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"Hij weet niet of het rood is."

Translation:He does not know if it is red.

4 years ago

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/eiowlta
eiowltaPlus
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When did of become if as well as or?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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Of can mean mean if only if that word can be replaced by whether. And indeed it also can mean or.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dubhaltach
Dubhaltach
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So would als be incorrect here?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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Indeed, als cannot be used in this sentence. Als is used when if can be replaced by when (without changing the meaning of the sentence).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jason2Song

In this case, Dutch is similar with Chinese, which if (whether) and if (when) are different words.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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That makes it easier for you. I guess if you link the Dutch of and als to their Chinese translations in your mind, you'll always pick the right ones when translating if from English to Dutch.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/msd.es

How about mits?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raahiba
Raahiba
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Mits = as long as: 'Ik ga morgen naar de dierentuin, mits het niet regent' (I'll go to the zoo tomorrow, as long as it doesn't rain).

The opposite is tenzij (which means unless: 'Ik ga morgen naar de dierentuin tenzij het regent'), but even a lot of Dutch people mix the two words up.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PowerBoyAakash

Wat over de woord 'indien'?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raahiba
Raahiba
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Indien is more like 'in case', or 'supposing that'.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raahiba
Raahiba
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They are close, but in my experience they aren't usually used in the same context. You need a linguistically educated native speaker to explain that one - I just use them in conversation/correspondence.

Neither mits nor indien means the same as of in this sentence though - that's more like 'whether'.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PowerBoyAakash

Raahiba as per you, that leaves the words mits and indein with very less or no distinction.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PrinsesKayla

Could you give an example of a sentence where "als" is used as "if" when it can be replaced by "when" without changing the meaning of the sentence?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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  • If/when it rains, the street gets wet.
  • Als het regent, wordt de straat nat.
9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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Maybe think of it as the last word that remained when "whether or not" was shortened.

(Note that this is probably not the actual etymology. I guess the real reason is accidental convergence. The German cognates are ob = if and oder = or.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Le-trois

What is the difference between Hij kent & Hij weet?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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Weten is about knowledge, kennen is mostly about acquaintance:

  • Ik weet niet, of ik hem ken. - I don't know if I know him.

English cognates are to wit (old meaning preserved in witness) and (chiefly Scottish) to ken (primary meaning similar to Dutch one exists in Scottish unkenned and in British dialectal to misken).

PS: The difference is the same that also exists in the modern Romance languages. E.g. in French: "Je ne sais pas si je le connais."

PPS: An overly literal translation of the Dutch sentence, using only cognates: "I wit not if I ken him."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Le-trois

Brilliant explanation. Thank you

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Le-trois

I am having issues where we place the 'niet'.

For example, for 'I do not know it' it is Ik weet het niet. We place the niet after the 'thing we do not know'

But in this sentence, we place the niet 'before the thing we do not know'.

Can anyone offer me some guidance?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThisYoungQuigs

I don't know if this helps you but it helps me to translate it into what I think of as "shakespearean english" and then into modern english. So "Ik weet het niet" becomes "I know it not" and then "I don't know it" "Hij weet niet of het rood is" becomes "He knows not if it('s) red" and then "He doesn't know if it's red" Don't know if that's confusing but it helps me wrap my head around it :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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Have a read through this, might clear some things up on the place of "niet" in the sentence http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.45

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/r35ul75

Why is "he knows not if it is red" incorrect?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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It is technically correct, but it is not normal, idiomatic Modern English. Modern English has obligatory do support. Instead of "he knows not" you have to say "he does not know".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PowerBoyAakash

Because the closest era to which it looks like is still not the case. 'Tis not the Shakespearean time, lad/lass.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rgsiam

Why 'does' and why not 'do not'

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raahiba
Raahiba
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He/she/it does not; I/we/you/they do not.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ehsan_Mehmed
Ehsan_Mehmed
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Is it like "ob" in german?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
Simius
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Yes, exactly.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ehsan_Mehmed
Ehsan_Mehmed
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Alright, thank you

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Isabellefou

Why do i hear "welet" (not assuming it is a word) as opposed to weet?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MentalPinball
MentalPinball
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I have no idea why that is, I hear weet.

5 days ago