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  5. "Hebt u doosjes voor boeken?"

"Hebt u doosjes voor boeken?"

Translation:Do you have boxes for books?

August 19, 2014



The recommended translation (Do you have boxes for books?) demonstrates that English often doesn't have a compact equivalent for Dutch diminutives. While "Do you have small/little boxes for books" more closely matches the Dutch "Hebt U doosjes voor boeken?" it lacks the true power of the diminutive usage. A number of the exercises in this section show the same absence of dimunitive usage in English.


I think i got it.. luckily in chilean spanish we usually use these kind of diminutives too.

To say "little boxes" referring to size, it would be "kleine dozen" then?


yes, that would be less ambiguous


There are some examples where English uses a diminutive, although not to the same extent as in Dutch. They often impart a babyish tone which I understand is absent in Dutch. The two commonest types end in the letter Y or ie and the suffix let. For example doggy, doggie, bunny, bunnie, kitty - booklet, droplet.


"Have you boxes for books?" is also a way it is said it in English but it's been marked wrong. Can someone tell me why it isn't correct to leave out the "got"?


Why can't you say "Do you have any boxes for books"?


wasn't it accepted as valid? It should, since it's actually a more correct sentence, grammatically speaking (in comparison with not including "any").

  • 2782

Duo tends to want literal translations, and in this case, the word any (enig) is not in the original Dutch sentence.


Why is it 'Hebt u doosjes voor boeken?' instead of 'Heeft u...'?


I'm not sure which is officially correct but some people in the Netherlands say 'heeft u...' while others say 'hebt u....' In everyday life both would be accepted.


So doos is a big box while doosje is a small box? or what do i use the -jes/-je endings for? didnt quite get the sense of it so far


You can either use it to convey the idea that the box is small or, in my opinion, to make the question sound more polite.


Is it true that "doos" is also a swear word? And "doosje"?


Yes, but not in Dutch I think - maybe a native speaker could comment. In Afrikaans (very closely allied to Dutch) 'doos' has the same polite meaning as in Dutch - a box e.g a wooden or cardboard box - ' 'n houtdoos' or 'kartondoos'. It does however, also have a very common use as an impolite word for referring to a fool or an a....hole. A local (SA) golfer, Ernie Els once chastised himself by muttering "Doos!" under his breath when he thought he'd messed up a shot -unfortunately it was picked by one of the microphones and went public (much to the amusement of most Afrikaans-speaking South Africans). [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXDMB73cq8k ] There is, I believe, an impolite Dutch equivalent of the impolite Afrikaans 'doos', which is also a sexist reference - I'm hesitant to provide this word, as it might cause offence ['offense' in US Eng).


I'm a native speaker, you are absolutely correct.


Can it also be : 'Heeft u doosjes voor boeken? '



This site is very useful for language questions, once you master enough Dutch to read the explanations ;) I just typed u hebt heeft into the search bar with this result


Yes, that is also correct.

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