"Zijn er veel ambulances?"
Translation:Are there many ambulances?
Hey, I don't quite get why "veel" is used here, and not "vele", given the fact that we have a plural, which is always a "de" word.
Because "veel" isn't an adjective. It is used as a determiner which inflects based on whether the noun is definite or indefinite and in this case "ambulances" is indefinite and therefore "veel" is un-inflected.
I have the same question but couldn't quite understand your answer... I thought this was a case of regular inflection rule, veel/vele. So what's vele then? When is it used? And when do we use veel? Anyone?
So I have taken a bit of a hiatus from my Dutch for the summer and am currently working on learning/refreshing some other languages, so I apologize that my mind isn't as fresh on this topic as it was when I posted above.
Basically, proper use of "vele" would be when you wanted to describe the plurality of a lot of specific things. I think this helps clarify the meaning of the much debated sentence here - https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3815481
If you are talking about "the many X", referring to specific X, you would use "vele" (inflection for definite use as a determiner).
Ex. Do you see the many small mice? (The definite, specific ones that I also see.)
If you are talking about "the many X", referring to many X in general, you would use "veel" (no inflection for indefinite use as a determiner).
Ex. Do you see the many small problems? (An ephemeral set of non-specific small problems.)
Lastly, if you are talking about "many X", always indefinite/non-specific, you would again use "veel" (again, no inflection for indefinite use as a determiner).
Ex. Are there many ambulances? (In general, in the Netherlands, at the hospital, etc.)
I hope that helps and sorry it was such a long delay!
"a lot of" is singular... There is (or There's) a lot of ambulances should be accepted; and actually the logical one. " There are a lot of" has a plural verb for a singular noun.
In short, ambulances = plural, so you have to use the 3rd person plural.