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"Als jij niet slaapt, neem ik jouw hoed."

Translation:If you do not sleep, I am taking your hat.

September 9, 2014



Why are "neem" and "ik" inverted here?


Inversion occurs whenever the subject is not the first word in the sentence. See here for more info on inversion. In this case, moving the subclause to the front of the sentence causes inversion in the main clause. Changing the order would remove it:

  • "Ik neem jouw hoed, als jij niet slaapt."


Thank you! You explained it so much better than the link!


So you're saying if the dependent clause is in the front of the sentence, then the subject/verb order is changed in the second half of the sentence?


Yes, that's right.


Moos = Geweldig!!


yea that makes sence. ooh now im scared-__-


They corrected me to "I will take your hat", what the hell!? We were not introduced to Future Tense yet


"If you do not sleep, I will take your hat" is only one possible translation. Another is the one I currently see at the top of this discussion page, which is "If you do not sleep, I am taking your hat."

The grammatical tenses and aspects work a bit differently in Dutch than in English. If you say, "ik neem jouw hoed", it can mean one of three things, each of which has a different translation in English:

  • I am taking your hat (right now) ← [present progressive]
  • I take your hat (generally speaking) ← [simple present]
  • I will take your hat (in the future) ← [simple future]

Thus, more commonly in Dutch than in English, the present tense can be used to imply the future tense, and you just have to be aware of that; nonetheless, Dutch also has a "true" future tense, which I assume we'll learn in later lessons. (I haven't yet learned it, either.)

Finally, note that using the simple present to imply the future tense is especially common in conditional (if–then / als–dan) sentences like the topic of this discussion page. According to this resource, "The Dutch equivalent for 'will' (zullen) can be used [in a conditional sentence] as well, but it will make a sentence sound rather stiff."


I think it's a product of their choice to translate based on concept rather than text / parts of speech. Which I think is a bad idea when you're trying to learn a language. Personally, I gain more from learning the mechanics of the language so I know how to apply them in unfamiliar situations.


Does this sentence put more emphasis on the niet than a word order of "Als jij slaapt niet, neem ik jouw hoed"? Are they both correct sentances? I am envisioning this being similar to "If you do NOT sleep" vs "if you aren't sleeping"


"Als jij slaapt niet..." is incorrect. Because this is a subordinate clause, the verb always comes at the end (so after "niet").


Does anyone know what's wrong with "je" rather than "jij" here?


"jij" is sometimes used where emphasis is needed.

Although often interchangable, I was taught on a Dutch course that whether you use "je" or "jij" can also have to do with whether you want to put emphasis on the person in the sentence.

In this case, the example is "If YOU/"Jij" do not sleep, then I'll take your hat". You are emphasising to the person that you are talking to that you want THEM to sleep or there are consequences. It helps make the threat of losing the hat stronger. They realise "I" must sleep or I'll lose my hat.

Or another example, "I go, if YOU go". The emphasis is on the person, not on the action of leaving. If THEY leave, so will you. "Jij" is therefore used instead of "je".

Last example. If you have two friends at your house and you are offering them coffee. You ask the first friend "Wil je koffie?", then after their answer, you ask the second friend "wil jij koffie?".

In the first question, the empahsis is on whether the first friend would like some COFFEE. The second time you ask the question, it is clear that coffee is being offered but you want to emphasise that you are now asking the second friend, specifically, if they want coffee. By using "jij" the emphasis is placed on the individual person, not on the coffee anymore.

If you see "jij" has been used, look at the sentence and ask yourself if it has been used because emphasis on the person needed here.

I hope that helps. I'm still learning myself but I clearly remember this rule being taught to me and it helps with when to use "je" or "jij".



If you're translating English into Dutch, it's fine. But if you're transcribing a spoken sentence, you have to pay attention to whether the speaker says "jij" or "je".


How I can do this? They sound exactly the same in every section it has come up in. One sounds like the english pronunciation of the letter "J", the other sounds like the British letter "J". So far I've gotten this far by guessing and remembering when a sentence shows up.


Short version (click to hear):

  • je [.mp3]
  • jij [.mp3]
  • jij (in Southern and regional Dutch, which is not taught in this course) [.ogg]

Long version:

Neither "je" nor "jij" should be pronounced with an English 'j'. The Dutch 'j' is like an English 'y' as pronounced in "yes". The difference in pronunciation between "jij" and "je" comes in the vowels. The vowel ij in Dutch (which is still sometimes treated as a single letter) is pronounced [ɛi], similar to the "ay" in "day": [.ogg audio sample of Dutch ij/ei]. In contrast, an e at the end of a Dutch word is pronounced [ə], like the English words "uh" or "a" (unstressed version), or even more closely, like the 'e' in the German word "bitte": [.ogg audio sample of ə].

Note that in Southern Dutch and several dialects, ij may be pronounced [ɛ], like the 'e' in the English (or Dutch) word "bed": [.ogg audio sample of Southern Dutch "jij"].

See the Pronunciation part of the Dutch Grammar Overview for additional pronunciation tips. Also, this webpage has tons of useful audio samples.


I can clearly tell the difference between these pronunciations, thank you.

Now I need a way to tell the difference between the Duolingo pronunciations, which I maintain sounds identical. In fact I now feel "u, je, jij" all are pronounced the same on Duolingo and it's frustrating to be marked wrong for something that feels impossible to know the first time through.


Great! At least you now know how they should sound. I can usually tell the difference between them on Duolingo, so keep practicing! Also try playing the slow audio version when available (either by clicking on the turtle icon or pressing Ctrl + Shift + Space).


This is really helpful! Thank you!


is this an idiom or just a sentence you guys came up with? I'm curious :p


Als and wanneer can both mean if, but only wanneer means when? Or can als also mean when?


How would you translate the sentence "When you don't sleep, I take your hat."? Wouldn't it be exactly the same as this one?


Fastspeak is Of jij niet slaapt; Slowspeak is Als jij niet slaapt. Are they both correct?


I don't believe you.

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