"Which cats are they?"
Translation:Welke katten zijn het?
In English, "it" plural is "they". In Dutch, "it" plural is "it". I figured that all or most animals, including humans, reproduce sexually, and have male and female, the pronouns "hij" and "zij" would be appropriate for them. If the answer we are given here is correct, it would seem that "hij" and "zij" are reserved for humans. If so, I would consider the usage misguided, but if that is how the word is used, it is what it is, and we can either go along or try to change it.
I believe the it is used differently here and more like in it is nice weather.
"Do you see that groups of kids over there?" "Which group is it? You mean the group on the left?"
So now in english you use it for humans aswell! ;)
You say which cat/boy/kid is it. (Which of these boys is it)
Same in dutch but like you stated we can use this "it" for plurals aswell.
Which cat is it?
Welke kat is het?
(That pooed in your garden)
Welke katten zijn het
Which cats are the ones you mentioned
(Somehow saying "which cats are they" feels odd to me like it doesn't mean the same thing as the singular. But maybe that's because I'm dutch ;) I noticed I'm avoiding using that exact phrase)
That helped thnx. This stretched my mind further than it could stretch atm. Everytime I thought I had it, it would flee from my mind again.
Some cats are born without a tail. "which cats are they". This would work right?.
Ow wait no, that won't use "het" that would work for "welke katten zijn dat" Which was actually what I instinctively answered..
So more like some of your cats are in my garden.
Great attitude !! :)
Understanding the why helps
Unfortunately most have the attitude of why not. Trying to force their ideas upon another language.
(What also help is trying to really understand why your own (the language you are learning in) does some things a certain way. Often we expect something because it is the way we are used to. But it isn't always logical).
Without context this is a hard sentence to wrap your head around though...
I finally got it by replacing cats for herbs :)
Can you get me the herbs for this soup? Which herb is it/which herbs are they. Dutch doesn't use they for the plural of it. They use the equivalent of "it are"
Hope this helps :)