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  5. "De neushoorn is zwaar."

"De neushoorn is zwaar."

Translation:The rhinoceros is heavy.

July 20, 2014



I do not understand it. I thought, if the noun is "de" or in the plural, there is a letter "e" at the end of the word. And if the noun is "het", there is nothing. Neushoorn is "de", why is is zwaar instead of zware?


It's more complicated:

  • De zware neushoorn. The heavy rhinoceros. (Attributive use.)
  • De neushoorn is zwaar. The rhinoceros is heavy. (Predicative use.)

Declension (adding -e) of Dutch adjectives is mostly (some exceptions) done for adjectives that are used attributively, and is never (no exceptions) done for adjectives that are used predicatively.

The exceptions are as follows:

  1. Groot is not declined if it means great, or at least not always. (Not sure about the details.) Een grote man is tall, een groot man is great.
  2. Certain adjectives referring to materials end in -en and are never changed (declined): De houten neushoorn. The wooden rhinoceros.
  3. Most importantly: An adjective is not declined when it is used attributively with a singular het word that does not have a definite article, possessive or demonstrative (i.e. has een or another number or quantifier).


  • De zware neushoorn is zwaar.
  • Een zware neushoorn is zwaar.
  • De zware neushoorns zijn zwaar.
  • Zware neushoorns zijn zwaar.
  • Het zware neushoorntje is zwaar.
  • Een zwaar neushoorntje is zwaar. (Exception 3)
  • De zware neushoorntjes zijn zwaar.
  • Zware neushoorntjes zijn zwaar.
  • De houten neushoorn is zwaar. (Exception 2)
  • Een houten neushoorn is zwaar. (Exception 2)
  • De houten neushoorns zijn zwaar. (Exception 2)
  • Houten neushoorn zijn zwaar. (Exception 2)
  • Het houten neushoorntje is zwaar. (Exception 2)
  • Een houten neushoorntje is zwaar. (Exception 2)
  • De houten neushoorntjes zijn zwaar. (Exception 2)
  • Houten neushoorntjes zijn zwaar. (Exception 2)


Uhh. :-) Thank you very much. :-)


What's the sound of the letter "z"?


It's like the "z" in "zoo". Just a normal "z".


but the word "zwaar" sounds like "shvaar"


That would be an error. It wouldn't be surprising as the voice also pronounces sp as shp. But in this case I just don't hear it that way.

This doesn't necessarily mean that one of us is wrong or that we are hearing different sounds. There is an entire spectrum between s/z and sh, and the location of the border between the phonemes depends on one's native language. (Mine is German.)


Heard it like that too; maybe the German word schwer confused me!


It's just like german lol


I typed rhinoceros and I got indicated a typo with a red line. I selected the option rinoceros and then duolingo corrects me back to rhinoceros again. The world seems round!


De neushoorn or The rhinoceros is a strong word and hard to remember I don't even know what it means ^^'


Zwaar sounds like a false friend to Norwegian svær, which means big!


Or Swedish svår which means hard or complicated. But I guess they are historically related.


It can mean that in dutch too. Like tough.

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