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  5. "The population only drinks c…

"The population only drinks clean water."

Translation:De bevolking drinkt alleen schoon water.

October 3, 2014



Is there a difference between "populatie" and "bevolking", and if not, which expression is more common?


A tricky one, I think it comes down to the following.

Bevolking = inhabitants of a country or a region, in English population is also used for this, but in Dutch normally that is not the case.

Populatie is used for statistical groups (you either include a sample of the population or the whole population in your statistical analysis) and for groups of animals de bijenpopulatie in Nederland daalt/krimpt the population of bees in the Netherlands drops/shrinks.


A general question, if you please! I don't get placement of adverbs here. "only" makes sense as it is shown here; but in many situations I see the adverbs placed all the way at the end of the sentence/clause-- Just curious why "De bevolking drinkt schoon water alleen" is not accepted. Bedankt in advance!


"Alleen" can be an adjective or an adverb, translating to "alone" or "only". Whereas in English whether "only" is placed before the verb or at the end of this sentence, the meaning does not change, but in Dutch placing "alleen" at the end of the sentence translates to "The population drinks the clean water alone" or "by itself" which doesn't make much sense. But you could say "De vrouw drinkt koffie alleen " - The woman drinks coffee alone. "De vrouw drinkt alleen koffie" - The woman drinks only coffee. If you were to use "alone" instead of "only" in the English sentence, its meaning would change. "The population alone drinks clean water" suggests every other living creature drinks unclean water. I hope this doesn't confuse you more.


Nope, it helped. Forgot about that adjective/adverb distinction which immediately jumped out at me when you mentioned "alone" being at the end; because I recall saying that one of the things that got me interested in Dutch was watching "Holland by Satellite" many years ago, and I was really enchanted by the song "Ik voel me zo verdomd Alleen" from Ciske de Rat. Thanks again for the reminder! Have a lingot while you're at it!


I'm glad it helped. After posting the message I thought "Ik wil alleen alleen zijn" (I only want to be alone) would have been a good example. The song you mention isn't currently available on YouTube but I did find the lyrics. What a sad song! Thank you for the lingot.


That's odd because I watched the entire movie on YouTube "Ciske de Rat" with Danny de Munk... the kid did a great job playing Ciske-- and yeah he sure had it tough--pre WWII Amsterdam.

Here is one version of the song I found:



You're obviously a better searcher than I am. This is much appreciated. Thank you.


Earlier in the course the statement 'de jongen eet alleen maar poedersuiker' is translated as 'the boy only eats powdered sugar'. Is there a reason the 'maar' is omitted here?


I can't explain why, but I believe "maar" could have been added or omitted from both these Dutch sentences without changing the meaning.


Yeah, I asked my wife (who is Dutch, but has dyslexia and therefore difficulties explaining grammar) and she said the same.... I can't find anything in my textbook either haha. Just another oddity of this language I guess.


Why is "De bevolking drinkt enkel schoon water." not correct?

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