That is because this is a standard structure we use here. It is not that hard. Basically it consists of
Ervan houden om te + occupiance
Which conjugates to
"Hij houdt ervan om te voetballen"
Or "ik hou(d) ervan om voetbal te kijken"
Luckily, you can avoid this structure. Instead of saying "ik houd ervan voetbal te kijken" you could say "ik houd van voetbal kijken". Also, the first one sounds odd. The second one sounds much better.
Thanks, the second one it is :D
Since I asked that question, I've come to like "er" constructions a lot, but some still confuse me, like this one. Now when I was thinking about this, I tried removing only the "er" from the sentence, and "Hij houdt echt van om criket te spelen" definitely makes no sense anymore. I don't have to translate it to English in my mind, I get it why it can't work if I remove only the "er".
I'm still not fully satisfied with my understanding of constructions like these, but someday soon... :)
"Hij houdt ervan om voetbal te spelen"
"Zij streven ernaar om meer te lezen"
(Until your answer, I didn't realize these were the same kind of thing)
<sub>~</sub> On a different note, before this exercise, I wasn't used to seeing "er + prep" separated. Could I also say something like "Hij houdt echt ervan om cricket te spelen"?
Well, you could. I had to think about for a while, but it does not seem to be incorrect, though I would say it like that. In my childhood some kids used to talk like that, but it sounds odd really. A more common way to say it would be, as you expected i guess, is "Hij houdt er echt van (om) cricket te spelen" Although the strucure containing 'er' is not so common, as i said in my other post.
Great to hear that you dont translate to english! That's how you learn the language, by feeling how it works, although duo wont always understand it :/
Ervan houden om te
Hij houdt ervan om cricket te spelen. = He loves to play cricket.
Hij houdt er echt van om cricket te spelen. = He really loves to play cricket.
Yes they actually have a national side and they even have an official organisation for it: KNCB - http://kncb.nl/ (bit like the KNVB which is the Dutch FA, but the KNCB is for cricket not football) :)
The Netherlands have been part of the ICC since 1966. They also recently won their first trophy for the first time in 14 years beating Namibia in the final of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 which promoted them to the 1st league (http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/01/future-of-dutch-international-cricket-assured-for-three-year-at-least/)
And don't forget to mention we beat the English. ;)
Never seen someone play it here. Don't know what cricket is exactly to be honest :)
Most of the countries that play field hockey well also have good cricket teams.