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  5. "Er wordt gespeeld."

"Er wordt gespeeld."

Translation:There is playing.

October 22, 2014



Could someone attempt to explain when this kind of a sentence would be used. The tips & notes didn't really help me understand how 'er' is used with the passive.


I can't wrap my head around it either. I think its more of an idiomatic saying. If you looked out into the yard, you would not say to your mates, 'There is playing"., but rather " They're playing " . In previous lessons where a more obvious idiom was used, literal translations weren't allowed yet this one is a literal translation that makes no sense is allowed.. In all my years if I heard " Er wordt in de tuin gespeeled." my mind would immediately record "someone or something is playing in the yard , not "there is playing in the yard" We do need more leeway when literal translations are make no real sense in the opposite language.


Thanks for the feedback! I would disagree that it's idiomatic: it's simply a grammatical construction that doesn't exist in English and that is hard to translate. The non-literal translations don't really cover the vagueness of the Dutch sentence, and we thought that they would make things more confusing for learners. People should be able to understand and use the construction, not just rotely memorize a phrase.

However, answers like "Someone is playing" and "People are playing" are also accepted, all across this lesson. For this sentence, the following answers are all accepted:

  • There is playing going on.
  • There is playing.
  • There is someone playing.
  • There is somebody playing.
  • There are people playing.
  • People are playing.
  • Someone is playing.
  • Somebody is playing.
  • There are games being played.
  • There are games going on.
  • There are games.

If there are more forms that you feel should be added, please let me know!


Perhaps "Something is playing." (Such as faint music in the background.)


I suspect that might be expressed differently - perhaps "iets wordt gespeeld".

In German, which I know much better, the passive is used in the same way, and etwas ("something") would be used rather than es ("it/there").


'Iets wordt gespeeld' sounds awkward. You can't have 'iets' be a subject in a passive sentence like that. I think 'er wordt iets gespeeld' would be more correct, but the 'iets' then becomes fairly optional and you revert to 'er wordt gespeeld' again. It works better than your suggestion.


Thanks for that explanation.


i do not agree MOD, sorry. there is someone playing, people are playing, somebody is playing all correct. BUT " there is playing " the sentence on it's own does not seem right and i never heared it in the united kingdom where i live.


Superfantastic comment, Simius ( that calm down quite a lot of people ready to attact Duo)!! Bye, Lu


What about, "There is something being played"?


The English sentence sounds strange!!!


Yeah is it even a real English sentence


Why "There has been playing" not correct?


Because 'er wordt gespeeld' means that playing is going on at this moment. Not in the past, so 'has been' is not correct here.


How about "It is being played?"


That would be "Het wordt gespeeld". In that case the sentence refers to some specific game or song or whatever, whereas "Er wordt gespeeld" is just a general statement that somebody is playing.



The first two parts of this section were easy to master, but the "er" questions are harder for me to wrap my head around.


Yeah. I am having a LOT of trouble figuring out this lesson.


Why not : There is played" ?


I think "there is play," though a little quaint, would make more sense. Sort of like "there is song and dance."


Poor English.


This in not a UK English phrase; it is just wrong!

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