Is er iets wat u altijd al hebt willen weten over taal?

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by earlymusicmaniac, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. earlymusicmaniac

    earlymusicmaniac New Member

    English
    I saw the sentence "Is er iets wat u altijd al hebt willen weten over taal?" in a website and I need help understanding why it's constructed like this.

    "Is er iets wat" is just inverted "Er is iets wat" since it's a question, "wat" here is used I think because "iets" is unspecified which I understand.
    "Is er iets wat u" is just "Is there something that you", but I don't understand why everything after that is arranged in that way. First of all I don't understand why they use "altijd al" here instead of just "altijd", and I don't understand what "hebt willen" means, it's not past tense because that'd be "hebt gewild". Another thing is that I thought "wat" was a subordinating clause and so you had to put all the verbs at the end, but there's "over taal" there. Shouldn't this sentence be "Is er iets wat u altijd over taal hebt gewild weten"? Since "is er iets wat" is inverted because it's a question, "wat u altijd over taal hebt gewild weten" because it's a subordinate clause. Can someone explain why this sentence uses "altijd al", "hebt willen", and why it's constructed like this? Thanks!
     
  2. eno2

    eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    Dutch-Flemish
    ...en niet durfde te vragen?:p

    Is there something you always wanted to know about language = exactly the same structure.

    We say altijd +al (facultative reinforcement of always)

    Wanted = hebt willen= wilde

    The use of always guarantees the validity (of the wish) up to the present, so one could use "wilde" too. although that verb time refers to the past.

    The English does the same: wanted=wilde.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  3. eno2

    eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    Dutch-Flemish
    I gave an identical structure in English.

    So what's the problem?

    Hebt willen: because that wish is still valid in the present. I said you could use "wilde" also.

    I said the 'al' of 'altijd al' is reinforcement and facultative. Do you always ask things twice?
     
  4. earlymusicmaniac

    earlymusicmaniac New Member

    English
    But then why does the adverb go before the verb? Sorry for the excessive amount of questions
     
  5. eno2

    eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    Dutch-Flemish
    Why does it in English?
     
  6. earlymusicmaniac

    earlymusicmaniac New Member

    English
    Because that's English word order, I didn't know adverbs in Dutch could go before the verb, also I didn't know that "wat" wasn't a subordinating conjunction.
     
  7. eno2

    eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    Dutch-Flemish
    Well the answer is then because this is Dutch word order.
    Perhaps this can help: (I'm NOT going to try to explain it in English)
     
  8. Teachinglang Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    Actually, 'hebt willen' in this sentence is an altered form of 'hebt gewild'. You cannot use 'gewild' when it is followed by an infinitive. This is true for all modals (willen, kunnen, mogen...)

    Hope that helps!
     
  9. earlymusicmaniac

    earlymusicmaniac New Member

    English
    Oh my, thanks! That helped very much :)
     
  10. Teachinglang Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    And the reason 'altijd al' precedes the verb is because it's a sub-clause, as you rightfully point out :)

    'Over taal' is one of those phrases that can 'defy' regular sentence structure, by occurring after the supposed 'end' of the sentence (the 'poles' eno2 was talking about). If you prefer, you can also just place 'over taal' before the verbs, where it would normally go. However, in some cases it can sound nicer to add it at the end, especially if there's already quite a long string of words before the verbs.

    :tick:Is er iets wat u altijd al over taal hebt willen weten?
    :tick:Is er iets wat u altijd al hebt willen weten over taal?

    The same can occur in regular main clauses:
    :tick:Ik wil iets over taal weten.
    :tick:Ik wil iets weten over taal.

    There's a bit more on this here.
     

Share This Page

Loading...