1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "Slapen de dieren 's nachts?"

"Slapen de dieren 's nachts?"

Translation:Do the animals sleep at night?

August 4, 2014

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dgates41

Is there a link to how to deal with the 's ? I believe this is the first time we've been introduced to the concept.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulineStinson

The apostrophe signifies here that something is left out, like in I'd, it's or she'll. What is left out is never written out in this case though, because it's outdated and out of use. 's nachts= des nachts. It's is the genitive, which makes more sense in expressions of time: 2 uur 's nachts = 2 o'clock "of the night" Actually, o'clock is "of the clock", so not so different, really. 2 o'clock o'night ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/natablette

Thanks i didn't know this rule


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nierls

it's short for old Dutch "des nachts"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agermeister

so to clarify, "des nachts" or s' nachts , means 'at night'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nierls

Yes, it's an old Dutch genitive leftover which means "at night" or "in the night"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zaidiux43

Does this mean that when using 's before a word, that word should always carry an s at the end?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nierls

pretty much always yes, same as in modern German. However the genitive is used very rarely as it isn't part of modern Dutch, it's only used in these kinds of words like 's nachts/'s-Hertogenbosch etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grey236

So do you say des or just 's when speaking?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nierls

you say snachts


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NamariMybu1

In Afrikaans, which is derived from Dutch, we say 'snags' meaning every night or only in the night. He works night shift = Hy werk snags. The moon shines at night = Die maan skyn snags.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gwoi10

It's quite interesting because in Afrikaans the Dutch phrase " 's nachts " changed to the single Afrikaans word "snags". A similar thing happened with " 's ochtends " which changed to "soggens" in Afrikaans.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kezumi

Why is "Are the animals asleep at night?" incorrect? I'm taking this test as a Dutch native speaker to see if I find any mistakes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soylaivana

I think they often look for very literal translations. Taking the Spanish test was a nightmare for me haha (it's my native language)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liongirl15007

I know right? I took the French one - miserable. Way too literal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shan237521

Why does the sentence say 'Do the animals sleep at night?' As a native speaker I would say 'Do animals sleep at night?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dutchesse722

"Do animals sleep at night?" is a very general question and refers to all animals. "Do the animals sleep at night?" is more specific and refers to a certain group of animals. For example, I'm visiting the zoo and I ask the zookeeper "Do the animals sleep at night?" by which I mean the animals in the zoo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shan237521

Ahh that makes so much sense. Thank-you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dutchesse722

Graag gedaan! The same counts in Dutch by the way, since this is an exercise in Dutch.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/baZ237319

I had the same question to myself as Shan. But then how would you translate 'Do animals sleep at night' in Dutch?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kai_E.

You would just take away the definite article "de": "Slapen dieren 's nachts?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mityacor

Nachts is plural for night, isn't it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kpelle27

Nope, it's "nachten". The s on "nachts" just goes with the apostrophe-s before it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gmack357

can it also mean: Are the animals sleeping at night?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wildbat

Same here, I really do not see why that should not be accepted as well… reporting (just in case ;) ).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JHezza

Is the - 's - a seperate word? I wrote "dieren's" without a space before the apostrophe, and duo says I've made a type.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nierls

The 's is part of 's nachts, which is short for (in) des nachts, which is old Dutch, we only 's in city names and for in the evening ('s avonds), in the morning ('s ochtends/'s morgens), etc.


[deactivated user]

    Now I see why my answer (Slapen de dieren's nachts?) was marked as having a typo. I hadn't realised that the 's was separate from "dieren"! Whoops!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oliver.gil

    Sleep the animals at night? is not correct because??????? tnx for explanation since i am not an english native speaker


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/idohi

    In English we can't just put the verb in the front to make it a question, like in German and Dutch. We often use the verb "do", which will make it "<Do> the animals sleep at night". I don't really know why, but i suppose just adding a do at the beginning makes it easier to make a question without fiddling with the sentence structure to begin with.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emperorchiao

    The spelling changes related to remnants of the case system are illustrated at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaic_Dutch_declension#Case_usage


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hsl183

    What's plural for nights then?

    Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.