"Waar" or "Wat"?

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A pronoun replaces a noun or another pronoun. E.g. 'he', 'which', or 'her'. There are different types of pronouns: personal, possessive, indefinite, relative... You can post your questions about Dutch pronouns here.
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Mellifera
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"Waar" or "Wat"?

Post by Mellifera » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:46 pm

Hello everyone,

I have another question.

I was just doing one of the exercises in my teach-yourself dutch book and I came across a bunch of questions of this type:

"Waar kauwt het kind op?"
"Waar wacht je op?"
"Waar kijken de kinderen naar?"

And I started wondering why we use waar here and not wat. Is the usage of waat obligatory in these questions? If so, why?

Can we not interchange waar with wat and say, for instance, "Wat wacht je op?"? Or would it be considered too colloquial/incorrect?

Are there rules that explain when to use waar?

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by Mellifera on Tue May 27, 2014 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bert
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Re: "Waar" or "Wat"?

Post by Bert » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:43 pm

"Waar wacht je op?"

op wat → waarop → waar ... op

"Waarop wacht je?" is also correct but to my knowledge "Waar wacht je op?" is the commonly used version.
Mellifera wrote:And I started wondering why we use waar here and not wat. Is the usage of waar obligatory in these questions?
Yes, it is obligatory. The Dutch take it very seriously. :)

"The word 'wat' is not used in combination with a preposition.* Instead, we use waar. Moreover, we place waar before the preposition and attach it to it."
http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.51

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Mellifera
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Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:57 pm
Country of residence: Netherlands
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Re: "Waar" or "Wat"?

Post by Mellifera » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:52 pm

Bert wrote:"Waar wacht je op?"

op wat → waarop → waar ... op

"Waarop wacht je?" is also correct but to my knowledge "Waar wacht je op?" is the commonly used version.
Mellifera wrote:And I started wondering why we use waar here and not wat. Is the usage of waar obligatory in these questions?
Yes, it is obligatory. The Dutch take it very seriously. :)

"The word 'wat' is not used in combination with a preposition.* Instead, we use waar. Moreover, we place waar before the preposition and attach it to it."
http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.51

Ah, so it has to do with the prepositions! :) Duh, I should've seen it.

Thanks for a quick reply, Bert.
*off to read the link*

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