't comment on how natural "dus zegt hij iets" or "dus hij zegt iets" are (especially since there doesn't seem to be a German cognate to "dus", but either way I'ld be inclined to trust the comments of you native speakers that they are acceptable or "sound normal"), but I'm pretty sure that it has nothing to do with "dus" being a coordinating conjunction (or not). Because if it were a subordinating conjunction, the word order should be "dus hij iets zegt", if I'm not mistaken. It seems like this is rather a question of whether "dus" is "counted" as the first field of the main clause it introduces or not. Could it be that in this case both variants are possible, i.e. that "dus" can both be a simple coordinating conjunction which doesn't "count" as the first field and would then be followed by the "normal" V2 order (e.g. "hij zegt iets" or perhaps "iets zegt hij") as well as an adverb which would count as the first field and therefore be directly followed by the finite verb ("dus zegt hij iets")? Any comments on how right or wrong I am or which just generally can explain the situation clearly would be greatly appreciated.

By the way (and I don't know whether this is correct or not), nl.wiktionary.org classifies "dus" as an adverb ("bijwoord") only, while "en", "maar", and "want" are all listed as conjunctions ("voegwoord").


You may very well be on to something there. This article confirms your theory.


(Problems with the link on the phone... saving it for later)


If it sounds normal to a native speaker it obviously is correct. You can indeed say both zegt hij and hij zegt.


I'm native too and I don't hear either what is technically correct here, I have to look it up (these are details in the darker corners of the Dutch language :-). The primary point of my reply to leifparker was the difference between coordinate and subordinate clauses and the effects with regard to inversion (for some Non-Dutch people this may explain why the word order in the sentences is as it is).


I don't understand. You say subject and object don't change after dus. Then I say that that sounds normal to me. And you say "I don't hear either what is technically correct here" by saying either you imply you agree with me. But what I meant was that both switched and non-switched sound ok to me, and you say you do not hear what is technically correct? What don't you hear? You seem to both agree and not agree with me. Can you explain, is the switching used colloquially but technically incorrect maybe?


Yes, this is the grey area between technical and colloquial language. What I meant by 'I don't hear the difference' is that I probably make this 'mistake' all the time also. Technically, there is no inversion in the clause after a coordinating conjunction (hence the explanation to leifparker), colloquially, people will also use "...dus zegt hij iets".


Ok clear, thanks.


Is dus similar with English "thus"?


I can't really answer that, since I'm not too sure how thus is used in English, it don't think it's very common, so that's a big difference with dus which is very common.


Yes, but thus is more archaic. The Old Dutch was spelled "thus" and it is cognate with Low German sus and many other Germanic languages that have dus or thus.


Perhaps then, you can help clarify what makes a conjunction 'coordinating' versus 'subordinating'.

My understanding was that a 'coordinated' clause could stand-alone, while a 'subordinated' was reliant on the main clause.

Yet .. this seems less than clear. Especially in regards to the difference between 'want' and 'omdat' which both mean 'because', do they not?

I'd appreciate an explanation, perhaps with some examples.

Thanks so much in advance!


In connecting clauses, a coordinating conjunction connects two main clauses and a subordinating conjunction connects a main clause with a subordinate clause. 'Want' and 'omdat' are indeed confusing for non-natives because they both mean 'because'. The difference is subtle: rule of thumb could be that 'want' gives an explanation/motivation and 'omdat' gives a reason. They are often interchangeable:

  • 'Ik eet geen vlees want ik ben een vegetariër' (explanation/motivation)
  • 'Ik eet geen vlees, omdat ik een vegetariër ben' (reason)
  • Both: "I don't eat meat because I'm a vegetarian"

I can't give you a rule on which conjunction is coordinating and which is subordinating. Natives recognize that instinctly, non-natives can recognize them by the inversion in the subordinate clause.

  • 'Ik eet en ik lees een boek' > 'I eat and I read a book'
  • 'Ik eet terwijl ik een boek lees' > 'I eat while I read a book'
  • 'Jij rent dus je wordt moe' > 'You run so you get tired'
  • 'Jij rent hoewel je moe wordt' > 'You run although you get tired'

(coordinate conjunction, so no inversion and subordinate conjunction, so inversion)

Hope this helps!


It does. Thank you kindly!


I think "it is silent" should be accepted as well.


Quiet is not necessarily silent. You can whisper quietly and not be silent.


I reported "peaceful" for "rustig" which wasn't accepted :( Can any Dutchman/woman correct me where I"m wrong? Thank you.


peacefull is in dutch "vredig". like rest in peace--> rust in vrede.


He just had to ruin the silence.


I am on level 7, in Conjunctions part 2 and I have a course question: do we get lessons in subordinate clauses later or we have to learn them in this topic?

I'd like to know, to see if I have to look for other sources to complete the subject :)


Hoe spreek je "zegt"?


I added anything in the end of the setence and it was not accepted for iets. Why?


As I Finnish person I think it is not necessary for someone to flap their mouth all the time.

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