1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "Hoe schrijf je dat?"

"Hoe schrijf je dat?"

Translation:How do you write that?

July 21, 2014



Is "je" used in the sense of "men" (people in general) here or does the sentence address a specific person?

  • 30

The form "je" is often used instead of "men" in colloquial speech, working much like the English pronouns "you" vs. "one".

That being said, it can mean both here.


"Je/Jij schrijfT" is correct, right?

How come it's not ''Hoe schrijfT je dat?" then?


Whenever the conjugated verb and subject (schrift and je/jij in this case) are inverted, the conjugated verb always loses the t. For example:

Je drinkt./You drink.

Drink je?/Do you drink?


I thought that was only in the case of je?


Correct, only with je and jij.


Can this also mean "How do you spell that?" as in German "Wie schreibt man das?"


Well not exactly. It is the same subtle difference between "spelling" and "writing". "How do you spell that?" (EN) = "❤❤❤ spel je dat?" (NL), while "How do you write that?" (EN) = "❤❤❤ schrijf je dat" (NL). Similarly, "Wie schreibt man das" (DE) = "❤❤❤ schrijft men dat" / "❤❤❤ schrijf je dat" (NL).

(PS: the reason why 'men' is similar to 'je' in this case, is because 'je' can be meant in general terms as "how does one write that".)


Thanks. I'm wondering what exactly might be meant by "how do you write that?" then. Maybe I'm being stupid, but I'm drawing a blank.


Consider this dialogue:

*You are going to an event/appointment and when entering the building the employee behind the counter asks your name to verify"

Employee: "What is your name?" You: "My name is Soglio the Translator. Employee: "How do you write that?" You: "Here I will write my name for you on a piece of paper, or I'll spell it for you. First letter S, second letter o, third letter g, fourth letter l, fifth letter i, sixth letter o = Soglio. (in other words, "How do you write your name so that I know how to look for your name in the system)

Hope this helps.


Thanks. OK, but isn't that basically the same as "How do you spell that?"


Yes, but they are slightly different, while spelling can help with writing. "Spelling" = naming the letters of a word individually one by one in a certain order, such as taking the word/name apart in the individual letters

This can be used to help someone understand how write a word/name. "Writing" = putting down words, sentences or stories with a pen (traditionally)


I understand the difference between "spelling" and "writing" (I'm a native US English speaker). But I think that if I asked someone "How do you write that?" I mean the same thing as "How do you spell that?" - and that's what your example means to me. Am I missing something?


Ok, my apologies I didn't understand your question properly. In that case, yes the subtle difference that exists in US English is exactly the same in Dutch. 'Spelling'='spellen', and 'writing'='schrijven'. They are not interchangeable without changing the exact meaning. Just like writing and spelling in English are different.


Thanks. It occurred to me finally that we were working at cross purposes. ;-) OK, so let's see if I understand: The same difference exists between "schrijven" and "spellen" in Dutch as between "writing" and "spelling" in English.

Does the parallel continue - just as, in English, if you asked somebody "How do you write that?" you would probably mean "How do you spell that?" - does the Duolingo question here probably, or at least possibly, mean "How do you spell that?"


OK, I see what you mean. I'm not sure I would have made the distinction in a given case (perhaps because it's often easier to show people how to spell my name than to spell it out orally, letter by letter), but the distinction is valid. Thanks for the clarification.


The simple answer is "yes"; even Duolingo accepts "How do you spell that?" as a translation. =)


Shouldn't "How is that written" also be accepted? Grammatically, it's not the same, but in conveys the exact same meaning.


Not exactly the same. I can't speak for the Dutch, but the passive voice can shift meaning and remove agency. ("Mistakes were made" for example, is often used in politics to gloss over the question of who made those mistakes.) "How do YOU write that?" doesn't imply that everybody writes it that way.


isnt is supposed to be ❤❤❤ schrijft je dat?


Could this translate as "How do you spell that?"


See above explanation given to Dejo.


Got that, yes. Thanks.


why jij is not correct? jij and je have same meaning, right?


I see here that the 'ch' is not pronounced in the 'schr' combination (http://www.heardutchhere.net/DutchPronunciation.html#CH), but I think I am hearing the 'ch' here in "schrijf." Anyone else's thoughts?


isnt is supposed to be ❤❤❤ schrijft je dat?


Me to my German teacher


I don't think I understand this question. I translated it :How can you write that? and was marked wrong. What is the context, anyway?


Maybe when a Dutch person gives you their last name and you want to know how it's spelt


I had ❤❤❤ schrijf jij dat marked wrong. Can anyone help me with an explanation why?


ah so how do you spell that. in Portuguese the question would be how do you wrote that when you dont know how to spell it. maybe duo could learn that too


Why are all the sentences unidirectional. It seems i'm only using half my brain here.


Is ❤❤❤ schrijf jou dat? better.....


Why is "How did you write that?" wrong?

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