1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "She is coming to swim once."

"She is coming to swim once."

Translation:Zij komt een keer zwemmen.

September 16, 2014



I really don't understand the meaning of this sentence. Does the once sound less awkward in Dutch? Unless this girl has a history of overstaying her welcome with multiple swim sessions, I can't understand why you would need the word "once".


It's very natural in Dutch. Maybe it would be better in English to use some time instead of once, I think that would have the same meaning as the Dutch sentence.


Thank you. As it stands the English translation is just...such a very odd sentence.


I believe that German too can say "sie kommt (ein)mal schwimmen"


I still don't understand: in this specific sentence did they mean the multiple visits of this girl or the only one visit?


She is coming to swim one time or another.
She is coming to swim some time or other.
She is coming to swim on one occasion or another.
She is coming to swim at some point.

We are stating only that she is certainly coming at least once. She may indeed come more than once, but that is not what we are saying. We are stating that for certain she will come at least once.


It is a way the Dutch use to express a very open, casual agreement (in this case for the girl to drop by - "een keer": at some unspecified time in the future - to come for a swim).


Can someone tell me why "één keer" is wrong please? I thought that this would mean "one time", i.e. once whereas "een keer" would mean "a time".


Well technically you are right. since there is not always a rigid distinction between 'een keer' and 'één keer' (note however that while spoken there is a very distinct difference in emphasis!)

So, 'Zij komt een keer zwemmen' could mean either 'She will come to swim sometime' or 'She will come to swim one time'.

And 'Zij komt één keer zwemmen' could only mean 'She will come to swim one time'.


In English you wouldn't use "once" if you didn't mean to emphasize that something happens only one single time. Translating "once" with "een keer" instead of "één keer" seems to lose that emphasis.


Why is "zij komt een keer te zwemmen" wrong? :)


It is hard to say why not, but it just isn't. Grammatically it does not make sense.

You either omit the 'te' as in "Zij komt een keer zwemmen" (She will come some time to swim) or add 'om' as in "Zij komt een keer om te zwemmen" (She will come some time to swim). The second is more a statement of purpose (the swimming) while the first is just describing the action.


But then how come the "om te" option is also consodered incorrect?


I guess it's because it'd translate better as 'in order to swim'.


Would "zij komt eens zwemmen" be wrong/different?


I would consider that right.


No. I wouldn't say "eens" in this sentence, and I wonder who does. What we does say sometimes, however, is: "Zij komt eens een keer zwemmen".


While this sentence Dutch > English is a good example of teaching students about a Dutch way of conveying an open-ended intention and/or a similarly casual arrangement for the future, the above English > Dutch practice sentence does not work at all. (What? Only once? Why?!?) In Dutch, this (a verb, in present tense, followed by "een keer") is a standard way to express a vague intention/arrangement for the near to medium future.


Why is it zwemmen and not zwemt ? Why the emphasis on plural ?


aqeel, the word "zwemmen" here is not "plural". Rather, it is the infinitive form of the verb (here used to complement the singular "komt").


Could you put " zij komt keertje zwemmen"?


Are you thinking of "een keertje" because of the lesson about diminutives (of which I find Duo grossly exaggerates with the given examples)?

We don't often say "een keertje" (afaik); we usually say "een keer".


Dutch translation is WRONG: 'once' means one time, so it should be: Zij komt één keer zwemmen.


"Zij komt om een keer te zwemmen" also accepted


Could I also say "Zij komt één tijd zwemmen"?


Hi JedBeyer,

no, sorry , that doesn't work.

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.