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"Alle mannen zijn sterk, behalve ik."

Translation:All men are strong, except for me.

August 21, 2014



well this made me sad


I'm curious about the use of 'ik' instead of 'mij/me' here. I had assumed that ik meant 'I', and mij/me meant 'me'. Why is 'ik' the correct word here?


Because 'ik' is used for 1st person singular SUBJECT whereas 'mij/me' is used for object.


Why isn't "All men are strong, except I" the correct translation? It appears that "behalve" is being used as a conjunction, since it is followed by the subject "ik". A 1 to 1 translation would be to translate to the English word "except" used as a conjunction, not a preposition. Translating a conjunction and a subject pronoun into a preposition and object pronoun doesn't make sense to me.


The word "behalve" is a preposition, not a conjunction, but it behaves oddly. See my comment below.

I say that "behalve" is a preposition rather than a conjunction because it introduces a noun or pronoun without any accompanying verb, whereas conjunctions, by definition, introduce clauses that have their own verbs.


But a few sentences ago we learned to use the object form of the pronoun after a preposition...??!


What you say is correct. The problem is that unlike other Dutch prepositions, "behalve" behaves oddly. It sometimes takes the objective form, sometimes the subject form, depending on context.

As far as I know, it is the only Dutch preposition/conjunction to behave in that way. Examples:
Wie gaat behalve ik? = Who is going apart from me?
Wie zag je behalve hem? = Who(m) did you see apart from him?


That's misbehavin'!


But...don't prepositions take only objects? I don't recall ever hearing "behalve zij", "behalve wij", "behalve hij". What about other prepositions? "Ondanks hij"? "Dankzij zij"? Seriously? This reminds of the current mess in English, where prepositions are forced to pretend they are conjunctions: e.g., "for you and I". Or an innocent conjunction is forced to cast off most of its clause and pretend it's a preposition: e.g., "different than me". Maybe the same sort of sloppiness is happening in Dutch?


You are correct that "behalve" is a preposition rather than a conjunction, and for the reason you state -- it introduces nouns or pronouns, not clauses with their own verbs. See my earlier comments on this point.

The problem is simply that "behalve" behaves oddly. It is the ONLY Dutch preposition that can take either a subject pronoun or an object pronoun depending on context. See the examples in my earlier comments.

Let us treasure "behalve" as a linguistic anomaly and stop there. No need to generalize about the decline of language, etc.


English is idiosyncratic in using "me" in this kind of sentence, even though it's the subject of the sentence. So just remember that English doesn't always use "me" for subjects ("I'm going to the park. Me too!" and not "I too!" even though this is also a subject). Dutch preserves the subject meaning by using the subject form "ik" and not the object form "mij/me."

I would suspect that the sentence "They like all men, except for me" would be "Zij houden van alle mannen, behalve mij/me" and not "behalve ik" but I'd have to wait for a native Dutch speaker to confirm that...


You are right. And we Dutchies prove that a sentence works like this by rearaning it by simply saying 'They do not love me', 'Zij houden niet van mij'. It means the exact same in the end and proves that mij/me needs to be used here instead of ik. 'Zij houden van alle mannen, behalve mij'.


I disagree because you can also say "all men are strong, excluding me" which implies that except in this context is a verb and "me" is the indirect object.


In your sentence, the phrase "excluding me" modifies "all men", which makes it an adjective phrase. The reason for using "me" is the fact that the adjective phrase starts with a participle. Participles often act as modifiers but in that act they preserve their verbiness by taking objects the way the original verb would. So "me" is the object, being the thing excluded. No indirect object involved.


kileli, English is NOT idiosyncratic in requiring that an object pronoun follow a preposition -- that is, requiring except for me instead of except I.

Furthermore, in the DL sentence here, "All men are strong, except for me", the word "me" is not, as you claim, the subject of the sentence. The word "me" here is the object of a preposition.

In other words, the main part of your post is utter nonsense.

So is the claim (from some other posters) that Dutch is "more logical" on this point of grammar. Most European languages -- including English and Dutch itself most of the time -- put pronoun complements of a preposition into the object form.

The simple truth is that the Dutch word "behalve" is unusual, even by Dutch standards, in that it can take either a subject pronoun or an object pronoun as its complement. In other words, here it is the Dutch that is weird, not the English.

That is all that is going on here. See my earlier posts on this page for examples.


I suppose a lot of people would appreciate if a native speaker could explain why "ik" is being used instead of "me/mij"


Because in English sometimes 'me' is used for first case subjects. For instance in phrases like: 'me too', 'he is taller than me', 'me and my friend are playing', etc. This is confusing, but also in English, these are subjects. Dutch is just more consistent when using the different pronouns for different cases.


It is not just confusing; it is dead wrong. "He is taller than I (am)" is correct. "My friend and I are playing" is correct. Fifty years ago hardly anyone made such errors in English but unfortunately , according to my students, grammar is nowadays scarcely taught in North America.


It's used in cases where "me" could be substituted with "I am." I'm going to the store / me to / I am, too." Ditto, "He is taller than me / He is taller than I am." The third example, "me and my friend are playing," is formally incorrect, at a level that the other two are not; "my friend and I are playing" is perfectly normal (and in fact, you'll hear people misapply it to the objective case, when "me" should be used--they should say, "he have it to her and me," but will say, "he gave it to she and I," in the mistaken belief that "I" is always "more correct."


Consider the following English sentences:
1. He is taller than me.
2. He is taller than I am.
3. He is taller than I.

In 1, the word "than" is being used as a preposition, followed by a pronoun in the objective case.

In 2, the word "than" is being used as a conjunction, followed by a complete clause (with its own subject and verb).

In 3, the word "than" is being used as a conjunction, followed by a clause in which the subject is stated but the verb is implied rather than explicitly stated.


when to use "alle" and "al" ? can I say "al mannen" instead?


shouldn't "unless"be accepted in place of "except"?


nee, it is not proper english m8


hmmm.. really? Ok, I take your word! Thank you m8


every man is = elke man is
all men are = alle mannen zijn

Note that one phrase uses the singular verb form, the other the plural verb form.

  • 1018

Why except of me is incorrect?


"except of me" is not grammatical English. Grammatical are:
except me
except for me


Why in the name of holy grammar is it not "behalve mij"?


Don't worry about it; I am Dutch and I don't know that either. I wonder even if I was taught that in school ever; we have learned this in every day speak, and we definitely say (correctly!) in this sentence "behalve ik". It's an interesting topic for linguists, I am not, and I am not intended to study this; I don't need to doubt about the correctness of "behalve ik".

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