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  5. "Jij doet mee, mits je luisteā€¦

"Jij doet mee, mits je luistert."

Translation:You participate, but only if you listen.

August 5, 2014



Why has the sentence used both jij and je?

  • 1367

It has to do with a linguistic phenomenon called "focus." Think about in English, when someone asks a question, you stress the answer differently:

"Who ate the food?" --> SHE ate the food "What did she eat?" --> She ate the FOOD

It would be weird if you stressed the wrong word: "Who ate the food?" --> She ate the FOOD (???) "What did I eat?" --> SHE ate the food (???)

The emphasized and non-emphasized pronouns in Dutch work the same way. Wie eet het eten? --> Zij eet het eten Wat eet ze? --> Ze eet het eten

So in this sentence, if you said "jij", it would be like stressing in English: "You participate, but only if YOU listen." Which sounds weird, because why should anyone else be the one to listen.


You've actually made it quite a lot clearer to me now, thanks a lot! Have a Lingot!


Thanks! It is getting clearer, indeed!


interchangeable? but when you've introduced the 'you' with a 'jij' (indicating a particular person) then you carry on with 'je' as we already know who you're talking about.


I wrote "you can participate, but only if you listen"-- why is that incorrect?


I'm assuming it's because you've added "can" when the equivalent isn't there in Dutch. I think your translation is better, but it's not DuoLingo-ese!


Can "meedoen" be translated as "to join" here?

Jij doet mee = you join


Yes that's possible, or you play along. To make sound a bit better in English, I would change it to You will join, but only if you listen.


Wich options do you have to replace mits? I know it is a conditional word. I would like also to know if the translation for mits the word BUT must always be there. Because MITS AND INDIEN, are similar but the translation for INDIEN has not the word BUT.Another question, are those words used actually for dutch people?, are they old fashion? Or they are still important because you still can finde them on books.


Both "mits" and "indien" are used, but they are somewhat formal, so in spoken Dutch people will often use "(maar alleen) als" = "(but only) if". Take care "als" can be used in more contexts, so replacing it other way around is not always possible. Another alternative is "op voorwaarde dat" (also somewhat formal).


I said 'you may paricipate, but only if you listen'. Please can someone explain why this is incorrect? As a native english speaker, I would never say 'You participate, but only if you listen.' It sounds awkward. There is word that is missing in there somewhere.


I agree with you, Lauren - and this is where Duolingo falls down (having said that, let's remember it's FREE!) You can never (well, probably almost never) translate word for word, as you saw. I guess the computer marked it as wrong because it can't 'feel' the language....


Perhaps it is not something you would normally say. But that is also the case for the Dutch sentence, "Jij doet mee" (You participate) is more kind of an order/informing them that they are participating, opposed to that you are telling someone that they may participate "Jij mag meedoen" (You may participate).


I don't think it's just a case of "normally" in English--it sounds wrong because it IS wrong. English needs a "may" to make it conditional. I gather from what you're saying that "mag meedoen" is actually a different tense and mood than "doet mee"--i.e., that the Dutch isn't grammatically expressed here either. At which point, making us write a literal translation of what is correct in neither language doesn't really make sense! That would be a bit like giving us the sentence "Ik bent een meisje," and only accepting "I are a girl" or "I is a girl" as a translation.


Actually, as a native speaker, the "Jij doet mee" in this sentence does sound to me as "Jij mag meedoen". It's just like "Jij krijgt een koekje, mits je je goed gedraagt". So I agree with Lauren and think "may" is a correct answer.


This is the feeling I got about the statement, too. Unless I'm mistaken, what sounds like a direct command (to English ears) is only optional when given in informal situations. For example: "Goed. Jullie zetten koffie, ik snij het gebak, en jij doet de tv aan." There is no actual obligation here, other than through custom. Is that right?


The "but only" signals to us that what follows 'controls' the outcome. It is like a switch. Without it, you cannot "participate". [In seeing a need for the conditional, English speakers may be expecting that these phrases abide by a sort of "one sentence, one statement" rule. I'm not sure, I'm still thinking it through.]

Maybe you are saying that "mit" is used to emphasize what conceptually precedes it. In that sense, it is ALL a command, and the unqualified "doet mee" 'controls' the meaning of the entire phrase.

If the controlling concept of the Dutch phrase is found in the "doet mee", maybe using "but only if" to define "mit" is incorrect:

"You will participate, and (in order to) participate, you (will) listen."

This (to me) is more of a type of compound statement. With the latter part of the phrase, you are unpacking the 'command' property of the "doet mee" part, elucidating it by describing what participation entails. Participation necessarily implies listening, and since you are participating you will by necessity, listen.

We don't hear these sorts of things said in this way in English, because we generally don't respond well to direct commands.


Similarly I put "You may participate, if you listen" which sounds more natural to me (as an English speaker)


Can someone Dutch explain what this means? Is it an implied can/may: something like, "you can participate as long as you listen first"? The literal English translation is either kind of awkward and/or could possibly mean a number of different things. Is "you participate" a command, just an awkward statement, etc?


Mits is something like "on the condition that", so your guess was right. The sentence isn't something that sounds quite natural to me (as a Dutchman), either.


Mits is a pretty old fashioned word!!


Why do we split the verb if we put nothing in between?


from Dutch Grammar:

Separable compound verbs fall apart in the simple present and past

The examples on the page are helpful to understand this. For the current sentence it's the same:

  • ik doe mee
  • je/u/hij/ze/het doet mee
  • we/jullie/ze doen mee


Well.. this is the first time I've seen 'doet mee' and of course my first translation was 'You do me, if you listen' and I was very sure that this could not be correct :D I then decided to hover over 'doet me' to see the real translation instead of guessing.. Oh my..


I got this in a listening exercise and probably listened to the fast and slow version 10 times because all I heard was "doet me". In the end I just caved and typed it :P


this is what i put why is this wrong? 'you are allowed to join in, if you listen?'


"Je bent toegestaan om mee te doen, als je luistert" that is the translation of you sentence. The main difference is the word to allow / toegestaan, because the sentence "Jij doet mee" it is not about the allowance of the person "jij", but more like a statement.

This person want to join, but then the other person says "Jij doet mee, mits je luistert"... = "You (may) participate, but only if you listen"


Question about this... Why would I need to add the "but". Wouldn't it be the same if I said: You participate, only if you listen. I think the comma can replace the "but" in the sentence.


That wouldn't be very good written English. Commas don't operate as replacements for words; they designate short breaths/hesitations. In spoken English you might say, "You participate only if you listen" (no breath, therefore no comma), but there are implied words that you've gotten rid of for the sake of brevity, so it's still not a great written sentence. To make sense in written English, since we can't hear the tone of your voice, you'd need to add "can" or "may" before "participate" to match the rest of the conditional statement. I think that's why the "but" sounds so out-of-place to us--the sentence is wrong, but the "but" isn't the culprit. I don't know if this is true for the Dutch as well, but I suspect they're fudging the sentence into something that's not exactly right in either language, because they're limited by the current lesson level.


yeah, why is the but necessary?


Why is jij and je in this sentences??!?!?!?!


Perhaps so we can hear the difference in close proximity? I suspect it isn't uncommon, just as we use synonyms to avoid repetitious speech in English.


It is indeed used to avoid repetition


Why is "You'll take part, but only if you listen." not correct?


It's a different tense.

  • You take part - Jij doet mee
  • You'll take part - Jij zal meedoen


I saw here no answer to my question .. why not " of " insteads of " mits "


I answered "You participate so long as you listen." And Duo crossed out the "so." Can anyone shed some light as to why this is wrong?


It's not wrong; you can say "so long as" or "as long as" - at least colloquially. There may be some academics on here who can correct me, but I would use both and have heard both used.


I should elaborate. "as long as" was an accepted answer.


I think there is a subtle difference that differentiates one-off and on-going conditions. It's easiest to explain with examples. One-off: "You can have some chocolate as long as you leave me some." On-going: "You can carry on pumping so long as there is water in the tank." ( = "for all the while that")


I see that there are lots of words in Dutch which translated to be "if". Such as; als, indien, and now mits. Could someone give me an example for each word and the reason why? I'll be very thankful for that :D


sorry, but i don't understand why ''je luistert'' isn't ''luistert je'', since that is a subordinate, right?


Is there a subjunctive mood in Dutch?

[deactivated user]

    What does mee means?


    that is the verb "meedoen" so it comes like" ik doe mee", you separate the verb in some cases


    Along with what @ahmed.47 said, the prefix mee- on a verb usually means 'along/with'. Example

    • Dans met ons mee! - Dance with us!

    -mee can also function as a suffix to er, hier, and daar. Example:

    • Ik zal er morgen mee spelen - I will play with it tomorrow
    • Ik zal ermee spelen - I will play with it


    Does 'mits' mean 'if' or 'only if'?


    Yes dude, it is "only if"


    "You paticipate, provided you listen." I wrote "providing you listen"- which wasn't accepted. Am I making up English? I'm supposed to be a native speaker of American English but as I'm learning Dutch, I've become very proficient at making up words! Could we say "providing you listen", anglophone friends?


    whats wrong with ''you can join in, only if you listen''

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