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"The cat is eating the bird."

Translation:De kat eet de vogel.

2 years ago

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SabbeRubbish

Not entirely correct. "Is eating" emphasizes on the longevity of the activity. "The cat eats the bird" is translated into "De kat eet de vogel", but "The cat is eating the bird" emphasizes on the time it takes the cat to eat the bird, which is better translated into "De kat is de vogel aan het opeten", which is a tad harder in Dutch however.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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The use of tenses in Dutch is more lenient than in English. When a present continuous is used in English, a simple present will usually be used in Dutch. It's also possible to use the continuous in Dutch, but the continuous is way less common than in English.

In this sentence eten is the best translation. Opeten means eating and finishing. So e.g. The cat ate the whole bird translates to De kat at de vogel helemaal op/De kat at heel de vogel op.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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The present continuous tense in English can also be used to describe what is happening right now (http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/presentcontinuous.html). Eating is simply what the cat is currently doing and the sentence is perfectly normal, and the Dutch translation is also acceptable as Susande states.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SabbeRubbish

Thank you for your replies, interesting discussion :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WordFitlySpoken
WordFitlySpoken
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While that's true, it seems the present tense and the present continuous construction can be used somewhat interchangeably in this case, right? At least, that's how it seems to be in this course.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SabbeRubbish

Arguably, yes. Just wanted to take the time to share my thoughts on this. The sentence sounds strange. Also, eating could be translated more fluently to "opeten" rather than "eten", right?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WordFitlySpoken
WordFitlySpoken
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Oh, I agree that the sentence sounds a bit strange.

I couldn't say on "opeten"--never learned that one.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DSD9
DSD9
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I'm live in Belgium and I'm learning dutch at school and what hear mostly is what you said, "De kat is de vogel aan het opeten".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Saurabh987187

Why not "de kat eten de vogel"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SabbeRubbish

"De kat" is 3rd person singular whilst "eten" is 3rd person plural or infinitve. It's like saying "the cat eat the bird"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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Eten is used for plural wij/jullie/zij. Hence you have to use:

  • De kat eet de vogel

Or if you want to emphasise that it is happening at this moment, use the "continuous" zijn + aan het + infinitive (in this case eten)

  • De kat is de vogel aan het eten
2 years ago