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  5. "Als het onmogelijk was, zou …

"Als het onmogelijk was, zou het niet mogelijk zijn."

Translation:If it were impossible, it would not be possible.

August 17, 2014



Does Jaden Smith twitter in Dutch now?


"Als Het Onmogelijk Was, Zou Het Niet Mogelijk Zijn." - Jaden Smith


Something Johan Cruijff could have said.


Typical sportsballer wisdom.


Why is it that one accepted translation is "If it were impossible"? Why is it "If it were" considered correct? In my point of you, only "If it was" should be the correct form but I sense I am missing some grammatical rule here...


Yes you are missing a grammatical rule; but it's not uncommon any more. It's called the "subjunctive" mood which is used for hypothetical statements, (and some other conditions not needed to go into here). The correct way to say a hypothetical about whether or not you would do something... is to say: "If I were king...then...." or "If she were to talk to me that way, I would ....." were is the correct verb to use here and not was, although with passage of much more time, the fading subjunctive may be used less and less; but until such time, yes, the correct answer is "If it were possilbe" and definitely not "if it was..." Hope that helped.


Thank you very much for your answer, I was simply curious but I love grammar rules so I really appreciated it =)


If you want more on the subjunctive in English, open this link (in another window or tab so you don't lose this page).



Now I'm confused: in the "if (als)" part, can one choose to use either "was" or "zou zijn"? Is there a difference?


Jij niet zegt!


Haha, the Dutch equivalent of that is "Dat meen je niet!" (you don't mean that!) If you sarcastically stress the méééén you're well on your way to becoming a Dutch person ;)


Thank god there are other ways than wearing wooden clogs


Yes, or "Je meent het!"


Does anyone know when it's OK to use the simple past with a conditional clause like her (as in English), and when "zouden" has to be used in both clauses?

I appreciate we're being taught the two different forms, but I'm a bit confused now.


There are no strict rules in Dutch, hence it is OK to use either:

  • Als het onmogelijk zou zijn, zou het niet mogelijk zijn.
  • Als het onmogelijk was, zou het niet mogelijk zijn.


Thanks for clearing that up - and thanks very much for the prompt reply. It really helps to know that directly when I'm learning it, rather than a few weeks, or even days, later.


And if it were unlikely, it would not be likely! ;)


Ronaldo Nazario commenting football here in Brazil makes genius statements just like this. hahaha


If it were impossible, it wouldn't be possible


Fortunately, young people often lack the experience to know what is impossible and go on to achieve it!


Is this some sort of deep zen stuff now. Or somehing from star trek I got this wrong because i could not type for laughing.


If it were an alien , i would not be non American

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