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  5. "Hij verkoopt kopjes koffie."

"Hij verkoopt kopjes koffie."

Translation:He sells cups of coffee.

November 24, 2014



what about "he sells coffee cups", why is it not accepted?


The words" kopjes koffie" mean cups containing coffee, as in "kopjes van koffie". So only the cup would not be accepted. Compare to English "cups of coffee" (kopjes koffie) versus "coffee cups". The meaning is different.


Why is "he sells little cups of coffee" not accepted? Is it just more of a colloquial thing, rather than actually meaning that the cup is small?


Yes, although you wouldn't say kopje if it is actually a big mug of coffee. If the cup is regular size both kop and kopje are perfectly fine for actual small cups use kopje for larger cups and mugs etc. use kop


FYI If you compare the size of the coffee cups that the Dutch use to the ones commonly used in North America, then they are relatively small.


Kan ik een stomme vraag stellen?

Are there countable words and uncountable words in Dutch as in English? If I want to say cups of coffee then it would be "Kopjes koffee", however if I want to say teams of students, should it be "teams studenten"?


One can also say "een kop koffie" in singular, "x koppen koffie" in plural. As for the students, one can say "studententeams" or "teams van studenten"


So, to be specific, Dutch do have countable and uncountable nouns, right?


The answer is yes. Dutch is very similar to English.


Thanks very much ~


so if the her- prefix relates to re- in English. Is there a (even remotely) related English prefix to ver-?


Interesting (and hard) question! I'm not the expert here, but I'll venture my best guess. "ver-" generally has the meaning of "to make something be" or "to let it be" or "to change it into". It of course then also changes the word into a verb.

E.g.: "oud" - 'old' but "verouderen" - 'to age'; "huis" - 'house' but "verhuizen" - 'to move / relocate'; "branden" - 'to burn' but "verbrand" - 'burn down / incinerate'; "engels" - 'English' but "verengelsen" - 'to become English / Anglicize'.

So taking "kopen" - 'to buy' would mean that "verkopen" is 'to make something be bought' or simply 'to sell'.

The closest I can come to this in English is 'en-' or 'em-' (which is 'en-' with sound drift before certain explosive consonants like 'b' and 'p').

E.g.: 'embox' (to make it be in a box); 'enarmour' (to clothe in armour); 'embronze' (to make it bronze); 'encourage' (to let someone have courage); 'enchain' (to make it be in chains).

I hope this helps. If there are better answers, please share!


That's really interesting. Thank you for that response, it actually helps to understand the pattern when hearing new words.

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