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"The bear eats a sandwich."

Translation:De beer eet een boterham.

September 18, 2014

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lyds1177

How can you tell if it's "het" or "de"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mangakoibito

Most of the time you just have to memarise it but the duolingo site has a good explanation for some of the rules


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P_Azul

You can't.

This depends on the gender. There is only one gender where Dutch uses "het" as the definite article: For a singular noun with neuter grammatical gender. Only 25% of the words are neuter, but unfortunately, there's no rule that will always tell you whether a noun is neuter.

There are, however, some cases where you can expect a noun to be neuter:

  • When a word is a diminuitive, it will always be neuter, and thus get "het": "het bootje": the boatlet / the small boat; "het blaadje": the leaflet / the small leaf; "het meisje": the maidlet / the small or young maid or maiden.

  • Likewise, the noun form of a verb is neuter: "het leren" (the learning), "het vergeten" (the forgetting). Games and sports, even when not the noun form of a verb, are all neuter: "het dammen" (draughts), "het tennis"

  • Names of languages: "Het Engels" (English), "Het Nederlands" (Dutch), of metals: "het goud" (the gold), "het blik" (the tin), and of directions: "Het Westen" (the West), but not the area so indicated "de Oost" (the East).

  • Words with the suffix "-isme": "het cynisme" (the cynicism), or with the suffix "-iment": "het experiment" (the experiment).

  • Two-syllable words with a prefix "be-", "ge-", "ont-" or "ver-." (Well, really one-syllable words with these prefixes in front of them.)

This leaves a group of mostly old one syllable words that are also neuter, but that no definite rule exists for: "het huis" (the house), "het boek" (the book), "het paard" (the horse).

To learn, make sure that fro every noun you learn, you memorise it with the article if it uses "het". (There's not much reason to also memorise which words take "de", as that's the other 75% of all nouns.)

If you don't know, this website might: < https://www.welklidwoord.nl/ >.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamSamoht

I think this is a reference to a Dutch children's song called "Ik zag twee beren" which is about two bears making sandwiches.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ellen10430

Every time I get this I have to think of Yogi Bear and his people-food addiction.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lcephoenix

This made me picture a bear sitting on a bench just casually eating its sandwich during lunch break. These sentences are ridiculously hilarious sometimes!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LustAufEinEis

Oh wow what would "broodje" be then in English if it isn't "sandwich"? O.o


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikequinn3

Like a bread roll, literally a "little bread"

If you want a cheese roll in the Netherlands you only need to ask for "broodje kaas"

Sandwich is boterham.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LustAufEinEis

I'd translate both "broodje kaas" and "boterham met kaas" as "cheese sandwich." I've no idea how the English speakers make the distinction here?

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