"I watched television then."
Translation:Ik keek toen televisie.
We usually use 'dan' with a future verb and 'toen' with a past verb. "Ik keek dan televisie" sounds a bit odd to me.
I had always thought of 'toen' being 'while' or 'when'. I don't think I've seen any other circumstances when 'toen' translates as 'then'. I'm not a native speaker, but "Ik keek toen televisie." looks strange to me.
'Toen' can be used in 2 ways:
- 'Toen' as an adverb refers to a moment or period in the past so can be best translated with 'then'.
- 'Toen' as a (temporal) conjunction can be translated as 'while' or 'when'.
- 'Toen zag ik een koe': then I saw a cow.
- 'Toen viel de bal op de grond': then the ball fell on the ground.
- 'Toen ik de koe zag, liep ik weg': when I saw the cow, I walked away.
- 'Toen Beatrix koningin was, was iedereen blij': while Beatrix was queen, everybody was happy.
very useful explanation. I was always struggling with toen and the word order in the sentence. Now I know it's a subclause only when toen is used as a conjunction. Thanks