1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "De olifant had besloten dat …

"De olifant had besloten dat hij kon fietsen."

Translation:The elephant had decided he could bike.

September 21, 2014

26 Comments


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

It's a tradition in the Netherlands.


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

Indeed. If it wasn't for a lack of elephants, you would see it all the time.


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

I thought there were elephants all over the Netherlands?


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

You seldom see them in the countryside as they stick to the trunk roads.


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

Heb je Lingot gegeven.


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

In general, elephants are environmentally conscious and concerned about their own well-being as well as the well-being of others.


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

Yup. They aren't so much afraid of mice as they are of hurting the mice. :-)


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

Just as most of the Dutch


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wei-Da

Hey pal, you don't decide whether you can bike, Sir Isaac Newton decides, the mother earth decides... :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rik872

Time for a new bike...


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

Shouldn't it be "de olifant had besloten dat hij zou kunnen fietsen"? As written it seems to say "the elephant had decided that he did bike"


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

Hi Pedro,

In that context ... hij kon fietsen actually means ... he was able to cycle/bike.

I don't know whether I'm explaining it clearly (it's cristal clear in my mind, but explaining it to someone else is not as easy).


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

English can omit the "that" and still be correct--what about Dutch? Is it correct without "dat"?


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

I think you need to include it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melody471379

No, it wouldn't be correct without 'dat'.


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

Is "kon" the same as "zouden + kunnen"?


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

Hi guigasurf,

I don't think the meaning is exactly the same, as far as I understand it, the difference would be that:

kon= was able to, general ability in the past

zouden kunnen= potential/hypothetical ability.

I think the confusion arises from the fact that in English both ideas can be conveyed with could.

Probably the moderators can explain this much better than me.


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

I think it's something like "was able to" vs "would be able to". Maybe the mods could please clarify a bit? Thanks.


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

Elephants in the Netherlands and blue turtles in Catalonia. :)


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

"The elephant had decided that he was able to bike" wrong???


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

Can't you leave out 'had' in the English sentence? "The elephant decided he could bike"


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

It's a different tense.


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

That** he could not bike. If I missed this small word in other sentences, I would get them wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Royston18240

It's a shame that elephants get all the glory and poor old zebras, wolves, giraffes, gorillas etc. are all neglected, just because they can't ride bikes.

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.