Last night was the third lesson at ROC Mondriaan. Time seemed to go slower… but there are always new things to learn. One of the things we covered today was conjunctions. You have two types – coordinating (where the word order doesn’t change) and subordinating (where the word order undergoes a change). The names make sense – coordinating implies that the two parts of the sentence are equal. Subordinating implies that one part of the sentence is less than the other. This effect is present in both English and Dutch. Dutch just takes it a step further and changes the word order for the lesser clause.
Coordinating: en (and), maar (but), of (if), want (because), dus (thus)
Subordinating: almost every other conjunction. This implies that word order changes frequently in this language! There were a few that I did not already know by heart:
mits = alleen als = provided that
tenzij = maar niet als = unless
aangezien = because
You can see more examples at learndutch.nu (random Google search!)
And then there is the writing exercises… I don’t mind them – writing Dutch isn’t terribly difficult. The teacher does have an interesting system of corrections. First, we are required to skip every other line, leaving a blank line in between for corrections. She then uses a shorthand for corrections, generally saying where the problem is but not *what* it is. When she returns the paper we are required to correct it (with either a different color pen or pencil, depending on what we used the first time) and hand it back in.
For my first assignment there were only two errors – one verb conjugated wrong and one wrong word. (I wrote that prices would be getting larger, when ‘higher’ or ‘more expensive’ would be better. That one took a few minutes to figure out!)