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  5. "Ik kom uit Nederland."

"Ik kom uit Nederland."

Translation:I am from the Netherlands.

July 17, 2014



I come from is also allowed.. come on!


'Komen uit' can mean two things:

  • 'To come from' which means that a movement has taken place from for instance one country to another, one city to another or even coming out of a building.

  • 'To be from' which means where you were born/what your native country is.

So both should be allowed, but it does give the sentence a different meaning!


In English, come from can also have both meanings. But they can usually be told apart because for the first one there is almost always an obligatory progressive and for the second there never is one:

  • I am coming from the Netherlands. I always come from the Netherlands. I used to come from the Netherlands.
  • I come from the Netherlands.

In Dutch it's more ambiguous.


"I am coming from the Netherlands" isn't accepted as a translation. According to your first bullet point, it seems like it should be. Am I missing something?


I think that though this is technically a possible translation, for a country one might use vanuit instead of uit to make it clear that the second sense is intended - if that's the case:

  • Ik kom oorspronkelijk uit Nederland. - Originally I come from the Netherlands.
  • Ik kom zoëven vanuit Nederland. - I am just coming from the Netherlands.

As a result, when using plain uit it's more likely to be the first sense.

Also, in general the first sense is much more likely to occur without an adverb (such as oorspronkelijk) or similar additional information than the second sense.

These subtleties in Dutch replace the progressive / non-progressive distinction in English.

Altogether, given the bare sentence without context it's more natural to think of the first sense. Of course, all of this doesn't invalidate the second reading, so according to normal Duolingo practice your translation should probably be accepted.


Hi Johaquila, I am Dutch and have never heard "origineel" used in that way. We would say "oorspronkelijk". Origineel is mostly used meaning inventive or unique, e.g. "Wat een origineel idee!" "Ik kom van Nederland" also sounds strange to my ears (perhaps it is more common in Belgium?). If you want to express direction, I'd use "uit" or "vanuit": "Ik kom (van)uit Nederland (en ga nu naar Duitsland)." I totally agree with the point you are trying to make, by the way.. :)


Thanks for your help. Based on your input I have revised my post. Clearly, origineel was another case of me (native German speaker) getting Dutch wrong by thinking from English (originally) rather than German (ursprünglich). The working language really has rather a large impact.


Hover over the link and press the right mouse button down before going to this link and a menu will come up giving you the choice to open it in a separate tab which will prevent you from losing what you have done so far. (Since it is on the same website if you don't, it will switch to the link's page from this page.) This is the Duolingo Prepositions link from the Grammar Overview Discussions page: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3732817


Thnx for the link!


I realize the country is called "The Netherlands" but is it "acceptable" to say, "I am from Holland"?


Historically, Holland is the western part of The Netherlands (the provinces Zuid-Holland and Noord-Holland). I have actually experienced that people from the other provinces prefer "The Netherlands" for this reason. I don't feel that it matters a whole lot, but I live in one of those provinces so I may be biased.


Dank je wel voor uw bericht. Als amerikaan, zou ik een beetje beledigd zijn of iemand mij zou vertellen, "You're a New Yorker!" Wel, ja, ik ben daar een keer geweest maar eigenlijk ben ik "An American." Although, Americans are okay if you call them that name or which state they're from...both are acceptable.

Dus, "Ik kom uit Holland" als ik daar woon of opgevoed ben, maar in het algemeen, "Ik kom uit Nederland" is beter. Heb ik gelijk...denk ik.


It is like saying: I am from England, when you live in the UK. :) it is usually the right answer.


Is "uit" like German "aus"?


shouldn't it be DE NEDERLAND not NEDERLAND ?


No. In English, the word Netherlands apparently hasn't been frequent enough to lose its definite article, but in Dutch it is obviously needed a lot more often. So it is used without the article, just like English speakers stopped saying "the England" (land of the Angles) or "the Scotland" centuries ago.


just to save time -_- well .. Dank U Wel :)


We have these plural forms: "Koninkrijk der Nederlanden" and "Koning der Nederlanden", where "der" is the genitive of "de". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_the_Netherlands


Question: Uit in this case means "from", but doesn't it also mean "outside"? How do you know which one applies? Only from the context ?


Uit is of course the Dutch cognate of English out. Think of uit in this sense as translating literally more or less to out of: "I come out of the Netherlands." But this is slightly misleading since Dutch actually has a closer analogue of out of: Translating the weird sentence "I come out of the Netherlands" back to Dutch results in "Ik kom uit Nederland eruit". If you want to make sense of the structure of this new sentence, you can replace each word by its English cognate: "I come out [of] the Netherlands thereout". (Yes, thereout was once an English word.)

Since the uit ... eruit construction is obviously a bit clumsier than out of, it is used less liberally. It serves primarily to stress something or to prevent actual ambiguity in a concrete case. You should be able to understand that it is not often needed for the latter purpose if you think of the opposite direction in English: Whereas it is generally ungrammatical in standard English to replace out of by plain out (though some Americans do say things like "out the window" - probably one of the many traces left by German and Dutch immigrants), in many cases it is possible and in fact normal and good style to say in rather than into. This may have to do with the fact that since within still has its original spatial meaning (in contrast to without, which has lost it), you can use within for stationary in if you need to resolve an ambiguity. (I am guessing here that inside/outside came up later and hasn't had much influence on usage patterns yet.) Dutch has well-established words for both stationary meanings: binnen for within, inside and buiten for outside.


Is "Ik kom uit Nederland niet" correct?


No, practically speaking it's wrong though it's not completely ungrammatical to say it like that. There are three elements in the sentence that you might want to negate: the phrase "uit Nederland", the entire verb phrase "uit Nederland komen", or just the verb komen. In the first two cases the result is always "Ik kom niet uit Nederland". In the third case the result could technically be "Ik kom uit Nederland niet", though this would probably only be used in very rare situations to make a very fine distinction. Normally you would say "Ik kom niet uit Nederland" even in the third case.

Here is why:

1. Negating the phrase "uit Nederland":

To understand why one would want to do this, consider the English sentence "I do not come from the Netherlands, I come from Spain".

The negation of the phrase "uit Nederland" is "niet uit Nederland" - just like it works in English ("not from the Netherlands"). If you replace "uit Nederland" by "niet uit Nederland" in the sentence, you get "Ik kom niet uit Nederland".

2. Negating the entire verb phrase "uit Nederland komen":

This is obviously the default way of negating a sentence. The entire statement is not true and we are not volunteering any information that a part of it is correct. (I.e. that I come from somewhere, or that I do something else in connection to the Netherlands.)

The negation of the phrase "uit Nederland komen" is "niet uit Nederland komen" - again just like it works in English ("not to come from the Netherlands"). But now it gets tricky because we need to conjugate the verb komen and comply with V2 word order. V2 word order dictates that the conjugated verb kom is removed from its original position in the verb phrase "niet uit Nederland komen" and moved to second position in the sentence, after "ik". The remainder of the verb phrase is moved to the end of the sentence:

  • Ik kom (= conjugated verb) niet uit Nederland (= remainder of the verb phrase).

3. Negating just the verb "komen":

To understand why one would want to do this, consider the English sentence "I do not come from the Netherlands, I just ordered a book from there.

At this point it should be no surprise that the negation of the infinitive "komen" is simply "niet komen", just like in English ("not to come"). But what is the infinitive of the verb phrase? If we simply replace "komen" by "niet komen" in "uit Nederland komen", we get "uit Nederland niet komen". As it is so rare that we really want to negate only the verb, this sounds a bit strange. Therefore, although in theory it should be perfectly grammatical as it is, people tend to always move "uit Nederland" between the verb and its negation, resulting in the verb phrase "niet uit Nederland komen" that we had before. By stressing the verb komen we make it clear that this is what we want to negate, not "uit Nederland" or "uit Nederland komen": "niet uit Nederland komen". The transformation for complying with V2 word order when the verb is conjugated is of course exactly the same as in case 2, since the verb phrase is exactly the same except now the verb is stressed:

  • Ik kom (= conjugated verb) niet uit Nederland (= remainder of the verb phrase).

But we can choose to ignore the strangeness and skip the step of moving "uit Nederland" between the verb and its negation. Then the verb phrase is still "uit Nederland niet komen". To comply with V2 word order, we need to remove (the infinitive of) the conjugated verb kom from the verb phrase and move it to second position in the sentence:

  • Ik kom (= conjugated verb) uit Nederland niet (= remainder of the verb phrase).

As this is so unusual, you can expect to only hear it to make it even more clear that it's just the verb that is being negated. For this pragmatic reason it is almost certain that the verb will get at least as much stress as when making the transformation. The final version takes this into account:

  • Ik kom (= conjugated verb) uit Nederland niet (= remainder of the verb phrase).

But this is on the border between grammaticality and ungrammaticality. It's the kind of thing native speakers occasionally use in ordinary communication, but tend to reject as wrong as soon as they think about it consciously. For this reason, native speakers almost always get away with it, but since the utterings of non-native speakers get more scrutiny, they almost never can.

(Everything is based on solid linguistic half-knowledge and my strong instincts as a native speaker of German. I am sure the two languages work exactly the same way to the extent relevant here.)


I wish there was a way to save your explanations on the app, sometimes they are so interesting that I wish I could save them to be able to think about what you said and come up with my own examples.


No. That would be "Ik kom niet uit Nederland".


is "I origin from the Netherlands." acceptable?


No. It needs a verb. "I originate from the Netherlands." is a proper sentence, which means almost the same thing, but is not a very good translation.

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