"Nederland heeft een grens met België."

Translation:The Netherlands has a border with Belgium.

4 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Erven.R

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GenesisP.O
GenesisP.O
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I thought "The Nederlands" were plural. In french they say "Les Pays Bas" and it's plural.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamNowek
AdamNowek
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The Netherlands is singular in English, as is Nederland in Dutch.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alantrousers
alantrousers
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I think they are plural. Lands. Not land. Originally anyway. Maybe it's come to be considered singular nowadays.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alphathon

I believe you are correct. In the mediaeval and early modern eras "Netherlands" (literally meaning "low lands") was used like we use "low countries" today. In the 14th-15th centuries pretty much all of the land in the low countries was ruled as the Burgundian Netherlands - a collection of individual "lands" (counties, duchies etc). These were then inherited by the Habsburgs, eventually ending up being ruled by Spain, then Austria, so they were then called the Spanish/Austrian Netherlands or the Habsburg Netherlands. All of these were more descriptions than names of states though.

In 1581 the northern part (roughly co-extensive with the modern state of the Netherlands) became independent from Spain and was called the "Republic of the Seven United Netherlands". This actually was the name of a state but was clearly plural. However, over time this has become seen as more and more singular, similar to how the United States of America isn't thought of as plural even though it originally was. Personally I wouldn't think it wrong if either were used with regard to the Netherlands though (in English anyway).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kwesiquest
kwesiquest
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...which goes through the middle of people's houses in Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mathso2
Mathso2
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That's what I thought too :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/countvlad
countvlad
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this is perplexing! When does one use the singular or the plural verb for "the Netherlands"? I used 'have', lost heart! aghhhhhhh.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/prettyevil
prettyevil
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Perplexingly, it accepts plural verbs for The Netherlands in other sentences, but not this one. Some consistency would be nice.

And I'd recommend the consistency be in accepting both since one should not have to know geography in order to learn this language.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Duh_Way
Duh_Way
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The British seem to use the plural for collective nouns as in the translation above. The notion of collectivity is not recognized as it is in American English.

A Brit might say "Ford have introduced an updated Fiesta" whereas an American would say "Ford has given us another Limey piece of @#%*!"

I guess when in Britain plural "be good enough for I !"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/prettyevil
prettyevil
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We Americans can't tell the difference between a teapot and the Boston harbor. Can we really be trusted with verbs?!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kwesiquest
kwesiquest
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Hmmm I dunno the exact rule, in BrE it's normally singular unless you're talking about their national sports team or something like that, and I haven't lost any hearts doing that, but in AmE I don't know what their rule is.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaia217222

Can somebody tell me the difference between "frontier" and "border" - it puzzles me, as I am no English native speaker/writer

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alphathon

Generally speaking they mean the same thing (roughly (outer) edge). In practice border is the usual term for "the line which divides two countries"; frontier may also mean this but is restricted to some more specific contexts (usually poetic and military). The way they are usually used is also slightly different (e.g. "the Dutch-Belgian border" vs "the Dutch frontier with Belgium"), although this is largely a matter of style and not a rule.

However, someone may also be said to be "on the frontier(s)" if they are in a poorly developed part of a country far from the (more developed) "centre". This is often used in relation to the American Wild West for example. Frontier may also be used as an equivalent for march (a militarised territory on or near the border), or combined to form frontier march. See also: Frontier on Wikipedia

There are also contexts where frontier might be used where border generally wouldn't be, such as the frontier of space or the frontiers of science/technology.

1 year ago
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