Missing punctuation (Or: B2 Dutch course #23)

We had an interesting assignment today. It definitely makes you think a bit – and doubly so about how language works in general and how your brain perceives things. We received a text about the Nuclear Summit which occurred in The Hague last month, except that all of the punctuation and capital letters had been stripped away. It as our job to find them all.

It doesn’t sound that hard if it’s your native language, but you would encounter some difficulty when it is not. Especially¬†with knowing where one sentence ends and the next one begins.

Dutch homework find missing punctuation

One thing to keep in mind: adding commas to signal when ‘extra’ information was given, i.e. information which is not strictly required. In English these are called non-restrictive clauses. (On the other side of the coin you have restrictive clauses, which signal important information and thus do not get commas).

Sindsdien geldt de top, die reeds twee keer is gehouden, als een van de meest prestigieuze topconferenties ter wereld.

Since then the top, which has already been held twice, has obtained the distinction of one of the most prestigious conferences of the world.

Note: instead of using commas to signify extra information you can also use two dashes.

 

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