1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "Zij hebben geen liedjes gezo…

"Zij hebben geen liedjes gezongen met ons."

Translation:They have not sung songs with us.

October 4, 2014



As far as I can tell, Duolingo usually allows you to translate Dutch sentences in the perfect tense into the English present perfect or past simple. If I understand it correctly, the rules for using the perfect tense are not as strict in Dutch as they are in English. Could someone please explain why 'They sang no songs with us' is corrected to 'They've sung no songs with us'? Bedankt!


Why is the Dutch noun negation "geen" (="no, any") translated with verb negation "not" (="niet") in English? I've seen it few other times in Duolingo and I'm just wondering if there is a rule I have missed.


You could say "They have sung no songs with us," and it's correct in English, though it's a little less common and may provide just a little more emphasis.

It's just a slight difference in the way the languages work.

Initially, for example, I had a devil of a time with "kein" in German. When people explained that you only use "nicht" (or "niet") to negate a verb, I said, "But I WAS negating the verb - "sing"!"

Then I realized I was arguing with an entire language, shut my mouth, and tried to wrap my head around it. Eventually, I got it. Most of the time, anyway. ;-)


I was wondering the same thing.

I will try "They have sung no songs with us" the next time I don't mind risking a point.


"(little) song" would be a ditty fyi ;-}

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.