"The woman is designing an interesting clog."
Translation:De vrouw ontwerpt een interessante klomp.
"de vrouw aan het ontwerpt" means "the woman is designing"? For a more literal translation? I got it wrong, it says I should have just put " de vrouw ontwerpt" but that would mean "the woman designs", not "the woman is designing"? Am I wrong here?
- De vrouw ontwerpt een klomp - The woman is designing/designs a clog.
- De vrouw is een klomp aan het ontwerpen - The woman is (currently) designing a clog.
In Dutch we hardly use the present continuous. We don't really differentiate between "hij loopt naar de deur" and "hij is naar de deur aan het lopen". Both mean it's happening now, and we figure the context is enough to understand that.
The only situation in which we would (or most likely) use the present continuous is when someone is specifically asking you what you're going. For example:
- Wat ben je aan het doen/schrijven/lezen? - What are you currently doing/writing/reading?
The answer would be:
- Ik ben een boek aan het schrijven - I'm (currently) writing a book.
- Ik ben eten aan het koken - I am (currently) cooking food/dinner.
- Ik ben een tijdschrift aan het lezen - I am (currently) reading a magazine.
If you want to make it sound even more Dutch, you would use the "sitting/standing/lying" form and respond with:
- Ik sta te lezen - Literally: I am standing and reading. This means you are probably either on a crowded bus/train, or waiting for someone, and decided to pass the time by reading.
- Ik zit te lezen - Literally: I am sitting and reading. This means you are probably sitting on the couch or in a comfy chair and reading.
- Ik lig te lezen - Literally: I am lying down and reading. This means you are probably lying in bed and reading before you go to sleep, or on a sunbed at the pool etc.
This way we convey not only what we're doing, but also the state we are in while doing it.
I hope this explains some things! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them!