"We drinken melk."

Translation:We drink milk.

July 16, 2014



Sometimes "We" and "Wij" are used for the English pronoun "We". However I cannot see why "We drinken melk" is incorrect though.

July 16, 2014


We is just a sloppy pronunciation of wij, just like the English contraction 's is just a sloppy pronunciation of is. As in English, they are generally interchangeable. As in English, there are two exceptions:

  • You can't stress a sloppy pronunciation.
  • In an audio exercise you are supposed to hear which one it is.
July 19, 2014


Lol I've been looking at your comments quite a lot and you always use 'sloppy'

September 23, 2014


's is not sloppy its a contraction it also shows possession and in english they also have s'it also shows possession. they are= they're there = a place their= possission. they’re = zij zijn –> samengevoegde vorm van they are They’re working in the garden their = hun –> geeft een bezit aan I like their new car. there = daar (–> geeft plaats aan), er There is no soap in the bathroom. Your keys are over there.

Contractions grammatically legal

July 29, 2015


I don't get this obsession with my choice of the word sloppy to describe a normal effect in language change for which I don't know a technical term. I am not a native speaker of English, but I am sure the word doesn't have to be understood as carrying a negative value judgement or whatever it is that some people here don't like about it. The point is simply that unemphasised sequences of phonemes that appear with a high frequency tend to be gradually pronounced in different, slightly more efficient ways, until some phonemes disappear, are changed or get merged. After a while, the new pronunciation is so different from the old one that it is represented differently in writing. Usually this new form exists in parallel with the old one for a long time, but cannot accept emphasis. - I don't want to repeat this detailed explanation in every post on the topic.

Usually the written form is used at first only to represent some individuals' speech, later more generally in dialogue, until it becomes fully grammatical even in the most formal registers of the language and the non-simplified form may even become ungrammatical (as happened with many contractions in French).

July 30, 2015


what is your native language

May 1, 2016


I am not able to distinguish the difference between them. Can someone explain please?

July 16, 2014


There is not really a difference. Only when you emphasize 'we' you can only use "wij". Example: they are drinking milk, but wij drinken water. When you're in doubt use wij, than you'll always be right.

July 17, 2014


Grammatically, there's no difference between them. Check out this link: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5358

The same goes for Jij/Je

July 17, 2014


if you mean from a 'how they sound' sort of way, 'wij' sound like 'vay' would in english, and 'we' sounds like 'vuh' would in english.

July 18, 2014


Yeah that's pretty close to how it sounds.

Whenever I do these audio exercises, I can't quite always tell, so to train my ear better, I use translate.yandex.com and translate from dutch to english. It has a really good speaking voice so I'll compare We or Wij and match it to the duolingo soundtrack. It has helped me to memorize the different sounds a lot faster.

July 19, 2014


Hey thanks for the site that's really helpful I'm gonna check it out man

July 24, 2015


I believe it is a contraction like "we are" "we're"..... but instead only "we"

March 9, 2015


That's not true. It's the unstressed form of wij.

March 9, 2015


I put "Wij drinken melk," and it said that it was incorrect; the correct solution was, apparently, "We drinken melk."

August 9, 2014


In a dictation you are supposed to hear which one it is. Since usually both sound like we when pronounced by the fast voice, always use the slow voice to find out which it really is.

August 9, 2014


Thank you!

August 9, 2014


You're correct. We and Wij are both correct. However, in this exercise you needed to Type What you Hear. What was said was We not Wij. It's really difficult to distinguish one sound from another but, hey, it's early in the course! I know I'm struggling and just got lucky with this one!

July 21, 2014


what's the difference between "drink" and "drinken"

August 4, 2014


drink is the conjugation for I (ik) and drinken for we and you plural (we, wij and jullie).

Ik drink; Jij/je/u drinkt; Hij/zij drinkt; wij drinken; jullie drinken; zij (plural) drinken;

August 4, 2014


Drinken is actually the conjugation for all plurals - not just first and second person plural, but also third person plural. This is a general thing in Dutch: The first, second and third person plural conjugations are identical with each other and with the infinitive.

August 5, 2014


This is probably one of the most obvious translations ever.

May 7, 2016


But you can do even better with Afrikaans, which started as Dutch but got some additional English influence especially on the spelling. (In particular, what is spelled ij in Dutch becomes y in Afrikaans.) Guess what the Afrikaans sentences "My pen was in my hand" and "My hand is in warm water" mean in English...

May 8, 2016


I typed "wij drinken melk" and it was not correct, said it's supposed to be "we drinken melk" someone typed "we drinken melk" and it's still incorrect. so... <sub>_</sub>

July 19, 2014


I had the translation from Dutch "We drinken melk." to English "We drink milk." Did you also have to type it in English?

July 19, 2014


I'm assuming -en is added to the verb when the subject/people or objects completing the action is plural?

July 28, 2014


Yes. Just because you seem to be a bit confused about the terminology: You can remember that as "the subject verbs the object". I.e. the subject is the actor (that's the word you needed here), and the object is the, well, object, or victim, of the action. There can be two kinds of objects. In "Peter gives Mary a letter", Mary is the direct object and the letter the indirect one. ("The subject verbs the direct object the indirect object.")

July 28, 2014


Cool thanks!

July 28, 2014


I'm guessing you use drinken when it's "Wij" and drinkt when it's "ik"?

September 3, 2014


Almost and no.

The conjugation of "to drink" in Dutch goes like this:

Ik drink => I drink.

Jij/je/u drinkt => You drink.

Hij/Zij/Het drinkt => He/She/It drinks.

Wij/Zij/Jullie drinken => We/They/You drink.

I'd recommend reading the intro of each lesson. It gives great information on what you're going to learn. Also, you can use other sources of documentation like this website: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.Re01

September 3, 2014


wij and we sound the same here and my question is whats the differance other than one is english one is dutch?

May 29, 2015


Have a read through this topic: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3734337

Regarding the pronunciation of we and wij I would advise you to check this website: http://www.heardutchhere.net/DutchPronunciation.html (Wij is under: IJ, We is under: voiceless -E)

May 29, 2015


What is the difference between 'drinkt' and "drinken"?

September 26, 2015


Short and imprecise/incomplete answer: Drinkt is second person singular (thou/you) and third person singular (he/she/it). Drinken is first/second/third person plural (we/you all/they).

Drinken is easy. It's the plural finite verb form, the infinitive and the gerund. With an extra ending it becomes the present participle:

  • 1st person plural: Wij drinken water.
  • 2nd person plural: Jouw kinderen drinken limonade.
  • 3rd person plural: De gasten drinken sap.
  • Infinitive: Wat wil je drinken?
  • Gerund: Drinken is belangrijk.
  • Present participle: De drinkende mannen en vrouwen.

Drink and drinkt are the singular finite verb forms. Similar to English, drink is used for the first person and drinkt (roughly corresponding to drinks) for the third person. When English still had its original second person singular, it was thou drinketh. This also corresponds to drinkt.

  • 1st person singular: Ik drink water. - I drink water.
  • 2nd person singular: Jij drinkt water. - Thou drinkest water.
  • 3rd person singular: He/she drinkt water. - He/she drinks water.

So much for the most important verb forms. Now let's come to various rarer cases.

First note that imperatives are done differently:

  • 2nd person singular: Goede man, drink! - Good man, drink!
  • 2nd person plural: Kinderen, drinkt! - Children, drink!

(You can also say "Kinderen, drinken!", but then you are technically replacing the imperative by the infinitive, same way that you can say "Goede man, drinken!". To see this, we can replace drinken by the separable verb uitdrinken (drink out):

  • 2nd person singular: Goede man, drink uit! Goede man, uitdrinken!
  • 2nd person plural: Kinderen, drinkt uit! Kinderen, uitdrinken!)

The switch from je drinkt to drink! and from jullie drinken to drinkt! also once had its equivalents in English:

  • Goede man, ik wil dat je drinkt. Drink! - Good man, I want that thou drinkest. Drink!
  • Kinderen, ik wil dat jullie drinken. Drinkt! - Children, I want that you drink. Drinketh! (I had to look up the last one - Richard Morris, Historical Outlines of English, p. 55.)

It used to be common practice to add the second person pronoun after an imperative in order to make it sound more polite. This is very common in the King James Bible:

  • Drink jou! - Drink thou!

In Dutch, the verb form used here (imperative singular) has been generalised to whenever the pronoun follows the verb, even in questions. Early Modern English didn't do this (just like Dutch doesn't do it for the plural, either):

  • Ik weet niet wat je drinkt. Drink je bier? - I know not what thou drinkest. Drinkest thou beer?
September 26, 2015


Drink or are drinking ?

June 12, 2016


Both are possible.

June 12, 2016


What's the difference between "We" and "Wij"?

October 5, 2016


Have a look at previous comments which already explain it and give links to explanations.

October 5, 2016


'drinkt' 'drinken' Same thing? When do I use drinkt and when do I use drinken?

June 5, 2017


This question was already asked several times before. For everyone's convenience, here is another answer that explains the principle differently and leaves out a few minor complications:

  • In Dutch, there is a special plural and infinitive form of verbs that doesn't exist in English. It always ends in -en. E.g. Dutch for drink is drinken.
  • This verb form is used (1) when the subject of the sentence is a plural: we drink, you all drink, they drink = wij drinken, jullie drinken, zij drinken
  • It is also used (2) when English also uses an infinitive: [to] drink = [te] drinken; I like to drink = Ik hou van drinken.
  • It is also used as the present participle: drinking is nice = drinken is leuk.

The other very important form of the verb is, of course, the one without -en. It used when the subject of the sentence is a singular. Like in English, for third person an extra consonant is added, only it's -t rather than -s, and normally it's also added for second person:

  • I drink = Ik drink
  • You (single person) drink = Jij drinkt
  • They drink = Hij/Zij drinkt.

The difference between drink and drinken is important in Dutch because she and they are the same word:

  • She drinks = Zij drinkt
  • They drink = Zij drinken.

As you can see, you can tell the difference only from the verb form.

June 5, 2017


am I right to say that drinkrn is for more than one person for example de meisjes drinken water

June 22, 2017


Yes. Every Dutch verb has three very important forms:

  • One ends in -en, e.g. drinken.
  • One has no ending at all, e.g. drink.
  • One ends in -t, e.g. drinkt.

The first form serves as infinitive (e.g. "Ik wil drinken"), gerund (e.g. "het eten en het drinken zijn belangrijk") and plural form (e.g. "wij drinken, jullie drinken, de mensen drinken") of the verb.

The second and third form roughly correspond to the base form of the verb in English (in its remaining roles, i.e. not as an infinitive) and to the one with -s.

There are some minor irregularities for some verbs, but they follow some logic of their own that should be easy to understand. Basically you just need to memorise that Dutch for go is gaan / ga / gaat, not gaen / ga /gat or gaaen / gaa / gaat, and then you should have a good idea of the worst irregularities that can happen with these three forms.

June 23, 2017


I think Dutch is the easiest language in the world

January 24, 2018


why use drinken instead of drinkt?

March 7, 2019


Are is not there in selection.

June 21, 2019
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