"He uses his brain."
Translation:Hij gebruikt zijn hersenen.
They are interchangeable. ;)
There is also: 'hersens', which is also interchangeable with those two. The most used one (at least where I live), is 'hersenen'.
There are some "fixed combinations", like 'het menselijk brein' (the human brain). However, 'de menselijke hersenen' is not wrong. Just not used as often. ;)
Hmmm, definitely not the easiest word to translate. Verstand means wit, wisdom, reason, common sense (depending on the context). I would translate your sentence to "He uses his wits" or "He uses his common sense".
But there also are sentences like:
- Hij heeft verstand van auto's = He knows a lot about cars/He is an expert in cars
- Hij is een verstandig mens = He is a sensible/reasonable person
- Hij neemt een verstandig besluit = He makes a wise/sensible decision
- verstandskies = wisdom tooth