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  5. "Als hij genoeg te drinken ha…

"Als hij genoeg te drinken had, had hij geen dorst."

Translation:If he had enough to drink, he would not be thirsty.

August 3, 2014



Learned from another course that the combination of "zou/zouden + hebben" is often replaced by "had/hadden" in order to simplify the sentence. Therefore "hij zou geen dorst hebben" can simplified to "hij had geen dorst". When in confusion, people go back to the full sentence to clarify.


Good one. After all this time, someone gave a definitive reason why the conditional is missing!


Shouldn't there be a "zou" in there somewhere?


There could be. An alternative translation "Als hij genoeg te drinken had, zou hij geen dorst hebben"


Based on the text in question, I wrote "if he had enough to drink, he had no thirst" representing a conclusion to the action of drink enough, but that was not one of the accepted answers.


Yeah, I think it might be worth reporting.


Agreed, reported Feb 5 '15


I also reported that. Although it's not the usual English style, it would make sense in this case.


This sounds really weird in English, as if you're implying that the person wasn't thirsty to begin with. Also, in English, you don't usually possess thirst or hunger; they are states of being, so you "are hungry" or "are thirsty" rather than "have hunger" or "have thirst."


Exactly! Hunger/thirst are thing we experience, not thing that we possess.


That's ungrammatical.

In conditional sentences in English this is what is called a Conditional Type 2, where the if-clause is in the Simple Past and the main clause (the clause that is the result of the condition) has the structure "would + (bare infinitive)".

You can check it on the internet, for example, here https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/conditional-sentences/type-2 and here http://www.learnenglish.de/grammar/conditional2.html


Yes, I agree with MentalPinball. Not only is it ungrammatical, we'd never say it in English. Because it's a conditional sentence, it's not clear what that means. Does it mean "he wouldn't be thirsty now" or "he wasn't thirsty then".

Apart from that, it's not completely incorrect to talk about "having thirst", but it's extremely unusual, and a native speaker would almost certainly always talk about "being thirsty".

So it's wrong, on several levels.


Exactly: as I said below, we experience thirst and hunger, we do not possess them. Therefore, we can only talk about being hungry/thirsty.



I think the English sentence is missing a "had" for this. It should be "If he had had enough to drink..."

Otherwise its grammatically incorrect. One had needs another verb, ie "If he had drunk enough". The first puts us in past, the second is the verb. Probably not noticed much because most would contract the first - "if he'd had enough to drink".


I'm not sure this sentence makes any sense in English. The second clause should be conditional or something. Does anyone else think so? Or does Dutch 'had' mean both 'had' and 'would have'?


Does 'had' get used in a conditional sense and lose any meaning about past events?


Many of the problems here stem from bad English I'm afraid, it should start: "If he HAD had enough to drink..."


Zou je in het Engels de zin ook kunnen eindigen met: he was not thirsty? Would 'he was not thirsty' be a correct translation in English?


"If he had enough to drink, he was not thirsty" doesn't make sense. I was looking for the "zou" as well but knew that because of "als" in the Dutch there would need to be a "would" in the English translation.


Perhaps some of us are confused because of 'Als'. If you change the sentence to 'Wanneer hij genoeg te drinken had, had hij geen dorst', a correct translation would be: "When he had enough to drink, he was not thirsty." Indeed, it is tricky.


if the dutch word "had" is in the sentence, I would presume that past tense is needed, so "if he drank enough, he would not be thirsty" but this was not accepted?


I'm thinking this is because the simple English past "he drank" would be translated into Dutch as "hij dronk" (using the Dutch imperfect/simple past) or "hij heeft gedronken" (using the Dutch present perfect construction). (Note that "drinken" is a strong Dutch verb - http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.Ir03. See the following links for more about which construction to use to describe events in the past - http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.Re11 and http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.Re14.)

Looking carefully at the construction of the clause "als hij genoeg te drinken had", "had" is the Dutch simple past of "to have" and "drinken" is the infinitive. The construction used here is really "hebben te drinken" ("to have to drink"). Because clauses starting with "als" put the main verb at the end of the clause, we end up with "te drinken had", which understandably can mislead learners into thinking this is equivalent to the English past tense "drank".


I suppose it's because the actual translation is quite different to what you have: "if he drank enough" vs "if he had enough to drink".


I had the same confusion as you - I'm not really sure if "te drinken had" can mean "drank" or not.


"If he had enough to drink, he would have had no thirst" was marked wrong for me with "no" being highlighted. Isn't geen=no? Dankjewel


The problem here is that what you are proposing here is what in English is called a mixed conditional (check here: http://www.englishpage.com/conditional/mixedconditional.html , it's the third set of examples), and the correct version (the correct translation) is a Conditional type 2 (which refers to an unlikely situation in the present) (for which I provided the link in a comment above, check it out).

My guess is that if it had been a mixed conditional, then the Dutch version would have been entirely different. (and this last sentence I just wrote is a Conditional type 3, which refers to a hypothetical situation in the past, so the condition conveyed in the if-clause cannot be fulfilled). But this Dutch version I cannot provide given the fact that I'm not a native Dutch speaker.


there are many ways to say the same thing.. "Zouden" is the past of "Zullen" so when you use it in a phrase it means the past of the other verb that follows it (verb in infinitive in the case of present conditional) but so you could also replace it for the direct imperfectum verb of the infinite verbum that goes with it.

For example:

Als ik een auto zou hebben, zou ik ermee naar mijn werk gaan

Als ik een auto zou hebben, ging ik ermee naar mijn werk

Als ik een auto had, zou ik ermee naar mijn werk gaan

Als ik een auto had, ging ik ermee naar mijn werk

all of those phrases mean the same: If i would have a car, I would go with it to my work.

so even though you can replace: ZOU HEBBEN = HAD (past of hebben for singular subjects) and ZOU GAAN= GING (past of gaan for singular subjects) everything has the same meaning

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