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  5. "Mijn oma is naar Amerika ger…

"Mijn oma is naar Amerika gerend."

Translation:My grandma has run to America.

July 27, 2014



I would say that this is a very strange sentence from the perspective of a Dutchman: there is a bit much water between here and America to be able to run to it.


Perhaps it's said by a Dutchman living in Canada?


Canada is in America... :P


While yes, technically this is true, America refers to the USA 99.9% of the time. As a Canadian I felt the need to point this out.


In Spanish we have the word "estadounidense" to refer the person from the USA, and we can use "American" to a Mexican or Canadian person.


A little while after my last post on this subject it occurred to me that I had a plausible explanation for why most of the time even people not from the USA, mostly use "America" to refer to the USA, and not more broadly. Since, surely, it isn't because everybody outside the USA, thinks the USA is so great! And it's a very obvious answer, once you think about it. If you understand the word "America" in the widest way you plausibly can, you're referring to the Western hemisphere in its entirety, and very few people have much reason to think or talk about the Western Hemisphere in its entirety all that often. Clearly you can say "I am an American" - meaning "I am from the Western Hemisphere". However, very few people have much reason to be thinking or talking about the Western Hemisphere as a whole all that often, and many reasons to be thinking about specific areas and specific countries. Surely, people who live outside of the USA use the names of their countries and neighboring countries much more often than they use the term "America" to refer to the Western Hemisphere as a whole. And this is undoubtedly also why when most people use refer to "America", they are referring to the USA, and not the Western Hemisphere as a whole.


For some reason I am not seeing a reply button to your post Kiegregonis. So I will respond here. There are several other countries in the North American continent - from what I understand all of Central America is considered to be part of North America aside from the part of Panama which is south of the Panama canal. I don't know if any the Caribbean countries would be considered part of North or South America, so I will say nothing of them. However, Canada, the USA, and Mexico are by far the largest countries in North America. And we are definitely in agreement regarding the fact that people know these three countries by shortened versions of their full, official names.


The reply threads only go so far. I'm never quite sure whether Central America ( Guatemala, Belize Honduras, el Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) are considered part of the North American continent or their own thing. Which is why I didn't include them. By the way, Belize and Costa Rica are the only countries among those seven without republic of in front of the name most commonly used.


Very much possible, it just struck me as kind of weird. You usually don't run to a country, so perhaps something like a supermarket would make more sense?


But why do sentences always have to make sense? Nonsensical sentences stick much better!


And they make you think about your translation, so you're not always able to guess just because it makes sense!


Learning a language means being able to express weird things just as easily as everyday things.


That is in fact something that marks native speakers !


It's also possible that the speaker's Grandmother is so old that there was at the time a land bridge. She could have ran across Europe, through Russia, across the land bridge between it and Alaska then down through Canada and into the United States.


could have ran -> could have run

Great idea!


strangely no-one considered the meaning of run to be "run away". odd that.


Probably because 'run away' would be specified as 'weggerend', never have I seen or heard anyone use just 'rennen' to describe it. (Native speaker)


But, in English it is a perfectly good meaning of this sentence, i don't dispute that in Dutch there would be a different word for it. I just found it strange that no-one considered the possibility that it was the same in Dutch.


It's pretty impressive, her being an "oma". An elderly Dutch lady running all the way to America? Very impressive.


I have walked to America, twice. But once I started in Canada, and the other time I started in Mexico.


Or..."Mijn oma is naar amerika gerend...als kind."


Een 'oma' hoeft niet zo oud te zijn. Mijn vrouw is een oma maar zij is nog maar vijftig.


America is also the name of a city in the Netherlands (near Eindhoven). Although running across the pond is much more impressive ;-)


Maybe she ran From the Netherlands, through Germany and Poland, then through Russia, and used a pedalo to get to Alaska!


Or maybe she just rode a bike across the sea. You know, the Dutch do everything on bikes.


Well, they do love their bikes, but they don't use the verb "rennen" for it...


Maybe it was during the Last Glacial Period.


Is there a rule as to which verbs take "zijn" in the perfect form, and which ones take "hebben", like it is in French, Italian, etc.


Verbs of motion generally use zijn, like gaan, komen, rennen, zwemmen, fietsen, and so on.


I am also confused why this sentence uses "zijn".. Why is it not "mijn oma heeft naar Amerika gerend"?


As far as I know, vytah is right, this is Verbs of Motion. When you use a verb like eten, drinken, spelen, etc., you use hebben. But for verbs like "rennen", "gaan", "komen", you use zijn as they are "Verbs of Motion". A good way to tell the difference is to think of it this way: If the verb brings you from A to B, use zijn.

"Ik ga naar ierland." "Je fiets naar india." "Mijn oma komt naar amerika." These sentences and their respective verbs involve the person going from A to B. This means they are verbs of motion and zijn should be used in the past tense.

"Ik drink water" "Je houdt van me" "Hij speelt sport." These verbs do not involve going somewhere and therefore you should use hebben in the past tense.

I hope this helps!! ^-^


It said in the tips and notes sections a few verbs require "zijn" when constructing the perfect present tense.


Damn, these Dutch grannys must be physically fit :D


America? Does that mean USA or South/North America. :p


Officially we call the continent "Amerika" and the country "Verenigde Staten van Amerika" but we also refer to the country as "de VS" or just "Amerika".


Ohh. The same with out country lol


I got some weird sentences as well. Mainly reading animals and non-mammals drinking milk.


...said Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands.


Maybe this person's grandma ran across the border between Mexico and the US to avoid the border patrol. After learning Dutch, this person tells the story of their grandma to some Dutch friends.


There is a town in the netherlands called Amerika.


i notice alot of american english is used in these lessons, and english english is lacking in places.. such as "gran" and "nan" not being accepted


Well, the course was developed in the US and the Dutch to English course teaches American English, Report the gran and nan, but there are SO many different ways of saying grandmother and grandfather - we use gran and nan in the US to (among some people, grandma for one side and nanny or meemaw or gran for the other, to make it easy to differentiate between Mom's parents and Dad's parents.) that I;m not sure it is reasonable to accept all of them.,.


Mijn oma, the ultra-runner!


Maar opa niet. :D


Is there a reason granny is accepted, but not gran?


Duolingo's grandmother drank some red bull


Question about the connotation of "run" in this context: Does it only mean physically running, in some Jesus-esque transatlantic journey, making it hilarious? Or could it also imply, as in English, fleeing to America, ie from persecution or annoying relatives?

Or could it imply a "quick trip" kind of thing, as in "He has run to the store quick"?


"Rennen" clearly means literally running here, there's no room for any other interpretation. How the granny managed to achieve that impressive feat is a different story...


would it be more suitable to add ''uit'' in the sentence, ie: my grandma has run off to America


You mean "uit" as a translation of "off"? No, that does not work at all.


To render the "off" part in "run off" you'd need to form a separable verb with the prefix "weg-": wegrennen. Although that would always mean literally running, which isn't the case with "run off". "Weglopen", however, could be used in the non-literal sense of "run off".


Thank you. Your explanation is very helpful


I live in the uk, and unless grandpa can run across to the other side of the pond then that is very weird


It should say, "My grandma has run off to America!"


No, it should not. The other comments (from native Dutch speakers) explain why not.

Are you having trouble reading the comments on this page? (Some people who use phones instead of laptops don't always see everything, I'm told.)


In English you can say, "My grandma has run away to America." You need to say "run away to" or "run off to" in order to mean that somebody has left for another country.


It's similar in Dutch, you would use "weglopen" or some other verb for that meaning. "Rennen" in this sentence is to be understood literally - it's a deliberately absurd sentence!


I said, "My grannie ran to America." This strikes me as acceptable, niet?


Is Amerika the country or the continent?

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