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  5. "Zij heeft net geleerd dat ze…

"Zij heeft net geleerd dat ze haar paspoort nodig heeft."

Translation:She has just learned that she needs her passport.

September 16, 2014



"She just found out" is an equally good translation


Actually in this case I don't think it is equally good. Leren in Dutch is only used in the sense that you learn something because it is taught to you or because you studied something. Erachter komen means to find out.


Then the sentence is funny: where do you suddenly LEARN that you need a passport?


Yup, that's what I thought when I first saw the Dutch sentence. :)


Seems like the variable definitions for "learn" in English don't all equate to "leren" in Nederlands.


You're right, differences can be subtle. Leren is a tricky one, since to teach also translates to leren.

  • 1473

The only instance where you'd figure that out is when you were either stopped by police who then asked for ID, or at the border with the UK or other non-Schengen country.


Yes, but res ipsa loquitur: you find out that sort of things. You don't learn. Or maybe you learn in that specific sense of "today we learned of the death of our hamster", in which there is no teaching involved. But rather finding out.


As a native English speaker (American), I don't find anything strange at all in "She has just learned that she needs a passport." Colloquially, it is perfectly synonymous with "found out."


So is it the 'nodig heeft' at the end that means 'needs', or is it the other 'heeft' paired with the 'nodig'? Bit confused by the sentence structure in this case.


No. The first "heeft" is part of the present perfect construct with "geleren", while the second "heeft" is part of the verb "hebben ... nodig". The reason the sentence ends with "nodig heeft" is because the latter half of the sentence is a subordinate clause. That clause also begins with "dat", which causes the the conjugated verb to jump to the end of the sentence. Don't worry, I also was confused when I first saw this sentence. Hope this helped. :)


I would also not use found it. The dutch idiom for that, besides what Saulto says, would be ontdekken or uitvinden (discover or find out).


why the subject in the subordinate clause is ze not zij


ze and zij are synonyms


Yes, "ze" is the unemphasised (unstressed) version of "zij". Some sentences require an emphasised word in certain places (i.e. you have to use "zij" instead of "ze"), but apart from that, they're interchangeable.


I wonder if Dutch people actually speak that fast in daily conversation. I guess I really need lots listening sections then


I'm Australian and we love to keep our sentences as short as possible:

  • She just learnt she needs her passport
  • She has just learned that she needs her passport

It's nice that both are accepted!

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