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  5. "Ik geef les."

"Ik geef les."

Translation:I teach.

November 18, 2014



What indicates that "les" here is a plural? I don't understand why i give lessons are accepted, but i give lesson not....


Actually "les" is uncountable here, which is why it doesn't have an article ("een les"). "I give lesson" is simply not correct English, and "I give a lesson" has a different meaning than the Dutch sentence.


But since this is the separable verb lesgeven, the uncountability of les doesn't matter, since it's not an adjective, right?


Not a noun, you mean? Hmm, I guess you're right.


Is "I give lessons" really the same as the alternate translation, "I teach"? For example, at least in English, one could teach their dog to sit, without "giving lessons" per se.


You are correct that the English "teach" and "give lessons" do not exactly correspond.

On the other hand, if you ask a person what they do for a living, the English speaker might say "I teach" whereas the Dutch person would say "Ik geef les". In that sense (what people might actually say in the real world) "I teach" and "Ik geef les" are reasonable translations of each other.

In any case, the Dutch "lesgeven" means primarily to teach pupils -- usually (but not always) in a classroom setting. There are other Dutch words for other senses of the English "teach". For example:
I teach the dog = Ik leer de hond.


To me - giving lessons in English - implies that you are teaching for free or fun and not professionally. Reading the comments obviously lesgeven does not imply that in Dutch.


How wd you say "i give a class" in Dutch?

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