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https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_More77

Multiple "to be" verbs

Thomas_More77
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I noticed that there are different words in Dutch for saying "X is/are Y". Is there a "temporary" "to be" verb and a "permanent" one, like "estar" and "ser" in Spanish and Portuguese?

1 year ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
Simius
Mod
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No, we don't have a temporary/permanent distinction in Dutch. But we do use different words to describe the position of objects, depending on their orientation. There's an elaborate explanation here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5785064

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Youssou.
Youssou.
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Well, that concept is new to me. There are idiomatic differences, but that doesn't change that 'zijn' = 'to be'. Can you remember any examples where you noticed these differences?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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I think staan and zitten are used only for locations, where we often use be in English. We can use alternate verbs for location in English as well- where is the jug? It's sitting on the table, right in front of your face. Where is the broom? It's standing in the corner. Where is the dog? He's lying on the bed. We could substitute a form of be for all of these, as can Dutch, for the most part. It's just that staan or zitten may be the more common, and correct form in Dutch. German and Swedish both show somewhat the same pattern, and also use the alternate words perhaps more often than we do. Zijn/sein/ar are used for physical description (not location) pretty much as they are in English, although a have instead of a be creeps in here and there.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_More77
Thomas_More77
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OK, now it makes sense. Thank you, klgregonis. :-)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/grey236
grey236
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Can you give an example?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_More77
Thomas_More77
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Most of the time, it's "zijn," but I also saw "staan" and "zitten", and wondered what the differences and rules are.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/grey236
grey236
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Those are used for location in Dutch and usually translate as the forms of 'to be'.

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5785064

http://www.dutchgrammar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482

1 year ago