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"Ons bier"

Translation:Our beer

July 17, 2014



For those of you who may be confused (I was!!!) as to when to use onze and when to use ons for the pronoun ''our''.......Dutch grammar says: Ons (our) is inflected according to the noun it precedes. A de-noun gets onze, a het-noun ons. All plurals nouns use de so, by definition, plural nouns always us onze.


thanks for the explanation


I still don't know when to use het or de for any noun though...


You have to memorize them unfortunately.


It's pretty much a crap shoot whether I hear it as 'bier' or 'beer'. In real life I'd guess based on context but in a world where I greet my juice and am an apple, I can never be sure...


Hahahahaha.... and where birds read newspapers....


Because ons is used here, the noun can only be a het-woord (such as bier), when referring to the animal it would be onze beer. This grammatical difference can also help in other bier/beer situations, e.g.: een mooi bier/een mooie beer, het bier is nat/de beer is nat.


It helps me to think of the sound: bier = "beer", beer = "behr". The sounds are a little bit different.


German: Bier=bier; Bär=beer :D


German speakers say "that's not my beer" for "that doesn't concern me". I wonder if this idiom exists in Dutch as well.


It doesn't, but we do have klein bier (small not very important things when looking at the whole picture, e.g. for a company that makes millions, investing a few thousand euros in new chairs is klein bier).


Thanks! Klein bier sounds very vaguely familiar to me in this sense, but at first I didn't understand why, as I don't think it's a common idiom in German. Uitmuntend translates klein bier to German as kleine Fische, which is a common idiom in German but probably not in Dutch.

In English, small ale or small beer refers to a beer with little alcohol, but apparently the Brits also use small beer in this idiomatic way. So I guess there is a trans-Channel connection.


Actually we also have kleine vis and grote vis, which basically means a small/big player in whatever you're discussing, I think this is used in English as well: the police arrested a pick-pocket, who was a small fish in a criminal organisation. Similar to a big fish in a small pond and a small fish in a big pond which we use in Dutch as well. It is close to klein bier, but not quite (also there is no groot bier probably because the Germans already finished all of that).

Is this kleine vis/grote vis the same as the kleine Fische you refer to?


German does have kleiner Fisch and großer Fisch in this sense, but I was talking about a different though closely related sense that only exists in the plural. At least I think it's different because "Pah, kleine Fische!" is a widely used full sentence and it seems to refer figuratively to an entire catch of small fish, or in English: of small fry. (An alternative English translation according to dict.leo.org is small potatoes.) Introspectively, when I hear kleiner Fisch or großer Fisch, the idea of actual fish, while not exactly close, is considerably closer than when I hear kleine Fische. I think kleine Fische in this sense is used almost exactly like klein bier.


Going by your posts, I think you're right.


Just as a cultural note the British idiom small beer is derived from a time (maybe around the 17th century I'm not sure) virtually everyone including children drank low-alcoholic (or as you say small beer) because water supplies were too dirty). That being said, I'm not sure why the idiomatic meaning came about


whats the difference between ons and onze in listening?


Ons is used for singular het woorden, onze for de woorden and for all plurals:

  • ons bier
  • onze bieren
  • onze tafel
  • onze tafels


So if I'm speaking dutch with someone amd i use het/de for the wrong noun, what will they think of me? I might just use de for everything if it's no big deal


I see that you're learning Italian as well, so I'll compare it with Italian:

If you use the wrong article (in any language) people will think your knowledge of the language is rather basic and that you're still a beginner. I assume no-one will look down on you, since you're a foreigner learning their language, thus it's only normal that you make mistakes.

There are some guidelines you can follow to decide whether you should use de or het, which you can check here:



Relax! If you study hard, it'll become easier (I guess we'll never be error-free in this area, but it will get better).


Notice : ons for neuter nouns Onze for common gender nouns




Thank you Cheryl1. That explains a lot. The plural nouns always messed me up. Het meisje vs De meisjes!


Thank you Cheryl1. That explains a lot. I couldn't understand the Het vs De rule. Het meisje vs. De meisjes. Thank you for the superb explanation.


For this listening exercise, when I typed in Onze Bier, it said that i typed in English not Dutch? When i switched to Ons Bier, it accepted it. Is this a bug or a feature? :P


I hate it when it won't pick up the word(s) on microphone.

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