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Separable verbs in subclauses

on Friday, 04 March 2016. Posted in Dutch language

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Separable verbs (split verbs) and subclauses are the two things we have looked at in the last couple of weeks. But, what do we do with a separable verb in a subclause? Well, three things:

-          When it is the only verb in the clause, we leave it unsplit at the end of the subclause

Als ik op Rotterdam Centraal aankom, ga ik meteen naar de Nederlands les.
Ik wil graag Nederlandse les hebben als het mij uitkomt.

When it is used in combination with another verb, we can do two things:

-          - we leave it unsplit and put it at the end of the sentence
- we split it up; we put the verb part at the end of the sentence, before that comes the auxiliary verb and before that comes the prefix of the separable verb:

Omdat ik zaterdag vroeg moet opstaan, ga ik vrijdagavond vroeg naar bed.
Omdat ik zaterdag vroeg op moet staan, ga ik vrijdagavond vroeg naar bed.

The second sentence, in which the verb is split up, is used more often. 

Do exercises with separable verbs here

Indirect speech (the use of dat)

on Friday, 26 February 2016. Posted in Dutch language

Reported speech

How do we report a story that someone told us, in Dutch? We use ‘indirect or reported speech’.
For example: Hij zegt dat hij naar de Coolsingel gaat’.

Notice that we treat the ‘dat-construction’ as a subclause, so the verb(s) goes to the end of the sentence.
We often use the ‘dat-construction’ with the verbs: geloven, zeggen, denken, vinden.

Other examples:

Mohammed: ‘Ik ga naar de Nederlandse les.
Ik denk dat ik naar de supermarkt ga.
Mohammed zegt dat hij naar de Nederlandse les gaat gaat.

Patricia: ‘Suzanne kan goed dansen’
Ik vind dat Maria goed kan dansen.
Patricia zegt dat Maria goed kan dansen.

In Dutch we cannot omit the word 'dat'like in English.

Hij zegt dat ik mooie ogen heb.
He says (that) I have beautiful eyes. 

For exercices with the 'indirecte rede' click here. (top left on the website)

Subclauses

on Friday, 19 February 2016. Posted in Dutch language

Subclauses

So far we have only looked at main clauses, it is time to shift our focus to: subclauses. In contrast to main clauses, subclauses cannot exist on their own. They are always used in combination with a main clause or they are used to answer a question.

Subclauses start with a conjunction, such as ‘omdat’ ‘hoewel’ ‘als’. The first element after the conjunction is the subject and the verb(s) are at the end of the sentence. The finite verbs comes before other verbs.

main clause                                                           subclause
Waarom lees je dit?                                                 Omdat ik Nederlands wil leren.
Wanneer ga je voetballen?                                        Als de regen stopt.

Ik lees dit                                                                omdat ik Nederlands wil leren.
Ik ga voetballen                                                       als de regen stopt.

We can also decide to put the subclause before the main clause. When we do this we have to use inversion (to put finite verb before subject) in the main clause.

subclause                                                                main clause
Omdat ik Nederlands wil leren,                                    lees ik dit.
Als de regen stopt,                                                     ga ik voetballen.   

Practice forming subclauses here

Separable verbs in main clauses

on Friday, 12 February 2016. Posted in Dutch language

Separable verbs (or split verbs) consist of two parts: the prefix and the basic verb. The stress is on the first syllable (the prefix).

aandoen             = aan  +  doen

weggooien         = weg  +  gooien

uitgaan                = uit  +  gaan

uitzetten             = uit  +  zetten

When the separable verb is the only verb in a main clause, we split up the prefix and the basic verb. The basic verb is in the usual place (2nd place in statements) and the prefix is at the end of the clause.

Ik doe mijn jas aan.                                      

Jan gooit zijn lege flesje weg.

Truus gaat vanavond uit.

Ik zet de televisie uit.

When the separable verb is in a clause with a modal verb, the separable verb comes at the end of the main clause. We don’t split the separable verb then.

Ik wil mijn jas aandoen.                                              

Jan moet zijn flesje weggooien.

Truus kan vanavond uitgaan.

Ik zal de televisie uitzetten.

These rules apply both in the present simple (see above), and in the past simple (see below).


Ik deed mijn jas aan.    

Jan gooide zijn flesje weg.

Truus kon vanavond uitgaan.

Ik zou de televisie uitzetten.

For exercises with separable verbs click here

Word order in main clauses with more than one verb.

on Friday, 05 February 2016. Posted in Dutch language

Sometimes there is more than one verb in the sentence, usually one of the verbs is a modal verb then.  When this happens we put the other verb(s) at the end of the sentence and we use the infinitive form of the second verb.

Ik ga morgen een marathon lopen.

I wil volgende week een nieuwe fiets kopen.

Also when the sentence is in the present perfect, we put the second verb at the end of the sentence. Then we don’t use an infinitive form but the past participle (usually ge-)

Suzanne heeft vandaag gewerkt.

Ik ben naar de markt gelopen

Below are two links to practice Dutch word order:

http://www.praktijkonderwijs.com/~ehl/taal/oefeningen_en_toetsen%28taal%29.htm
http://www.cambiumned.nl/oefeningen/oefening-woordvolgorde/

Word order in questions

on Friday, 29 January 2016. Posted in Dutch language

Word order in questions: yes/no questions (inversion questions)
A yes/no question starts with the finite verb preceding the subject.

Loopt                    Piet                       naar het station?

Woont                  Ria                        in Rotterdam?

Ga                         jij                          morgen                               naar de supermarkt?    ↓                           ↓                  
verb                   subject

Word order in questions: question-word questions
When the question starts with a question-word, the same order as with the inversion statement is applied, so the finite verb comes in second place and the subject in third place.

Waar                   woont                  Ria?

Hoe                     ga                        ik                            naar het station?

Wie                     doet                      de afwas?

Hoe laat              is                         het?
                             ↓                             ↓                  
                           verb                       subject

Practice word order in questions here

Experiences of an expat in Rotterdam

on Wednesday, 23 December 2015. Posted in An expat in Rotterdam

In progress..

Word order in main clauses

on Wednesday, 23 December 2015. Posted in Dutch language

In this blog I will explain the structure of the Dutch language. Every week you can expect a new language topic with exercises. The first item I will speak about is word order in main clauses. 

Word order in main clauses