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  5. "Dat eet men niet."

"Dat eet men niet."

Translation:One does not eat that.

July 17, 2014



Could you say "Men eet dat niet" to mean the same thing?

July 19, 2014


Yes! That even follows the standard subject verb object pattern, which is switched around in the answer. One is not favoured above the other, in this particular case, though.

July 19, 2014


I thought the main subject-main verb word order was strict. Can the object come first in any Dutch sentence?

May 12, 2016


Yes, so long as the verb comes second. It's the "verb second in a statement" rule that is strict!

June 26, 2017


So then how can I distinguish between these two possible meanings:

  • One (a human) does not eat that. [E.g., it is inedible or gross or spoiled.]

  • That does not eat men / humans. [E.g., it is an animal that does not attack humans.]

July 15, 2019


Yeah, that's what confused me!

September 3, 2019


So, is there any difference? Does one emphasize on something and the other doesn't?

July 10, 2018


Wouldnt it be "mannen eten dat niet"?

September 19, 2018


Because that would mean something different. That would be Men not including women and children, don't eat that.

October 2, 2018


Why is this not translated to "That one does not eat?" How would you translate that sentence?

July 17, 2014


"Die eet niet". "dat" in this sentences points to an object which is not eaten by "men". "die" in "die eet niet" points to a person (or animal). You can also say "diegene eet niet" or "die persoon eet niet" (that person doesn't eat).

July 17, 2014


Oooh, gotcha. That makes sense. Thanks!

July 17, 2014


"Men" means "people in general".

July 17, 2014


So 'men' is not like the English 'one', which indicates both a number or people in general, correct?

December 10, 2014


Men indeed refers to people in general, but it's not a number. The English number one translates to één in Dutch.

May 16, 2017


I am dutch, but I think that 'one' in English means the same as 'men' in Dutch. (Or it just means that my English is not so good)

April 2, 2015


Usage, yes, believe so. (One doesn't do that, one doesn't eat that etc).

Gramatically, "one" is the neuter, indefinite equivalent of he/she (the french "on"). It's not used much, but is still more core to the grammar than "mens" in Dutch.

August 2, 2019


I misunderstood it to mean, 'That doesn't eat men.' As in a giant dinosaur who looks ferocious, but is vegetarian. There are strange examples sometimes.

May 28, 2015


Yes thats what I thought too!

August 22, 2019


That person doesnt eat is most understanding than one doesnt eat that

July 23, 2018


From german: Das isst man nicht

April 1, 2015


Which also exists in Swedish: Det äter 'man' inte.

October 12, 2015


-- Informational Addendum --

Stern, H in Essential Dutch Grammar (1984), p. 41:

The indefinite pronoun men may be translated into English as "one", "they", "you", "people," or sometimes with a passive construction. The main idea is that of action performed by an unspecified agent or agents. The focus of attention is the activity and not the agent, and so the agent need not be identified. Men always requires a verb in the third person singular:

  1. Men zegt dat zij een grote zangeres is = They say she is a great singer.
  2. Men heeft hem erg bewonderd = He was greatly admired.
  3. Men moet dieven met dieven vangen = It takes a thief to catch a thief (One must catch thieves with thieves).

In the spoken language it is more common to use je (you) or ze (they) as the subject of this type of sentence. In this respect, Dutch and English usage are quite similar:

  1. Ze zeggen dat het mooi weer blijft = They say the weather will stay nice.
  2. Je kunt nooit weten of... = You can never tell/know if...

As in English, Dutch has no specific "you" or "they" in mind in such statements.

I realize that we've been too strict with alternatives for this sentence so far. If you're certain that we've missed your correct alternative, please report :)

January 11, 2016


hmm. i was mistaken with the word order and thought it meant "that does not eat you". haha. but seriously, how would that be written differently?

June 23, 2015


Hmm yeah, I interpreted it as "That does not eat people." Can someone help me with why this interpretation is wrong?

September 9, 2017


That means in dutch " Dat eet geen mensen ". That is if "that" eats people.

December 16, 2017


That's similar to how I interpreted it lol

July 15, 2015


Dat eet je niet .... perhaps that way.

May 16, 2017


That's also what I got out of it.

And I also want to know how that would be said now.

March 15, 2016


Why is "no one eats that" not an accepted answer?

August 10, 2014


That would be "niemand eet dat". It sounds a bit stronger (in Dutch as well as in English).

November 16, 2014


Hm, I would have translated "Dat eet men niet" as "that's not edible," which is possibly factually more absolute than "nobody eats that," even if the "nobody" sounds stronger.

August 2, 2019


No one is translated differently. "One" does not necessarily mean everyone, but it would have to mean that to negate it with "no one".

September 15, 2014


I dont get how we are supposed to know that the subject is men and not dat. "That doesnt eat one". Any tips?

January 19, 2016


'Men' can only be used as a subject, so it is never the object. :)

January 19, 2016


It's very similar in construction and meaning to the German 'man', people.

October 13, 2014


In fact exactly the same.

April 27, 2016


I don't understand this sentence. Not at all

May 31, 2015


I think it's confusing since the construction seems backwards.

June 5, 2015


I'm confused as to the structure of this sentence. "That eat man not"

"That don't eat one" is the first thing that came to mind.

April 10, 2017


So if "men"="people", can we translate it "people do not eat that"?

July 29, 2014


you could say so, yes

March 24, 2015


is "men" something like "man" in german?

August 15, 2014


I do think so since it even sounds very similar

August 18, 2014


I don't think they sound that similar. The Dutch "men" sounds like the English "men" while "man" sound more like the beginning of "money".

August 18, 2014


Actually, it seems to be pretty similar to the german "man" in terms of usage. Well it doesn't sound very similar...

September 18, 2014


people in general

October 24, 2014


Why "One is not eating that" cannot be accepted as a correct answer?

May 14, 2015


"Men" is used in general, it's not referring to specific people, the same goes for this usage of "one" in English. So it's a general statement, for that simple present tense is used in English: One does not eat that.

May 14, 2015


Thanks :)

May 15, 2015


"That isn't eaten" should be accepted as a valid answer, on the analogy of "Hier spreekt men Nederlands" meaning "Dutch is spoken here". In other words, Dutch use of the impersonal "men" in an active sentence frequently corresponds to English use of the passive.

August 23, 2017


One has never refered to oneself in this very old fashioned way before....

I think I'll just stick to 'I do not eat that...' I suppose if I ever need to quote Lord of the Rings in Dutch it could come in handy...

"One does not simply walk into Mordor"

Men loopt niet eenvoudig Mordor Binnen????

December 19, 2017


It's not necessarily referring to oneself, but to people in general.

December 19, 2017


It's still extremely old-fashioned, though. People just don't talk like that -- N.B. not: "one doesn't talk like that"!

December 20, 2017


I was just getting ready to make this reference!! Great minds Tom, great minds...

Aside from that, I actually do still use 'One', mainly when explaining things online, I don't use it in day to day life. I think it has great usage.

December 24, 2017


can I use this sentence to express " That (monster) doesn't eat man " ?

July 29, 2015


I didn't see anyone proposing "that one does not eat" - which in English is stressing "that" but I don't see why it is not accepted as a translation in this case, can anyone help me out?

February 18, 2016


Why is this sentence inverted? Is it a question like "you don't eat that (it's not food?)" but with a punctuation typo?

July 15, 2016


Because, in a statement, the main verb must always be the second element in the sentence. Thus, Ik ga naar Amsterdam (1. ik 2. ga 3. naar Amsterdam) but Morgen ga ik naar Amsterdam (1. morgen 2. ga 3. ik 4. naar Amsterdam). In this exercise we have 1. dat 2. eet 3. men 4. niet.

October 19, 2017


Is the audio correct? It sounds almost like Dat eet m'nt. Would it be contracted to that degree?

October 18, 2017


Agree with another comment below, this sentence is unnatural in modern English, it is EXTREMELY formal/old English. So after reading the comments I am wondering if this is simply a 'can't really be translated' scenario. After learning another language there were some things that didn't translate well from Chinese to English so perhaps this one for Dutch.

So to help understand when to use this, would a scenario for this sentence be something like there is a garnishing on food which is used for decoration but someone doesn't know that and their friends says "Dat eet men niet"? Or...?


April 24, 2018


I translated it as 'people don't eat that', and it was accepted because, as you've said, 'one' is very formal and old-fashioned.

May 4, 2018


Ohh yes oh course!! Thankyou!

May 4, 2018


You're welcome!

May 4, 2018


For those who speak French, "men" corresponds to the French "on".

May 5, 2018


They really need to pack it in with rhis 'one does not' BS. Super poor translation.

March 17, 2019


Why it is not "that a man does not eat"

May 9, 2019


Man=man Men=one Mensen=people

May 9, 2019


Loopt men gewoon niet ...... naar Mordor

July 26, 2014


How do we know that we are not looking at bears, tigers, sharks, etc. that could eat one and then point to a lamb "That does not eat one"? Okay, I should have gone with the more common possibility.

September 15, 2014


Why cant it mean "Men don't eat that"

October 13, 2014


Because 'men' means 'one', as a pronoun. It's a general reference for anyone. Compare to the French 'on'.

October 13, 2014


Because you are mixing up two languages. Your sentence would be translated as "Dat eten mannen niet."

October 13, 2014


maybe ... Met eet dat niet?

December 27, 2014


because women and children don't, either. And really, I think it means more like: that's not for eating, that's not edible, that's not something people eat. (Wax model sushi, dirt, the wax on the outside of the cheese as opposed to an edible rind, etc)

August 2, 2019


no one eats that works

October 24, 2014


"That isn't edible" is not accepted.

December 26, 2014


Which would mean something different.

December 30, 2014


You sure? I've heard this usage for things that are not meant for eating. They might not literally kill you (you can eat the wax from cheese, i guess, if you really insist, or swallow a fake candy made of glass and it will pass through you) but they're not for eating.

August 2, 2019


I won't eat that or you won't eat that is a more realistic way to say it being an Australian

January 6, 2016


Master yoda speach: That does one not eat

January 31, 2016


I'm glad to know "no one eats that" is accepted - it's much more natural

May 18, 2016


What is this language? It's like a waking nightmare that I can't get enough of.

May 30, 2016


"That isn't eaten" isn't accepted for some reason

August 4, 2016


Yes, we do not eat men. Correct

March 1, 2017


Only the Queen of England would speak in this way.

August 12, 2017


Why is "That is not to be eaten" wrong? It's a better translation than the suggested "One does not eat that"!

August 14, 2017


What does the sentence mean? Lol

July 3, 2018


why not: "That one does not eat"??

September 11, 2018


Where does mens come in, in any dutch sentence and what does it mean?

October 2, 2018


"Mens" means 'human'.

March 17, 2019


man (singular) and mannen (plural) = for the english word Man (sing)/Men(plural) and men (singular) and mensen (plural) = for the english word one and people

Is my summary above correct or am I completely off track... - pl advise

November 19, 2018


You are right about man / mannen for man / men (as opposed to women).

But it's mens / mensen for human / humans (as opposed to other animals).

As for men = one (as in "One can never be sure" / "Men kan nooit zeker zijn"), that word has no plural. It's simply an extra, indefinite personal pronoun. Best to forget about any connection to either man or mens!

November 21, 2018


so why dat is the object after all? and why does the inversion occurred?

December 6, 2018


Putting the object first is simply a stylistic choice: it puts the focus on the object, highlights it.

Dat eet men niet. We don't eat that (or in English, too, you can say: That, we don't eat).

Placing no particular emphasis on the object (dat/that) we could, of course, simply say: Men eet dat niet; We don't eat that.

But, whichever way we say it, in Dutch the verb must always be the SECOND idea in the statement.

1 ...... 2 .... 3 ......4

Men EET dat niet

Dat EET man niet

(I've translared "men" as "we" in these examples because although it's formally "the impersonal 'one'" the use of "one" is much too stiff in English.)

December 7, 2018


I understand your point about the verb. However, I still do not understand how we are supposed to know who is doing the "not eating." I took it to mean something doesn't eat one/doesn't eat people, with "dat" being the one doing the action (of not eating.)

October 13, 2019


What is wrong with the answer "That, one does not eat" ?

March 23, 2019


I am still waiting to discover why "That, one does not eat" is incorrect.

November 4, 2019


Why "Someone does not eat that" is wrong? In english, seems to be closer to the intended meaning...

June 9, 2019


Had a really hard time understanding the audio.

September 23, 2019


i hate dutch

November 30, 2015
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