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"We do not live in the Netherlands."

Translation:Wij wonen niet in Nederland.

November 24, 2014

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy.Linde

Why couldn't you say "Wij wonen in Nederland niet"? I still don't really understand the placement of niet in a sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

In his book Dutch (Routledge), Bruce Donaldson has several pages on the placement of negatives in the Dutch sentence. He gives it as a fixed rule that in a neutral sentence (no special emphasis), "the negative precedes expressions of place". So, for example:
Ik woon niet op de achste etage.
Hij werkt niet in Amsterdam.
Hij heft niet in de tuin gewerkt = He did not work in the garden.

But for special emphasis, the negative word can be moved in front of the word being negated. So, for example, compare the last Dutch sentence above with:
Hij heeft in de tuin niet gewerkt maar gespeeld.

As an exception to his rule, Donaldson points out that the one-word adverbials of place "hier" and "daar" can either precede or follow the negative. Thus:
Hij werkt hier niet.
Hij werkt niet hier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BradHedrick

I too have been struggling with niet. I continue to receive conflicting information from different people in these threads. The best resource I've found so far is here: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.45 BUT this seems to contradict how DuoLingo is handling this sentence. Dutch Grammar recommends placing niet AFTER time/place, which means in this case it should be "Wij wonen in Nederland niet"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

I admire the dutchgrammar site, but word order is a complicated subject, so Berendsen's charts have to be used carefully. When trying to decide where to place "niet" and other adverbials within a sentence, it may be helpful to keep the following distinctions in mind:

First, some "adverbials" are true one-word adverbs such as "here" or "quickly". Other adverbials are prepositional phrases such as "in the garden". A Dutch sentence may handle the position of the one-word adverbs differently than it handles prepositional phrases.

Second, some verbs can stand by themselves, whereas others require a "complement" in order to be grammatical. So for example:
1. De man zwemt.
2. De man woont in Amsterdam.
The second sentence above requires a complement; it would not make sense to say only "De man woont".

The complements of verbs that require them are often prepositional phrases, and their position in the sentence may be different from the position of other adverbials.

I realize these considerations don't answer your immediate question about the position of "niet", but they show what you should keep in mind as you look at a Dutch sentence or Berendsen's charts.

For one possible answer to your immediate question, see my earlier comment above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fradojcic

Can somebody explain this? This is a good question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fradojcic

I will, thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Airat27897

The general rule I encountered in one grammar book tells following: niet is placed before a prepositional group.

In this case, "in Nederland" is such a prepositional group, thus it's "niet in Nederland".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MicTiss

Moi non plus je ne comprends pas trop... Si quelqu'un pouvait me donner des explications en français, j'apprécierais beaucoup... merci par avance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrDonker

Why couldn't you say "Wij wonen in Nederland niet"? I still don't really understand the placement of niet in a sentence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BradHedrick

I too have been struggling with niet. I continue to receive conflicting information from different people in these threads. The best resource I've found so far is here: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.45 BUT this seems to contradict how DuoLingo is handling this sentence. Dutch Grammar recommends placing niet AFTER time/place, which means in this case it should be "Wij wonen in Nederland niet"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xMerrie

Read a bit more! It also says: "By doing this [putting "niet" after time/place], we deny the general act or event indicated by the verbs". This sentence does not have any more verbs, so there is no reason to put it after time/place.
"If we place niet before TIME, PLACE, MANNER, or the direct object, we do this to stress that it was not yesterday (but today), that it was not in Amsterdam (but in Den Haag), that we did not do it together (but alone), that we did not give her flowers (but chocolate), etc.": so for this sentence, 'we don't live in the Netherlands (but in Belgium)'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BradHedrick

Hmm... I did read that part. So you're saying that we should somehow automatically know that niet belongs in the stressed position here? I still don't follow the logic that it's WRONG to put niet after the place here. Putting niet before place just gives additional stress on not living in the Netherlands. But that doesn't mean putting niet after place is wrong per se...in fact that's still the natural, unstressed position, no? So shouldn't either position for niet be accepted? What am I missing??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorenzo369190

Hi xMerrie. I think that is not clear for the user whether this sentence should be stressed or not. "Wij wonen in Nederland" could be written either to stress that "is not Belgium", or just as a simple statement. In this case: "but not Belgium" is not specified, the sentence looks like a simple statement, NIET does not need to stress that "it is not Belgium". Therefore the position of NIET should follow the simple rule that states that NIET comes AFTER the place proposition. Do you agree with me? Thanks in advance for your attention!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FarNou

Reading the below I still do not see the explanation of why "niet" is not accepted after Nederland.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoreyGraha7

Why isn't it "de Nederland"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

English: The Netherlands
Dutch: Nederland (no "the", and no -s)

"Nederland "is the Dutch term for the country. "The Netherlands" is the English term.

(Note: Even within English there is sometimes confusion. Cf. "Ukraine" vs. "The Ukraine".)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LLBeamer

Why can't you say "We wonen"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheBibliothecary

You can! If the rest of the sentence is also correct it should accept "We wonen niet in Nederland."

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