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  5. "Ik zie haar nog steeds."

"Ik zie haar nog steeds."

Translation:I still see her.

October 20, 2014



"nog" means "still". What does "steeds" add/mean?


Steeds means always, but with an implication that something is going on steadily. Dutch has to be more careful about its function words because it's less careful about the present/future distinction and uses the progressive less systematically than English does. Steeds is required to disambiguate the meaning of nog sufficiently to exclude the reading: "I am still going to see her [later today]."

Nog has several such disambiguations, including nog meer (still/yet more), arguably later nog (still as used in the previous paragraph), nog wel (still in its most basic temporal sense), and nog steeds (continuing and still).


Would really like to know this as well.


Google Translate gives "yet" for "nog", "always" for "steeds" and "still" for "nog steeds".

I hope a Dutch person can improve on that!


dutch native here.

always will be altijd. so wrong word. literaky translated steeds means still even as nog steeds. there are more words in english wich have same meaning as the duth word nog.



If you compare it with the german word "stets", you may find the answer.


Nog steeds hoort bij elkaar. Het geeft aan dat het nog aan de gang is; dat het nog niet afgerond is.


Is this sentence talking about dating? Or literally just seeing? Presumably 'ik zie her nog' would refer to someone being looked at in that present moment?


My girlfriend (a native Dutch speaker) says that "Ik zie haar nog steeds" can only mean that you are still physically looking at her (so, the literal translation), or that you are seeing her only in the context of staying in contact with her (I'm "seeing" my friend for lunch; I still "see" my old coworkers, etc). But in the context of dating, "seeing someone" is not a euphemism for dating here like it is in English-speaking countries, so this sentence does not imply dating.


why is "I am still seeing her" not accepted ?


See ishkhanuhi's comment above. "I am still seeing her" would only refer to dating in English.


How do you know where to put these words in a grammatical order?

  • The words nog steeds belong together in the same way that the words zoom in or many other word pairs or longer phrases do in both languages. They can make sense on their own, but certain combinations are special and must be learned or looked up in a dictionary. So basically they behave like a single word, which is what they sometimes become after a while. (This is clearly what happened to for ever and all ways, for example.)
  • The basic sentence structure of Dutch is V2, which in most simple cases means subject - finite verb [one word only] - object [if any] - rest of the verb phrase [if it consists of more than just the finite verb]. In this case the verb phrase consists of just one word (the finite verb), so it just amounts to SVO like in English: Ik zie haar.
  • The only remaining problem is to find a good location for nog steeds inside Ik zie haar. To do this intuitively, your intuitions from English will be pretty good, but you must take the constraints of V2 into account.
  • V2 means that the finite verb (if it isn't put first to stress it or in a yes/no question) always comes in second position. So you can't put nog steeds there. This rules out the word order of I still see her: Ik nog steeds zie haar is wrong.
  • The obvious alternative is I see her still, leading to Ik zie haar nog steeds.
  • Or if you want to stress still / nog steeds, put it first: Still I see her. But then you must move the finite verb so that it is again in second position: Nog steeds zie ik haar.


How do I know where the place the adverb in the sentence? Here is at the end, but in "Zij houdt nog steeds van hem" is after the verb...


I think I answered basically the same question in my long response to Aleksandreign in the discussion for the sentence I still see her. (Same sentence pair, other direction.) See there for the details. I can't guarantee that everything there is correct, but it will give you some material to work with - and apparently some people found it helpful.

The key thing to consider: Haar is a direct object but van hem is a prepositional phrase. Objects bind to the verb very strongly. (And in some languages they are or can be treated differently when they are represented by personal pronouns such as her. The Romance languages are famous for this, but to some extent this also happens in English.) Prepositional phrases are coupled more loosely.


This took on a strange image in my mind, so would you also say this if you were having visions of someone that is not there?


I am curious why "I am still seeing her" is not accepted.


why not? i see still her


That would mean the following: We all know that I still see someone. The information I want to convey with this sentence is that she is the person I see.

This is not a very likely thing to say, and even if you do want to say that, it requires a different word order in Dutch as well: "Ik zie nog steeds haar." (This happens to be essentially the same word order as in your English sentence.)


However you cannot use it that way in Dutch, you will be misunderstood. The reason for that is that word order in Dutch is important here. A specific direct object comes in a different place in the sentence than a non-specific direct object and there is the peculiarity that haar (meaning her) is a specific direct object, while haar (meaning hair) is non-specific.

  • ik zie nog steeds haar = I still see hair (non-specific)
  • ik zie haar nog steeds = I still see her (specific)

And since the sentence you talk about is unlikely, people will even more clearly interpret it the way I just typed. Also compare:

  • ik zie nog steeds een boek (non-specific)
  • ik zie het boek nog steeds (specific)

See this explanation on word order: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.16 and the following pages (clicking next page a few times).


Ah, that makes perfect sense. The same grammar actually applies in German, too, but as there is no way to confuse sie (haar, her) and Haar (haar, hair) I didn't see it.

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