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  5. "Ik heb er geen."

"Ik heb er geen."

Translation:I have none.

July 23, 2014



I don't get what "er" is doing here... Is "er" substituting in for everything that I do not have? If that's the case, how is this different than "Ik heb niets?"


It is short for 'Ik heb er geen van'. The van is dropped. Word for word it would translate to 'I have there (that) none of'. Rearrange and you will get 'Of that, I have nothing'. I hope this explains it.


"Er" is tricky and hard to translate. Here it refers to something previously mentioned, of which the speaker does not have any. "I do not have any (of it)". On the other hand, "Ik heb niets" means "I have nothing", a very different situation.

I'm trying to learn French and they have a similar untranslatable word (en ). It's very frustrating and I feel your pain!


Then why is it wrong with the answer "I do not have any of it." ? I am about to report it. But if it is actually incorrect, that will be even more confusing...


Thanks, I've just added that as an accepted translation.


What about "I have none of that" or "I have none of those." "It" which is "there" is "that" and the plural would be "those"?


I thought that ("none of those") was the best answer, but it was rejected...


"That" or "those" would put more emphasis on "it" or "them", respectively, and that emphasis is missing in the Dutch sentence, so that's certainly the reason why it's not accepted.


The "er" makes sense here if you think about it from another angle: If you use "een" instead of "geen" it becomes obvious that you need to have something after the "een" in order for the sentence to make sense (e.g. Ik heb een kat, Ik heb een tas, etc.). otherwise it would be "ik heb een", which is obviously incomplete.

"Geen" is the negation of "een", and just like "een" it must be followed by something, and since that something is not specified then we need the "er".


.... Because hebben is transitive, so then er would be acting as a grammatical object, I gather. Right?


It is really confusing. So far the easiest way to me is simply memorizing this sentence. Could anyone provide a more comprehensive explanation?


Since "één" and "geen" are very similar like "one" and "none", the rules applying to the usage of "er" with the numbers/numerals are the same. So you say "Ik heb er één". = "I have one" (of whatever you are talking about), and similarly you say "Ik heb er geen". I am not native Dutch so I hope someone can say if I'm right here.


Nice memory trick;)


What seems to be working for me is to use "er" in sentences that do not have an explicit subject. The English "I do not have any" doesn't say what it is that I don't have any of. In the Dutch equivalent, "er" is a placeholder.


But.... We do have a specific subject here, it ik. What we do not have is an object.


I am confused. "I do not have it!" Why is this wrong? The hint gives "it" as an option. And without any context... I believe there is no way to know if in this case it is "it" or "one"... In both cases, we are talking about an unspecified element. I am pretty sure I am missing something but I can't put my finger on it.


Ok I get it. I found a good explanation there. I thought I would share : http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.38


could this be translated as "i have none of them"?


That's also the translation I tried and it was not accepted but it seems like it should be...


Then what does Ik heb geen mean? Or does this not make sense in Dutch? Also, why is it not Ik heb geen er?


"Ik heb geen..." makes no sense as it is incomplete. "I have no...." What? or "I don't have any..." can work in English occasionally, but I think it is better to put "I don't have any of it." which is now also accepted. In Dutch they use the placeholder "er" to stand for whatever had already been talked about.


For the english translation, would "I do not have any" work?


Yeap, and it is one of the accepted answers :)


I answered "I do not have it," and got marked wrong. But I suppose that to get that translation, the original sentence would have to be, "Ik heb het geen." Is that a correct assumption?


Very close. "Ik heb het niet" is correct. The difference between geen en niet is explained here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3734833


Thanks. That is a good explanation, and the link was very helpful.


Why is "I don't have it" not an acceptable translation?


That would be "Ik heb het niet." Scroll up for more information.

  • 2144

why is "i do not have any" wrong translation?


I do not have any is accepted. However, your answer was: I no not have any


Ugh I encounter this Er again haha

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