https://www.duolingo.com/im_yellin

Stressed and unstressed in Dutch?

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Whether something is 'stressed' or 'unstressed' seems to make all the difference in Dutch, such as whether to used wij/we, jij/je, zij/ze, daar/er, ect. But what is stressed and unstressed? How do you tell the difference? When do you use each one? This seems to be involved in everything in Dutch and I am really confused about it.

3 years ago

3 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Nielzke23
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In Dutch, some pronouns have different forms:

  • Ik - 'k *

  • Jij - je

  • Hij - 'ie *

  • Zij - ze

  • Wij - we

  • Mij - me

*These forms are not so much unstressed, but are used like unstressed pronouns.

As you can see, you'd mostly just replace the ''-ij'' ending with ''-e''.
When to use which form can be tricky sometimes. The difference between these to is that the stressed ones grab more attention to the fact that it is them that do the action, and it is very important to note that it is them. If you'd use the unstressed ones, it doesn't really matter that that is the person doing the action. Some examples:

  • We gaan morgen wandelen [We are going for a walk tomorrow] (It doesn't matter that we are the ones doing the action, the important part is that there's going to be someone taking a walk tomorrow.]

  • Waarom zwemmen ze nooit in de rivier? [Why don't they ever swim in the river?] (It is important to note that they NEVER swim, not that THEY don't swim)

  • Waarom moet jij altijd weer die vaas breken? [Why do you have to always break the vase] (It's you breaking the vase, not your little brother, and I really want to make clear that YOU always break stuff]

What if we'd change from unstressed to stressed and vice versa?

  • 1st example: WE are going for a walk, not you because we don't like you

  • 2nd example: Why do they never swim in the river, but we do? Maybe the water is polluted and we always swim in nasty water, and perhaps even get sick?

  • 3rd example: This example is a little tricky, imagine that in the first form, your mother is really mad at you and gives you an entire speech about how bad it is to break the vase, and with the unstressed pronoun she could be in a hurry because she's late for work, and in all the chaos you suddenly break the precious thing, she quickly turns to you and ask why you always break it and then says: ''Okay, I'll deal with the vase when I'm back from work. Bye!''

You can see that in some cases, the sentence's meaning changes a bit, and sometimes it doesn't really matter and changes because of the situation. If you're really unsure of which one to use, most of the time we use the unstressed pronouns.

I hope that I helped at least a tiny bit, if you still have questions, don't be afraid to ask me!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rk212a

Very helpful as I, like Zoey really struggle with when to use the different pronouns

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kuvon

Great help

3 years ago
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