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  5. "Ik wil een beetje melk."

"Ik wil een beetje melk."

Translation:I want some milk.

August 1, 2014



And why is this in the Date and Times skill?


I'm guessing as it's to do with measurements, in some way. Because they've taught us numbers and how to use them so saying "a bit/some" is considered as a loose measurement of something? That's my guess. :)


I'm not entirely certain, but I think the word beetje can be used in context with time. Thus, they decided to throw in a few exercises with it.


I went safely with "I want a bit of milk". In how many ways we can translate "een beetje" in English? I use to hear it quite a lot


There are indeed many ways to say "een beetje" in English. When I was a child I would often be told off for saying "a bit of milk" ("because milk doesn't come in bits; you should say 'a drop of milk'")!


Am I right in thinking the "-je" on the end of "beetje" is the diminutive suffix? Does that mean it takes the article het?


In English, "I want some milk" doesn't really refer to a specific amount. It doesn't actually mean that you want a small amount of milk, it just means you want milk. It usually refers to a generic/average/normal amount, so in the case of milk, it'd be one glass. Or if you said "I want some cake" that'd probably mean one piece of cake. Is it the same in Dutch?


Good question. These words don't map perfectly to each other and even in one language the amounts to which they are applicable overlap. I think some is more on average than een beetje, but een beetje is more on average than a little.


Are "een beetje" and "wat" interchangeable in this context?


In this context, yes.


I think 'een beetje' is the same like 'ein bisschen' which mean a little bit. I think 'some' is wrong. Probably you use it also in 'am a little bit tired'.


No, all three expressions originate as referring to a piece that is bit off from a larger piece. In Dutch and in German they have been generalised to the point that we can apply them to liquids such as milk as well. In English this is not the case. "A bit of milk" is still nonsense in English because you can't bite milk.


A little milk is accepted but a small milk is not why is that


"A small milk" is what you would order in a restaurant that sells drinks as "big" or "small". I believe in Dutch that would be "een kleine melk".

"A little milk", like "een beetje melk", means "some milk but not much milk". So it is much more general.


I said "I'd like a little milk" and it was marked wrong. I was always taught that is was impolite to say "I want", instead you should say "I'd like". My response is not wrong, and this needs to be recognized.


Most German-speaking children get to hear very similar things, and presumably the same applies to Dutch-speaking children. (I'm a native German speaker.) Duolingo asks us to translate sentences, not to translate them plus make them more 'polite'.

  • Ik wil wat melk. - I want some milk.
  • Ik zou wat melk willen. - I would like some milk.


I wrote "I would like a little milk", and it was marked wrong. "I want" is impolite, "I would like" should be used. My answer is not wrong.


Please have a look at johaquila's reply to your previous post. Thanks.


why isnt "a bit of" accepted?


little seems about the same, really- it is not a precise quantity any more than some.

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