Pieces of the grammar puzzle (Or: B2 Dutch course #4)

There was rain on the way to my class on Thursday night, though it has been raining on and off most of the week it seems. (Thankfully the only “snow” Marco and I have seen this winter the fake snow — made of tiny, foamy bubbles — that descended on us at Disneyland Paris to mark the Christmas season. Though who knows, we might be getting real snow sooner rather than later.)

One interesting thing about The Hague – a lot of the public bike paths and walking areas dry pretty fast. The bike paths dry the quickest. That’s in comparison to our inner courtyard for our apartment, which stays wet all day even if it hasn’t rained since the morning. So of course, everything on the walk home was pretty dry by the time I got out of class 3 hours later.

Thursday’s lesson in general was pretty good. A lot of it seems to be review at this point, which makes sense, but sometimes there is something completely new. On Thursday we learned about bijwoorden. or adverbs in English. You start learning adverbs in your very first Dutch course, but they aren’t called adverbs and they don’t throw the harder ones at you like they are doing now. And I must say, adverbs are probably one of the things that still give me a bit of trouble in English from time to time.

Unfortunately each word seems to have their own rule on where to go in the sentence – some of them have to start the main clause, while some of them can come before or after the verb (thus, 1st or 3rd place).

3rd place, adjective, anders: De school is anders dan vorig jaar.
The school is different than last year.
1st place, adverb, anders: Ik moet me haasten, anders zal ik laat zijn.
I must hurry (myself), otherwise I will be late.

Thus the placement of the word can also dictate what type it is (adjective or adverb). Crazy! I learned anders in both the adjective and adverb sense listening to others talk – on tv or around me – not from a book. I didn’t know the rule (and usually I do beforehand). Because of this I did not realize the word order was backwards from English:

…anders zal ik laat zijn. The verb “zal” (will) comes before “ik” (I), thus it is more like “otherwise will I …” But because I learned it from listening to others, and not from a book, I had no trouble ignoring that issue.

Last week, we had the adverb ook al at the beginning of a sentence. I was very confused by this, as 1) it is two words, not one. 2) this would require the verb to come directly after, as the verb must be in 1st or 2nd place, which created interesting word order. If only I had remembered anders

Ook al ging ik naar Amsterdam, ik kon haar niet vinden.
Even though I went to Amsterdam, I couldn’t find her.

So it was an interesting class, that’s for sure… but even I don’t understand it all. But it is another piece to put in the grammar puzzle.

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Categories: Courses | Tags: | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Pieces of the grammar puzzle (Or: B2 Dutch course #4)

  1. I didn’t know the Ook al part. Thanks for the tip! You are cruising through the Dutch!

    • Dank je wel! Ik ben nu in mijn cursus maar het is pauze. Dus doe ik een beetje internetten. 😉

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