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  5. "Zij komt een keer zwemmen."

"Zij komt een keer zwemmen."

Translation:She is coming to swim once.

September 22, 2014



When can I use this sentence? Does it mean she has never been swimming here before or rather that she does not plan to come back? Thank you for all the answers in advance


"She has swum once" was my translation, which wasn't accepted. Yet the English translation is really weird


You have translated into the past tense, but 'Zij komt' is in the present tense, and you have left out this verb. - As for the weirdness, imagine that the girl has had an argument and didn't want to swim with the group. Now she has decided to come, but just one time. (Maybe more will follow.)


the deep lore of this girl and her swimming friends


The problem is with the translation of een keer, not the verb, as AndrewsSuzy points out below.


"Een keer" is a typical Dutch way to express a fairly vague, open-ended time frame, either in the future or in the past.
We use the verb in the present tense, followed by "een keer" to indicate a general intention, not a specific occurrence or set date in the future. In this particular case, it means something like: "She will drop by for a swim some time soon-ish". Another example: "Ga een keer fietsen!" is a general admonishment to take the bike (at some unspecified time in the near/intermediate future - possibly as a healthy alternative to the car).


Speaking of the use of "once" - it tends to have a past sense - you'd say 'she CAME once' and the implication is she never came again. But not "she is coming once" - for the future, you'd say 'she's going to come one day'.


I agree with you: normally once (when used as a time adverb, not as a conjunction) refers to a past time. More info: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/adverbs-of-time-and-frequency/once


Every time I come across this exercise, my heart sinks. So many people are confused about what it actually means, but there is no comment from the Duo team to help people interpret what to many people is a translation that doesn't make sense. Is it the case that this is just a Dutch phrase that doesn't translate well to English?


the difficulty is of course the part : ...een keer... . If you translate that literally to english it means: ....one time..... But in normal day dutch we understand it as: ....sometime or maybe never.... It is not a contract, it is a vague promise, it is an intention. maybe like the spanish .. tomorrow. Someday, when we are in a good mood, and the weather is nice, she will come over to swim. And for that promise, or intention there is no good english translation, although: "some time" is already a good fit, but i don't know if Duo accepts that. Duo's translation is : "once" and not "twice", but that misses the clue completely.

[deactivated user]

    It's interesting to note that in Belgian French we have the exact same thing ("une fois"), which French people don't really understand (and they make fun of us for saying it). It's the same meaning as what you've described, but it's a belgicism. I imagine we got that from Dutch, since we're so close and both languages in Belgium are influenced by each other.


    When you say this in Dutch it really means that she is coming to swim one of these days.


    As a native speaker, "een keer" is used to indicate an unspecified moment in the future. "Een" is pronounced then as "un" whereas if you nean only one time, "een" should be pronounced as één (as in "ain't") we use this first version to indicate that someday in the future we will do the action mentioned, without committing to it. Like: "jullie moeten echt een keertje langskomen" (you really ought to come visit sometime) in this case, i think the correct english translation should be: "she is coming for a swim sometime"


    Is "she is coming swimming one day" a better translation? Translating "een keer" as "one day" seems to be a common strategy in cases like this.


    I think the English translation is wrong. Shouldn't it be "She is coming to swim some time"? I really think that "She is coming to swim once" would be "Zij komt één keer zwemmen", since then and only then the "een" means one, and not a.


    If "She comes to swim one time." (which I think sounds odd in spoken English) is correct, then why is "She comes swimming one time." isn't? Thanks!


    It is correct but sounds odd.


    It doesn't sound odd to me. To my (UK) ears, "to go swimming" (and its contextual correlative "to come swimming") is a more natural English phrase than "to go to swim".


    In Australian English is sounds better as "to come for a swim" (it might be the same in the UK?) saying "she comes to swim once" sounds off unless you say "she comes [here] to swim habitually"


    Greetings from the UK! I agree with your statement.


    The meaning in Dutch is "She will come for a swim some day". The problem is how to turn that into a Duolingo-style word-for-word translation.


    To my American ears, "she comes to swim" or just as in Australia, "she comes for a swim" indicates purpose. She is coming over to a pool for the purpose of swimming. "She comes swimming" would not only sound strange to me, but would indicate manner, i.e. she came to me by swimming, instead of by boat or hovercraft or something else. Now, "she is going swimming" would probably indicate purpose to me, but then, we use "to go" as a sort of modal in a way, whereas we do not use "to come" in the same way.


    The "correct" phrase, "She is coming swimming once." looks so off to me that I've just been sitting here repeating it, thinking maybe I'm the one with the problem.

    Although longer, I think we (USA) would say, "She is going to come with us to go swimming once."


    There is nothing in the German sentence to indicate "with us," though.


    To come swimming or to come for a swim is good, but To come swimming one time implies something that has happened or will happen, right? it's the latter half of the sentence that sounds wrong.


    Why does it not have to be 'Zij komt een keer te zwemmen"?


    "te zwemmen" is very old fashion / wrong now.


    She is coming to swim sometime


    This seems to be the most logical translation and conveys the intent of the Dutch sentence - the translation given by Duo makes no sense to me.


    Amazing! One year and this answer is still seen as incorrect?


    Why is it "een keer" and not "één keer"?


    Because it means a instead of one.

    Note that the pronunciations of een and één differ -- the former sounding something like un or 'n and the second like ayn.

    I have a little disagreement with the English translation - "één keer" literally means "once" or "one time". She is planning a single visit and no more. But to my ear, "ze komt een keer" means she is going to drop in sometime, without any thinking about how often it might happen. It is a common expression in Dutch. "Kom eens een keer langs!" = "Come and drop by sometime!" It certainly does not mean just once and that's it.


    Thank you, that makes sense!


    Why "She comes once to swim" is correct and "She is coming once to swim" is wrong?


    "She comes once to swim" and "She is coming once to swim" are technically the same. "She is coming..." could be read as future tense.


    She will come... seems right to me too


    Hi Mick, in the future please use the "Report a problem" button to let us know about missing translations. Thanks!


    "She will come to swim sometime" was accepted.


    Why wouldn't you say "om te zwemmen?"


    Because then it would mean that she is coming for the purpose of swimming. The sentence "Ze komt een keer zwemmen" means that she will come and swim.


    Exactly, the once is implied but not said.


    Because then it would mean that she is coming for the purpose of swimming. "Ze komt een keer zwemmen" means that she will come and swim.


    "she is coming to swim once" would never be said by a native English speaker


    I agree. And if it's an 'unlikely sentence' -- as stated above-- why would it even be acknowledged in a conversational language course?


    She is coming to swim once.

    [US Native Englisch speaker]


    Englisch speaker

    Ach so!


    Sure, I get it. If you repeat it 100 times, you just might legitimise it!


    "She is coming to swim sometime" would be a better translation.


    Yes, that sounds good to me.


    Can I say: "She is swimming once" or "She swims once"?


    "She swims once" sounds better, "is swimming" is an ongoing activity which is hard to quantify (even if it is the only time she will be swimming)


    I think the meaning here is "She is will swim once" or "She will swim some time", or "She will swim one day".


    The meaning of the dutch sentence is: "some time". Typically somebody says: "i will come over to swim" Without mentioning a specific time. It could be once, it could be more, or also it could be never, but the intention is there to come over and have a swim.


    Thanks, for clearing that up. Is it OK to translate "komt te zwemmen" as "will swim", am I losing some meaning there?


    yes, that is okay. Just to be sure i checked google translate. There it is a little bit different: https://translate.google.com/#view=home&op=translate&sl=nl&tl=en&text=komt%20te%20zwemmen Google says: Komt te zwemmen = "comes to swim". But that is basically the same as "will swim".


    the male voice makes it very difficult to distinguish between zij and ze or je and u.


    It should be easier when you click on the turtle icon.


    Maybe you should say 'She is coming to swim one of these days.' I'm not sure if 'She is coming to swim once' is even good grammar.


    It's perfectly grammatical. It's just an unlikely sentence in English.


    Is KOMEN a modal verb ?


    I think it means, "She will come swimming sometime" especially since it's een, not èèn (article, not number one). Duo should drop this sentence, as it simply causes confusion, judged by the discussion it generates.


    You mean één, not èèn. It is a good Dutch sentence, but Duo's given English translation is not right.


    Regrets on the diacritical marks, but the point remains--een is an article, not a number. Do you agree with my translation?


    Your translation is better than Duolingo's in my opinion. I think it is OK... with the comment that the Dutch means sometime, or maybe not even at all. I guess your version could mean that too.

    And re the accents, those indicate different sounds in Dutch. The è is a short e, whereas é is a long Dutch e (sounding like our long A) - similar to their usage in French.

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