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  5. "He does not know if it is re…

"He does not know if it is red."

Translation:Hij weet niet of het rood is.

October 11, 2014



"Hij weet niet als het rood is"

What is wrong with this? Can "als" only be used as "if" if it's a conditional situation?


If whether can be substituted as a conjunction in an English sentence (or translation of a Dutch sentence), then using of is often the correct choice.

"I do not know if he is home" -->

"I do not know whether he is home." -->

"Ik weet niet of hij thuis is."


Exactly, "als" is only used for if in conditional clauses. For the other meaning of if (in subclauses that contain some kind of uncertainty, usually), Dutch uses the word "of".


Wouldn't "hij weet het niet of het rood is?" also work? Is the addition of het a mistake? I'm fairly sure I've heard people saying it like that...


I have heard it spoken that way as well.


Why is the "Hij kent niet of het rood is" answer considered to be incorrect? I thought that weten and kennen are synonims.


They are not synonyms. "kennen" is to know (i.e., be familar with) persons or places or things. "weten" is to know facts or abstract ideas:

I know him well (kennen)
I know Amesterdam (kennen)
I know where he is (weten)
I know where Amsterdam is (weten)
I know French customs (kennen)


Why "Hij weet niet of het is rood" is incorrect if "of" is one of the coordinating conjunctions, therefore requires normal word order, unlike that of subordinating conjunctions? What am I missing here?


That would be the case if the meaning of of was or, e.g.:

  • Is het groen of is het rood.


So basically it's all about the context - if "of" is "if" then it is considered as subordinating conjunction and if "of" is "or" then it is coordinating conjunction?


How do I know where to put the nagation (niet). Sometimes it's before and sometimes it's after. Or am I just going crazy?


"Geen" is used to negate a noun. You can simply translate this word to "not a" in English. I.e. "ik heb geen brood"

"Niet" is used in all other situations. I.e. "ik ren niet", "hij is niet zo oud", "zij hebben de boeken niet"

To sum up: "geen" is used before object (zij hebben geen boeken) and "niet" is used after the object (zij hebben de boeken niet)


We are given the English first. May I translate "it" as "hij" or "zij/ze" as well as "het"?


What's the difference between weet and Kent?


Have you seen my earlier post on this very page? It answers your question.


Kennen conocer Weten saber. En general.

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