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  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/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/rik872

Time for a new bike...


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/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brick486713

Squirrels can. Just google "squirrel bike" images. One is even poping wheelies on a miniature motorcycle.


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

I'm not sure why this was voted down, Royston, hence the lingot. I think you have light-heartedly raised an important point. Duo seems obsessed with rhinos, elephants and turtles. This gives rise to amusing and memorable sentences but misses opportunities to gradually (almost subliminally) expand everyday vocabulary. Of course, it is easy to compile a list of suitable words and commit them to memory, but isn't the point of Duolingo to minimise such drudgery?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/e1VpVxkl

I totally agree!


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/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/LevRaphael

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


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

In Dutch you need to include it.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdIOa3

What is wrong with "... that he could bike?"


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.

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