Questions about Dutch sentences

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tarvos
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby tarvos » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:52 am

Almost all of those sentences also contain other mistakes. It's just bad grammar.
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby tommus » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:54 am

"Nog niet eerder konden we het maantje – dat veel wegheeft van een vliegende schotel – van zo dichtbij bewonderen."
Never before could we admire the little moon, that very much resembles a flying saucer, from so close by.

Source: Scientias article

If we just wanted to say:

The little moon very much resembles a flying saucer.

Could it be:

Het maantje wegheeft veel van een vliegende schotel.

I am suspicious that wegheeft is a bit unusual, (and may even be separable). I can only find usages where wegheeft occurs after "dat" or "die" in a subordinate clause. Is the sentence above OK? Is "veel" in the right position?
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby vogeltje » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:36 am

tommus wrote:Tarvos, I certainly appreciate all your excellent answers regarding Dutch sentences and expressions.

I had no idea when I began posting these sentences and questions that you would be the only native-Dutch speaker who would be responding. I know there are other native-Dutch speakers and Dutch learners on the Forum. But I guess they are not very active. It sure would be good if there was more Dutch activity. It is kind of lonely.


I tried to help you with some answers before in your thread, but you ignored me, so I stopped writing here.

I'm not Dutch native, but my Dutch is advanced and I knew almost all the answers that tarvos has given you. It's rude to ignore a person who tries to answer your questions, so of course the people won't return.
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby tommus » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:15 am

"Als we de wintertijd zouden afschaffen zou het extreem lang donker zijn in de ochtend. Maar juist dat ochtendlicht hebben wij mensen hard nodig."
If we eliminated winter time, it would be dark extremely long in the morning. But that very morning light is what [we] people really need.

"extreem" seems to be too strong a word here to describe an extra hour of darkness. Does "extreem" in Dutch have the same degree of extreme that it has in English, or is this sentence maybe exaggerating a bit?

In the second sentence, is "wij" connected with "mensen", meaning "we people"? If so, is "wij mensen" a common expression?

Source: Scientias.nl article
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby tarvos » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:08 am

tommus wrote:"Nog niet eerder konden we het maantje – dat veel wegheeft van een vliegende schotel – van zo dichtbij bewonderen."
Never before could we admire the little moon, that very much resembles a flying saucer, from so close by.

Source: Scientias article

If we just wanted to say:

The little moon very much resembles a flying saucer.

Could it be:

Het maantje wegheeft veel van een vliegende schotel.

I am suspicious that wegheeft is a bit unusual, (and may even be separable). I can only find usages where wegheeft occurs after "dat" or "die" in a subordinate clause. Is the sentence above OK? Is "veel" in the right position?


Nope. This verb is separable, as the stress goes on 'weg' (wéghebben). The correct sentence would be "Het maantje heeft veel weg van een vliegende schotel".

Remember, all verbs with prefixes that have stress on the prefix are separable. When in doubt, check the dictionary as to the stress - it will save you headaches because prefix-based stress always implies a separable verb.

"extreem" seems to be too strong a word here to describe an extra hour of darkness. Does "extreem" in Dutch have the same degree of extreme that it has in English, or is this sentence maybe exaggerating a bit?


Extreem means extreme as in English, but perhaps it's become a more common collocation. But yes, there is some exaggerating going on as well.

In the second sentence, is "wij" connected with "mensen", meaning "we people"? If so, is "wij mensen" a common expression?


Not "we people" but "we humans" or "we as human beings". It refers to us as the collective representatives of humanity. As opposed to, say, a crocodile or a fungus.

Mensen doesn't just mean people in Dutch. "De mens" - "The human". De mensheid "humanity". Menselijk "human". Fouten maken is menselijk "To err is human". Here "wij mensen" rather refers to our human biological necessities. Now I don't exclude the possibility of using people in such a translation, but I find humans would always cover the meaning better than the more doubtful "people" in English to translate your sentence.

"We, the people" would become "Wij, het volk" by the way. People would more often be translated as "mensen" when we talk about what people do in general, or it may be translated as "volk" if we talk about the will of the people.
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby tommus » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:57 am

Tarvos, thanks for those very comprehensive and useful explanations.
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby tommus » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:29 am

"Maar we weten ook allemaal wat er gebeurt onder dreiging en bedreiging."
But we also all know what happens under threat (or risk, chance?) and threat(?).

This is a bit confusing. Wikipedia says:

"Een dreiging is een kans op schade. De bedreiging van een persoon, object of toestand is de dreiging van schade hieraan.)
A risk is a chance of damage. The threat for a person, object or situation is the risk of damage to it.

It seems that risk and threat are almost interchangeable.

Is there a better explanation? Would you hear "dreiging" and "bedreiging" often used close to each other with somewhat different meanings?

Source: NOS Journaal 20:00, 7 April 2017. Spoken sentence.
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby tarvos » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:52 am

They are not interchangeable. Both mean threat, but dreiging is a general threat or imminent danger of something going to happen. We'd use this to describe the high risk that a volcano is going to burst.

Risk would more usually be translated as "risico". Dreiging has a strongly negative connotation of something particularly bad happening.

Bedreiging, however, is a threat made to someone in particular (usually with the intent of getting something out of it). Here we're talking about a mugger threatening a pedestrian. Or someone threatening their children with punishment.

Note that dreigen is intransitive when used as a verb, but bedreigen is a transitive verb.
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby tommus » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:55 pm

"De kans op besmetting zou erg klein zijn."
The chance of infection would be very small.

Can "erg klein" be replaced by "heel klein" and "veel klein", or even "heel veel klein" to mean "very, very small"?

Which one is normally used?
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Re: Questions about Dutch sentences

Postby tarvos » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:35 pm

Heel klein, yes.

Veel means "many, much, a lot of" and can never be used to mean "very" - that's a very common mistake among foreigners. You could also say "zeer klein", analogous to German, but that's a slightly more formal variant. Should you want to emphasize, you can double the "heel": het is heel, heel klein.

The only time you can use heel veel together is when you are trying to say "very many", and usually this construction must be followed by a noun (and optionally another adjective). It can never be used with another adjective but without a noun.
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