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

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

August 17, 2014

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bluthund

Does Jaden Smith twitter in Dutch now?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguistish

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heldura

Something Johan Cruijff could have said.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

Typical sportsballer wisdom.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nikimau

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...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OnkelD

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nikimau

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OnkelD

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

http://www.englishpage.com/minitutorials/subjunctive.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/poltomin

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mpcabd

Jij niet zegt!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Charlotte--

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 ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tbs_

Thank god there are other ways than wearing wooden clogs


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulineStinson

Yes, or "Je meent het!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rhhpk

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

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.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rhhpk

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OnkelD

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArthurLace4

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jalalshaye

If it were impossible, it wouldn't be possible


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LesRial

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnLindsa7

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kasuncool7

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

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