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"Do you have children already?"

Translation:Heb jij al kinderen?

August 4, 2014


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Can someone help me with sentence structure here? Why is al where it is?

August 4, 2014


Dutch word order generally goes:

subject - finite verb - object - er/hier/daar - time - manner - place - other verbs

This is the basic structure, but it does change in certain situations. The place of the direct object of the sentence changes whether it is specific or non-specific. When the object is specific (i.e. it has a definite article - 'de' or 'het' - in front of it) it is usually placed before time/manner/place, but when the object is non-specific (no article or an indefinite article - 'een') then it is usually placed after time/manner/place.

For example:

Ik heb de pasta gisteren gegeten - I ate the pasta yesterday.

Ik heb gisteren pasta gegeten - I ate pasta yesterday.

So for this sentence, the object is after time/manner/place:

Heb jij al kinderen?

But, if the object was definite/specific, it would be:

Heb jij de kinderen al?

This site has lots of information on word order and is very useful: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.00

Hope this helps!

August 8, 2014


Do we consider 'al' to be a Time or Manner word?

April 18, 2015


Dank je wel!

August 9, 2014

  • 1562

Could this not be: "Hebben jullie als kinderen?"... (or maybe it's stil "al")... but wouldn't this still be "Do you have children already">. .. as asked to a set of parents?

February 24, 2017


No. A lot of words in Dutch look like plural forms of another, such as "al" and "als," but their meanings are different. "Already" and "if" in this case.

May 6, 2018


It accepted "Hebben jullie al kinderen?".

March 23, 2017
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