Sentences that end in Was or Is?

[woordvolgorde]
According to many, the word order is one of the hardest parts of the Dutch language. If you are also struggling with subordinate clauses, inversion and the like, this is the place to be.
Post Reply
mister
Lid
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:42 am
Country of residence: Australia
Mother tongue: English (Australia)
Gender: Male

Sentences that end in Was or Is?

Post by mister » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:40 am

Ok, so this is diving me nuts. Sometimes sentences end in Was or Is, maar, I can find no reason for it. I'll write a sentence how I think it should be, based on my feel for from listening. My tutor corrects my work. Sometimes I'm correct, sometimes not. Im quite ok with "that's how it is" as an answer, as all languages follow that rule. Maar, is there a subtle pattern to it neither of us see.

Sorry I dont have an example off the top of my head. And I know a written rule will say "I'm going to pick up the car" is right while people happily use "I'm going to pick the car up" and be fine. Idioms break all rules. But what am I missing with sentences that end in Was or Is?

ngonyama
Superlid
Posts: 1299
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:15 am
Country of residence: United States
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English
Third language: German
Fourth language: French
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: Russisch, Xhosa

Re: Sentences that end in Was or Is?

Post by ngonyama » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:29 am

Without an example this is hard to answer, but in general the tense of a main clause and that of a dependent one should match:

Ik weet niet of hij thuis is.
Ik wist niet of hij thuis was.

Post Reply