Can you use "Is" in Dutch for "Has" and "Has been" as well as "Is"?
When I hovered over "Is" in this sentence: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3734953 it translates it to "Is", "Has", and "Has been". Is that correct, and if so when could I use "Is" instead of "Heeft" e.g. "De jongen heeft een kat". Bedankt!
Ah ok I understand now. I'll get there eventually. I just need to put more effort in.
This doesn't seem to be correct, "zijn" means "to be" and when you conjugate it at the 3rd person singular present tense you get "hij is" (=he is). The past tense would be "hij was" (=he was or he has been), you could also use "hij is geweest" I suppose.
"To have" is "hebben", "hij heeft" (=he has) and "hij had" (=he had).
Multitaal explained why. I didn't understand it either but actually it's because they want to show how the auxiliary verb "is" translates in english. "Have" or "have been" here are the auxiliary verbs forms that allow us to construct other tenses just like "zijn" or "hebben" for example. It doesn't really have something to do with "having" or "being".
In the compound past tense (similar to the Romance languages), you have to use either hebben (to have) or zijn (to be) depending on whether the verb that you are putting into the past is transitive or intransitive. So, you get things like: Ze is gegaan (she has gone / she went) and Hij heeft een kat gehad (he had a cat).
You'll learn this when you get to the past tense. You would probably be understood if you pick the wrong verb, but it would be a glaring error to a Dutchie. The simple past is easier; much like adding -ed to verbs in English without having to worry about zijn or hebben.
Dutch is actually my mother tongue but I still find it confusing that Duolingo put the translation for "is" as "has" or "has been" in a sentence where it is not used as an auxiliary verb.
It's kinda weird to suggest the translation of one word in a sentence by what would be it's counterpart if you translated another completely different sentence containing the same word. If you do that consistently you can obtain very weird things.
Those are hints, and are just that: hints. So they give hints on what a word can mean. Not on the meaning of a word in a specific context or sentence. It's up to the user to then formulate a correct sentence based on the meaning of the original sentence, grammar etc..
And based on the meaning of the sentence and grammar etc. is can be has or has been.
Your post highlights for me one of the features I wish would be added to Duo... we have flags for the languages we are studying, why can't/don't we have a flag (or some indication at least) of a member's native tongue?