1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "The menus are good."

"The menus are good."

Translation:De menu's zijn goed.

November 6, 2014



Why does Dutch use an apostrophe to make the plural here? It hurts my eyes.


It's a standard Dutch spelling rule to keep the proper pronunciation of the u (a long vowel), if you glue the s to the u without the apostrophe that would change the u to an incorrect short vowel (similar to words like dus, bus, kus, zus, lus, Rus, pus and mus).


Thanks. They sometimes call this the "grocer's apostrophe" in English, poking fun at signs like "fresh apple's".


Just keep in mind that the usage of the apostrophe in English and Dutch are completely different: it indicates possession in English and it's about pronunciation in Dutch. E.g.:

  • Jeroens fiets = Jeroen's bicycle
  • Oma's fiets = Grandma's bicycle
  • taxi's = taxis
  • appels = apples


Actually, no one really knows what the grocer's apostrophe indicates. It's certainly not possession. I was hoping that some of the Duolingo users would offer their strongly-held opinions on the matter.

By the way, I appreciate your frequent posts helping us with the tricky aspects of the Dutch language.


I reckon it indicates ignorance of English grammar! BTW Grocer's or grocers' depending on whether it alludes to one or more grocers. (One grocer, two grocer's ?????!!!!) Could we invent perhaps a collective noun for grocers? i.e. "An apostrophe of grocers" c.f. A pride of lions, a sentence of judges (really!), a shower of meteorologists.


A group of grocers is pleasantly alliterative...!


I haven't heard that term before, interesting.


Great answer. Thanks! :)


And then they go and pronounce it as though it were "menuis" instead of "menu's"? What sense does that make? My mother was born and raised in Amsterdam and this is the very first I've seen or heard of this.


Agreed. I see why they do it, but it makes me twitch every time I see it!


For me, menu's is pronounced as if it is spelt "menuis"! Not sure why I am the only one to find this! I am absolutely sure this pronunciation is incorrect. "menuus" possibly, but never menuis.


You are absolutely right. The way he says it (menuis) is horrible and definitely wrong! We say: menuus


Stil the same 3 years later... it's horrible. Keep reporting this...


I'm still lost when it comes to 'het' and 'de'.... When should i use which?


Have a read through this topic that gives some general rules on when to use which (though as with any rules there are some exceptions: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3732938). Some find these rules helpful, others conclude for themselves it will just be a matter of memorising.

Though in short (which always applies)

  • Plurals always use de
  • Diminutives (singular) always use het
  • Plural diminutives are still plural and hence use de

Therefore in this sentence menus is plural, hence you have to use de.


why goed and not leker?


For a menu to be lekker, you're have to dip it in the sauce, lick it, and find it tasty. The dutch and the dutch language tend to be very literal (except for fanciful figures of speech and aphorisms, of which there are many); the dishes on the menu can sound tasty, but the menu itself can't be tasty.


I put lekker too and it was wrong


Why does it have to be "De menu's zijn goed" and not also "bent goed"?


To answer my own question, a year later, for newer students:

'Bent' is the singular 2nd form of "to be", you'd use it when saying 'you are' (jij/je bent), so it wouldn't work here.

'Zijn', in this case, is also a form of 'to be', and since we're talking about more than one menu, zijn should be used.

Conjugation of 'to be': Ik BEN, Jij BENT, Hij/Zij/Het IS, Wij ZIJN, Jullie ZIJN, Zij ZIJN

I laughed just now when I saw I got this wrong last year but it just goes to show you how practice make perfect. Still have a ton to learn though...


Why can't we use het instead of de


Because menu's is plural, and all plural use 'de'. ;)


Have a look at my previous comment on this page.


I don't understand when we use "-e" suffix. Why we use "goed" rather than "goede" here?


I understand that some nouns use de and some nouns use het, but I've seen menu use both. Or is it a case of "het menu" and "de menu's"? (singular vs plural)

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.