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"We zitten aan het middageten."

Translation:We are having lunch.

4 years ago

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Mattaes
Mattaes
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I've noticed quite a lot of continous constructions and this lesson is just for PREPOSITIONS. A bit advanced doncha tink? :3

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
Simius
Mod
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This is not really a continous construction in Dutch, although it does look like one. Here "het middageten" is a noun, which is combined with the preposition "aan" to describe where we are (figuratively) sitting. One could also say "Wij zijn aan het lunchen", which is a continous construction, using "aan het" + infinitive.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mattaes
Mattaes
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Not quite, well it is half of a certain construction don't forget there are constructions that require verbs like zitten.

Evelien zit aandachtig te lezen = Evelien is reading carefully

So the fact it is half of the construction, it would be better off in another lesson.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
Simius
Mod
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Well yes, but your example uses te + infinitive, making it indeed a continuous construction. That is not what is happening here, and the idea of "half a construction" doesn't really make sense to me.

What about "Wij zitten aan tafel" = "We are sitting at the table"

Would that be appropriate for Prepostitions? I'm my opinion there is not much of a difference with this sentence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mattaes
Mattaes
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I suppose so. It's like the thing with depuis in French being translated as past-tense in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hadasi2013
hadasi2013
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why doesn't it accept "wij" is there a difference between wij and we ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Racheleke

I have been wondering about this, too. If you listen to the slow version, it's easy to tell when they are saying we or wij, but in the regular speed version, they sound the same. I feel like they should probably accept both. We could suggest it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patrickmccarron

From what I've gathered, the fact that they sound the same when spoken fast is how the unstressed (we/ze/je) forms came into being. When you're speaking fast — i.e., not emphasising the word — jij sounds like je, wij sounds like we, and zij sounds like ze. Thus they kinda became their own thing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sjudel
sjudel
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Yep, you're right. They don't even just sound like je/we/ze, but that's what we actually say when we're not stressing them. You mostly use jij/wij/zij (note: hij does not change in he) as a stressed form or in a more formal text, but they're not wrong in informal situations or when you don't want to stress them.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rocteur
Rocteur
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Interesting, I'd like to see a lesson on that or an example.. I listened in slow motion and also heard WE

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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In dictations, you are supposed to hear which it is. (Use the slow voice, because the fast voice probably mispronounces wij as we.) In all other cases, if we is accepted, wij should also be accepted.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fillefranglaise

Does this construction only work for meals? Could you say something like "We zitten aan het concert?" Or would it have to be "We zijn aan het concert?"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MentalPinball
MentalPinball
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As Moos said somewhere above, you can say "we zitten aan tafel".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/springbett
springbett
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Couldn't this also mean "We are sitting on the lunch"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/theAndrewASung
theAndrewASung
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I think that would be "we zitten op het middageten" where "op" is a spatial 'on'?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vam1980
vam1980
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Correct!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/springbett
springbett
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Thanks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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Aan is at, op is on. It's annoying how these little words are always so different even between closely related languages. (There are similar confusing differences between the various Romance languages.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jamesjiao
jamesjiao
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Not necessarily. Depending on the context, 'aan' could be 'on' and 'op' could be 'at'. There is no hard and fast rule.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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Sure. But the prepositions still have primary meanings that are strong enough to allow us to say which corresponds to which in general, even if languages make different choices when several prepositions could do the job.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Duckies5

I think Amelia Bedelia would have a hard time in the Netherlands!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feyMorgaina
feyMorgaina
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I hope not literally "sitting on the lunch". ;-)

From the other language material I use, it explains that "zitten" is used in some cases to mean "to be".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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No reason to worry: aan = at, op = on.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jpippoj
jpippoj
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more generally, is this lesson about preposition or more about how meaning of some verbs change with the proposition? like the English phrasal verbs? I saw the second exercise where the horen (to hear) + bij becomes "belong".. or I am just confused? thanks

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Le-trois

Does middageten need the definitive article before it? To me this translates to "We sit at THE lunch" which sounds odd to me.

Can we not say "Wij zitten aan middageten"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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No, because Dutch is more regular than English in this respect. It's the day's uniquely determined lunch, so you would expect it to get a definite article. If you think about it, it is odd that in English we omit the definite article for activities that happen regularly every day.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dysgudl
dysgudl
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This is a very literal translation though, which wouldn't be idiomatic English.

I can think of a context where there would be a definite article in English. Where a particular lunch, dinner is being referred to. For example: 'Are you going to the dinner after the conference?'.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrbennet
mrbennet
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The use of articles is one of those areas where languages tend to be highly idiosyncratic, as is preposition use. It's not uncommon for something that sounds completely wrong in one language to be the rule in another. There generally isn't much logic behind it either - you pretty much have to just learn these things by rote.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TurilCronburg

Literally "We are at the lunch."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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Is "We sit down to lunch" a closer translation than "We are having lunch." ? That's what I think of.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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No, this has already come up several times on this discussion page.

Sit down and to both imply a direction, so you can only say your English sentence at the beginning of lunch. Aan translates to at, by, so it is completely static. Most likely lunch is already in full progress, and in fact it may be nearly over.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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Really? I didn't see it or I wouldn't have commented. However, thank you for explaining. ^_^

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WernerDelport

Can you say "We eten middageten"?. Would that not also mean "We are eating lunch"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/InaliSlave

Okay I figured this out. One can use either zitten or zijn in this type of sentence http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/aan_het#Dutch Middageten in this case acts as an infinitive verb (can mean lunch or to have lunch, in this case the latter)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vam1980
vam1980
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'Eten' can be both a verb and a noun, but 'middageten' or 'avondeten' are only nouns! See also the Simius' answer to Mattaes' question.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/InaliSlave

lol okay, so this is not a continuous aspect sentence. And 'aan het middageten' just means something like 'at lunch'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patrickmccarron

Why does the verb to sit now mean to have a meal?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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It doesn't. The sentence means literally that we are sitting at the table, having lunch.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anna324689

"aan de tafel zitten" - sitting at the table

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lahure
Lahure
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We sit at lunch. Accepted 24 Aug 2014.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feyMorgaina
feyMorgaina
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I'm remembering this as "We are at the lunch (hour)", although no one would say that in English.

"We are at lunch" is said in English. Would that be an acceptable translation? Or is "We zitten aan het middageten" not used in the same context as "We are at lunch."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smiles12101

Dumb question, but what does aan mean?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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When there is no movement involved, as is the case here: at. With a movement: to.

1 year ago