https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Challenge: Name that Rule (for Dutch skill: Adjective Basics)

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Are you ever confused by reading the Tips & Notes for courses? I understand things better if I am actively working them out, like a puzzle. So, after working through the first Crown level of the skill "Adj. Basics", I began trying to figure out the rules for using the adjectives in each sentence. It was a good kind of challenging. Now, I'll be reminded of the rules I've figured out every time I see their sentences show up again in the lessons. I hope this strategy will help you too.

I invite you to join me in the following challenge to "Name That Rule."

How to join: 1. Go through some lessons in the Dutch skill "Adjective Basics" and choose some sentences from the lessons, 2. Include the links to the sentence discussion forums (SDs) corresponding to the sentences you selected, 3. Write the rules you think govern their use of adjectives (as demonstrated in the answer shown in each SD.)

Example:

Sentence Discussion: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/6840130 :

I started looking for a pattern without looking at the tips and notes and then took an educated guess at which rules in the Tips & Notes the sentence was relying on.

"The small birds are eating small fruit." Translation: De kleine vogels eten klein fruit.

Rule 1:
De kleine vogels (De vogels)
I think it matches from Tips & Notes:
"If an adjective comes before a noun with a definite article ("de" or "het"), it usually gets the ending -e."

Rule 2:
2 eten klein fruit. (Het fruit)
I think it matches from Tips & Notes:
"If no article at all comes before a het-word, then the adjective does not get the -e ending either."

(You don't have to include this next part walking us through your reasoning. I just figured I'd share what my process looked like in case you were curious.) At first, I thought there might be a connection to the first noun being plural, that adjective got an "e". The second adjective was not plural and didn't get an "e". The second adjective wasn't singular. Instead, it was an uncountable noun. Was there a rule about either of those? I wasn't sure. But, I knew there were rules connected to which articles adjectives used. These ones used "de" for vogels and "het" for fruit. Only, I'd seen "e" added to the end of adjectives for both "de" and "het" nouns. The first noun had a "de" included. But, the "het" for the second noun wasn't included in the sentence! I didn't know for sure which rules would end up governing the sentence, all I had were a handful of theories. But, with those theories in mind I read through the tips and notes. My guess is that the following rules explain how the adjectives end in the sentence "De kleine vogels eten klein fruit."

Hopefully, I've identified the correct rules! I'll find out soon!

Now, it's your turn!

PS A Dutch moderator will come by and give us feedback on whether we've spotted the correct rules or not. ^_^
PPS One of the Dutch course creators, Kai, also created this awesome guide on adjectives that has also really helped me.

December 3, 2018

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simius

"De kleine vogels" (De vogels)
Rule: I think it matches from Tips & Notes: "If an adjective comes before a noun with a definite article ("de" or "het"), it usually gets the ending -e."

"eten klein fruit." (Het fruit)
Rule: I think it matches from Tips & Notes: "If no article at all comes before a het-word, then the adjective does not get the -e ending either."

Yep, that's right!

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

I might be your only participant, Simius. Maybe others will join later though. Thank you for checking these! I'm really benefiting from doing this challenge. :)

PS I've started stacking some predicate adjectives that are confusing me towards the top of this list.

SD
"Het hert heeft honger en is zwak." (Het hert, Is)
Translation:The deer is hungry and weak.
Rule: In Dutch, predicate adjectives (to be verbs/is/are/was) don’t get any ending.

SD
"The elephants are not light."
Translation: De olifanten zijn niet licht. (De olifanten, Zijn)
? Rule: In Dutch, predicate adjectives don’t get any ending.
But, this is also a "De" noun. In other instances, that seems to cancel the above mentioned rule. I'm confused.

SD
"Zijn het goede of slechte kranten?" (De kranten, Zijn)
Translation:Are they good or bad newspapers?
? Rule: In Dutch, predicate adjectives don’t get any ending.
Both of these seem like predicate adjectives. So, I'm confused.

SD
"Ben jij langzaam? Ja, ik ben een langzame jongen." (Ben, De jongen, Een)
Translation:Are you slow? Yes, I am a slow boy.
Observation: Adjective "langzaam" follows a to be verb. "ben" = are but not "een". The second adjective "langzaame" follows "ben" and "een")
? Rule 1: In Dutch, predicate adjectives don’t get any ending.
Rule 2: If the indefinite article ”een" comes before a de-word, it does get the ending.
Question: Does the rule listed in rule 1 often fall behind priority of other rules?

SD
"I have a slow goose."
Translation: Ik heb een langzame gans. (De gans)
Rule: Adjectives and definite articles
If an adjective comes before a noun with a definite article ("de" or "het"), it usually gets the ending -e.

SD
"The children read the short book."
Translation: De kinderen lezen het korte boek. (Het boek)
Rule: Adjectives and definite articles
If an adjective comes before a noun with a definite article ("de" or "het"), it usually gets the ending -e.

SD
"Ze hebben goede kinderen." (De kinderen)
Translation: They have good children.
Rule: If no article comes before a de-word, it does get the ending.

SD
"A fast rabbit or a slow rabbit?"
Translation: Een snel konijn of een langzaam konijn? (Het konijn, Singular, Een)
Observation: both are het konijn. Both both come after an article (een). Both are singular.
Rule for both: If the indefinite article ”een" comes before a het-word in the singular, then the adjective does not get the -e ending.
(I had misread this one and was stumped on the rule. I visited the sentence discussion to see if I could find anything else out, and then realized I'd misread the sentence! So, I'm glad I've been linking the sentence discussions.)

SD
"Ik heb een kort boek." (Het boek, Een, Singular)
Translation: I have a short book.
Rule: If the indefinite article ”een" comes before a het-word in the singular, then the adjective does not get the -e ending.

SD
"A bear has a short tail."
Translation: Een beer heeft een korte staart. (De staart, Een)
Rule: If the indefinite article ”een" comes before a de-word, it does get the ending.

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xMerrie

"Het hert heeft honger en is zwak." (Het hert, Is)
Translation:The deer is hungry and weak.
Rule: In Dutch, predicate adjectives (to be verbs/is/are/was) don’t get any ending.

Correct!

"The elephants are not light."
Translation: De olifanten zijn niet licht. (De olifanten, Zijn)
? Rule: In Dutch, predicate adjectives don’t get any ending.
But, this is also a "De" noun. In other instances, that seems to cancel the above mentioned rule. I'm confused.

Correct! No predicate adjective gets an ending. It does not matter if the noun is a de woord or a het woord.

"Zijn het goede of slechte kranten?" (De kranten, Zijn)
Translation:Are they good or bad newspapers?
? Rule: In Dutch, predicate adjectives don’t get any ending.
Both of these seem like predicate adjectives. So, I'm confused.

In this case, the adjectives are not predicate adjectives, as the verb is not linked to the noun but to "het" (het zijn = they are). The adjectives are placed in front of the noun (which takes de), and so the adjectives both get an -e. If you want to make these adjectives predicate adjectives, you change the sentence a little: "Zijn de kranten goed of slecht?" (Are the newspapers good or bad?)

"Ben jij langzaam? Ja, ik ben een langzame jongen." (Ben, De jongen, Een)
Translation:Are you slow? Yes, I am a slow boy.
Observation: Adjective "langzaam" follows a to be verb. "ben" = are but not "een". The second adjective "langzaame" follows "ben" and "een")
? Rule 1: In Dutch, predicate adjectives don’t get any ending.
Rule 2: If the indefinite article ”een" comes before a de-word, it does get the ending.
Question: Does the rule listed in rule 1 often fall behind priority of other rules?

Rule 1: Correct, no predicate adjective gets an ending
Rule 2: Correct! If an adjective is placed in front of the de woord it describes, it gets an -e ending.
I think I know where you get confused (the second "langzame", right?). In the second sentence, "langzame" is not a predicate adjective, so it does not follow rule 1 anymore.

So, the predicate adjective (at least in Dutch), is when the adjectives comes after the noun it describes in combination with the (conjugated) verb "zijn":

  • De jongen is langzaam
  • Het meisje is groot
  • De deur is wit
  • Het huis is klein

"I have a slow goose."
Translation: Ik heb een langzame gans. (De gans)
Rule: Adjectives and definite articles
If an adjective comes before a noun with a definite article ("de" or "het"), it usually gets the ending -e.

Correct! :)

"The children read the short book."
Translation: De kinderen lezen het korte boek. (Het boek)
Rule: Adjectives and definite articles
If an adjective comes before a noun with a definite article ("de" or "het"), it usually gets the ending -e.

Correct again!

"Ze hebben goede kinderen." (De kinderen)
Translation: They have good children.
Rule: If no article comes before a de-word, it does get the ending.

Jep, that's correct!

"A fast rabbit or a slow rabbit?"
Translation: Een snel konijn of een langzaam konijn? (Het konijn, Singular, Een) Observation: both are het konijn. Both both come after an article (een). Both are singular.
Rule for both: If the indefinite article ”een" comes before a het-word in the singular, then the adjective does not get the -e ending.

Yes!

"Ik heb een kort boek." (Het boek, Een, Singular)
Translation: I have a short book.
Rule: If the indefinite article ”een" comes before a het-word in the singular, then the adjective does not get the -e ending.

"A bear has a short tail."
Translation: Een beer heeft een korte staart. (De staart, Een)
Rule: If the indefinite article ”een" comes before a de-word, it does get the ending.

Jep, all correct!
So in short:

  • Het konijn - het snelle konijn - een snel konijn - het konijn is snel
  • De hond - de snelle hond - een snelle hond - de hond is snel
December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drooboo

All courses should have such a thread! :D <3

December 4, 2018
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