Omdat versus Want

[voegwoorden]
You can use a conjunction to link words, phrases, and clauses: "I studied for weeks but I passed my exam." "Can you see anything or is it too dark?" "Tell me when you are ready to go." "He is taller than I." "He made notes while[/] the teacher was talking."
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Omdat versus Want

Post by cristian » Mon May 12, 2008 10:03 pm

Hello,

What is the difference between "omdat" and "want"?

In what circumstances are they used? I know they both mean "because", the first (omdat) is a subordinating conjunction and the other is a coordinating conjunction, but I don't know their usage.

Thanks,
Cristian

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by Quetzal » Mon May 12, 2008 10:39 pm

cristian wrote:Hello,

What is the difference between "omdat" and "want"?

In what circumstances are they used? I know they both mean "because", the first (omdat) is a subordinating conjunction and the other is a coordinating conjunction, but I don't know their usage.

Thanks,
Cristian
The meaning is pretty much the same, the difference is in the word order they're used in. For instance:

"Ik doe een jas aan, want ik heb het koud."

"Ik doe een jas aan, omdat ik het koud heb."

"Want" is not followed by inversion, "omdat" is. In your terms, "want" is a coordinating conjunction, i.e. it ties together two sentences on the same level (just like "en", "of", and so on), while "omdat" is a subordinating conjunction, i.e. it ties together two sentences with the one on a lower level than the other.

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by cristian » Tue May 13, 2008 8:16 am

I wonder what is the subtle difference between them?

want (onderschikkend voegwoord)
1 ter aanduiding van oorzaak of reden

om·dat (nevenschikkend voegwoord)
1 om reden dat, aangezien

*** Van Dale (http://www.vandale.nl)

want [voegwoord]
na dit woord noem je de reden van iets

om·dat [voegwoord]
vanwege de reden dat ... = aangezien = doordat

*** Van Dale (NT2)

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by Bieneke » Mon May 26, 2008 12:04 am

The semantical difference between 'omdat' and 'want' is not easy to explain. They both give a reason for something else in the sentence and they are often interchangeable. Yet, there is a subtle difference. I will try to explain it here. Perhaps, other people can add more examples to clarify it further.

Omdat

After 'omdat' (in the subordinating clause), you give the reason for 'A' (an action or state of affairs) in the main clause.

(A) Hij leert Spaans, (B) omdat hij volgend jaar naar Venezuela verhuist.
(A) He learns Spanish (B) because he is moving to Venezuela next year.

(A) Haar huis is blauw, (B) omdat blauw haar lievelingskleur is.
(A) Her house is blue (B) because blue is her favourite colour.

Want

We use 'want' (in a co-ordinating clause) to explain why you said 'A' in the main clause.

(A) We moeten snel gaan pauzeren, (B) want ik begin echt moe te worden.
(A) We must take a break soon (B) because I am really getting tired.

(A) Het zal wel gaan regenen, (B) want de lucht is erg donker.
(A) It is probably going to rain (B) because the sky looks very dark.

We cannot say: "Het zal wel gaan regenen, omdat de lucht erg donker is", because 'omdat' implies a reason for the state of affairs. The dark sky will not cause the rain. The speaker simply explains why he said it will probably rain soon.

In most cases, we can use both 'want' and 'omdat'.

(A) Ik doe de verwarming aan, (B) omdat het koud is.
(A) Ik doe de verwarming aan, (B) want het is koud.
(A) I switch on the heater (B) because it is cold.

In the first example, you inform us that you (decide to) switch on the heater as a result of the fact that it is cold. In the second example, you explain why you said that you switch on the heater.

I must admit the difference between the two is all but clear. ;-)
Bieneke

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by cristian » Mon May 26, 2008 7:48 am

Ok, this post is a good starting point in order to get some insight into their usage (omdat&want).

It became a little clear for me. I'll remember this subtile difference.
Bedankt!

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by Ally » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:36 pm

Sorry to post in an old topic - my boyfriend has tried without success to explain this to me on numerous occassions and has never managed but I think I understand finally and wanted to check some examples!

So you would say

"I am late because my car is broken"
as
"Ik ben laat omdat mijn auto kapot is"

and

"I think I'm sick because I have a fever"
as
"Ik denk dat ik ben ziek want ik heb koorts"
(or should it be "ziek ben?")

??

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Post by Joke » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:01 pm

Ally wrote:Sorry to post in an old topic - my boyfriend has tried without success to explain this to me on numerous occassions and has never managed but I think I understand finally and wanted to check some examples!
No problem!
Ally wrote:"I am late because my car is broken"
as
"Ik ben laat omdat mijn auto kapot is"

"I think I'm sick because I have a fever"
as
"Ik denk dat ik ben ziek ben want ik heb koorts"
(or should it be "ziek ben?") yes...
Perfect.

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by Ally » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:37 am

Cool, thanks!! :)

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by Typhannie » Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:26 am

That helped me a lot also! Dank je wel!

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by martyna » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:03 pm

in the end.. is the same , or not?just the order of words changes...

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by cristian » Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:01 am

They differ slightly in usage. Probably if you interchange them a dutchman would still understand you :D

According to Van Dale:

want vw
woord om een reden aan te geven: ik blijf thuis ~ het regent

om·dat vw
met als reden dat; daar: ik blijf thuis ~ mijn moeder ziek is

Try to understand this through Bieneke's viewpoint.

Success !

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by martyna » Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:53 am

ik praat vaak met een vriendin uit limburg, en ik heb "want" vaak gezegd... :D of omdat... zij kunt(of kant?)me begrijpen ..dus....


ps. sorry for my errors..i know ..are a lots!!!

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by Grytolle » Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:20 pm

martyna wrote:ik praat vaak met een vriendin uit limburg, en ik heb "want" vaak gezegd... :D of omdat... zij kunt(of kant?)me begrijpen ..dus....


ps. sorry for my errors..i know ..are a lots!!!
ik kan
jij kunt (kan)
u kan (kunt)
hij/zij/het kan
wij kunnen
jullie kunnen
zij kunnen
:-)

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by pigeonsailor » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:46 am

Would it be true to say that "want" could be replaced by "for" in an English translation of the sentence, whereas if "omdat" is the correct conjunction, using "for" in the English translation would sound weird?

That is:

"It looks like it will rain, for the sky is dark."

(sounds a little antiquated, but fine)

"My stomach hurts, for I ate too fast."

(sounds weird)

Just a thought.

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Re: Omdat versus Want

Post by Bieneke » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:09 pm

pigeonsailor wrote:Would it be true to say that "want" could be replaced by "for" in an English translation of the sentence, whereas if "omdat" is the correct conjunction, using "for" in the English translation would sound weird?

That is:

"It looks like it will rain, for the sky is dark."

(sounds a little antiquated, but fine)

"My stomach hurts, for I ate too fast."

(sounds weird)

Just a thought.
I think you are right. :)
Bieneke

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