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  5. "The bear eats a sandwich."

"The bear eats a sandwich."

Translation:De beer eet een boterham.

September 18, 2014



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


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


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 for 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/ >.


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


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


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


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


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.


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?


A marmalade sandwich


It is tough. In "the horse" i was marked wrong for using "de" instead of "het". So i felt prepared when I saw "the bear" thinking Heck, I Got This. So I wrote "het beer" and they corrected me and said it should have been "de". I guess not all animals are neuter?



And if I'm not mistaken if the animal name specifically implies a male or female (so the biological gender is clear) it is always de

So de leeuwin
De berin
De kater
De merrie
De reu
De stier
De hengst


(Lioness, female bear, tomcat, mare, male dog, bull, stallion)

(interesting that bear and dog does not have a common word for it in english)

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