"I want some milk."
Translation:Ik wil een beetje melk.
The English word "some" can mean several different things. It can mean not all : "Some people are friendly." But it can also mean a bit of : "Can I have some water?".
The Dutch word "sommige" only has the first meaning of "some". You could say: "Sommige mensen zijn vriendelijk". For the other meaning of "some", which is used in the sentence here, you would need a different word in Dutch. Possible choices are "een beetje" or "wat", among others.
The English word 'some' does not mean 'not all'. 'Some animals are animals' has different truth conditions than 'Not all animals are animals' (the former is true, but the latter is false). So I still don't understand the explanation here. There seem to be about 12 ways to say 'some' in dutch, and I don't understand the differences between them.
I think what Simius meant is really the distinction between countable some and uncountable some. English makes this distinction for the corresponding negative notion: "few people" vs. "little water". Dutch also makes it for the positive notion: "some people" = "sommige mensen", but "some water" = "wat water".
You are certainly right that not all isn't the core meaning of some. I don't think Simius meant to imply that it is. (Though it's usually implied. Saying "I ate some of the food in the fridge" when you emptied it completely is certainly a lie in practical terms. Clarity about this is one reason for the formulaic "the full truth".) I'm guessing that Simius' point was that when you try to find a near synonym for some, then even in English you sometimes need to make the distinction: "not all people" vs. "a bit of water". This was a bit confusing for several reasons, including the fact that "a bit of water" is somewhat weird English and the fact that you can actually say both "not all the people" and "not all the water".
Unlike its obvious English cognate some, sommige can only be used in the countable case. In the uncountable case you have to use wat instead.
PS: English also makes this distinction for some other, similar words; just not consistently for all of them:
- quite some people vs. only few people
- quite some water vs. only little water
johaquila - Could you please recommend me a free but good Dutch online dictionary?
Geen resultaat voor 'een aantal'
Het woord is verkeerd gespeld of het staat niet in het gratis woordenboek.
*Apparently, "Van Dale" is only useful for those who pay a premium.
johaquila - As long as the Dutch part is reliable, this solution should totally work for me, and in the process it will force me to also expand my German vocabulary. Thanks a lot for this suggestion!