"Zij liggen te praten."

Translation:They are talking.

4 years ago

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/valerielee333

What would the question be if this sentence was the answer to that question?

Q: "Wat doen zij?" or "Wat zijn zij aan het doen?" A: "Zij liggen te praten."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/watgaafallemaal

both are correct. 'wat doen zij' is just a shorter version, but both are used.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BillofKempsey
BillofKempsey
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Would "zij praten" have a different meaning/nuance?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marcuslangford

Yes, first, it's implied that they are laying down.

Second, they are doing it now, "zij praten" also means, "they talk" as in they do, but maybe not right now.

You could also say "zij zijn aan het praten." Which is right now, without the lying down implication.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joelson00

I agree, except for the incorrect 'they are laying down'. Lay (leggen) is transitive (one has to lay something); lie (liggen) is intransitive.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marcuslangford

I'm not exactly sure what the "liggen" is doing here then, since the only interpretation i can imagine for it is that they are lying down.

Perhaps you could illuminate.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dewell81
dewell81
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my dutch girlfriend is really sure that this would be only be said if you want to emphasize that you are laying down and talk. "Zij zitten te praten" or "Zij zijn aan het praten" is what you would use.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vam1980
vam1980
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You would use "zij liggen te..." if you're actually lying down. That doesn't necessarily mean that the lying down part is emphasized though...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marcuslangford

So we get back to what i said in the first place... Odd, almost like Joelson is Wrong.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGrahamCable
TheGrahamCable
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@murcuslangford. Joelson is right. - You just didn't understand his point, that laying and lying are different things.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Squonkalini
Squonkalini
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"Lay" can also be intransitive when used in the past tense, as in "I felt tired so I lay down for a nap."

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/as2907
as2907
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Lie-lay-lain is intransitive. Lay-laid-laid is transitive. Confusing, but that's just the way it is.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Squonkalini
Squonkalini
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You got it!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jonathan.lukens

What is the nuance here with liggen? Does it imply that they are being idle?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vam1980
vam1980
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It implies that they literally lie down. Similarly, "zij staan te praten" would imply that they're standing and "zij zitten te praten" would imply that they're sitting down.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talideon
talideon
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You can say that in English too: 'they sit talking', 'they stand talking', &c. That's perfectly fine English, though people might not immediately recognise the parallels in Dutch.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnUnicorn
AnUnicorn
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They sit talking -> Zij zitten te praten is logical enough. The one that gets me is that 'walking' also counts in Dutch--but also, apparently, using 'lopen' to construct the progressive present doesn't always mean you're walking.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AukeWesterterp
AukeWesterterp
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True, which comes naturally for native speakers, but makes little sense. Even in Dutch is sounds a bit ugly though it is grammatically right. You would find it in spoken text, but less in books.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wei-Da

So Ik loop te praten is also grammatically right? Meanwhile, besides zitten, staan, liggen, and lopen, are there any other verbs can be used like that? Or technically all the verbs can do this?

Thanks for all the discussion you had. It's a great help.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/picaroto
picaroto
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The use of "lopen" is similar to that of the Portuguese language: "andar" means "to walk" and this verb is used in daily conversation to construct the progressive present: "ele anda falando" meaning "he is talking" but not necessarily right now, actually for a continued period of time, like days or weeks. In Portuguese, you will never think that someone is "walking and talking" when that phrase is heard. Sorry for mixing another language in this thread, but I would like to show that the Dutch language is not alone in employing that verbal construction!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/as2907
as2907
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Same in Italian: "lui va dicendo...". And with the same meaning of doing it for some time.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/legalskier

Can this also be translated as "they are lying down talking?"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AukeWesterterp
AukeWesterterp
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Literally yes, but it would rarely be meant to be that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnUnicorn
AnUnicorn
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If I wanted to an an object in here, would I use an om te construction? Say someone was sitting and talking about what's on TV, would I say Hij zit om televisie te praten?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AukeWesterterp
AukeWesterterp
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Almost, that would be 'hij zit over de televisie te praten'. This sentence in particular is not so common, but similar to 'hij zit / staat / loopt over het weer te praten' (He is talking about the weather).

To make it more confusing, one could say: 'Hij zit om televisie te kijken' (He sits in order to watch television)

Even more far fetched is 'Hij zit om over televisie te praten' (He sits in order to talk about television, not meaning the machine, but the programming)

Not to be confused with "Hij zit om over de televisie te praten' which could mean both 'He sits in order to talk about the television' or something meaning that he sits in order to be able to speak to someone else without the television being an obstruction.

I start rambling, sorry.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/futilemoons

I don't understand the 'te' in this sentence. To me this looks like 'They are to speak' rather than 'They are speaking.' Can anyone explain?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xMerrie
xMerrie
Mod
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It's just how we say it, when constructing a sentence like this. This site has a great explanation. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/futilemoons

Fair enough, I guess it's just one of those strange quirks of the language! Thanks for your help.

2 years ago
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