"Hoelang zijn we al aan het wachten?"
Translation:How long have we been waiting already?
I interpreted this as "How long have we been waiting" because without the "als" wouldn't it be "How long are we waiting". But my answer was marked wrong.
Except that it's not als, it is al which means already. How long have we been waiting already? I'd say that's why your answer came up wrong.
How long are we waiting already
was rejected. I think most English speakers would paraphrase "How long are we waiting" as a request to the others who are waiting for what amount of time we should all continue to wait. But adding "already" to the end of that sentence turns it into a question of how long we have been waiting and implies we should set some limit. Perhaps it may be a bit regional (my family are Scots but I live in Canada) but I only know the English I know.
So I have seen, Dutch using the "present simple" to discuss what English would place in the "future tense" . ie: Onze bruiloft "wordt" een groot feest! Our wedding "will be" a big party
Is this an example of Dutch using the "present simple" to discuss what English would place in the "present perfect"?
Ik tennis al vanaf mijn tiende jaar. I've been playing tennis since I was ten.
Ik ben al twee jaar Nederlands aan het leren. I've been learning/studying Dutch for two years now.
I used to call the English equivalent 'past progressive' which I know is wrong; it's called present perfect progressive or present perfect continuous.
Glad to help, Kayla! Honestly, I'm not sure how I would translate "Onze bruiloft wordt een groot feest." I would probably translate that as: "We're going to have a big wedding reception." In English, we seem to have a dozen ways to express what the Dutch express with a single word: feest. I'm going to ask one of my Dutch tutors and see what they think. — Bruce
OK, so I checked with one of my Dutch tutors and it's not so simple. It's kind of a cultural thing what you call these things.
The party that you have later in the evening after the wedding, at another location, that is usually less formal, where you have dinner, drinks, a live band or other music, etc. with close friends and family, some people call this a wedding "after party" (but I personally would just call that a "big reception.") In any case, this is generally what is meant in the Netherlands by "een groot feest" in relation to a wedding.
As opposed to a small reception party that you have immediately after the wedding ceremony, usually in the same building, with hors d'oeuvres and punch and what-have you for the general people who had just attended the wedding ceremony to come through, and then they go home. This is what is generally meant by "een bruiloftsreceptie."
So I would probably still translate "Onze bruiloft wordt een groot feest" as: "We're going to have a big wedding reception" or "a big wedding celebration." What would you call it?
But we also use present simple in English for things that are happening in the future (when plans are made):
The plane leaves tomorrow morning.
Classes start at 6 pm on Tuesday.