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  5. "The man speaks both English …

"The man speaks both English and Dutch."

Translation:De man spreekt zowel Engels als Nederlands.

August 16, 2014



why can't it be "Engels en Nederlands" in this sentence?


Zowel x als y is a standard construction and is always used like this, similar to the English standard way to say neither x nor y. If you drop zowel then you should use en, but then the emphasis that it's about two things is lost.


What about, beide Engels en Nederlands?


That's wrong. Beide is not used for both x and y constructions, some examples:

  • I like both bands = Ik hou van allebei de bands/Ik hou van beide bands
  • I like both = Ik hou van allebei/beiden
  • Both women are German = Beide vrouwen zijn Duits
  • Both you and I = Zowel jij als ik


So... Hij spreekt Engels en Nederlands. Welke taal? Beide.

Klopt dat?


Is "Engels zowel als Nederlands" okay as well?


Nope, you can't change the word order of zowel x als y.


I tried something similar: "zowel spreekt." It wasn't taken.

One might think it would give the "Yes, but" typo message.


"De man spreekt zowel Engels als Nederlands" "The man speaks English aswell as Dutch"


Now you made it easier for me to understand. Thank you!


Replying to myself as duolingo threads have a maximum depth, @B2OAp43R no, as well here means also, not to the same standard, I used as well as its the literal English translation of zowel. You could in very archaic Dutch say zo wel als, but that’s then a different sentence and many people wouldn’t get what you mean.


The English sentence could mean both, 'The man speaks both English and Dutch.' or 'The man speaks English and Dutch to the same standard.' Does the Dutch sentence also have both meanings?


Very interesting Dutch seems to have many "Swiss army knife" words, wel being one of them.


Can one say "Engels zowel als Nederlands" in this sentence?


Can "zowel...als" translate into "as well... as" ?


That’s the literal translation, but I’d say it’s closer to both, though that’s also beide. “Zowel ik als jij”, “beide ik en jij” “both me and you”. Which now I look up is the meaning used here. I can’t think of examples rn but I think that generally if you can rewrite a sentence using as well ... as to use both it’ll work


Why is 'het man' not correct? Didn't really get the difference yet.


There is always a specific article for every noun. Using 'het' for man is incorrect, because the assigned article for man is 'de'. It's kind of confusing, but native Dutch speakers get confused with it as well, as from what I've noticed. The only key in here is to just keep memorizing until it becomes second nature.


De man spreekt beide Engels en Nederlands? is correct?


What is wrong. My translation is similar to yours


Then why is my translation wrong?


What comment(s) did you try to reply to?


In this lesson every sentence had a werb at the end except this one. Why is 'De man zoewel Engels als Nederlands sprekt' wrong?


Dutch can have a verb at the end of the sentence but it doesn’t have to. Dutch places a verb near the start of the sentence and the rest at the end. Example: “I [would like to see] you”, “Ik [zou] je graag [willen zien]”


I typed "Nederland" and got it wrong. Count it as a typo please duo!


Nederland is the country, not the language


What is wrong with saying, "De man spreekt ider Engels en Nederlands."?

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