1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "De weinige interessante boek…

"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


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)


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.


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


Yes, because no native english speaker would ever put it like that...


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'.


' een paar ' would be more translated as ' a couple ' , ' weinige ' more as ' a few '


"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!


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


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? :)


But little does not exclusively mean small in size? Little can also mean small in number. Like when you say "See how little of the red cake is left". I think the acknowledgement here should be that you were able to see that the word refers to something small, albeit size or number :)


Little can only mean small in number with "uncountable" nouns. So yes, you could say "There is little sunshine today." But you cannot say there are "little" books because that is something that can be counted.


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


because "little" is "klein" and "expensive" is "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.


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?


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


No dutch person would ever say that it makes no sense (real dutch person here)


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


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


Could be either sentence


How do i know if i need to add "e" to an adjective or not??? Im so confused


bad english translation


Why is 'the less interesting books are expensive' not correct?


If you say that something is less interesting you are saying that they are minder interessant


Is this sentence as awkward sounding in Dutch as it is in English?


not really, slightly I guess


It's a very simple sentence, but people seem to be thrown off by the fact that "few" means a couple of different things.


I thought that weinig was " much" as in : "Het meisje heeft weinig brood"


No, weinig means few.


In your example sentence 'weinig' seems to get translated as 'not much', which is synonymous with 'few' in context. If that helps...


this sentence can have 2 meanings as 'weinige' can qualify either 'interessante' or 'boeken'


No, as then it would have to be weinig I believe and in modern Dutch we don't usually use weinig with this meaning


Thanks, it's 40 or so years since I was last in Nederland. This seems to be an on-going problem. Is the sentence included to make that point?


I think better would sound as: "A few interesting books are expensive" - instead of "De weinige / The few"


Does 'wienig' act like an adjective?


What is the difference between "wenig" and "paar"?


Join my club at JCE6K2


Why is "the few interesting books are long" not accepted? The correction in my case was "the few interesting books are dear"


Because duur does not mean long, but expensive/dear


Well the hint/translation is what was incorrect and not the correction. Thanks, this clears it up for me.


Hints for duur are:

  • expensive
  • length

So while I get your confusion duur can refer to for example the length of a movie/play/concert etc., so the duration in time. Though still in those cases it's the length and not long.


So in the case of a movie/play/concert etc., it can be thought of as "expensive in time" and not having anything to do with length as in a metric measurement. Also doesn't lang mean long, tall and prolonged time? So this means duur and lang can be used for length of time or only in specific instances?


Duur can only be used for duration in time. While lang can be used for duration in time and metric measurement.

  • De film is lang - The movie is long
  • De duur van de film is één uur - The duration/length of the movie is one hour
  • De film duurt één uur - The film takes one hour/is one hour long

Some examples with metric measurement

  • De lengte van de brug is tien meter - The length of the bridge is ten meter.
  • De brug is lang - The bridge is long
  • Ik zie een lange brug - I see a long bridge


I would post under the comments for this particular sentence, but posts there have been disabled, so I'll ask here: "❤❤❤ gaat het?" -- "How goes it" should be accepted as a translation but it isn't. Why hasn't this mistake been fixed yet?


I would post under the comments for this particular sentence, but posts there have been disabled, so I'll ask here instead: "❤❤❤ gaat het?" -- "How goes it" should be accepted as a translation but it isn't. Why hasn't this mistake been fixed yet?


Why not "Not many interesting books are expensive"?


I get this problem lol


On fastspeak I heard "De weinig'interessante boeken". I thought there should be an e on weinig so I checked on slomo, and got the pronunciation Weinigé. If this exaggeration was for the benefit of learners, it did not help.


How does one know if "weinige" is modifying "boeken" or if it is an adverb modifying "interessante"? That is...how is the meaning distunguished between "only a few interesting books" and "books that are of little interest"?


What 's the difference : 1) I eat wenig aardbeien 2) I eat een beetje aardbeien


' een beetje aardbeien ' is not used. ' een beetje ' would be translated as ' a bit '


im still confused with "weinig" and "weinige" and i don't know when and how to use them.. please someone explain


See the remark of YvonneJanssen and my comment on her remark: 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.


If we are expected to learn the difference between spoken weinig and weinge, it would sure be helpful if it was spoken that way.


Duolingo, I see this sentence way too much, and I've only just started level 3 of indefinite pronouns. Especially considering how awkward/nonsensical it is.

While I'm here, everyone asking about weinig and weinge, see Jude.MD's excellent comment at the top of the page.


I wrote "Not many of the interesting books are expensive". Too strange to be correct?


It's not that it's strange: it's that it doesn't mean what the Dutch sentence means.

Your sentence, "Not many of the interesting books are expensive," suggests that there is a set of interesting books, and only a few of those interesting books are expensive.

The Dutch sentence means that all of the interesting books, of which there are only a few in number, are expensive. At least, that's what the given English translation means.


I am Dutch and witness Debbie's progress from the side. The pronunciation of "weinige" by the male voice, however, is simply wrong. Wei-ni-ge. It's the last syllable that is pronounced wrong. Hartelijk dank...Thank you very much.


I put in the correct words. But instead of puting "the interesting books are expensive". I put the interesting books are dare". But this came up as incorrect. And had the word "dear" on the end instead. Dare is the correct spelling in this case. Not sure who I contact for this.


I cannot find any sources that agree with you.


Is there any differece in the meanings of weinig/weinige or is it just part of the -e adjective rule?


Adriana: See explanation above by YvonneJanssen.


Its an interpretation of that rule in that unless De is included or another word clearly defines the noun as plural, you do not use the 'e' ending.

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.