"Alsergeenzonzouzijn,zoulevennietmogelijkzijn."

Translation:If there were no sun, life would not be possible.

3 years ago

30 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/iGeo85

Am I the only one who finds this difficult!!? Also, it should have been mentioned somewhere in the tips that zou/zouden could be used in both parts of the sentence, or am I missing something?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Scott.Hayes
Scott.Hayes
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I'm really struggling with this one too!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katka875117

I also find it confusing, especially since this site gives a different rule on how to form these sentences. http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.re22 Could someone please explain this? Can I use the conditional in both clauses or not?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Howard
Howard
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Not in English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brijsven
Brijsven
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Are you essentially asking when to use something such as:

  • Als er geen zon was, zou leven niet mogelijk zijn.

versus

  • Als er geen zon zou zijn, zou leven niet mogelijk zijn.

?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/I_Am_Robin
I_Am_Robin
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That really helped me understand the first half! I sort of understand the second half anyway so at least I can see where this sentence comes from now, thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brijsven
Brijsven
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Glad I could help! \^_^

The first sentence is essentially saying:

  • If there had been (in the past, previously) no sun THEN 'life would not be possible'.

The second sentence:

  • If there were/were to be/would be (subjunctive) no sun THEN 'life would not be possible'.
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/I_Am_Robin
I_Am_Robin
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I see, so it's like "if there were in general no sun". One of the hard bits of learning a language is how ambiguous English is (which I've never noticed before) and having to figure out what I really mean.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Howard
Howard
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"In English, the subjunctive mood is used to explore conditional or imaginary situations." http://grammarist.com/grammar/subjunctive-mood/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talideon
talideon
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This sentence is using the subjunctive mood in the dependent clause after 'als', which, while largely no longer a thing in English, seems to still be in use in Dutch, albeit in a different form from the way it was formed in English.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Howard
Howard
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"If there were no sun," is the subjunctive in English. It's true that it's tending to disappear in English, but it is still used in phrases such as this one.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dudrich
dudrich
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If there were no hints, this lesson would not be possible. (for me)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mokolokos
mokolokos
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It should also be possible to say "if there is no sun, life would be impossible", or am i totally mistaken?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chartsman
chartsman
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Why is "zouden" used in both sentences? Shouldn't it rather be "Als er geen zon was, zou leven niet mogelijk zijn"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joost440111
Joost440111
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Both are correct.

The following sentences say the same thing:

Als ik rijk was, kocht ik een villa.

Als ik rijk was, zou ik een villa kopen.

Als ik rijk zou zijn, kocht ik een villa.

Als ik rijk zou zijn, zou ik een villa kopen.

source: https://onzetaal.nl/taaladvies/zou-zijn-was

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeaBear211

I'm presuming zou/zouden is was/were/would and so it is used twice due to the fact that it says: if there were no sun, life would not be possible

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Spiritman

Why not "If there was no sun, life would be impossible"? Help!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joelson00

In cases of 'present contrary to fact' one should use the subjunctive. That means that in all such 'if' cases one must write 'were' and not 'was' (If I were, if you were, if he/she/it were...). True, you will often find the usage 'If ... was' (even among the Duolingo experts!), but grammarians still consider this incorrect, although it has become common in vernacular US English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Spiritman

You're absolutely right, and I have always known that. But, with the general dumbing down of English, esp. by US influence (for example by not forming adverbs from adjectives, as in "you sang amazing" instead of "you sang amazingly" and other areas of laziness in grammar, spelling, and punctuation), I had assumed this was perhaps another instance of misuse that was becoming the norm. I'm all for preserving the full expressiveness of English even if others aren't sensitive to its subtleties.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Matthew832605
Matthew832605
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so does this mean that when you are making a conditional, the structure like "zouden zijn" could be used in both part of the sentence? I mean in English usually it's like were+would be or had done+would have done, the "would" dont usually go to both part. by the way what should i say if i want to mean "i would have done"? thanks~

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/likabruining

Question: Why is this incorrect?: "If there wouldn't be a sun, life would not be possible."?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chartsman
chartsman
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It's against English grammar. In proper English the first conditional sentence type is: IF + Present Simple + Future Tense (will); the second conditional sentence type: IF + Past Simple + Conditional (would); and the third conditional sentence type: IF + Past Perfect + Past Conditional.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rose598772
Rose598772
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'If there were no sun, life would be impossible', is the correct version in English, = subjunctive mood followed by conditional tense. Your sentence would never be said.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Philjackma
Philjackma
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is impossible not the same as not possible?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Spiritman

Generally, the meaning might be the same, but it's important to translate words and phrases as precisely as the two languages allow. On another occasion, you might need to alter the meaning of "not possible" / "niet mogelijk" by turning it into something like "It is not only possible, but even desirable" / "Het is niet alleen mogelijk, maar zelfs gewenst", which you can't do with 'impossible' / 'onmogelijk'.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yipivan
yipivan
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Why not "life would be not possible"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tania_Guti

sorry but i think that your phrase is also wrong in english, this is the correct one: life would not be possible.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Henk511161

The if-part never contains "would etc", the other part does. It is implied stricktly, as all computers do!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rose598772
Rose598772
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I think this reply is the clearest for non-English speakers, I award a lingot!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rose598772
Rose598772
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Strictly speaking not good English - it should be subjunctive - If there were no sun, life would be impossible - or - if there had been no sun life would have been impossible. So - is zou zijn subjunctive here, or can you have two conditionals in one sentence in Dutch? Not the case in English (or Italian, which I'm also studying.)

1 year ago
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