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  5. "Het zijn hun koeien."

"Het zijn hun koeien."

Translation:They are their cows.

July 26, 2014

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lavinae

The use of 'het zijn' (= they are) is a peculiarity, specific to Dutch.
Instead of writing a separate grammar post on this, I'll provide you with this external link which explains it well. Below you can also find a brief explanation. :)

We use 'het zijn' followed by a noun, where the English use 'they are'.

Examples:

  1. "Het zijn dieren." = "They are animals."
  2. "Het zijn aardappelen." = "They are potatoes."
  3. "Het zijn lieve hondjes." = "They are sweet, little dogs."

Now, when we are dealing with a an adjective this formula isn't used. Instead, you'll find sentences like these:

  1. "Ze zijn mooi." = "They are pretty."
  2. "Ze zijn aardig." = "They are nice."
  3. "Ze zijn groot." = "They are big."

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jabramsohn

German does the same thing!

  1. Het zijn dieren = Es sind Tieren
  2. Ze zijn groot = Sie sind groƟ

You can also use "das sind..." in German. Is 'dat zijn' used in Dutch?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lavinae

Yes, but 'dat zijn' somewhat implies that you're pointing at them more than 'het zijn' does, if you get what I mean. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deborantunes

Thanks a lot a Lavinae!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kreilyn

Could by like in french ce sont..?

Ce sont des animaux,

ce sont des tomates,

ce sont mes parents,

ce sont mes meilleurs amis ..!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lavinae

I think so. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emmett705338

yeah, except in actual, colloquial, spoken french hardly anyone actually SAYS 'ce sont', they just say 'c'est', because it's faster haha.


[deactivated user]

    Thank you for clarifying this, too bad I couldn't see this before I answered. I didn't get it at all.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReneeDubuc

    Does "het" only mean "they" when it is used as "het zijn"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moidekar

    Very helpful. Thanks!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MentalPinball

    Hi Lavinae,

    Would you please share the url instead? The link doesn't seem to be 'clickable/tappable' on the app.

    Thanks!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheNecromancer10

    I'm not Lavinae, but here's the link:

    http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Pronouns.Ps04

    Also, why are you trying to learn languages on mobile?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MentalPinball

    Hi QuentinWU3, Thanks!

    Actually, I've finished my Dutch tree a long time ago, so I use the app to strengthen my skills and comment here on the sentence discussions.

    I was only requesting for the url because I know that many people only use the app.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReneeDubuc

    Is "their" an adjective?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MentalPinball

    Some grammarians would call 'their' a possessive adjective, I prefer the term 'possessive determiner'.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FamilyGrandhi

    Thank you, that's a clear explanation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alyssa030

    Question; Is it incorrect to say "Ze zijn luek" instead of "Ze zijn aardig"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melarish

    Why is "These are their cows" wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/webazos

    I think it is because "These" is a demonstrative while Het is a personal pronoun.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AshokMA

    How about - those are their cows?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

    = Dat zijn hun koeien.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReneeDubuc

    I don't understand the website

    Het zijn inheemse planten. They are indigenous plants. Ze zijn inheems. They are indigenous.

    "Indigenous" is an adjective in both cases. Does the noun not have to be right next to the "they" to be considered linked?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MihirBhagat

    Because the subject is still a noun. Look at the example about 'sweet, little dogs' provided by Esmerelda in the comments.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MentalPinball

    In het zijn inheemse planten, inheemse planten is a noun phrase. So het is a type of endophoric referent (cataphoric reference, the construction het zijn as 'they are' is use as cataphoric reference).

    In ze zijn inheemse, inheemse is an adjective in predicative position, and as ze it refers to something 'outside of speech', 'in the real world', so there's exophoric reference. When there's exophoric reference we use 'ze zijn'.

    Hope this helps.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MentalPinball

    At least, that's my interpretation, I'm not claiming to be an expert.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circleofsorrow

    Could 'these' be used instead of 'they'. It would result in a more proper form. It seems as if a colloquial usage is being equated back to the Dutch.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

    These are... = Dit zijn...

    • Het zijn = They are
    • Dit zijn = These are
    • Dat zijn = Those are

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circleofsorrow

    Thank you very much! :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ian672942

    I've tried "These are" and "Those are", apparently "Het zijn not correct".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael574294

    The text speech says hoeyun not koeien it is impossible to understand what word it is the other voice says koo-e-un which you can hear as cows


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkWolthu1

    I still think "hun" is his. Am i right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MentalPinball

    No, sorry.

    His=zijn

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