1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "Mijn verjaardag is om zeven …

"Mijn verjaardag is om zeven uur 's avonds."

Translation:My birthday is at seven o'clock in the evening.

July 26, 2014

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4sily

I guess here "verjaardag" means "birthday party" rather than "the day of one's birth". Am I correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lull0000

Sigh And yet "My birthday party is at seven o'clock in the evening." isn't counted as correct. This seems like a pretty misleading example. They need to add that as a correct answer as well, and I'd personally set it as the best translation. Reported.


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

I am not sure that the sentence is about a birthday party. If you said this in my native German, it wouldn't make any more sense than in English, so it may well be just as strange in Dutch. "Mijn verjaardag is om ... uur" is not known to Google (other than as an accidental sequence of words that is actually part of a different grammatical structure).

It appears to me that this sentence is decidedly non-standard and therefore ambiguous: It may refer to the time of birth, or to the beginning of a birthday party. Possibly to both. As the non-standard nature and ambiguity can be preserved in the translation, it should be.


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

yes, that's what's meant in this example i believe.


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

in this example yes. though verjaardag is when you are having your birthday. its the day you are a year older.


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

This sounds weird. You could say that the time of your birth is at 7 in the evening, or my birthday party is at 7pm, but just saying that my birthday is at a specific time - rather than a specific day - doesn't make sense to me.


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

In Dutch, verjaardag means birthday as in the celebration of it. In English you sometimes say "My birthday is at 4" meaning party.

The actual date of your birth is called geboortedatum, your birth date.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

You only have one birthdate, but you have a birthday every year whether you have a party or not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MattBush2

I've never once heard someone say My birthday is at four. What regional dialect would?


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

You've never heard someone express time as just a number? Dinner is at 7?

Or do you mean you've never heard someone refer to their birthday party as just their birthday before?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MattBush2

I have never heard someone say their birthday is at an hour, Just as I've never heard someone say *Friday is at five."

If there is a regional dialect of English that does use this phrase, stating "My birthday [party] is at seven", I'd love to identify it.


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

Dropping the word "party" is exceptionally common in Australia.

Comparing it to "Friday is at five" is not an apt comparison, because in this case it's not their birthday being referred to, but their birthday party.


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

Saying "birthday" as short for "birthday party" is common for me, and I'm from Australia.


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

verjaardag is birthday. if you would celebrate it on a diffrent day then your actual birthday you would say: ik vier mijn verjaardag op X (I celebrate my birthday on X)

if you say: mijn verjaardag is om zeven uur, it is indeed that your bday party is starting at seven.


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

Why is the 's there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaFelic11

There's a good explanation in the Tips and notes section under Dates/Time so I'll copy it here:

's

When in English you say in the morning, or at night etc., you could literally translate it to in de ochtend or in de nacht. However, Dutch has a more common and shorter way of saying it: 's ochtends or 's avonds.

The 's is short for des, which is an old Dutch word meaning van de or in de. In time it was shortened to just 's. So while in old Dutch it would be des ochtends or des nachts, we now say 's ochtends or 's nachts.


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

Thanks also for the nice explanation. By the way, for those who haven't noticed: The particle o' in o' clock has almost the same meaning and a very similar history (from of the). So one could think of 's nachts as translating literally to o' night, i.e. of the night. Not the natural way to say this in English, but also not too far off.


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

Thanks for highlighting this point, I was puzzled by the "uur 's avonds"


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

There are far too many ways to say "seven o'clock in the evening" in English, making this answer a bit confusing when you type out something perfectly correct but are told it is wrong.


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

the translation for avonds on the hover is coming up as also being avonds.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tinmur
  • 1211

I wonder if this means something like...my time of birth was at seven o'clock in the evening?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M132T003C

A Dutch friend of mine specifically told me that this sentence cannot refer to “My time of birth” or any equivalent. The Dutch sentence specifically means “My birthday party is at seven o’clock in the evening.”. Unfortunately, despite several reports, that was still not accepted the last time this sentence came up for me, and the currently accepted English sentence without the word “party” makes no sense at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tinmur
  • 1211

Thank you. It would appear that we all have to accept that, this can also mean "birthday party". I looked it up on Paralink translator and it gives "birthday party" too, Dank u wel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaFelic11

In the drop down it says that 'om' can also mean 'around' but it didn't accept it as a correct answer and I don't understand why.


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

You can't just translate word for word. The meaning of words always depend on the context. And in this sentence 'om' cannot mean around. Om can only mean around when it's about being around something in space, not in time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaFelic11

I thought it was 'around' as in a moment of time that's not completely fixed. In the sense that the birthday could be a few minutes later/earlier, flexible time, an approximation. But I guess you can't use 'om' to mean that here, only when it comes to space...I think I get it now. :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/v.agenjo

When I click on "avonds" it gives me "avonds" as a translation, but then in the solution it says "pm" so I assume avonds refer to the afternoon/pm hour?


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

"avond" refers to the evening, so is pm. I've seen that it gives "avonds" as a hint which is obviously wrong. Though at the moment it is right in the system so I'm trying to figure out where it goes wrong.


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

How come is avonds (plural) when it's referring to one night? Does adding 's mean you have to express it in that way?


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

It's not a plural, it's a genitive singular. In antiquated English texts you may occasionally find phrases such as "of an evening". This Dutch construction is very similar. In German it's still obvious what's going on:

  • Dutch: 's avonds.
  • German: des Abends.
  • Overly literal English translation: the evening's.

As you can see, Dutch has shortened the (obsolete) masculine genitive singular definite article des to 's but kept the (obsolete) genitive ending in -s. In German, all the grammatical features are still very much alive. Instead of shortening des, German speakers just drop it entirely: abends has become a one-word adverb meaning in the evening that is nowadays almost always preferred over des Abends.

The origin of this construction is probably an idiomatic phrase such as in the evening's course (in the course of the evening).


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

the s at the back of avonds is due to 's?


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

Sort of. "'S avonds" is short for "des avonds", which was a genitive construction. The genitive of avond is (or rather was) avonds. In English the genitive became the possessive. So literally, "'s avonds" translates to "the evening's".

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