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  5. "Wij dragen geen hoed."

"Wij dragen geen hoed."

Translation:We are not wearing a hat.

July 17, 2014



Would it not make more sense to have the question "Wij dragen geen hoeden" / "We are not wearing hats?" This tripped me up: obviously multiple people cannot wear the very same hat, unless it is strangely huge.


The Dutch sentence is fine. "Wij dragen geen hoeden" could be interpreted as "we dont wear hats" while "wij dragen geen hoed" means "we are not wearing a hat"/"we are not wearing hats".


"We are not wearing a hat." would be highly unusual in English as it would not mean each. It would mean there was a very large hat that we are not wearing. We would have to say "We are not each wearing a hat." or "We are not wearing hats." Of course, to be safe, I put "We wear no hat." which was accepted, but it should have been "We wear no hats."


Perhaps "We are not wearing a hat" is the original "Queen's English" and a good example of the royal "we". Of course, it would be rare indeed for Her Majesty not to be wearing a hat - or crown ' in public.


Great comment! My married name is old English, and that has encouraged me to be a bit of an Anglophile. "We are not wearing a hat...and we are not amused!"


Then I think it should accept "we aren't wearing hats" as a solution, but it doesn't


Sure, I'll add that translation :)

Remember that it's best to report correct alternative translations with the 'report a problem' function. We can correct things easier that way (going through separate discussions takes time). ^^



I usually do report, but wasn't sure in this case.



Feel free to report even if you are unsure. After all, we want to polish and improve our course as much and as quick as possible. :)


True, the English answer isn't really correct English as far as I'm aware. I'm new to Duolingo, but isn't that grounds for changes?


In the end of the lesson there is a task with this sentence: 'Dieren dragen geen klompen'. Plural 'klompen' is forced there as the only correct answer among two possible options: 'klomp' and 'klompen'. Why plural 'Wij' + singular 'houd' is allowed here and plural 'Dieren' and singular 'klomp' are not allowed there? Seems like an inconsistency.


It is probably because people normally wear a pair of clogs and not just one.


It might have been if only it would be physically impossible to wear one clog. But it is very well possible, and thus a language should be able to describe it and a corresponding construct cannot be illegal.


Thanks for the clarification!


Thanks for explaining.


I hate the moment when you see the word geen and you have go back erase to put the word don't


Would saying "wij dragen hoeden" imply that each person is wearing multiple hats? Does "wij dragen een hoed" mean that there is one hat per person? It seems different than English, where "we are wearing a hat" implies that we are all sharing one hat.


"Wij dragen hoeden," simply means, "We're wearing hats," or "We wear hats." Although I believe you can interpret it as each person wearing multiple hats, it usually wouldn't be seen that way. "We're wearing hats," works just fine for each person wearing one hat. :)

Once again, "Wij dragen een hoed," could probably be seen as one hat being worn on all of them, but it's pretty much always going to be seen as, "We are wearing a hat," as in they are each wearing one hat.

At least that's what I think. I'm not an expert, but I'd be surprised if that wasn't the case.


Can anyone explain why 'we do not wear any hat' was not accepted? I'm not a native speaker, so maybe there is something I am not aware of. Thanks!


I'm a native English speaker, but I'm not sure why your translation wouldn't work. Perhaps it is too general, in that you are saying we don't wear any type of hat, when this exercise is looking for something meaning, "we are not wearing (a) hat(s) right now," specifically?


There was no article in that sentence. How was I to know it was indefinite?


Exactly - there was no article, meaning it wasn't indefinite. It just follows the same rules. :)


But it needed an "a" to be correct. That is an indefinite article. So are you saying if no article is present then to assume it is indefinite?


Oh, whoops. Apparently I didn't look at that very carefully. XD Well, I'm not entirely sure what you mean. As long as there isn't a definite article - de or het - or a possessive pronoun, you use "geen" instead of "niet." Like I said, if there is no article it isn't indefinite. It just uses the same word when negating. Here are some examples:

  • "Wij dragen geen hoed." = "We are not wearing a hat." In this instance an indefinite article is used, so you use "geen."

  • "Wij dragen geen hoeden." = "We are not wearing hats." In this instance there is no article - it is not indefinite. However, you still use "geen," as there is no definite article.

  • "Wij dragen de hoeden niet." = "We do not wear the hats." This does use a definite article, so "niet" is used.

  • "Wij dragen onze hoeden niet." = We do not wear our hats." In this instance, a possessive pronoun is being used, so "niet" is used.

Hope this answers your question. :)

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