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  5. "Zij geeft hem altijd briefje…

"Zij geeft hem altijd briefjes."

Translation:She always gives him notes.

September 28, 2014



Cant the word briefjes be translated as 'letters' as well ?


Nope, briefje is a note, brief is a letter:




I don't believe it can. From what I've learned, notes are little letters, hence the use of the diminutive suffix.


Is there a pronunciation difference between heeft and geeft?

  • 1733

yes, heeft is like English "H" in have, and the Dutch "G" is the growling guttural sound


See "hoed" vs "goed" as well. You must make the guttural sound or the words will be confused. "I asked him how his dag eas and he replied 'hat'???"


Would "she gives him notes all the time" be acceptable?


I think that should be accepted, yes. "All the time" can also be more literally translated to Dutch as "de hele tijd", but it means the same thing as always/altijd in this context.


It's close, but not identical I think. When using always it'll usually mean (almost) every time they meet, but when using all the time it will normally be e.g. one long meeting when she just keeps on giving him notes. But I do agree that in general usage these words are sometimes used interchangeably.

BTW Your sentence is closer to Zij geeft hem de hele tijd briefjes.

Edit: or what Simius said…I think my explanation is closer to what the dictionary says, his explanation closer to how people use the language. :)


You might be right. I looked in the dictionary and found "all the time" as a possible definition of "always", but now that I look again I see that they mean the more literal "all the time, continuously, without stopping".


I agree with Pergolesi. In American English, "All the time" usually refers to many occurrences over a long period of time. "She gives him notes all the time" would most commonly be understood to be the same as "She always gives him notes".


No, "all the time" (in UK English at least) only refers to multiple occasions of an instance (rather than multiple instances on one occasion as Susande initially suggested). So mullac1992's suggestion is right.

  • 1733

Because it is a diminutive, I put "She always ends him little notes" but it didn't accept it. I suppose it would be " Zij geeft hem altijd kleine briefjes"?


Looks like "ends" is the problem.


Maybe "little letters"="notes"?


Why is "little notes" incorrect?


Briefjes already means "notes;" they are "little letters," and there is no other "little" in the sentence aside from the implied smallness of the "jes" suffix. If you want to say that even the notes are little, you would say "kleine briefjes."


How is this wrong "She gives him notes always"


The placement of "always" is non-standard. "She always gives him notes" is the best way of saying it.


Is "letters" not an acceptable translation for briefjes? I hear nederlanders say that all the time.


Can´t "briefjes" mean "banknotes" as well?


I thought adverbs are always placed before what is being described. Essentially, why is altijd not before geeft?


There is no rule such as you are describing. In fact, in Dutch adverbs usually come AFTER the conjugated verb, not before.

(Perhaps you were thinking of English, which often puts adverbs before the conjugated verb.)


Also, that would disrupt the verb second rule.

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