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  5. "Het is twintig voor zes."

"Het is twintig voor zes."

Translation:It is five forty.

August 7, 2014



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


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? ;)


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)


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".


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


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 ?


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


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


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.


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.


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


I don't understand it either


the speech recognition on this one is really working terribly


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.


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!


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


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


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...


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


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


Yes! It must be a bug.


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


Why isn't ‘17:40’ accepted?


We are practicing the written words.


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).


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.


Also very few people use military time in america


America is not the only English-speaking country.


That's the most american thing i've heard


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.


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


Then I have been misguided :)


Regional, maybe? o:


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


I myself always say 10 over half


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.


'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!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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

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


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


Same in Spanish, "veinte para las seis"


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


Because duolingo mainly uses American English

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


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


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.


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


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


The app doesn't register my voice


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.


I saied it correctly. It is bug


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


I say it correct but it says wrong :(


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.


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


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


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


Totally wrong options.


I am so confused


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


No sense. Reword it


What do you mean exactly:?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


All hearts gone on one phrase. I give up.


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.


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 :-)


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


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!!!!!

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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?


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.


why can't i write 20 past six


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.


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

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