Why is "om" omitted in these sentences

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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Why is "om" omitted in these sentences

Post by aceman91 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:07 am

Hi there

I was just reading the section on short subclauses on the main grammar page, and Bieneke does not seem to give an explanation for why "om" is seemingly omitted at random from certain sentences. This is what is says on the main grammar page "The word om is often omitted. This makes it difficult to see the subclause - the sentence seems to consist of only one main clause, where it actually has a main clause and a subclause, each with its own independent verb. It is important that you recognize the 'omitted-om-construction'. "

Here are some examples
"Ik streef ernaar op tijd te zijn"
"Ik vraag je dat te doen"
"Ik verzoek je op tijd te zijn"

Are there any explanations for this phenomena, or is it just a case of the Dutch picking and choosing when to leave it out and when to put it in.

Any help is much appreciated :)

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Re: Why is "om" omitted in these sentences

Post by AppelstroopIsLekker » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:11 am

Om is sometimes omitted in sentences, but it would not be wrong to leave them in the sentence. Dutch speakers have a tendency to drop the om, because its function is implied.

It is similar to the disappearing "that" in English:

The man that I saw was tall
--> The man I saw was tall.
The appliance that I bought was broken.
---> The appliance I bought was broken.
And so on.

However,it is not always possible to omit the om. For instance,

Om verder te gaan klik op het knopje.
---> You cannot say: Verder te gaan klik op je het knopje.

Nonetheless, in your example sentences there is no difference in meaning if the om is omitted or not. So, you can also say:

Ik streef ernaar om op tijd te zijn, -OR-
---> Ik streef ernaar op tijd te zijn.

Hope that helps!

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