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Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:52 am
by knuffelbeertje
Hi guys! Can you tell me the difference between these two sentences (if any)?

Eenmaal thuis begon ik te huilen
Toen ik thuiskwam begon ik te huilen

Are these just different ways of saying the same thing? Does eenmaal have any special meaning? Is it more formal?

Alvast bedankt!

Re: Eenmaal

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:35 pm
by BrutallyFrank
Hi there,

Sorry for the late response. Been busy yesterday ...

Basically the sentences are the same, but there are two different things that get an emphasis: 1. coming home and 2. starting to cry. It's the same scenario, but the viewpoint is different.

The first sentence is about a point in time ('eenmaal thuis' = after the person comes home). At a certain moment the person comes home and starts to cry. It's evident that something has happened before and that the person comes home and breaks down. There's a chain of events ...

The second sentence is more about what happens after the person gets home ('begon ik te huilen' = I started to cry). This person also starts to cry, but the reason why isn't clear. Maybe one can deduct it from a previous sentence, but by itself it doesn't explain anything. It could also be that the explanation about why the person started to cry, comes next. Or it's just a statement.

"Eenmaal" can have different meanings. It can be as above (a certain moment in time), but also 'once' (eenmaal, andermaal, verkocht = going once, going twice, sold). Or to say that things happen the way they do: "Het is nu eenmaal zo" (that's just the way it is).
It's neither formal nor informal.