"Het boek gaat over muizen."

Translation:The book is about mice.

4 years ago

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/bisousethiboux
bisousethiboux
  • 17
  • 14
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 2
  • 2

Ahh. I thought it said "the book goes over the mice" - I was worried there for the poor things...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Persikov

I'm not saying that duo should accept the literal translation, but you can finesse "goes over" in English to mean "is about", though it's more like "explain".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TobyBartels
TobyBartels
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Duolingo absolutely should accept the literal translation; I talk like that all the time. The metaphor works as well in English as in Dutch.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeftShpp

Not to mention that the expression is the exact same in German "Das Buch geht über Mäuse" so it may be familiar to some learners who aren't native in English

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
  • 21
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 167

Don't worry prepositions are just used differently in languages (even similar ones like English and Dutch).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shatov72
shatov72Plus
  • 25
  • 20
  • 14
  • 12
  • 7
  • 6
  • 2
  • 193

So, in English we can say "We will go over this point next week". I wonder if the Dutch use has the same origins as the English.

A difference is, however, in this sentence we'd want to include 'the topic', so "The book goes over the topic of mice." So perhaps English has changed enough that the use of 'go over' needs clarifying, while not sufficiently to make 'go over' wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ofred19
ofred19
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 20
  • 11
  • 9

Well I don't think I would ever use "go over" in the context of a book. "Go over" is for spoken discussion. "We went over the minutes of the last meeting." "The teacher is going over the lesson plan." But a book never "goes over" something. A book "is about" something.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shatov72
shatov72Plus
  • 25
  • 20
  • 14
  • 12
  • 7
  • 6
  • 2
  • 193

Google the phrase "the book goes over". It is a phrase that is used, even if you don't use it yourself. Google is your friend in circumstances where you want to check if a phrase is in common use - it is far more reliable than gut instinct.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/monkey_47
monkey_47
  • 23
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 510

Just because a lot of people use an expression and you can find it on Google does not mean that expression is grammatically correct. In my experience, nothing is worse than learning something wrong because you pick it up from others who are saying it wrong.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TobyBartels
TobyBartels
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

That is exactly what makes things not wrong.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ofred19
ofred19
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 20
  • 11
  • 9

I don't think I need to check the use of a phrase for a language I've been speaking all my life, thank you. I'm merely saying that as a native speaker of English I would never use the phrase "the book goes over mice", that sounds like a non-native speaker translating an expression directly from their native language into English. I would instead say "the book is about mice" or maybe if it was something less general "the book covers mice physiology/anatomy". "The book goes over x" is not a construction I have ever heard any English speaker ever say. Not in California, not in New York or Washington, not in London, not in Wales. If you live somewhere where native (first-language) English speakers use that construction then that's a different story, but if someone was to say something like that my first assumption would be that they aren't a native English speaker.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shatov72
shatov72Plus
  • 25
  • 20
  • 14
  • 12
  • 7
  • 6
  • 2
  • 193

I have been teaching English as a Foreign Language for 13 years, and I am used to using various tools for assessing if something is natural English. I currently teach English for Academic Purposes to university students. I also speak English as my first language. And I have a masters degree in philosophy. I know of what I speak.

From the first page of the Google search for "the book goes over":

"The book goes over the information quite thoroughly"

"Finally that last part of the book goes over the process he goes through when"

"First, the book goes over how to determine how much money you need"

"First, the book goes over how to determine how much money you need to raise."

"The rest of the book goes over how to make nigiri"

"The book goes over specific foods that pros eat"

"The final third on the book goes over the syntax in Java"

"The book goes over how to eat, what to eat"

"The second half of the book goes over more high level design"

"The book goes over the things that the little girl and her grandfather like to "

Those are all natural English speaker sentences.

Perhaps the next time you feel the need to correct someone else's English you might bother to check out whether or not your intuition is right or wrong first.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
  • 25
  • 24
  • 23
  • 22
  • 22
  • 22
  • 17
  • 17
  • 17
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 4
  • 4
  • 1051

If I were discussing this with more advanced students, I might nuance it a little. The book is about mice. It goes over their care and feeding as pets. The book is about mice. The book goes over the differences between the habitats and behaviors of the grasshopper mice and the pocket mice of the Sonoran Desert.
Is about is more general, the broad subject of the book, and could be used in both instances. Goes over is for the more specific subject matter or content of the book, as shown in most of the examples given, and might sound a little odd as an answer to a casual question about a book.

My question would be, would Dutch use the same construction for both?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 21
  • 21
  • 19
  • 17
  • 17
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 3

I concur with you as to the distinction between "the book is on" and "the book goes over." Noticing that "The book goes over mice" is still not accepted years later, perhaps the question can be rephrased: How would one say, "The book goes over mice" in Dutch?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BillofKempsey
BillofKempsey
  • 25
  • 16
  • 15
  • 14
  • 10
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

We might say "covers".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theabore
Theabore
  • 12
  • 10
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

geht um...I feel like a dumb...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andy.Linde

Is this typically how you would say "the book is about mice" in Dutch? It seems as if the literal translation is more like "the book goes over mice", and there is a difference in English between "about" (implying the entire book is about mice) and "goes over" (implying that various topics, including mice, are covered by the book).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HenVB

how do you say "the car goes over the speed bump" then?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TobyBartels
TobyBartels
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

I can't hear the plural ending on ‘muizen’ at all.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jjunell
jjunell
  • 13
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6

Can I just say "het boek is over muizen"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurensEduard
LaurensEduard
  • 15
  • 13
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 6

(Native here) No, that sentence does not have any meaning in Dutch.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wei-Da

So if I want to say "the book is (dangling) over the mice" (quite strange, though), can I say Het boek is over de muizen?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurensEduard
LaurensEduard
  • 15
  • 13
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 6

No, it would still be "Het boek gaat over de muizen".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wei-Da

So gaat here is an abstract verb which is more subtle than "(physically) go ", right?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurensEduard
LaurensEduard
  • 15
  • 13
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 6

Indeed!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UnitarioRe

over gaan or gaan over is a verb or something like that???

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnWycliffe
JohnWycliffe
  • 21
  • 16
  • 15
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Yes, it means to have to do with or to be about, literally "to go over" but in a figurative sense. e.g. "The lecture goes over the history of the Netherlands."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beloeng
beloengPlus
  • 22
  • 14
  • 10
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 1097

Could this sentence be used both for fiction books and for nonfiction books? Or is it only suitable for nonfiction (like schoolbooks, lexicons etc.)?

I think "overgaan" is another verb? It is not actually the word that is used here? http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/go.php?T1=overgaan&Submit=Go&D1=24&H1=124

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
Mod
  • 25
  • 18
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

Can be any book: gaat over indicates the topic just like the English is about.

The verb here is gaan and not overgaan

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beloeng
beloengPlus
  • 22
  • 14
  • 10
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 1097

Thank you! Then it is like I thought. (Though I think this contradicts another comment by John above here. Or maybe not. As long as we agree it is not a verb here, I guess it is ok.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/natnat34
natnat34
  • 15
  • 10
  • 7
  • 5

With overgaan, it would have been "het boek gaat muizen over" instead of "het boek gaat over muizen". And I guess that could be translated by "the book is passing (some) mice". Maybe they're racing together. Maybe it's a very fast book. We will never know....

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IanRichardKang

How to know when to use a proper preposition in a sentence (?) I mean, we use "gaat" to describe about what-is-the-book-telling-about. We use "zit" or "zitten" to describe that we are eating (example: wij zitten aan het avondeten). How to know when to use the proper preposition for a certain action or a certain thing? :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ion1122
ion1122
  • 22
  • 20
  • 19
  • 17
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15
  • 13
  • 34

The examples you cite (gaat/zi) are verbs, not prepositions.

To answer your question, in many cases you just have to learn/memorize how a language uses its prepositions and verbs.

But there is usually a certain logic. For example, in your avondeten example, "zitten" does not really mean "eat", as you claim. You could more literally translate the sentence as "We sit down to dinner", which works just fine in English.

No need to create difficulties and problems for yourself!

1 month ago
Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.