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  5. "Ze is een meisje."

"Ze is een meisje."

Translation:She is a girl.

July 16, 2014


Sorted by top post


Why is it "zij" sometimes and then sometimes "ze"? How do I know which to use?

July 17, 2014


I just had a quick google and apparently you use the Zij when you want to stress the importance of HER doing the action. Where the action is more important, you use the unstressed version Ze.

If I am wrong please correct me.

July 17, 2014


So why then is it "Zij is een vrouw" (She is a woman) but "Ze is een meisje" (She is a girl)? Apparently it's a little more complicated. There is no action here.

July 17, 2014


I believe you can have either Zij is een vrouw and Ze is een vrouw, as well as Zij is een meisje and Ze is een meijse.

July 17, 2014


Yes, you can use either Zij or Ze. In a later section of the lesson KaiEngle posted:

" The difference is actually in the emphasis. In this particular sentence, 'zij' and 'ze' are interchangeable :)

" 'zij' is more emphatic than 'ze'

" So you use it to express something like 'I have no sandwich, but she does.'

" 'Ik heb geen boterham, maar zij wel.' "

July 17, 2014



December 9, 2014


I didn't read your original correctly. I think it is emphasizing that SHE is a woman, like you said as opposed to someone else.

July 17, 2014


You're right, it's emphasis/stress:

  • zij heeft een fiets (hij niet) = SHE has a bike (he hasn't)
  • ze heeft een fiets (geen auto) = she has a bike (not a car)

Zij is also used when you're pointing at someone.

There are some more pronouns and possessives that have this distinction (but not all have it!). See: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3734337

July 17, 2017


Smart but confusing

August 3, 2014


Then here both should be correct answer but the "stressing" is subject point of view coming from the speaker, or...?

January 14, 2015


That is helpful; thanks!

October 6, 2014


I'm confused by this too--and I'm confused about jij vs je in another lesson. I'm wondering if part of the problem here is that these sentences we're translating don't have context. We don't know what Duolingo wants us to emphasize. I think Duolingo either has to loosen up and allow either word, or it has to be more specific and tell us what they want to emphasize.

November 22, 2014


Dtuch Grammar has a good explanation along with some examples on marked and unmarked personal prns. http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Pronouns.ps02

July 29, 2014


Brilliant thank you

August 30, 2018


dutch person here "zij"=pointing at a girl. "ze"=more people most of time. like they are running. they can be the same as ze.

July 4, 2015


ze is also if you say to somone what she is. she isnt nearby at that moment then.

July 4, 2015


because you have to type back what you heard, not just assume that "Ze" or "Zij" is use in the same gender. sorry for my English if I'm not making it clear.

May 25, 2019


I really wish this site was more clear when it comes to things like zij and ze or het and de

January 4, 2015


Het is something you have to memorize. It will always be "het meisje", and never "de meisje". In other words, the word "meisje" always goes with "het". So when you are learning new words, you have to also memorize these articles.

January 10, 2015


Oh ok thank you :)

January 10, 2015


Correct, all the words that ends with ''je'' got het.

April 30, 2019


I understand the confusion, there are few rules that you can apply to know the correct article for a word. Here are a few guidelines for words that are always 'het'-words, though there are many other 'het'-words that don't obey this logic.

[1]All diminutives;  These are usually words ending in '-je' and are used to denote that something is small. A small 'huis' (house) would be 'huisje'. Eg. 'het huisje' translates as 'the 'small house'.

[2]  Words ending in any of the following suffixes:  -asme, ie. het enthousiasme, het pleonasme, het sarcasme ;      -isme, ie. het idealisme, het realisme, het socialisme ;       -ment, ie. het instrument, het pierement, het testament ;       -sel, ie. het achtervoegsel, het stelsel, het verzinsel; NOTE: in a few de-words, -sel is not a suffix, ie. de bussel, de diesel, de dissel, de gesel, de kansel, de mossel, de oksel, de wissel. You'll just have to memorise these exceptions.

There are other (extremely) complex rules that tell you if a word uses 'het' as an article, but frankly it's easier to just memorize the articles for the affected words instead.

June 25, 2018


Just a little tip the audio exercises that helps me. Ze sounds like zuh and Zij sounds more like the word ‘hey’ if hey started with a z. If you play it slowly, you will hear the differences between the words.

July 20, 2014


I'm glad that 'is' is the same as in English, its always easier to remember ^-^

July 19, 2016


May I have some advice on pronouncing "meisje"? It sounds similar to the German "Mädchen" to me- would the vowel be pronounced in the same way? Also, is "sj" just like "sh"?

August 24, 2015


for the ei, use english capital i (I) , and indeed sj as sh, e-> speak out like the e in water. so pronnounce it like mIshe. ur welcome

December 27, 2015


Dank je wel! :)

December 27, 2015


How often do native speakers use Zij?

November 22, 2015


native dutch here. we use it much. zij is to be used i saying she (used when ur pointing at her), they, and the side of the belly (under your arm). and i understand that its very difficult for dutch learning people because much words have more meanings.

December 27, 2015


I like complications in languages..

September 23, 2015


well than is the dutch one perfect for u...

December 27, 2015


It doesn't matter if you use "ze" or "zij", both are correct

July 11, 2017


In Duolingo you are correct (except for type what you hear exercises, when you have to enter the exact word that was pronounced). However in real life the distinction does matter, you cannot always use either in any situation. Also using the stressed form zij multiple times in only a few sentences is awkward, once the emphasis made clear, one continues with the unstressed form.

July 17, 2017


I just started dutch a week ago I know nothing accept for this app and this is really hard to learn can someone explain ze and zij to ny level pls?

January 14, 2016


'ze' can be used as : 'ze is een meisje' (she is a girl), or 'ze zijn boos' (they are angry). In the last case 'ze' can also stand for males. Zij can only be used when talking about a single female. Hopefully this is of some help :)

October 19, 2016

  • Ze/Zij singular = She = Ze/Zij is een meisje
  • Ze/Zij plural = They (regardless of gender) = Ze/Zij zijn mannen


October 19, 2016


"Zij" and "Ze" are both correct in this instance and neither should be considered wrong.

July 1, 2018


What is the correct way to pronounce "ze"? It seems like "ze" alone is pronounced one way and then a different way when in a sentence (kinda like "shuhh" vs "shee"- but with more of a "z" sound to both).

Forvo.com isn't helping either. Seems like Belgian speakers pronounce it as "zuh" and those from the Netherlands go either way.

November 23, 2018


So hard to spell

June 7, 2019


Of all languages that I studied in my life I never found a weirder way to say "girl" than in dutch. lol!

June 15, 2019


Whats the difference between 'ze' and 'zij' ?

July 22, 2019


Okay so i finally have a question. When is the best time to use 'Ze' or 'Zij', or I think that is it. Is it true that Zij and Hij are for when you do not know the person? Or is there more?

August 3, 2019


Audio says kind (child) should be meisje (girl). Kindly double check if I am right with my observation.

August 11, 2019


This exactly the same as i entered,As is ee n Meisje

August 30, 2019


I am hearing "kind" rather than "meisje". Please fix that.

September 19, 2019
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