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  5. "Het is twintig voor zes."

"Het is twintig voor zes."

Translation:It is five forty.

August 7, 2014

94 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mullac1992

"20-before-6" = "five forty". Wat?


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

Perhaps you like the alternative better: 'tien over halfzes' = literally 'ten past half six' = 'ten past five thirty' = 'five forty'.
Maybe '20-before-6' isn't all that crazy? ;)


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

I would say 'tien over half zes' is the most common way to say it in Dutch, not 'twintig voor zes'.

  • o'clock = uur
  • quarter to = kwart voor
  • quarter past = kwart over
  • 6 thirty = half 7

Most of the rest probably sound odd to non-Dutch:

  • five before and after both the half and the whole hour
  • vijf voor half 3 = five to half past 2 = 2.25/14.25
  • vijf over half 3 = five past half past 2 = 2.35/14.35
  • vijf voor acht = five to eight = 7.55/19.55
  • vijf over acht = five past eight = 8.05/20.05
  • the same applies to ten before and ten after (use them for both the half and the whole hour)

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

These all sound perfectly natural to me (native German speaker). The only difference seems to be that we consider "twenty to"/"twenty past" more proper than "ten past half"/"ten to half".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sara657514

And then (in German this is) you have people who say quarter three (viertel 3) and mean 14:15 :D


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

If I want to tell the time as 15:48, should I tell it as "twelf voor vier" ?

Is this correct or do we have the dutch equivalent word for three quarters ?


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

Yes this would be twaalf voor vier, 15:45 would be kwart voor vier and 15:42 would be usually twaalf over half vier


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

In the US we don't involve halves in it but you definitely hear "twenty to 6"


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

Yes, I was so confused by thinking "Twenty to six" as a proper, idiomatic translation and being told it was actually five-forty. I ended up choosing "It is birthday time," because I couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be from the options given me.


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

Half past six is not common, but certainly is heard in the US. Half six, on the other hand, definitely sounds British to my ears.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tracey843948

Half past six is very common in Australia. But, yes, half six does sound very British to me as well.


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

I don't understand it either


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

the speech recognition on this one is really working terribly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anne-Mette249404

Agreed. No matter how I said it it wouldnt recognise the words 'twintig' and 'zes'. I even had my Dutch partner try and it still marked those words red. I've reported it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scribbles171795

I have repeated this until I am nearly hoarse and it won't register that I have said anything except "het is". I have this problem with many of these voiced exercises and on several different devices so it's not just a problem with my microphone. Duo: please fix it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monika488392

Yeah. I have problem with this, as well as whole numbers lesson, which half of the numbers wasn't recognized.


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

This is a major problem throughout this course. Numbers are almost always not recognised.


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

Is anyone else having trouble with their audio not being accepted? I've said "Het is twintig voor zes" about five times, and my half-Dutch husband has tried it three times... to no avail! What are we doing it wrong? I find this sort of thing really annoying, as you just get stuck on that one sentence without being able to move forwards...


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

My full dutch husband has tried this and he can't get it to work either.


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

Yes, I have the same problem! Must be a bug.


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

Yes! It must be a bug.


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

I am so glad I reported this one! I was going crazy.


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

Why isn't ‘17:40’ accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

We are practicing the written words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CHUSA1999

Actually, 5:40 is accepted (when translating Dutch to English, at least), but it says it is a typo and should be 5 40 (no colon).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Maybe they recognize that 5 = five and 40 = forty; I would report that the colon is necessary for the digit version, but maybe the program is not set up to recognize that.


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

Also very few people use military time in america


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

America is not the only English-speaking country.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/getalife21

That's the most american thing i've heard


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

As I heard from many of my Dutch language teachers using 20 minutes is never used in the spoken language. Yet dutch language books tend to have it for some reason. Dutch speakers use Half, Quart, Ten and Five but never 20.


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

That's odd.. I know many Dutchmen (including myself) who use 20 minutes all the time.


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

Then I have been misguided :)


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

Regional, maybe? o:


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

Possibly, although I've lived in many different places in The Netherlands..


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

I myself always say 10 over half


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

Maybe it's regional? The Dutchie sitting next to me just said he wouldn't say this. Having previously explained that 5/10/15 really was correct.


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

'half six' to my ears in time terms would automatically be expanded to 'half past six', so it feels a bit odd to have it be 5:30. But at least 'twenty to six' is common between the two!


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

it isn't actually, usually you say 10 over half "10 past (the) half(hour)".


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

In (Australian) English, never. In Dutch, I think there's a bit of a choice.


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

I meant that in Dutch we basicly always say "10 over half", "20 voor" is regional. Rarely used in most of the Netherlands.


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

Any reason why "It is twenty of six" isn't acceptable?


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

I have never heard this way of putting it in English. The same may be true for the course creators.


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

It is a fairly common usage in the US in the Mid Atlantic states.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonKoch-Sultan

I have heard it often as well, and I am from Massachusetts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gita-ji

In Australia they don't use 'of', but rather 'to'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PauldeBarr1

I am from near NYC, and grew up saying things like "a quarter of six" for 5:45. My spouse is from the Midwest US and had never heard that construction before we met.


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

Twenty of six is very upper crust proper English. I certainly learned it in the States, but most people I know rarely use it. It is correct and should be accepted. I half toyed with using it in this exercise, myself


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

We more commonly use "It is twenty to six." which is also accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mickeymouse1955

I don't know about upper class, but we used twenty of six in Maryland and Virginia.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlueSkies201664

With family in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, I can say "twenty of six" is a common way to express the time and is just as well understood as "twenty to six," ie 5:40


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markqz
  • 2128

Michigan and Pennsylvania both have a lot of Dutch descendants. Maybe some Dutch grammar "escaped" into the local English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jessica33132

I would definitely not say it is upper crust - in fact, it feels the exact opposite to me. But this could be a regional thing. I think "twenty of", "twenty to", and "twenty til" are all commonly used interchangeably in at least my parts of the US


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roberto740984

Same in Spanish, "veinte para las seis"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexis215160

I would say twenty to six, rather than five forty. Either would work in English so why not use the simpler direct translation?


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

Because duolingo mainly uses American English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markqz
  • 2128

?? Americans can (and do) say "Twenty to six."


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

I have said "het is twintig voor zes" like 10 times now and it keeps choking. argh.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lonja14

This translates, EXACTLY, as: It is twenty to six. Where is the sense in saying five forty when we are translating? But why is it not "Tien over half zes? The only times one uses 'voor' are "kwart voor..., tien voor... en vijf voor... the hour, and tien voor and vijf voor, before the half hour.


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

It won't recognize what I say no matter how many times I say it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidGille974090

Yet another audio where the numbers are not recognised and so the whole sentence is marked wrong repeatedly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patrick16107

The app doesn't register my voice


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

I think there is a problem with the appfor this answer. I have tried about thirty times and it is never right. So i asked some dutch people to try and it still registered as incorrect after several attempts.


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

I saied it correctly. It is bug


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jack628150

The audio will not accept any numbers that i speak in dutch. ANY number is not accepted. There is a malfunction in the program!!


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

I say it correct but it says wrong :(


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

We never ever say "het is twintig voor zes" Echt nooit!

We say "het is tien over half zes". Translated "it is ten past half six".

If it is Duo's intention to teach Dutch like the Dutch speak, than this is a big fail.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lonja14

I've never said it Duo's way either. Sounds silly.


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

For some reason while I'm pronouncing numbers Doulingo doesn't accept.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulStone17

This is poorly worded. I could say it's forty past five as well, which was deemed incorrect


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuanCamilo682924

Totally wrong options.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DoodleDan1

I am so confused


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamHH97

"Twenty to Six" feels like it would be a more appropriate translation. More direct, and more natural to say


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

No sense. Reword it


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

What do you mean exactly:?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ann431068

Do I have to sound dutch or have the real dutch accent for the audio to accept my " HET IS TWINTIG VOOR ZES? I have repeated 100 times but not accepting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monika488392

If it's only numbers then it's probably because the audio recognition is broken. It should be fixed up, but it still isn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lonja14

Yes, you should make it sound like Dutch. Without the right Dutch pronunciation how can the audio hear if you are correct? For a start, the Dutch 'het' sound more like the English 'hat', 'is' sounds more like 'iss', the w in twintig is a 'v' sound, 'g' is very softly gutteral at the back of your mouth, 'voor' rhymes with four and 'zes' is pronounced as 'zas'. (Hat iss tvintig four zas!). And Dutch is spoken at the front of your mouth. Good luck. Although it is not much use if the audio pickup isn't working.


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

I disagree. Not with your help above, (and thank you!!), but with the idea that THIS piece of code recognition is not broken. It is. If someone tries many, many times, and several people are failing at THIS string of words, that means something is broken in the audio recognition of THIS string of words. This has happened over this Duo course several times and it's ALWAYS "only one string of words" that I cannot get the voice recognition software to process. I have to turn off the speaker and move on because I cannot proceed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lonja14

Since then, this week, I have gone through and tested all the numerical exercises, and ALL OF THEM WORK AND NONE ARE 'BROKEN'..I will admit they would be difficult for foreign ears.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ewan322894

6 goes with no joy. Speech recognition on numbers in this entire course isawful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ewan322894

Abysmal speech recognition, as for numbers throughout this course. Played it back to itself and still failed!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ewan322894

All hearts gone on one phrase. I give up.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monika488392

Lol. I am doing duolingo on browser, but one time I downloaded an app, because I couldn't have my laptop with me and I was shocked how much worse Duolingo app is comparing to a regular website. Not only I couldn't see where tips for a lessons are, but I was losing hearts when I made a mistake. Wtf. On website version you can do as many mistake as you can and no one would tell you that "you lost all your hearts, wait xx minutes for a heart". Ridiculous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ewan322894

Thank you so much Monika488392. It happened again with the same phrase so I gave the laptop a try - so much easier. It's also nice being able to use a keyboard :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tatiana.555

5:40 of / or 5:45 )))


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilliamElf1

I have listened to the speaker nine or ten times and imitated her exactly each and every time but it isnt accepted. Why????? FIX it!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markqz
  • 2128

I don't understand on why they insist on a translation that involves math. In English we can readily say, "It is twenty to six". Wouldn't that be a more literal answer?


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

Once again, the speech recognition fails to work on numbers. I've even recorded the spoken example and played it to the speech recognition - it fails to be recognised. This problem has been present for over a year and has been repeatedly reported. PLEASE FIX THE SPEECH RECOGNITION FACILITY FOR DUTCH. The fault is spoiling an otherwise excellent teaching tool.


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

why can't i write 20 past six


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

This piece of code is BROKEN!! I cannot proceed. No matter what I say, it does not move forward unless I turn off the mic for an hour. This greatly disrupts my lessons. This has happened in other lessons, but not recently enough for me to remember.


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

Duo, can you please fix the audio with numbers? It's geting boring.

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