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"Het zijn paarse klompen."

Translation:They are purple clogs.

4 years ago

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Shiftiness

I don't get what's going on here. Why is "het" suddenly plural?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Naylor1993
Naylor1993
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This explains it better than I can... http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Pronouns.Ps04

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mullac1992
mullac1992
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Basically, 'het' is only used for 'they' when discussing nouns (eg. Het zijn klompen - they are clogs) and 'zij' is used for 'they' when discussing adjectives (eg. Zij zijn paars - they are purple)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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I would rather say "Those are purple clogs." but it was not accepted. I wonder if "These" would also not be allowed. I rarely use "They" for things.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hyacinth3704

I think of it were "those" or "these" a different word than het would be used. Dutch distinguishes between they are/it is vs those are/that is and these are/this is in a similar way to English.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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It is required to use "this" and "these" for an item or items that are near and "that" and "those" for those that are not close, but when location doesn't matter either can also be used instead of "it" or "they" in English. The fact is "they" is much more often replaced with demonstratives than "it" is, unless you actually want to indicate location.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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One can of course have a situation where the clogs are being discussed but not present: either proximally or distally. I can't imagine why a demonstrative pronoun would be accepted as a translation of a subject one.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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In English, you can express ideas with no distance involved using "this" or "that" and "these" or "those". Many of us just prefer to use "they" for actual "people" or at least something animate.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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I am not saying that "they" cannot be used for things, but that it is by far not the first use of this pronoun and further that some people actually use "they" to mean "he or she". So it is already usable for indefinite gender and indefinite number. It is still the preference for many to use demonstrative pronouns instead for things. Common speech should be taken into account for this. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/they

It is not that "they" is wrong here, but that "these" or "those" could also be used here in common speech. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/this "this" can be "the person, thing or idea that is present or near in place, time, or thought or that has just been mentioned." and "these" is simply its plural. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/that "that" can be "the person, thing, or idea indicated, mentioned, or understood from the situation" and "those" is its plural.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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Is this something a prescriptivist teacher taught you? It simply seems a vast impoverishment of a language to deprive it of a straightforward third person plural inanimate pronoun.

And dictionaries seem to provide no support for such a stricture (extracts from definitions of "they"):

  • Oxford: Used to refer to two or more people or things previously mentioned or easily identified.
  • Cambridge: used as the subject of a verb to refer to people, animals, or things already mentioned
  • Merriam-Webster: used as third person pronoun serving as the plural of he, she, or it
  • Collins: You use they to refer to a group of people, animals, or things.
  • Macmillan: used for referring to a group of people or things that have already been mentioned or that are already known about
  • dictionary.com: nominative plural of he, she, and it
  • Webster's 1828: The men, the women, the animals, the things.
1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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I don't really suppose this sentence sounds all that common in Dutch either (of course open to correction). I would imagine, that like I would suppose the case to be in English, a demonstrative pronoun would actually be more common in this sentence, but it's not a demonstrative pronoun that's there, so in the world of Duolingo translation, it seems unlikely anything other than the most straightforward, literal translation will be accepted. See, for example, course contributor Susande's response of a year ago in this thread.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feyMorgaina
feyMorgaina
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"They" is used for things/objects all the time.

Examples:

A: "Where are my shoes?" B: "I don't know. Aren't they in the closet?" A: "No, they aren't there."

A: "I wanted to go back and buy those pants I saw last time." B: "I walked by the other day. They aren't there anymore."

Perhaps the replacement of "they" by a demonstrative pronoun is due to a different dialect than Standard American English (which is what is predominantly used by Duolingo).

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shiftiness

Thanks. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gramuff
Gramuff
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thanks for the link....it's a great page. thank you !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RRRox
RRRox
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great page thank you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BillofKempsey
BillofKempsey
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Looks like a really useful website - not just that page. Thanks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ed9u06

The above link was really helpful. Thanks

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/James_Hunt129

thanks for the link, very helpful

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaCa826187
PaCa826187
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They have a similar thing in French with 'Ce sont' etc.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohanVanderbalij

Merci! J''ai soudainement compris :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judi.MD

Here's an explanation, from "Taal Unie", the official Dutch language center: http://taaladvies.net/taal/advies/vraag/380/het_zijn_incongruentie/

Such apparent mismatching of subject-verb "number" is termed an "incongruity". Makes Dutch fun to learn! (I wish I could have used that explanation for my mistakes in primary school! It would have been handy...)

But actually there is no mis-match. Linguistically, klompen is called a nominal predicate in such sentence structure. Thus, klompen takes the place of subject in the sentence, whereas in English, they is the subject. Therefore, the predicate subject requires a plural verb. The het? Well, that is the way the Dutch say it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mattaes
Mattaes
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This should be in the demonstrative pronoun section.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lucydolly37

in correct English should it not be "those are purple clogs" ? I remember at school always getting told off for using "they" instead of "those" but maybe in this case it is right?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamPalte
AdamPalte
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"Those" is used when singling something out Those are sandals (but these are flip-flops)

"They" is referring to something previously mentioned or when you are stating something (I have three apples) They are red or They are spools (and not pine cones)

Thus, both They are clogs (and not shoes) and Those are clogs (but these are shoes) are perfectly correct English, as long as they are used with their intended meanings.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mangakoibito
mangakoibito
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AKA context is everything! LOL

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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I would just as soon say "These are clogs, not shoes." I would avoid using "they" when not talking about people, animals or plants. It would not matter if I said "these" or "those" in that case, because I am not focusing on location. "These are my reasons:....." or "Those are my reasons...." but I wouldn't say "They are my reasons..."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/__Z__

"Those are purple clogs" Why is this wrong?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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  • Het zijn = They are
  • Dat zijn = Those are
  • Dit zijn = These are
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trashboat9

I thought that there had to be "een" for the adjective to have an "e" at the end?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Turtle492
Turtle492
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No, the definite pronoun always puts an 'e' on the adjective. It's when you use 'een' with a 'het' word that you don't put an 'e' on.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trashboat9

Thank you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tulbi

Why is 'it are purple clogs' not right?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mike-Edinburgh

In English, 'it are purple clogs' is never correct. 'It' is always singular, and 'are' is always plural (except in the second person, but that's another matter). So 'it is' but 'they are'.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mimosaflower

Could sentence in Dutch also be ze zijn paarse klompen instead of het zijn paarse klompen?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
Mod
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Yes, though arguably it's most common to use het zijn here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lottedb1404

'Ze' is in Dutch mostly used for people. So if you're saying something about a thing that is not human (or an animal), we almost every time use the word 'het'.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hyacinth3704

Would it be more common to use ze here in Belgian Dutch? I've read that they use gendered pronouns for inanimate items (according to grammatical gender) more often than in the Netherlands.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lottedb1404

No, as far as I know Belgians also only use 'ze' for humans and 'het' for other things.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sam72608
Sam72608
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why are most colours similar to other words. purple is like paart (the horse word. not sure about spelling). black is like weak.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lottedb1404

There is not really an explanation for that. It happens to be that way. And there are a lot of colours that are nothing like other words, like roze (pink).

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HenriMaes

I don't understand why "those are purple clogs." isn't accepted. I think it's preferable to "they are purple clogs."

3 months ago