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"The children play after breakfast."

Translation:De kinderen spelen na het ontbijt.

4 years ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jennesy
jennesy
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why do you have to say "het ontbijt"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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If you think about it, it's actually more regular than leaving the definite article out:

  • The children are playing after breakfast.

Here it's today's breakfast, a specific breakfast, hence the breakfast in Dutch.

  • Every day, the children play after breakfast.

On every single day, there is only one breakfast, and it's the one that is meant here: the [respective] breakfast.

  • The children play after breakfast.

Here it's less explicit, but you can still interpret the sentence like the previous one to justify the definite article.

Exactly the same arguments apply if the children have to do a Dutch exam every morning right after breakfast, in which case even in English it is:

  • The children play after the exam.

From this you can see that breakfast is actually an exception to the general rule. Dutch merely doesn't have this exception. There are also similar cases in which the definite article is optional in English: after prayer/after the prayer. By leaving out the article, you indicate that prayers are as regular and normal as breakfasts.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laddie.Lass

So 'De kinderen spelen na ontbijt' can be considered grammatically correct?

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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"na ontbijt" actually has about twice as many "real" (i.e. you have to scroll through them; not look at the huge number it first presents you with) Google results as "na het ontbijt"

Of course, that doesn't mean it's possible here, but if it's not, it would be good to have an explanation of why.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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I was surprised by this and looked at some Google and Google Books hits for "na ontbijt". I got the distinct impression that these hits are primarily written in telegram style, e.g. in a diary. It appears to me that Dutch may drop the article in this situation more than German does. This may be the first step towards dropping it as in English, and it may explain how the English rule originally came about.

3 months ago