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  5. "Eten is belangrijk."

"Eten is belangrijk."

Translation:Food is important.

July 19, 2014



Would it be possible to translate it by: "to eat is important". I know it is literal, but it kind of makes sense to me.


I think that should definitely be marked correct as well.

Note that "Food is important" is literal too. The Dutch word eten is both a verb and a noun, the latter meaning "food". For example:

"Het eten is klaar" -> "The food is ready"


Definitely. I translated it as "Eating is important", and that was also accepted.


in some words such as belangrijk i can't hear the "g" sound. why?


The sound doesn't play for me at all at the moment, so I can't check if there is another problem that you are referring to -- but there is no g sound in belangrijk anyway. Just like in English sing and many other English words, ng is a different sound that contains neither n nor g. (The g is spoken in the word English itself, but that is more of an exception rather than the normal case.)


Ng was once an English letter by it's self. And you can hear it in all the words including "English" however like most letters it has a hard and soft form, (think "a" in "Apple" and "bath" (unless you are from the north of England where they both use the hard form))

In "English" we use the hard form of ng, which is the same as "sing" and in the Dutch (and I am assuming for all Dutch "ng" words) "belangrijk" uses the soft form which is more like a "en" sound, but the g is there.


Yup-yup, the Anglo-Saxon rune "ing", tge equivalent of the Old Norse rune "ingwaz" - looked like a small rhombus in the mid-height of the writing line. Since Denmark and the Netherlands are among those who've retained most of those two cultures, the sound "ng" is indeed very common, although its pronunciation has altered in many words over the centuries.


Like English. Sometimes u can't here the "e" or the "b" as in "lamb"


U hear the in "belangrijk" just as much as u can hear the in "eating" in a normal english accent, with an /ŋ/


Belangrijk comes from german "Belangreich", with the same meaning.


As a native German speaker I think that's a misleading way of putting it. Belangreich is a rarely used word in German - just one in a long list of synonyms for wichtig -, whereas belangrijk is the normal Dutch translation of important. It feels more as if Dutch may have had the word first.


I agree. I was just pointing out the similarity between the two words. I also wasn't aware of belangreich until I used dutch dict.cc. I thought it'd be helpful for everybody to know that a phonetically similar word does exist in german :)


I didn't know about 'belangreich' and thought at first 'belangrijk' sounded like 'gelangweilt' ^^


You are wrong, German and Dutch share a common ancestor language "west Germanic" while similar, you might say that "belangreich" and "belangrijk" share the same root language, but to say that one is derived from the other is like saying that man is descended from chimpanzees.


Well, in a sense it's wrong, but saying categorically that it is wrong is also wrong unless you have very precise information about the origin of the word. Dutch has always had a certain low-key influence on German via Northern German dialects, and conversely German clearly has had a strong influence on Dutch until very recently. Flemish books from about a century ago are almost closer to German than to modern Dutch.

I looked this up. Apparently, the word belanc existed in all major variants of mediaeval German (or mediaeval continental West Germanic, if you will): Middle Dutch, Middle High German and Middle Low German.

Also, the common root language of modern Dutch and modern German was a dialect continuum that was then and often still is referred to as - Deutsch or German. West Germanic was the common language at the time when English parted ways from German/Dutch, but it really only makes sense to speak of a split between Dutch and German at the time when both got their modern literary languages, which were more similar to each other than to many German dialects of the time. That was roughly around the 16th century. And this process is probably best understood as Dutch branching off the German dialect continuum at least as much as a symmetrical split. Standard Dutch has been innovating much faster than Standard German, which is remarkably stable. Therefore it is not even completely wrong to say that Dutch is derived from German so long as you understand German as generally as mediaeval continental Germanic speakers did.

If you want to insist on arguably inappropriate comparisons, it would be a much better analogy to compare Dutch and German to bonobos on one hand and common chimpanzees on the other hand.


Jesus, someone's eager.


when is it right to use the word ''belangrijke'' & the same word without the ''e''


The phenomenon is called declination of the Dutch adjective. More precisely, a Dutch adjective is called 'declined' when the ending -e has been added.

Dutch adjectives are never declined when they are used predicatively as in this sentence, i.e. when they are connected to the noun by the copula zijn (to be).

When a Dutch adjective is used attributively - i.e. it comes right before the noun it refers to, and is not connected to it by zijn (to be) - then it is typically declined. The only exception is when all of the following conditions hold:

  • the noun is singular
  • the noun is not a de word (common gender; 2/3 of all Dutch nouns) but a het word (neuter gender; 1/3 of all Dutch nouns)
  • the noun does not come with a definite article (which in this case would have to be het) nor with a demonstrative (which in this case would be typically dit or dat).

When all these conditions hold, the adjective is not declined. Otherwise it is declined by adding -e. (Remember we are still talking only about attributive use.)


  • eten is belangrijk (all conditions for the exception hold, but this is not attributive use; since it's predicative use it's already undeclined anyway)
  • [een] belangrijk eten (singular het word with no definite article or demonstrative, so this is an exception)
  • belangrijke spelen = important games (not an exception because it's plural)
  • het belangrijke eten (not an exception because it has a definite article)
  • dit belangrijke eten (not an exception because it has a demonstrative)
  • [een] belangrijk vrouw (not an exception because it's a de word)


thank you for such a full explanation


How does Duolingo know me so well


Yeah and so is the duck... lets eat.


Wow! Once you get the hang of when to add "e" it makes is so much easier to do these leasons.

I was half assing it and didnt understand what i was doing. Literally pulling my hair off trying to remember each one. But its easier to remember the simple rules rather than entire phrases.


How would one discern between someone saying 'food is important' or 'eating is important?'


I thought Eten was a name here :) Take things into context people...


Eten is toch meervoud dus foods


No, eten is not a plural. Eten is the infinitive of a verb. It also serves as the present participle of the same verb and as a derived uncountable noun. Dutch for foods is voedingsmiddelen or voedingswaren.


May i ask if anyone knows a link thar sounds out the letters because i seem to struggle to hear the people on here. Especially in words like meisjes and schildpad


could you say ''eating is important'' using eten as a verb?

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