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  5. "Ze zeggen ja tegen mij."

"Ze zeggen ja tegen mij."

Translation:They tell me yes.

August 2, 2014



How can tegen mean "against" and "to" at the same time? Does that mean it can mean "They say yes to me" and "They say yes against me", Le'ts say I'm a politician and I'm against a law but the majority said (voted) yes to oppose me.


Correct. 'Tegen' has two meanings in that sense. 'Ik zeg tegen hem dat ik tegen corruptie ben' means 'I say to him that I am against corruption'.


I'm sorry, but your example sentence made me wonder: when the verb is the last word in a sentence, shouldn't it be in its infinitive form? So, it would be "[...] dat ik tegen corruptie zijn", wouldn't it? Please correct me if I'm wrong :). And thanks for your explanation about the tegen! =)


No, when the verb is the last word in the sentence it does not require the verb to be infinitive. In the example vam1980 gives the subject of "ben" is "ik" and hence required to be conjugated accordingly.


Sentences typically have a conjugated verb. They may or may not also have an infinitive as a complement to the conjugated verb. Examples:
I go
I go downstairs
I go to sleep

The first sentence above has no complement. The second has an adverb as a complement. The third has an infinitive as a complement.

The subject of a sentence usually is followed by a conjugated verb, which must agree with the subject (for example, "I go" but "He goes").

An infinitive can also be used on its own as a subject. For example, "To love is a wonderful thing".


Oh, I see, thank you! I saw some examples in which the last word was a verb in infinitive, and I thought it was a rule. My misunderstanding :p. Thank you for clarifying!


Is there a link somewhere explaining when the verb is required to be an infinitive vs when not?


shouldn't the verb be placed in the second part of the sentence ALWAYS except if it was in a form of a question then it comes first? i would have thought that the sentence should be : ik ben tegen corruptie . sorry getting really confused here , maybe you can help explain ? thanks


"Ik zeg tegen hem dat ik tegen corruptie ben."
tamara, is that the sentence you are asking about?

If so, please note that that sentence has two parts. There is a main clause "Ik zeg tegen hem" and there is a subordinate clause "dat ik tegen corruptie ben".

The rule for word order in a main clause and the rule for word order in a subordinate clause are different. In a main clause, the conjugated verb comes in second place, as you say. But in a subordinate clause, the verb(s) move to the end of the clause.


Thank you so much this now makes sense . Appreciate the feedback


I'm sorry, but your example sentence made me wonder: when the verb is the last word in a sentence, shouldn't it be in its infinitive form? So, it would be "[...] dat ik tegen corruptie zijn", wouldn't it? Just a tiny question, but thanks for your explanation about tegen! =)


No, when the verb is the last word in the sentence it does not require the verb to be infinitive. In the example vam1980 gives the subject of "ben" is "ik" and hence required to be conjugated accordingly.


Why tegen instead of om? I don't see context implying against so why not om. Or is it just to teach us alternatives


Is it also possible to say "ze zegen mij ja"


Not really. Although I don't think that it's grammatically incorrect, it sounds rather archaic and it would not be a preferred or often used sentence.


Similar to why 'with' can be used to mean either 'against' (fight with an opponent) or 'alongside' (travel with friends). It's all historical development.


that's easy, think about a car driving in the same lane but in the opposite direction - de spookrijder in Dutch. It is driving towards you and against you at the same time.


Tegen doesn't "mean" against and to at the same time. Tegen means tegen. Tegen can be translated into English as against or to, depending on the context. As a Spanish speaker I could ask you: how can "to be" mean "ser" y "estar" at the same time?


At the point in the course I am at, I do not recall "tegen" being mentioned as also meaning "to". So when I read the sentence I thought it was saying "They say you are against me." Honestly I've not yet learned tegen is also to in the course.


I do not recall "tegen" being mentioned as also meaning "to"
DL does not usually "mention" things at all (except sometimes in the Tips and Notes (which PC users can see, but smartphone users cannot).

Instead, DL just brings on the sentences, and by considering them, you figure out what is going on.

Some people like the DL approach because it spares us wordy descriptions of grammar. Others don't like the DL approach; they feel it is unfair and causes them to lose hearts or whatever.

Personally, I like using DL for practice, but I go elsewhere (including the discussion pages) for explanations of grammar and usage.


As I understand 'TEGEN' can also mean 'TO'.

So what is the difference between

Ik zeg zeggen..... & Ik zeg zaar....?


hi guys, why we dont use 'say' in this sentence?


That's fine as well.


I translated this to "they say yes to me" and was told I was incorrect. Can anyone help me understand why?


I think your translation is correct.


is "tegen" only used when you say "they are speaking 'to' me" ? ( or whenever you have to say something is speaking 'to" something or somebody?


should "Zij zeggen ja tegen mij" not work?


if it was the audio, then Zij is wrong because the audio is saying "Ze" not "Zij"


I don't think that's what kieran was referring to. :)


Yes it should. Just report it.


Thanks vam1980. I couldnt figure out why that was wrong.


in the audio they say "ze" not "zij",, you need to be able to pick this up.


Tegen VS naar?


Tegen - against/to Naar - to go to a place ( ik ga naar de strand)


Maybe Tegen VS aan is the good question, Because naar is familiar to go to someone or somewhere


Couldn't we say "ze zeggen me ja"?


No. That won't work.


Hello fellow Dutch learners, can anyone explain me why we should use "tegen" instead of "aan" in this sentence? I thought "aan" was the only preposition that could be used to introduce the indirect objetc. Am I wrong? Thank you in advance.


In the Dutch sentence here, "mij" is not an indirect object. Rather, it is an object of the preposition "tegen".

A true indirect object is used without any preposition at all. It is only word order (or in some languages, case) that identifies it as an indirect rather than a direct object. For example:
He gives me a pencil.
Hij geeft me een potlood.

In the above, "me" is an indirect object.


Your explanations are awesome!!! Big fan


Can people please help me I always get mixed up with zeg and zeggen because it's hard for me.


It depends on the subject. In Dutch, you have to conjugate the verb:

  • Ik zeg - I say
  • Jij zegt - You say (singular)
  • Hij/Zij/Het zegt - He/She/It says
  • U zegt - You say (formal)
  • Wij zeggen - We say
  • Jullie zeggen - You say (plural)
  • Zij zeggen - They say


Could you also say "ze zeggen ja aan mij" or would that be wrong/unidiomatic? (Or maybe even have a slightly different meaning?)


No, that does not work. "Zeggen aan" is not correct in Dutch.


they say yes to me ...!


❤❤❤❤ this ish


They tell me yes.. Duo just give us they, say, yes, to, me. You confused me in the "pick a word" question


"They said yes to me." Why is this sentence incorrect, but, "They tell me yes," is correct?


I don't get many in these nordic languages that I can answer, but this one is tense. You wrote 'said' which past tense, but 'zeggen' is present tense to 'say' might work. Depends whether zeggen is both say and tell, two meanings in English so possibly also in Danish. tell being to somebody(s) as opposed to scatter broadcast with tell.


Kate, it must be "They say yes to me." See the post from Estaban for more.

Estaban, you have it right -- except that the language we are studying here is Dutch, not Danish.


Right. Based on your photo, I may have a few years on you so I am going to say, Senior Moment


"They say yes to me." Is this an acceptable translation?


Looks good to me.


Ze = they Zeggen = say / to say / saying Ja = yes Tegen = Against / At / About Mij = me = they say yes at me?

Can someone explain?


Garth, what is it that you want explained? Did you write ""They say yes at me" and it was not accepted?

In English one would say "They say yes to me". But in English, another way to say "say X to me" is to say "tell me X":
They say yes to me = They tell me X.


My apologies for not being more clear.

Does "Ze zeggen ja tegen mij" literally mean "They say yes at me"?

That seems a bit different than "They tell me yes".

Would "Ze vertellen me ja" work? This feels like a much better translation.

Thanks for the reply!


Although the dictionaries give tegen as against/at/about, English simply does not use at in the context of an action happening towards a person, or maybe even a thing. We simply do not say I give at you this book, but the Dutch concept is tegen. So the dictionaries need to add tegen = to in the restricted sense of action towards a person. I have found in all my language courses, that at times the translations or clues are a bit awkward in English. And, I'm sure, some of my translations in the opposite direction have been just as bad. Hope this clarifies the mud


Thanks for the speedy reply! Seems like "tegen" has too many meanings. Makes it difficult to use properly.

Would you know if "Ze vertellen me ja? also means "They tell me yes? This translation is much easier for me to understand considering the words are one for one.


No idea, although from my German training, vertellen sounds much more agressive than zeggen, the ver prefix usually adding power to the verb.


yo no entiendo el tegen, gracias


falta gramatica. Tegen me copn fundio


this is whole shit wrong

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