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"Dat kan ik me niet voorstellen."

Translation:I cannot imagine that.

August 12, 2014



What is 'me' doing in this sentence?


In Dutch, to imagine is a reflexive verb: "zich voorstellen".

It's indirect object is always a reflexive pronoun such as me, je, zich or ons.

Edit: ninja'd once again!


I see that 'voorstellen' by itself means 'to propose', so, intuitively, 'zich voorstellen' would imply that in Dutch 'to imagine' is something like 'to propose to oneself'?


OOOOH! That makes sense! Have a lingot!


ik stelle voor ( I propose ) Is it well writen ? Thanks !


No. "I propose" would be 'ik stel voor'.


It's a reflexive verb, so:

  • ik stel het me voor
  • hij stelt het zich voor
  • wij stellen het ons voor


Thanks, guys! I should have waited until I got more exercises with that verb in it because I ended up figuring that out the next time I got it. Half the time I end up answering my own question.


I am a little bit confused... Why is "I cannot imagine that myself" wrong?...


Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm a little confused as well. I've never seen "me" used as "myself" in these instances. It just doesn't get translated. However, how else would you say "I cannot imagine that myself?"


"Dat kan ik me niet voorstellen." perhaps or "Dat kan ik me niet mezelf voorstellen."? Ohhh Dutch hahaha...


That's what Google says, but if there's one thing I've learned while studying languages, it's that you generally don't want to trust Translate. ;) Perhaps you just replace "me" with "mezelf" since it's the emphasized version?

I would appreciate if a native could answer this question for us. :)


Hahaha helemaal waar. :3 Although I did not check that in google translate. I came to the conclusion that if me is just chilling out in there without becoming "myself", and "I cannot imagine that myself" is wrong.... then there must be a mighty magical word that could add "Myself (mezelf)" into the sentence...

That being said "Dat kan ik me niet mezelf voorstellen." sounds quite me me me me D:


Gilberto, do you speak Spanish? It's like 'imaginarse' in Spanish... Dat kan ik me niet voorstellen' : no puedo imaginarME eso


Eso no puedo imaginármelo.


I'm a little confused by this word order. Could it not also be, "ik kan dat niet me voorstellen,"?


You can say: "ik kan me dat niet voorstellen"


Des konn i ma ned voastäin.
Das kann ich mir nicht vorstellen.
Dat kan ik me niet voorstellen.
Dat kann ik mi nich vörstellen.
Det kan jeg ikke forestille meg.
Det kan jag inte föreställa mig.


I was sure, that "zich voorstellen" means "Introduce myself", but not "imagine".....


What's wrong with "I cannot introduce that" (as in, I can't introduce that group)?


The presence of 'me' indicates that in this case 'voorstellen' is reflexive. 'Voorstellen' (to introduce) is not reflexive, so can not be used.


thanks! How would one say "I cannot introduce that"?


'Dat kan ik niet introduceren'.


Could you also say "ik kan niet dat introduceren?'


No. It's either 'Dat kan ik niet introduceren' (with a bit more emphasis on 'dat') or 'Ik kan dat niet introduceren'. The word order in 'ik kan niet dat introduceren' is not correct Dutch.


Why is mij instead of me wrong?


It should only be wrong if it's a listening exercise and 'me' is pronounced. In a translating exercise, 'mij' should be accepted.


ik kan me dat niet voorstellen - is this also correct ?


Yep! Louis.vang actually answered that question above. If it was marked wrong when you tried using that as an answer, simply report it and someone should add it as an accepted alternative eventually.


I am still unsure as to where the reflexive pronoun goes when the reflexive verb follows another verb


When you are using a reflexive verb with a modal verb like "kan" or "zal," you place the reflexive pronoun after the modal verb and before any adverbs (like niet in this sentence).

Does that make sense?


And "Voorstellen"is a reflexive separate verb.. right? same meaning with "bedenken" can I say "Dat kan ik niet bedenken" or "Ik kan niet dat bedenken"?


"Bedenken" is not reflexive. "Indenken" is. "Dat kan ik me niet indenken" means roughly the same as "Dat kan ik me niet voorstellen".


Hey thanks for your answer. Now i notice there is an syn for "voorstellen"
But in my question the examples i gave, there is no reflexive content. And I want to know if these are correct


"Dat kan ik niet bedenken" is correct Dutch (meaning "I can't think of that"/"I can't make that up"). "Ik kan niet dat bedenken" is not (incorrect word order).

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