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  5. "These are religious cities."

"These are religious cities."

Translation:Dit zijn gelovige steden.

October 27, 2014



what's wrong with "deze zijn..."


Concerning the correct demonstrative (e.g. dit, dat, deze, die, etc.) to use with plural nouns:

Dit/Dat are used explicitly when they link to a plural noun (regardless of the gender of the noun -- because the noun is plural, the gender is not relevant). For example:

• "Dit zijn nieuwe schoenen." – These are new shoes.

[Dit is linked to schoenen (a plural noun)]

• "Dat zijn grote aardappelen." – Those are large potatoes.

[Dat is linked to aardappelen (a plural noun)]

The Dutch use Dit/Dat (with copula zijn) when the English equivalent would be These/Those (are) only when Dit or Dat links to a plural noun (as displayed in the examples above with schoenen and aardappelen.)

However, the use of the independent demonstratives Deze/Die zijn is used when Deze or Die is linked to an adjective, which may refer to a noun:

• "Deze zijn nieuw." – These are new. [shoes]

[Deze is linked to nieuw (an adjective)]

• "Die zijn groot." – Those are large. [potatoes]

[Die is linked to groot (an adjective)]

Het instead of Ze

A similar phenomenon takes place with Het (meaning 'they').

  • "Het zijn zware boeken." -- They are heavy books.

  • "Ze/Zij zijn zwaar." -- They are heavy.


It is similar to the German "Es sind". Thanks a lot--that clears it up well!


I just saw this in another lesson and it seems contradictory: "Ik kan deze regenboog niet aanraken!" This shows "deze" used with a noun. Were the rules above simply for the "Dit/Deze zijn" construction?


"Ik kan deze regenboog niet aanraken!" – regenboog is a singular noun. What I mentioned above is for plural nouns. ^.^ Additionally, the sentence does not include the copula (zijn/to be).

  • Dit zijn grote regenbogen. -- "These are big rainbows.


But I'm sure I've heard things like "deze bus" and "deze tram." Or are you only talking about instances where the demonstratives are effectively replacing the noun (like "These are new shoes" rather than "These shoes are new shoes")?


You're correct in your thinking. I am indeed talking about the use of these demonstratives when they are linked to plural nouns and are alongside the presence of the plural copula zijn (to be; i.e. 'are').

English examples:

  • These (dit) are (zijn) big (grote) plants (planten).

  • These (deze) are (zijn) big (groot).

Dutch examples:

  • Deze schoenen zijn nieuw(e) [schoenen]. -- "These shoes are new (shoes)." -- Note: The 'e' following nieuw is only necessary if the second schoenen (shown in brackets "[ ]") is included in the sentence.

  • Dit zijn nieuwe schoenen. -- "These are new shoes."

  • Deze bus gaat naar Groningen. -- "This bus is going to Groningen."

  • Die bus gaat niet naar Utrecht maar Leiden. -- "That bus is not going to Utrecht but (to) Leiden."

  • Dit zijn de oude bussen die naar Den Haag gaan. -- "These are the old busses that go to The Hague."

  • Ja, die zijn oud. -- "Ja, those are old."

Het instead of Ze

A similar phenomenon takes place with Het (meaning 'they').

Het zijn zware boeken. -- "They are heavy books."

Ze/Zij zijn zwaar. -- "They are heavy."


Yes, I would have thought it was "deze zijn" as steden is a de plural word, but the adjective there changes it to "dit zijn" I think


Gelovige steden sounds a bit weird too me ( or perhaps I ve been on duolingo too long..). The cities aren't the ones that are believing. I put religieuze steden. I really wonder if gelovig is correct in this case..

I guess it might be ones of those things that didn't use to be correct but as times foes by and more people say it a certain way it becomes correct. Like ik irriteer me (aan)/het irriteert me etc.


“Ze zijn religieuze steden” is marked incorrect, why?

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