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"Had hij niet Amerika ontdekt?"

Translation:Had he not discovered America?

3 years ago

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Saint21
Saint21
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Het engels is dramatisch hier. An equally right, though not accepted answer, is didn't he discover America.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bluthund
Bluthund
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English is not my first language, but I dare to doubt that "had he discovered" and "did he discover" are interchangeable/mean the same thing.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aroacegirl
aroacegirl
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  • 21

They kind of mean the same thing, but with different implications. Like Saint21 said, "had he not discovered america" is very dramatic. Nobody I know of talks that way naturally, so someone is either trying very hard to make a point or to be overly formal.

"hadn't he discovered america" and "didn't he discover america" mean basically the same thing. "Hadn't" implies a comparison to something else (another time, or another situation; here, "hadn't he discovered america instead of india?"), whereas didn't could fit into the previous sentence or stand alone.

What makes the example sentence sound... weird to native english speakers is that we would rarely seperate out the contraction.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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That answer should have been accepted as it has been an accepted answer for at least the last 10 months. Apart from that if you believe that your answer should be accepted it and it was not, it is best to use the report function to report it and not the forum.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bluthund
Bluthund
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Do "Had he not discovered America?" and "Didn't he discover America" mean the same though? I would have thought that pluperfect expresses anteriority (if this is the right term), something that is further back in the past/history than something else.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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In Dutch (also in French by the way) some tenses can be translated to different tenses in English. So the Dutch sentence can both mean "Had he not discovered" as well as "Did he not discover".

You can read some more about this phenomenon here: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.re11

3 years ago