"Hij wil niet fietsen zonder zijn moeder."

Translation:He does not want to bike without his mother.

August 10, 2014


Sorted by top post


What's the rule on syntax here? I would have thought that it should be...

"Hij wil zonder zijn moeder niet fietsen."

...because of V2 word order. So why is "fietsen" in the middle of the sentence this time?

August 10, 2014


I am not a native, but I would guess that because zonder is a preposition then we have a compound sentence made up of "Hij wil niet fietsen" and of the prepositional phrase "zonder zijn moeder".


Well, I agree with your general statement, but I don't think that "niet" belongs in that position, rather it should be:

Hij wil niet zonder zijn moeder fietsen.

In Afrikaans, this particular word order is enforced by the STOMPI rule. I suppose Dutch is more lax with the word order, so the infinitive is not necessarily pushed all the way to the back?


Native here, you can say it in the following ways:

Hij wil niet fietsen zonder zijn moeder Hij wil niet zonder zijn moeder fietsen Zonder zijn moeder wil hij niet fietsen

The first one is the most common way of saying this phrase.


Why not "He will not bike without his mother?" Sounds more idiomatic in English to my American ear?


I believe to say it that way, it would be: "Hij zal niet fietsen zonder zijn moeder"


Why shouldn't it be "Hij wil niet fietst zonder zijn moeder."?


You already conjugated "willen" in this sentence, so you don't conjugate the second verb "fietsen". It's the same as in English where you say "He does not want to bike without his mother" instead of "He does not want bikes without his mother". When you have verb phrases like this, you only conjugate the first verb.


I think the past lessons taught me to say "hij wilt leest een boek...wilt eet brood...wilt drinkt water."

So I am shocked to have been missing out on this very important conjugation tip. Thanks


How do you know here that "fietsen" means "to bike" and not "muliple bicycles"?


Context indeed. Had it been "he does not want the bicycles", the translation would have been "Hij wil de fietsen niet" (you need the definite article + 'niet' behind the noun). Or "He does not want bicycles" (so, bicycles in general, not those specific ones) = "Hij wil geen fietsen" ('Geen' applies to the unspecified noun "fietsen"). And then "He does not want to bike" = Hij wil niet fietsen ('niet' because it applies to the verb)


I was under the impression that it is only the word for the action and not for bicycle … But google translate seems to disagree so im guessing context After all we dont get confused in english


“He will not bike without his mother” Why do you think this sentence is wrong?


Because willen means to want and not will (already explained by others on this discussion).


i wrote 'he doesn't want to bike without his mum' and was told I had used the wrong word, is it because I use 'mum' or did I make a mistake I haven't noticed??


What you need to realize is that the people at Duolingo translates in ‘American English’ (US) which in some cases, can be slightly different from the ‘English’ spoken by the British. (UK)


This is grammatically incorrect in English. He does not want to cycle is fine, he does not want to bike is not.


Using the word bike instead of cycle is really starting to bug me. It's grammatically awful.

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