Well, I've written: "I receive the newspaper from him" and it was false and corrected as follow: • I receive the paper from him. • I am getting the newspaper from him.
I'm a frenchspeaker, and I know we are not here to learn english, but it really bothers me not to understand my mistake. So can someone kindly explain why I can't use newspaper with receive? Thank you
Paper is an informal shortening of newspaper in this case, and there are no reasons that I (native English speaker) can think of why you couldn't or shouldn't use newspaper instead. "I receive the newspaper from him" isn't super idiomatic English (we don't tend to use the present tense like that very often, except with things like narration or stage directions), although it is certainly valid, so I think this is just a case of DuoLingo not having an entry in their database. Certainly, if "I receive the paper from him." is accepted then your version should be too.
Thanks Alphathon... After I posted my comment, I went back again to check my answer, and I obviously added a "s" at the end of newspaper, so maybe that is why.... But as it corrected the entire word into "paper" and not "newspaper" or my verb in the second solution, it didn't occur to me what was the problem.
'I am getting the newspaper for him' is translated with 'Ik krijg de krant voor hem' (which could either mean that you get the paper before he does or that you get his paper in his place, but that it still belongs to him, just like in English). In the asked sentence, the subject gets the paper FROM 'hem'. To me, 'for' is never a suitable translation for 'van'.
krijgen may not have the German word kriegen's meaning of "to make war" (although that usage is outdated, anyway), but it does have kriegen's common colloquial meaning of "to get/receive".
You made an interesting comment about "krijgen" being used in the context of catching diseases. Conveniently, the English "to get" and the German "kriegen" are also used like that.
By the way, I'm replying here because your other comment can't be replied to (too deep).
My opinion, based on some expeirience, is following : "van" = french/spanish "de", "voor" = french/spanish "pour"/"para" respectively. And even this sentence fits in my supposition. Also, the "noble" conjuction "de" in French/Spanish, like Charles de Gaulles, Miguel Primo de Rivera is "van" in Dutch (Antoon van Dyck).
I think (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not native English) 'to obtain' in English implies that the subject acts in some sort of way to get something. The Dutch verb 'verkrijgen' or 'bemachtigen' would be a suitable literal translation, but since this is often used in a sense where you obtain something for money, 'kopen' is often a good translation too. The use of 'krijgen' is generally more passive:
- go to a store to get concert tickets ('get' actively/with purpose so use 'verkrijgen' or 'kopen').
- a child gets a toy for his birthday ('gets' passively so use: 'krijgen').
The difference is small though...
True, van hem can also indicate a possessive, e.g.:
- De fiets is van hem - The bicycle is his
However, krijgen van someone/something would only be interpreted as that you get/receive it from someone/something, without indicating ownership. If you want to specify ownership you'd say.
- Ik krijg zijn krant van hem.
I think that's possible (using 'van hem' as a postmodifier of the subject), and I believe that both versions are equally correct, although 'zijn fiets is groot' sounds more natural to my ears.
But, hey, I'm just a learner... Let's see what native speakers have to say in this regard.
'I am getting his newspaper' worked for me as well. I have noticed that Duolingo is going back and forth on accepting this for sentences with this construction (which is why I tried it).
"Ik krijg de krant van hem." - "I get his newspaper" is correct, but for instance "Zij krijgen ontbijt van jou" - "They get your breakfast" is incorrect.
Me too - when we say that in English, it's not clear if we're getting his newspaper as in taking it off him or going to the corner shop to get a newspaper FOR him (which is what I thought). The comment from deVignolles helped me (quoted)
- My opinion, based on some expeirience, is following : "van" = french/spanish "de", "voor" = french/spanish "pour"/"para" respectively. And even this sentence fits in my supposition. Also, the "noble" conjuction "de" in French/Spanish, like Charles de Gaulles, Miguel Primo de Rivera is "van" in Dutch (Antoon van Dyck).
When you say "getting", you're saying that it's happening right now, which in grammatical terms is called the continuous (or progressive) aspect. Unlike English, Dutch doesn't have a formal verb form to express this aspect, so the simple present verb form is also used to express the present continuous.
However, if you specifically want to express or emphasize the continuous aspect, there are ways of doing that in Dutch, although some of them may be considered rather informal. Wikipedia has a nice list of such possibilities, which I've copied below for reference (as of 2017-09-24; emphasis mine). Most of these methods are somewhat advanced uses of the language, but it's good to at least be able to recognize them when you see or hear them.
The continuous aspect is commonly used in Dutch, though not as often as in English. There are various methods of forming a continuous:
- One form is the same as in English: zijn (to be) with the present participle, e.g., Het schip is zinkende (The ship is sinking). This form puts stress on the continuous aspect and often gives some dramatic overtone, making it not commonly used.
- The second method is the most common in Dutch. It is formed with zijn, followed by the preposition and definite article aan het and the gerund (verb used as a noun), e.g., Ik ben aan het lezen (literally I am at the reading), meaning I am reading.
- The third method is by using a verb expressing a physical position, like zitten (to sit), staan (to stand), liggen (to lie), followed by te and the infinitive. Examples: Ik zit te lezen (lit. I sit to read), meaning I am reading (while sitting), Ik stond te wachten (lit. I stood to wait), meaning I was waiting (while standing), Zij ligt te slapen (lit. She lies to sleep), meaning She is sleeping (while lying down), Wij lopen te zingen (lit. We walk to sing), meaning We are singing (while walking). When translating into English or another language, the physical position generally isn't mentioned, only the action itself. In English, similar constructions exist but are uncommon and marginally more frequent only in certain dialects, e.g. I sat (there) reading, I stood (there) waiting, etc.
- A fourth method, also available in English, is using zijn (to be) with the adverb and preposition bezig met (busy with) and the gerund, e.g., Ik ben bezig met lezen (lit. I am busy with reading), meaning I am (busy) reading. If there is an object, there are two forms: 1. the gerund is preceded by the neuter article het and followed by the preposition van (of) and the object, e.g. Ik ben bezig met het lezen van deze brief (lit. I am busy with the reading of this letter), meaning I am reading this letter; 2. the object comes before the full infinitive (instead of the gerund), e.g. Ik ben bezig met deze brief te lezen (lit. I am busy with this letter to read), meaning I am reading this letter. This form of the continuous is mostly used for a real (physical) activity. Grammar-wise, it is possible to say zij is bezig te denken (lit. she is busy to think, she is thinking) or hij is bezig te slapen (lit. he is busy to sleep, he is sleeping), but it sounds strange in Dutch. In these cases, other forms of the continuous are generally used, specifically the second method: Zij is aan het denken and hij is aan het slapen.
- A fifth method also involves the use of zijn (to be) with the adverb bezig (busy), this time followed by te and the infinitive, e.g. Ik ben bezig te koken (lit. I am busy to cook), meaning I am cooking. If there is an object, it comes before the verb, e.g. Ik ben bezig aardappelen te koken (lit. I am busy potatoes to cook), meaning I am cooking potatoes. This form is also mainly used for real activities. Zij is bezig te denken and Hij is bezig te slapen are uncommon.
- The sixth method is a special form of the continuous. It implicitly means that the subject is away to do an activity. It uses zijn (to be), followed by the infinitive, e.g., Zij is winkelen (lit. She is shop), meaning She is (away) shopping.