The bouncer glared down at the man approaching him. He was a timid, ultimately nebbish looking fellow, who didn't seem the sort who frequented nightclubs such as this one.
The man looked up at the bouncer, wringing his hands. "Uhhh....Ik wil..." he gestured helplessly. "Dat is...mag ik binnenk--"
The bouncer held up a hand. "Nee, geen broek alsjeblieft."
The man paled. "Wat? ....Wat? Waarom?"
The bouncer shrugged. He didn't make the rules. People seemed to be getting into all sorts of freaky fads these days. "Je moet."
"Maar..." the man looked faintly ill. On the shy side, then. The bouncer didn't blame him.
"Ik ben een appel!" The man whispered frantically, impotently. The bouncer was taken aback only for a second. He shrugged again, this time more sympathetically. "Sorry."
The man looked vaguely upset, and he peeked around the bouncer to glance at the mayhem inside the nightclub. What little color in his face drained completely, and he stumbled off into the night. The bouncer hoped he'd find a nice bench to sit on and maybe calm down.
He didn't have time to dwell on it, as a woman approached him, looking tipsy. He held out a hand. "Waarom heb jij een eend?"
Dutchie here: If you guys would like some more fruit related sentences, here you go:
Ik ben een peer! (I am a pear)
Mijn vrouw is een ananas! (My wife is a pineapple)
De fiets is een aardbei! (The bike is a strawberry!)
Kersen zijn kersen, maar gelukkig zitten er geen pitjes in! (Cherries are cherries, but luckily they contain no pits!)
Mijn broer is een avocado! (My brother is an avocado!)
Mijn armen zijn bananen! (My arms are bananas!)
Hier is een aardappel voor de lange post! (Here is a potato for the long post!)
As far as I understand so far, “broek” is a pair of pants and “broeken” two or more pairs. Apparently in Dutch those plural but single nouns such as “scissors” and “pants” (and I can't think in more examples right now) are not used, so they are always singular when is just one. Did I make any sense? (I'm also learning English, sorry).
The word for pants works like the word for glasses. In English we would say a pair of pants (a single pant is one leg) and a pair of glasses (although a single glass is what your water is in). Apparently in Dutch,glasses (brill) and pants (broek) are not automatically pluralized, but are only plural if referring to multiple sets, becoming brillen en broeken.
There is no option to change all the sentences to UK English on Duolingo, and because it is an American website the base language is US English. However, you can translate broeken as trousers, and you can also translate pants as onderbroeken. So British English words and definitions are included.
The difference is in the way you address the person, but the words are synonyms.
Alstublieft(als-'t-u-blieft) is the formal way to say please, and asjeblieft (als-je-blieft) is the informal. Usually in the Netherlands people use more the "Alsjeblieft" unless the circumstances require you to be polite.
Why is it alsjeblieft? I find it more natural to say "Thank you" in English, and in Dutch "Thank you" is almost always taken as the negative (if someone offers me coffee and I say "dankjewel" they always have to check whether I want it or not).
I suppose it is something that a 5-year-old might say if you were trying to force her to wear trousers instead of a skirt, but then it would definitely have several exclamation marks after it.
You go to a very kinky party in Amsterdam. At the door, the bouncer stops you and says: No, no pants please.
Anyway, in a more realistic scenario, with a question: You buy some frietjes at the cafetaria, and the guy asks you "-Mayo?", to which you normally answer "Nee, geen mayo alsjeblieft". That's how Dutch works, because you asked someone to do something (or not to), not because you are thankful for someone asking the question.
Like sasho said, it's an English "feature". Check it out here: http://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/32745/is-it-correct-to-use-pant-or-is-pants-better
- Broek (singular) = (a pair of) pants = (a pair of) trousers
- Broeken (plural) = pants = trousers
Pants and trousers are plural nouns in English and hence are always plural, even for a single paire of pants/trousers
In english even if there is only one it is considered pants: 'can i have those pants' could be one pair or multiple. Even when you only have one, it is called a pair of pants in English. 1 pair of pants 2 pairs of pants... hope this makes sense there is never a single form of pant that is a word in english but has a completely different meaning.
Alsjeblieft is informal while alstublieft is formal.
So if you use "u", "menner", "mevrouw" etc then you go with alstublieft. If you use je/jij then it is accompanied by alsjeblieft. It's also easy to remember as respective forms are parts of those words (for a reason ;-) ).
Geen in Dutch means Geen, we translate to a similar meaning in English. I might say "I have no cats", I would normally say I do not have (any) cats. I would never say that I like no cats, it would be "I do not like (any) cats". Geen would be used in all translations of the above. It does not mean no, that is Nie as you know.
–In Dutch THERE ARE TWO WORDS FOR "NO". What you apparently don't realize is that in Dutch when they say "I have no...", it TRANSLATES TO "I don't have any..." That's the whole point of this exercise. It's a common mistake that English speakers make, thinking that everything has to translate precisely word-for-word. In this particular question though, the sentence DOES correspond exactly to what we'd say in English: "No, no pants please." (<–as you can see, it uses BOTH Dutch words for "no"). –No, "geen" would not be used in all of your examples. "geen" negates nouns, not verbs, so "I don't like cats" would be "Ik hou niet van katten." "geen" would not be used.
I hope I wasn't being argumentative Nierls, I was trying to be helpful to the thread. The Duolingo questions that ask for a translation are more likely to be successful for readers if they are clear that Nie means No but Geen doesn't always mean No when answering. It's a common mistake for English speakers new to German too (Kein=Geen). In the Geen exercises this is what Duolingo is attempting to clarify.