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  5. "Het is het hoofdvoorwerp."

"Het is het hoofdvoorwerp."

Translation:It is the main object.

August 8, 2014



What does this mean?


It's about some kind of object that apparently is the most important. The prefix hoofd- is added to indicate something is the main thing or most important thing:

  • het hoofdonderwerp van de discussie = the main subject of the discussion
  • de hoofdact van het festival = the main act of the festival

Keep in mind that voorwerp can only mean a physical object, not a goal (that's een doel (this is a het woord) both for a target and the thing used in sports).


Bedankt! Now I understand why it's called 'hoofdstad'.


Can anyone suggest a context in which one might say this?

(I've got a case of knowing what all the words mean; not knowing how to use the sentence.)


For example: you are performing at a circus as a juggler. You use all kinds of different objects to juggle with, but you use a set of rings the most. The rings are the main object in your performance: De set ringen is het hoofdvoorwerp in je act.


Main object, meaning the centerpiece of a display of some sort? "The main object of the art gallery was his sculpture."

Or main object, meaning objective? "The main object of golf is to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes possible." "The objective of golf..." blah blah blah...

Or both?


"hoofd-" means "head", as in the most important or main one. Think "headmaster".


In Swedish we have the word "huvudsak", which usually means "that which is most important" (lit. "head thing"). It's often used abstractly, as in "Huvudsaken är att du mår bra" ("As long as you're feeling well...") Can hoofdvoorwerp be used like that? Het hoofdvoorwerp is dat je gezond is, or something like that?


That's hoofdzaak in Dutch, this literally means head case. It sounds like this word and huvudsak have the same origin. BTW hoofdzaak is the opposite of bijzaak (side issue). E.g. voetbal is de belangrijkste bijzaak in de wereld = football is the most important side issue in the world.


"Head case" means something different in Australian English (and possibly other variants). "He's such a head case!"


Why can't I say, "It is the main thing."?

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