1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "One does not eat that."

"One does not eat that."

Translation:Dat eet men niet.

July 22, 2014



Why does Dat go to the start of the sentence? I wrote " Men eet dat niet" and I was marked correct.


Dutch has V2 word order, which means that the various grammatical entities roughly come in this order:

  • Topic: Whatever you want to stress, or the subject (like in English) if there is nothing you want to stress in particular. You can do this in English as well to some extent, it's just more restricted and less usual: * Go home I didn't. Did he eat! That I didn't know.*
  • Main verb (if it wasn't in the topic): Usually this is not the full predicate (in cases such as e.g. have gone) but just the main verb on which everything else depends (in the example: have).
  • Any objects that were not in the topic.
  • Optionally niet negating the entire sentence.
  • Whatever is left from the predicate.

Note that one can also say * That one doesn't eat in English, though it requires particular stress on that (and none on one*) to prevent the reading that someone (that one) doesn't eat as opposed to 'that' being something that one doesn't eat.


Both ways are correct :)


Most English people would not say “One” in this context. “One” meaning a person, is not common usage. Being chosen by upper class people. Bad choice by Duolingo.

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