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  5. "Zoiets werkt niet."

"Zoiets werkt niet."

Translation:Such a thing does not work.

October 3, 2014



What about 'that sort of thing doesn't work'? It's got the same feel, and I'd certainly be more likely to use it in everyday English.


I agree- this just sounds more natural


A better translation toa more common English phrase would be "That won't work." It would have the same meaning to an native speaker without the awkward phrasing.


I don't think "zoiets" is as specific as "that."


"such a thing does not work" is a pretty strange sentence in English -- when would you use this?


I think "zoiets" translates as "something like that" rather than "such a thing" in more natural English. I don't know if Duolingo would accept that, as I chose the phrase I thought Duolingo would accept rather than the one I thought was the most natural English.


I agree. I would likely say 'something like that' in cases as described by Susande above. Can someone who knows better offer any insight?


In my native German we have an exact equivalent of zoiets (sowas). Literally both mean such a thing, but something like that is definitely a much better translation because it's a very casual word and such a thing isn't a casual expression at all.


I agree with you - and I'd probably use the conditional - along the lines of "that wouldn't work" rather than "such a thing does not work" which sounds stilted.


It may be better to use future tense rather than conditional: "That kind of thing won't work", "Something like that won't work". Then it's just a special case of the general principle that English often marks futurity explicitly when Dutch doesn't. (Of course there are situations in which the Dutch present tense is meant literally and should be translated as present tense.)

If you use conditional (in Dutch or English), you are implying that it's not being tried yet.


Good point! I guess it's also a question of nuance - if you say to me "that won't work" - it's pretty categorical and suggests it's not open to debate. If you say "that wouldn't work" I think it's less 'confrontational' or authoritative.....


Somebody shares some plan with you. This sentence can be your reply if you're skeptical.


I would say "that does not work".Can you explain when you would use "Zoiets werkt niet" vs. "Dat werkt niet"?


They are almost identical they can probably used interchangeably in most cases. But I think that dat werkt niet refers to the exact action or approach that does not work (changing it a little bit could work), while zoiets werkt niet is a bit broader and refers to any similar action or approach won't work. Basically is't using that vs. something like that. I wouldn't worry too much about the difference.

  • Ik wil deze verf van mijn handen krijgen met wasbenzine > Dat werkt niet, maar met terpentine wel. = I want to remove this paint from my hands using benzene > That won't work, but using turpentine will.
  • Ik wil deze verf van mijn handen krijgen met wasbenzine > Zoiets werkt niet, je kan het er alleen af krijgen door het eraf te schuren. = I want to remove this paint from my hands using benzene > Such a thing won't work, you can only remove it by sanding it off.


"Something like that doesn't work" y/n?


jskovgard1 asked:

Just Curious, If I say ....such things don't work...... and make this plural would the sentence stay the same except for the verb, which would, I think turn to plural. (werken). Thanks:-}

I too would like to know :-)


"Iets" and "zoiets" don't refer to groups or multiple things, so when making it plural, it changes to: "Zulke dingen werken niet."


What is the rule to put the article between such and the substantive that follows?

In this case I got an error for missing the article: Such thing doesn't work but in the previous one I got an error because I wrote: I love such a coffee


Here the article is required because things are countable. If you use it with coffee you are treating it as countable as well, i.e. you are referring to servings. That's only correct if the Dutch sentence also treats it as countable.


For starters, "such" in the sense of "that sort of" is much less used in English than Dutch people think it is. Many phrases with "such" will sound strange, and something that might otherwise be a borderline accepted variant is now a rare variant of an already rare sentence.

Beyond that, just as the dutch default is to treat "beer" as un uncountable noun (much like water), so Americans treat coffee (most of the time). Could be because so much traditional American coffee might as well be hot, brown water (LOL) and it's often offered in the form of a "bottomless cup" that gets refilled endlessly unless and until you tell the waitress to stop filling it.

You can make an argument for using the "a" with coffee, but you have to first create a context where it's a singular item. OK: "They make the most perfect espresso--the cup is tiny, the crema is perfect, there's a tiny sugar cube and a twist of peel alongside. I love such a coffee." That way, you're setting it up as "a coffee, the single distinctive serving," not "coffee, the brown liquid with caffeine."


Just Curious, If I say ....such things don't work...... and make this plural would the sentence stay the same except for the verb, which would, I think turn to plural. (werken). Thanks:-}


I guess then you'd need to say Zulke dingen werken niet or something.


I wrote "such does not work" does anyone see a problem with this construction?


Although some native speakers might say this occasionally, it would not normally be considered proper English. Such is normally used only as an adjective as in "such a thing", not on its own.


De audio klinkt als: "Zoiets wekt nietS" Is de laatste "s" nodig of niet?


Uitgesproken op z'n Hollands haha nee, het is zonder die s


Is it wrong to say "Zulk ding werkt niet"? And if so, why?


"Zulk ding" = wrong; that must be: "zo'n ding". But in Dutch "zoiets" stands alone (so without a noun), and yet it can function as a subject in a sentence.


Pronunciation of zoiets is a bit weird. She is saying zowiets instead of zoiets (i m native dutch)

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