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  5. "Het spijt me niet."

"Het spijt me niet."

Translation:I am not sorry.

July 18, 2014

64 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/superluigi13

I can see myself using this one a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theFIZZYnator

I wrote "sorry not sorry" but apparently Duolingo doesn't accept Tumblr as a response


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cody.griffin

Now I want to know if Dutch has anything like that too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/notarealunicorn

Would "I do not regret it" be a possible translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofiane31000

Really ! As in " i did something wrong, het spijt me niet " ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2287

That is not the only context in which someone might say it, but yes.

"I'm not sorry for flunking your kid. He never did any of the work. He never put in any effort. He deserves his failing grade."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hamshishdoeyti

What would the literal translation be?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/levirlogan

Literally would be: It sorrows me not. "Spijt" means sorrow/regret.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/harthacanute

Sounds a lot like "spite"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesjiao

Correct. Both words share the same root. Meanings are related but not exactly the same in the two languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/harthacanute

I thought so, dank je.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steph2405

What is the purpose of het?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtichokeMan

In this case, it means "it."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tabz6

How comes "it" is not included in the sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2287

Because translating is not a matter of going word-for-word. Different languages say things in different ways. In Dutch, they say "It sorrows me not". In English, we say "I'm not sorry".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jynxious

Would 'I regret nothing' be acceptable? It's one of my favorite sayings, and I'd like to learn how to say it in Dutch.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/costyn

Yep, I think this is the most appropriate translation to English for 'Het spijt me niet" (I'm a native Dutch speaker). I too think it's a great saying :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HendrikMos

Well done, indeed (and word!).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MegLauPhi

Why is niet at the end?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/antipopculture

'Niet' is used as a way to make a verb negative. Think of it as old english. 'Hij eet niet' is like 'he eats not', meaning that he does not eat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heinzgenrikh

How indeed do you respond when someone says that to you? "Bedankt"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/costyn

Haha. I'm trying to think of a context where one would use this... I guess where someone has done something stupid or silly and doesn't regret it because it was fun. In that case: "dat was gaaf man" (that was cool man)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesjiao

I usually say: graag gedaan


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/murdurkitt3h

I thought "het" means "the?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/costyn

Yes, you are right. In this case it's more of an idiom. The literal translation would be something like 'it sorry's me not', although that doesn't make much sense in English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shellym42

oooh. thats makes more sense. i'm looking at it like "why is het there?" ty


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaneBman

Would "I don't care" work here too? Or even " I don't mind"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/costyn

Semantically, the person is saying they don't care about what they did, so yea, the meaning is the same, but since we are translating here, Duolingo should not count that as correct. "I don't mind" is a different meaning, so not related.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaneBman

Okay I understand. Thanks :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shrikrishna1

When do one use this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/costyn

Anytime you'd use it in English, like "I'm not sorry" or "I don't regret it". Not very often in my experience. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AllstonTollcross

Is "I'm not sorry about it" a possible translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesjiao

Well since 'about it' actually has semantic significance in English that's missing in the Dutch sentence, I'd say no.. this is not possible... but again I am not an admin :).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NetoXavier1

Would "Not my fault" be acceptable here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bratamoli

I would say no b/c the original sentence doesn't make that claim. It simply says you do not regret it, whether it was actually your fault or not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luminary23

Just thinking: Can "niet" be added to most setences in order to have a negative meaning (like our above example "het spijt me niet"). Or is there a grammatical process to follow?

Je bent een man niet - You are not a man. Correct or incorrect grammar?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/favoprocione

The sentence would be "je bent geen man" - you are no man. "Niet" is used as a negation of an action, so "het spijt me niet" works because it's negating the action rather than the object, "me". "Geen" is used when you're referring to the object, so we can say "je spreekt niet", but we can't say "je spreekt niet nederlands" which should be "je spreekt geen nederlands".

I don't exactly know why this is, translating from English makes it hard to understand why the separation exists, but it is relatively clear from observation - when the action is being negated (I don't /walk/ to the park, I don't /run/ across the street, etc.), "niet" is used, and when the object is being negated (I walk to no /parks/, I run across no /streets/, etc.), "geen" is used.

Hope that helps!

Ps. question for native Dutch speakers, or just people who are more knowledgeable about it than me, would "je bent niet een man" translate as "you are not being / acting like a man" (seeing that there are cultural ideas as to what "being a man" is that do not always take into account whether a person is actually a man)? IE. Could the sentence work if it is interpreted as being the continuous present rather than the simple present? Or am I thinking too idiomatically? Or something else?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luminary23

Bedankt! So in summary - "niet" is used for verbs while "geen" is used for objects :) (Hope someone can answer your question, I'd be interested in finding out the answer too!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsiomaElod

What does spijt mean exactly?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2287

According to the mouse-over, it means "regret".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BYEFahira

How do you say "you're not sorry" in Dutch?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2287

At a guess, "Het spijt je niet."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ManoloWhite4Real

Wouldnt it be "i am sorry "?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2287

"I'm sorry" would be "Het spijt me."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BFGfreak

Would this be how I'd say "I regret nothing" to my dutch friends as I get horribly blown up in whatever game we're playing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tabz6

'Het' means 'it'/'the'. So how is 'it' or 'the' not included in the translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Efful

"I am not sorry" fun one c:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lordshepp

Can I translate it as: I do not regret that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GlenHendi

What is 'me' for?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2287

Literally word-for-word, "het spijt me niet" means "it sorrows me not".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eman908424

het spijt me niet
i think is .i am not sorry


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n0cturnalowl

A bit confused by this: On previous translations, when they want you to translate "sorry" to English, it's obviously spelt the same. However now they're saying "spijt" to mean sorry? So could I use both, or am I missing something here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2287

In English, we really just have the one word "sorry". But other languages have more than one word. Sometimes they're synonyms, sometimes they indicate a different sense of the word. Like "sorry" can be an apology or it can be an expression of sympathy. And in English, we say "to be sorry", where "sorry" is an adjective.

In this case here, the word "spijt" literally means "regret" or "sorrow", and if you look at the whole sentence, "spijt" is a verb. Word for word, this says "It sorrows me not" or perhaps "It pains me not".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n0cturnalowl

Actually I never even thought of the fact that we use words other than "sorry" to apologize. Considering I'm studying literature at university as well, I've realized how one dimensional my post was! But thank you, have a lingot. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesjiao

Rae.F is absolutely right. When you are learning a language, leave behind the framework that your native language restricts you in. Be ready to accept different ways of expressing things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SWISSCHEESE332

the "niet" means not......right??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jack671047

As an eingineer and like to make sense of my world. This language is proving veey difficult me. The dutch word for sorry is just "sorry" which is simple. Yet if i want to say "i am sorry" its "Het spijt me" the word sorry isnt even in this sentence? Like where does it go? Its so frustraing and i previously learned that "Het" mean "the" yes its not here either????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2287

I'm afraid language is nothing like engineering. Different languages are formed differently and have different rules. You can't apply the rules of one language to another.

The Dutch word "sorry" is a borrowing from English and its usage is generally limited to simple apologies, as when you bump into someone while walking.

Yes, "het" means "the" but it also means "it".

"Spijt" is a verb and means roughly "to cause sorrow". Word for word, "Het spijt me niet" is "It sorrows me not". We do have something similar in English, though, despite being a bit archaic: "It pains me". For example, "Much as it pains me to say it, no one is having any more ice cream this week."

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