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  5. "What do they want with this?"

"What do they want with this?"

Translation:Wat willen zij hiermee?

September 19, 2014



Could anyone explain the difference between hierbij and hiermee? Hierbij was marked incorrect for this sentence.. thanks


I'll come back to this lesson because I find these words too wierd to fathom at the moment. Maybe in the future they will make sense. How you get hiermee out of with this beats me


I paint with it = I paint therewith = ik schilder ermee
I paint with this = i paint herewith = ik schilder hiermee
I paint with that = i paint therewith = ik schilder daarmee

Think of old-fashioned English, or even modern English as used in legal documents -- lots of compounds like "herewith", "therewith", etc.

In Dutch when talking about things or directions (as opposed to people), they don't use preposition+pronoun. Instead, they use adverb+preposition.

When used by itself, the Dutch word for "with" is "met". But in compounds like the above "mee" is used instead of "met".

The English "with" is ambiguous. Sometimes it is about purpose. For example, what do they want with this = for what purpose do they want this" = what do they intend to do with this. In this case the Dutch would use "hiermee".

But sometimes English "with" is about something in addition to or along with something else. For example, what do they want with their coffee? In that case, Dutch would use "hierbij".

We are given the English first here, and it is not clear what we are talking about. So I think that both translations with "hiermee" and translations with "hierbij" should be allowed.

As a general guideline, if you can substitute "along with" for "with", then you should be using "Xbij". If not, then use "Xmee".


I used 'hierbij' instead of 'hiermee' and it's wrong. Why?


I would also like to know why was "Wat willen ze hierbij?" marked wrong. What about, say, a side dish at the restaurant, or something like that that actually fits with "-bij"?


Would "wat willen zij ermee?" also work here?


That would be more like "what do they want with it", so not necessarily "this thing here".


Oh, ok, got it! Bedankt!


Still not clear why it should be hiermee and not hierbij. Can someone pls explain? Thanks


This question has been asked several times in this post. Could we have an answer?


That is mod's answer for other discussion at exactly same sentence: ""Wat willen ze hierbij" means that they have something, and they want to add something else. Let's say you have some coffee. The café has some amazing pies, so the waiter asks "Wilt u er nog wat bij?" ('Would you like something with it'). ("Erbij" and "hierbij" are similar)

"Wat willen ze hiermee" means something else. I don't know how to explain this, so let me give you some examples:

Wat wil je hiermee zeggen? - What do you want to say with this? Wat moet ik hiermee? - What should I do with this? Ik kan hiermee leven. - I can live with this"


Monika, thanks for your post. In the sentence here, I would describe the difference between "hierbij" and "hiermee" as follows:
With "hierbij" you are asking what do you want in addition to this.
With "hiermee" you are asking what do you want to do with this or what is the purpose of this.

Since we are given the English first here, and we don't know what is being talked about, I think either word should be allowed in the translation into Dutch.


That is a good explanation. Now the difference is more clear.


Thanks a lot, guys! This was super useful. In this case definitely both should be accepted.


I'm a little confused with the words starting with 'hier' since I thought it meant here. By 'this,' is it okay to think about it as 'the thing (er) that is here (hier)?' So by 'hiermee,' 'with(mee)' 'the thing that is here(hier)'? Sorry if that's confusing!


That's what I do - I think of hier+preposition as "preposition this thing here" (like Lenkvist said) and daar+preposition as "preposition that thing there". But I'm not a native Dutch speaker, so it's possible that I shouldn't be trusted.


I thought that with words like "wat" you have to use er somewhere? Does "hier" count as an er- word?


As I understand from Lenkvist, in these scenarios "er", "hier" and "daar" correspond to "it", "this" and "that". So "what do they want with IT?" is "wat willen zij ERmee?" while "what do they want with THIS" is "wat willen zij HIERmee?" (and "what do they want with THAT?" is "wat willen zij DAARmee?")


Wat willen zij mit dit?

Since when should i supposed to know dit?


Is that not the entire system of Duolingo? That you always come across words that you might not yet know the meaning of?


I wish there was a magical pill for this very difficult lesson.


Read my first first post on this page. Does it help?

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