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"De weinige interessante boeken zijn duur."

Translation:The few interesting books are expensive.

July 21, 2014



The word duur can also be translated to dear in British English. Dear means expensive.


Yes, it does. As does costly, and it rejects that too.


The same in Russian.


Why isn't it "De weinig interessant boeken zijn duur"? Because boek is Het Boek. Is it because it is plural? So every time there is a word in plural I should put E in the adjective?


The reason that "e" is added to "weinig" is different than that for "interessant".

In modern grammatical terminology, weinig is a "quantifier" here (rather than an adjective), since it is saying something about the number of (interesting) books rather than the type, size, etc of the books. The "e" is added to "weinig" because reference is being made to a definite group of books, due to the "de". It has naught to do with the "number" of the books per se. Weinige is the definite form of weinig.

And so if there were no "de", then there would be no "e":
Weinig interessante boeken zijn duur.
Weinig boeken zijn duur.

Klein (like weinig) also means "little" but it refers to the size of "the books" rather than to their number. It is therefore an adjective and the inflected "e" rule for adjectives would apply (viz., kleine). Ditto for interessante, an adjective. In sum:

De = definite article (giving definition)
Weinige = quantifier (giving number)
Interessente = adjective (modifying subject)

"Old school" grammar has "weinig" as an adjective, so reader beware. That designation is not incorrect of course, but then one needs to make an exception for this class. Better to think in terms of determiners and quantifiers I think.

Hey Duolingo: This sentence, and the many others like them should not be in your "Indefinite Pronouns" section. They are NOT being used as pronouns in these samples. As you can see by the many comments, there is much confusion. Suggestion: Create yourself a section on Determiners/Quantifiers and move these samples there.


I am glad I found this. I was just practicing on the app and got the sentence "Er staan weinig oude bomen in de Nederlandse bossen." I was trying to reconcile it with this exercise ("De weinige interessante boeken ..."), and Judi MD's explanation does it quite well.

Er staan weinig oude bomen in de Nederlandse bossen.

De weinige oude bomen in Nederland bevinden zich in de nationale landschapsparken. (I don't know if this is true: I was just trying to come up with two examples about old trees.)

Begrijp ik het goed?


Ja je begrijpt het goed.


So... what is the difference between "wenig" and "paar"?


weinig = "few", as in not many; paar = "a few", as in a handful of objects

zij heeft weinige vrienden - she doesn't have very many friends

zij heeft een paar vrienden - she has a few friends


Zij heeft weinig vrienden, this should not include an e after weinig!


Thank you for the clarification!


So "weinige interessante ..." cannot be read as "less interesting"? The books which are less interesting are expensive?


Weinige means few, “weinig interessant” can mean “very little interesting” however it isn’t in common use. Less interesting would be minder interessant


Although you're right, minder interessant is a more common way of saying something is less interesting, there is actually a difference in nuance between them as well.

Minder interessant = less interesting (basically a comparison, but it doesn't have to be literally compared to anything else) Weinig interessant = Little interesting (it just hardly possesses any interesting qualities)


Yeah, that’s what I said, and that what they suggested was the other thing I said


Thanks. Gave you a lingot.


de weinig interessante boeken zijn duur (the books that are little interesting are expensive)

de weinige interessante boeken zijn duur (the few books that are interesting are expensive)


Yvonne Janssen: Would a Dutch native not rather say 'De minder interessante boeken...' instead of 'de weinig interessante boeken' ?


Frigooss, they dont mean the same thing

Minder interessant= less interesting
Weinig interessant=not very interesting.

Noone would really say weinig interesssant though (perhaps in belgium?)

One would say;
De niet zo interessante boeken.
The not very interesting books.

Or even oninteressant=uninteresting
but eventhough in both languages people might say not instead of not very (people like to talk in extremes, either something was awesome or extremely stupid..) It obviously doesn't have the exact same meaning.


yes, but you could use weinig, she's just stating the difference. As a Dutchie myself, I would change the original sentence to "de paar interessante boeken zijn duur"


Yes YvonneJanssen, if 'weinig' is used as an adverb (here before 'interessante', so it means little interesting), than you don't use an 'e' at the end. If you use 'weinig' as a noun (and in the meaning as few), than you do use an 'e' at the end.


all words are de words when plural


Yes I have the same question as you


I interpret it as "the few interesting books that they have it this store are expensive :( " (yes, i insert imaginary context to keep me sane)


when I first read it, I didn't understand the sentence at all (I'm Dutch). I would expect a sentence like "de weinige interessante boeken die ze hebben, zijn duur", just like you


Because no one is going to refer to "the few" without their being a many to compare.

A better phrase would be "a few interesting books are expensive." Or even more accurately, "quite a few interesting books are expensive."

Otherwise you really do have to have a bookshop to compare it to.


Nothing wrong with the sentence so it is odd to suggest something else is better. Sure it needs context, so does;

But why dont we get apples.
(Did others get apples but they didn't? Did they get something else but not apples? Why do they even want apples? And who are they! )

Like an elephants is one of the few animals that have tusks.
You dont ask for an imaginary elephantstore. . You just immediately add "that are out there"/"that exist" "in the world". Those are the exact same endings that are included here without have to be spoken.

Terry Pratchet, Stephen King and Neill Gayman are a few of my favourite writes.

Ow wait I used few differently. Let me redo that

The few writers that I like, make their own illustrations.

You would t ask a many to refer to here either would you. It is a given (unless mentioned otherwise that you're refering to a specific group)


that seems right to me, too. You're shopping, most of the books are dreck, and the few that interest you are too expensive.


I'd like to add something else. If you hoover the mouse over the word "weinige" is the pronounciation of the word incorrect. It's not weini-"gey", but weini-"guh" (that is, a short e-sound and not a long e-sound).

Apart from that, I agree that there is a difference between de weinig-interessante-boeken zijn duur (the little-interesting-books are expensive) de weinige interessante-boeken zijn duur (the few interesting-books are expensive); in the first sentence "weinig" is a modifier of "interesting", in the second sentence it's a quantifier

  • written by a Dutch native speaker


Duo knows what's up.


Why not translated as "a few interesting books are expensive?"


"De" means "the" here - I'm not sure what the wording would be for "a," but the sentence you're referring to in English would have to be "a few [of the] interesting books are expensive," which has a slightly different meaning.


A few seems to be 'Een paar' based on other Dutch resources that I have found in the comments.

Still, that is not how the the sentence would translate. 'A few interesting books' means that some are expensive (others are not), the Dutch sentence implies 'the few interesting books' that exist at all 'are expensive'.


A few interesting books are expensive =

Een paar/enkele (van de) interessante boeken zijn duur.


"a" is "een" and "the" can be "het" or "de"


I put "few of the interesting books are expensive" to make it looks fit to my knowledge, but it is also incorrect, oh well maybe I just need to learn more...


"weinige", "interessante", and "boeken" all agree - i.e., weinige and interessante are plural in agreement with boeken. So with the "de" on the front, you need to translate this as "the few interesting books". There aren't any words here that would indicate the "of".


How are 'weinige' and 'interessante' indicated as plural here? I love what you're saying about agreement; that's helping (I translated as 'the books of little interest are expensive'- so way off-- I see now how that is incorrect )-- but please explain how the 3 words agree so can be read essentially as a phrase (the few interesting books). Thank you!


You would probably not read this any more but for others with the same question.

Another term is congruency.

If the noun is plural the adjectives have to match, is it is singular with an indefinite article, it has to match that etc.

De mooie fiets
Een mooie fiets
De mooie fietsen

Het mooie huis
Een mooi huis
De mooie huizen

The adjectives change accordingly, depending on gender definite/indefinite article and number.

And in modern english you also still have
This bike
These bikes.
The adjectives however have become fixed. (Old English used to have cases aswel, so even the nouns used to change)

(Verbs is basicly the same system, they do have to match the pronoun and get conjugated accordingly. They are all type of inflections)

No matter how many adjectives you pile up. They all have to behave the same way.

De mooie grote dure blauwe fiets.
Een mooi groot duur blauw huis.


that'd be "weinig van de interessante boeken zijn duur"


Has anyone dared translate 'duur' as dear (as I assume its a cognate)? Is it accepted?


I made a mistake at first and translated as "hard" - i.e. "hard to read" in this context. (I was probably thinking of the Spanish "duro" or French "dure")


Hey now! There are way more than "a few" interesting books!


I cannot get this right Even though i type itcas ut should be


Why not "The little interesting books are expensive" ?


Because the "little" in this case is referring to number, not size. That is why it has "few" as another translation for the word--so we're saying there are a few interesting books and they are expensive. Thus, the translation, "The few interesting books are expensive." Make sense? :)


That would be: "de weinig interessante boeken zijn duur".


How would you say the books of little interest are expensive?


That would be "De weinig interessante boeken zijn duur."

In the exercise, weinige refers to the noun "boeken" (the plural gets the definite article de, so weinig gets an e). Without the e, weinig must refer to the adjective "interessante".


See, this is what I like: a language with sensible grammar, not a horrible pidgin like English.


All too true. But what happened to Latin is now happening to English. The language has spread to its greatest extent as a native language and a lingua franca, and both at home (by which I mean in England) and abroad it is rapidly shattering into mutually unintelligible chunks. I'm sure I am not alone in having to put subtitles onto some films from the Americas, and American English is a relatively close relation.


At the same time other languages become more english. A lot of loanwords and sentences (which some people wouldnt like but I am fine with) but also word for word translations that doesn't make sense in dutch anymore. But they have forgotten how it should be done in dutch and think the english word for word translation is actually the correct way to say things.

And ofcourse there is the Internet and texting where nobody really cares what you write. So people tend to forget plus subconsciously repeat mistakes they are exposed to often.

What can you do. Language is ever changing. Hopefully the good changes will outweigh the bad. (Simplifying spelling would be a good thing for instance)


Wouldn't it be great if every letter would sound the same regardless which word it is used in, or its position in a word.
So you wouldn't have this odd ghoti=fish phenomena .
(Look it up if you have never heard of it)

I guess letters having the same value across different languages would be too much to ask.


Can anyone explain how they decide if you have simply misspelled something, or if they actually count it as incorrect? Is it standard from question to question?


I am not a 100% certain, but what I have seen is that when you have 1 letter mis-typed, it will correct it for you and warn you about it, with more than 1 you're marked wrong. But when that 1 letter difference makes another word or the focus of the lesson is on the inclusion/exclusion of only an e for example, you can still get marked wrong for that. But again, that is what I have noticed, but I don't know if that is exactly how they mark at all times :)


I believe the Audio is wrong , I hear them saying ' weinigee ' while it is spoken as ' weinige '


I write this sentence in correct form why the answer shows that i didn't do it correctly


I know we have the speed of speech options here, but I like to try to understand the standard speed since the slower one is too slow for ordinary speech. Some of these sentences are said so fast that it's hard to pick out the words as I'm hearing them. It's sometimes so fast it rolls into gibberish with these unnatural voices.


this person clearly doesn't know about thrift stores


i write the same thing but with a typo in "interessante" but instead of correcting my typo like always, Duolingo just judge my answer as a pure wrong answer


Probably more than 1 letter wrong


Who said that English is complicated!

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