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Weird Conditional Like English? Or Awkward?

Can't tell if these are awkward lyrics or weird conditional like we have in English... http://youtu.be/xyfkRZ8WOMU?t=1m5s

"Als jij een cijfer was dan was je een tien"... That would translate as "If you were" but this is English conditional and the actual Dutch isn't conditional, or is it?

Can was be used like this for conditional, like in English you can say "If I was" and "If I were" and they are both grammatically correct?

Thanks, sorry for the confusing question lol.

3 years ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lernhase
Lernhase
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I quote from Donaldson, 2008, Dutch A comprehensive grammar:

Contracted conditional perfects: Because the conditional perfect employs two auxiliaries (zou/zouden + hebben/zijn) in addition to one or two more verbs (i.e. a past participle or two infinitives), there is a tendency to contract the auxiliaries into one form to reduce the overall number of verbs, i.e. as in German hätte and wäre. This is actually a remnant of the former imperfect subjunctive although the forms are identical to the imperfect of hebben and zijn nowadays:

He provides several examples:

Hij zou het gezien hebben = Hij had het gezien (als . . .)

Hij zou gegaan zijn = Hij was gegaan (als . . .)

Zij zouden het mij hebben laten zien = Zij hadden het mij laten zien (als . . .)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Oh okay thanks, so is this really like colloquial or will people look at me weird if I say it this way?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
Simius
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No, it doesn't sound weird at all to me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Can you do it with other verbs? Like "Ik kon dat nooit doen" / I could never do that? Or does it not work like that?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
Simius
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Hmmm, no that doesn't work, but I think it's because that is not really a conditional. It is most common in if-then statements, I think. And yes, it does work with other verbs. You can say things like:

  • Als ik een vogel was, dan kon ik vliegen.
3 years ago