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  5. "Zij drinkt terwijl zij werkt…

"Zij drinkt terwijl zij werkt."

Translation:She drinks while she works.

July 18, 2014



Stress can cause that!


Why is it that the verb drink alone makes people assume said person is "drinking" drinking? Could've been a nice tall glass of milk. ;)


Perhaps it's because drinking (as in water or milk) is so inconsequential that mentioning it is without merit. On the other hand, saying that you're drinking (as in beer or whisky) is a very useful disclaimer :-).


Een kopje sinaasappelsap, natuurlijk! ;)

But that is so true. If one tells someone "I'm drinking", alcohol is presumed. We need a linguist on this phenomenon stat!


Possibly something to do with the daily commercials, ads, and six-packs in the grocery store. ;)


Thank you, random Linguist!


I hope she's not a driving instructor.


This is a conjunction not a preposition.


Terwijl is a preposition


No it isn't. It is a conjunction.


A conjunction connects sentences, a preposition modifies a noun within a sentence. A preposition can never modify the subject of the sentence, in this case it is zij.


Sorry my mistake. I mixed the words conjunction and conjugation up ;)

In that case I suppose it should be in the conjunctions skill.

Edit: Just found out that it is.


In English grammar, anyway, "while" is an adverb, because it's modifying the verb "drinks". It can be a conjunction but only in this sense: "She is known to drink, while I never do." (I know we're talking about a Dutch sentence, but we're talking about it in English...)


"While" is not an adverb. It's a conjunction. "Meanwhile" is an adverb.

e.g. I drink while. (Incorrect, makes no sense)

I drink while I work. (Correct)

I drink meanwhile. (Correct)

"while i work" is an adverb clause, though.


'While' can actually be all of those things, and more (the following comes from the OED, sadly I do not know how to paste a screenshot here):

• relative adverb: during which: the period while the animal remains alive

• conjunction:

1) during the time thay, at the same time as: nothing much changed while he was away

2) whereas (indicating a contrast): one person wants out, while the other wants the relationship to continue.

3) inspite of the fact that, although: while I wouldn't recommend a night-time visit, by day the area is full of interest.

• noun:

1) - a period of time: we chatted for a while. She retired a little while ago.

  • for some time: can I keep it a while?

2) the while= at the same time, meanwhile: he starts to draw, talking the while.

• preposition: until: father will be happy while dinner time.

• verb (transitive): (while something away) pass time in a leisurely manner: a diversion to while away long afternoons.


how can I distinguish when zij means he and when means she?


by the form of the verb: zij drinkt - she drinks, zij drinken - they drink.


Zij never means he


what's the difference between terwijl and tijdens ? Can you say "ze drinkt tijdens ze werkt?"


I was wondering that, too. I think if you look at direct translation it makes a bit more sense when to use either one.

'She drinks while she works' 'She drinks during she works.'

I'm not sure what this structure is called, but if you use another verb at the end of the sentence, it seems to work better with terwijl, and if using a noun tijdens works better.

'She drinks during work'


'During' is a preposition, and as such, it can only be followed by a noun or a noun phrase.

Thus, 'she drinks during work' or 'zij drinkt tijdens het werk' (though it sounds a bit odd...).

'While' can be a preposition, but also a relative adverb and a conjunction (among other things, check my previous post), and as such, it can precede a clause.

Therefore, you'd say 'she drinks while she works' or 'zij drinkt terwijl zij werkt' (which in a way sounds more natural).


so it would be for instance : "zij leest tijdens haar maaltijd" and "zij leest terwijl zij eet" ? who can tell me if it sounds good ?


What's the difference between terwijl and tijdens? (Sorry if I spelled them wrong)


Fairly similar to during (tijdens) and while (terwijl) in English.

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