When to use ligt and when to use staat with objects.
Hey Guys. I was doing my Dutch course in Rosseta stone when I came across the sentences. De computer staat op de tafel. and De appel ligt op de computer. For people it's easy. If someone is standing on both their feet they are staan. If someone is laying on they're bed it's liggen. But I am finding it a bit harder for not living objects.
And don't forget zit.
Thanks. That was very detailed and a tad confusing but I think it explained it well.
I'm Dutch, but I don't know if there are rules for staan and liggen (and, as lksaltern mentioned zitten).
In your example, I wouldn't say that the apple is lying on the computer, instead, I would use staan for apples. I tried to look for other examples and what makes them staan or liggen and I think it relates to your example of a person. A banana lies horizontally on a table, so it would be liggen, this works for laptops as well. A (desktop) computer is more of a vertical shape, so you use staan. A book can stand in a bookcase, but lie on a table, this works the same in Dutch as in English.
But, if the apple is in a fruit bowl it would be liggen and if the apple is in your backpack it would be zitten. And now I am confused... (Hope I still helped you a bit.)
Thanks. I understand how it can be confusing. Sometimes you wish you grew up with the language so you would understand. Like I wouldn't have any problem deciding what to use in English and I am sure it's the same for you in Dutch. Hopefully as I keep learning it will become more clear.
I think size plays a big role. Smaller objects like 'een appel', 'een bal' 'een spel' always liggen, while bigger objects like 'een kast' and 'a computer' will typically staan.
In some cases both are possible, but often the objects' orientation (which side touches the ground/table/...?) will play a role: een boek staat when it is on display, but een boek ligt when it's resting on the back cover. The same goes for een ladder, een rugzak...