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"We kunnen het ons niet veroorloven in zo'n duur restaurant te eten."

Translation:We cannot afford to eat in such an expensive restaurant.

August 12, 2014

18 Comments


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

What is 'het' doing in this sentence?

August 12, 2014

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

Good question! The expression is "we kunnen het ons niet veroorloven" > "we can't afford it", where "het" and "it" are exactly the same words. In this case, the phrase would be expanded to "we kunnen het ons niet veroorloven OM in zo'n duur restaurant te eten", but the word "om" can also be left out, in which case you end up with the sentence as shown...

August 13, 2014

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

Ah, that makes sense. Thank you so much for explaining!

August 13, 2014

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

We cannot afford to eat it vs we cannot afford to eat (in general) ? The English doesn't imply the verb has an object, it's just "to eat" in general. I still don't understand this translation.

April 17, 2019

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

No, it's not "We cannot afford to eat it" vs "We cannot afford to eat." In Dutch, to say you can't afford [to do something] is always "We can't afford it [to do something]." The het goes there no matter what.

April 18, 2019

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

Thanks. I realize now that auxiliary + infinitive verbs work that way.

If I'm talking about something in particular and I say: "We kunnen het ons niet veroorloven het te eten." Do both instances of "het" refer to the same thing?

April 18, 2019

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

The first "het" is more like a dummy "it". It doesn't really refer to anything. We are accustomed to seeing such an "it" as the subject of a sentence. (It doesn't make any sense to eat in such an expensive restaurant. It might be that they went to the restaurant.) But here it's the object of the verb veroorloven.

In the English sentence, "to eat ..." is a gerund phrase (verb form acting as a noun) that serves as the direct object of "afford." You can't stop the sentence at "We cannot afford." In the Dutch sentence, the het serves as the object of the verb veroorloven. You could just stop at "We kunnen het niet ons veroorloven." The om ... te eten part just adds information.

"Afford" and "veroorloven" are not exact, one-to-one translations of each other. More literally, the Dutch sentence would be translated as something like, "We cannot permit it to ourselves to eat in such an expensive restaurant."

In this regard, the Dutch is a little more like the English construction found in sentences like, He considers it important to go to the restaurant, or We owe it to ourselves to enjoy this expensive restaurant.

April 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jk9786

"we can't allow ourselves" in the sense of "we shouldn't indulge in this" --- can't "veroorloven" be doing that here?

September 8, 2015

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

Same question here.

September 11, 2015

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

quick question: Why doesn't "Wij..." work instead?

April 24, 2015

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

"wij" works perfectly fine as well, it just hasn't been added as an acceptable translation. Please report it next time if you haven't already. :)

April 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/El2theK

"Wij" has been accepted for the last 6 months, I have tested it and it should work and be accepted.

April 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YouN656976

When I look at this sentence, I was like where this "te" came from?
I know for sure it must come up with "om..te" or an "te + infinitive verb" type, and if it was "om..te" then "Veroorloven" must be one of the "om verb"(verb that can omit om) OR "Veroorloven"its a "te verb",clearly its an auxiliary verb tho.
Can someone tell me the real reason?

June 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YouN656976

I just tested it with a dutch friend, and it seems "Wij kunnen het ons niet veroorloven OM in zo'n duur resturant TE eten" is correct.
So I guess "veroorloven" its one of the "om verb"?
If am right, please tell me :)

June 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thierry785105

I find "veroorloven" difficult to memorize. Any tip on what this word is built from, or any similarities with English or German words ?

October 5, 2019

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

Oorlof is an archaic word meaning permission or consent or leave or favor. Oor- is “out of” (like oorsprong/origin is that out of which something sprang), and -lof has to do with love or enjoyment (related to lief). The ver- prefix and -en suffix (which prompts the f>v change) turn it into a verb. So veroorloven is like indulging someone in something. Granting permission or a favor. Here it’s reflexive, so it’s indulging yourself, permitting yourself.

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thierry785105

Bedankt NCThom ! Exactly what I needed to know - still, it remains a tough one ;-)

October 5, 2019

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

I typically have these sites open when I’m doing Duolingo:

http://www.etymologiebank.nl/

https://nl.wiktionary.org/wiki/Hoofdpagina

October 5, 2019
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