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  5. "We hebben zelfs een neushoor…

"We hebben zelfs een neushoorn."

Translation:We even have a rhinoceros.

September 18, 2014



I find it generally hard to distinguish between we/wij, ze/zij etc when you listen to the automated voice. Anyway, shouldn't both ways be correct? I'm aware of the sound difference, as hard as it seems to detect it at times, but aren't they (at the very least usually) grammatically the same?


I have that problem all the time. I can never quite hear the difference between we and wij, ze and zij, je and jij, so whenever these words come up, I listen to it slowly. Then it's always obvious.


In this particular exercise I even heard it u and kept wondering how u was followed with hebben. The fast voice was clearer and gave me a chance to hear it correctly.


One seemingly irrelevant question will be: how zelfs becomes meaning "even".

I know "zelf introductie" means self introduction and I presumably thought zelfs means "-selves". Does zelfs also has a second meaning like above? I will sincerly appreciate if somebody could kindly tell me.

No matter what the result is, it will be a link to better remember the word:)


'Zelf' as a standalone word indeed means 'self'. This can be used in conjunction with words to create words that have similar meaning like 'hunzelf' means 'themselves'.

'Zelfs' (with an S) as a standalone word indeed means even (but not when used as the opposite word of odd).

I can't think of any words on the top of my head that use '-zelfs' to translate to '-selves'. As my previous example shows, 'themselves' can just be translated to 'hunzelf' (without an S).


thanks a lot for your help. As I said, now I have some more clues to remember this word. Dank je wel voor jouw hulp


Could this also mean "We have a rhinoceros ourselves"?


No. There's a distinct difference between 'zelf' (ourselves) and 'zelfs' (even)


"Zelfs we hebben een neushoorn" = Even we have a rhino (lots of people have one) and "We hebben zelfs een neushoorn" = We even have a rhino (because we have all sorts of things). Is that right? Dank je wel!


When putting emphasis on "we" in the first sentence, you should use "wij". Not sure if it's a hard rule, but (as a native Dutch speaker) I've never heard someone emphasize "we", which just sounds very wrong. As for your interpretation, they seem spot on: the first one is indeed about how it would be so common to have a rhino, that even WE have one and the second is indeed about how uncommon its is to have a rhino, but your selection of animals is so vast that you EVEN have one of those.


In this case is it possible to translate 'zelfs' to 'also' or 'too'


I would say its close, but not exact. 'Also' and 'too' translate to 'ook' in dutch, which doesn't carry as much emphasis on how impressive it is, just like 'also' and 'too' don't carry the same emphasis as 'even' does.


Why is wij wrong here?


The distinction is relevant in listening exercises.


It shouldn't be. As noted earlier, 'we' and 'wij' are identical in meaning and can both be used.

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