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  5. "Ik zie een stoel op het bureā€¦

"Ik zie een stoel op het bureau."

Translation:I see a chair on the desk.

October 23, 2014



Wouldn't "I see a chair at the desk" be a more logical translation or does this really mean the chair is on the desk?


It means on (top of).


so when will "op" mean "at"?


There are a few locations where op is used in the meaning of at the location:

  • op kantoor = at the office
  • op het werk = at work
  • op school = at school
  • op het station = at the station
  • op het stadhuis/gemeentehuis = at the city hall/municipality hall

also when you're at any big open place op is used (on top of), I'm not too sure what prepositions should be used in these situations in English:

  • ik sta op het plein = I'm standing on the square
  • ik ben op straat = I'm in the street
  • ik ben op het land = I'm in the fields (farmland)

Maybe there are more situations where op is used when at is used in English, but I can't think of any right now. Keep in mind that prepositions are simply used differently even in languages as close as Dutch and English, e.g.:

  • ik sta onder de douche = I am (standing) in the shower
  • ik ben bij Saskia = I am at Saskia's
  • ik eet een koekje bij mijn koffie = I eat a biscuit with my coffee
  • ik sta bij het standbeeld = I'm standing near the statue


thank you, you've gotten many examples and very clear explanation! Ok I guess the prepositions in a language are fixed to the situations and are more about collocations than whether they make senses in other language's expression. :)


Is there a way to know when op means on as opposed to at


On the desk would only be used in English in cases where the floor is being washed or swept and the chair is physically on top of the desk otherwise, if it is on the floor, it is at or, by the desk


This sentence means the chair is on top of the desk.


too much weed, i think that... :-P


Bravo! I think you're got the answer!!! ;)


This is a very odd translation. How would you actually say AT the desk?


ik zie een stoel aan het bureau


i used "stool" instead of chair and it was incorrect :(


A stool is een kruk(je) in Dutch.


"Ik zie een stoel op de bureau" is that also correct?


No, because it's het bureau not de bureau

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