"Jullie kunnen soms heel langzaam zijn."

Translation:You can be really slow sometimes.

November 25, 2014

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daddeo007

how about "you really can be slow sometimes"

December 12, 2014

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

Grammatically correct, but slightly different meaning.

"Heel" modifies "langzaam", so you are describing how slow they are. If you translate "heel" as "very", you wouldn't be able to say "You very can be slow sometimes"-- it doesn't make any sense.

"You really can be slow sometimes" -- in this sentence, the meaning of "really" is closer to "actually", because it modifies the verb "to be". As in-- I didn't believe you could be slow, but you really, actually, truly are!!

That being said, either one works well as a complaint about someone's slowness, though I think it'd be more common to say "You really are slow sometimes."

August 31, 2019

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

Can ‘slow’ here mean ‘stupid’, like in English?

February 18, 2015

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

No, it can't. It's really meant as slow.

February 20, 2015

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

How about 'je denke langzaam'?

May 6, 2018

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

I had the same thought. :)

March 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wei-Da

After sorting out the structure of the sentence, it becomes much clearer to me than it does in the first place.

  1. Je bent langzaam
  2. Je kunt (soms) langzaam zijn - indicating that you can be slow sometimes
  3. Je kunt soms heel langzaam zijn- suggesting how slow you can be sometimes.

Meanwhile, I also have a question, is 'Je kunt langzaam zijn' used by native speaker, or it's just a grammatically right but never used sentence /

July 12, 2015

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

Well, you could use it as a sentence in real life, mainly the third sentence, to someone who irritates you, although I would use the more common alternative for 'langzaam' which is 'traag'. But I reckon you could only use the first and second sentence if you're talking to a snail.

October 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OnkelD
  • 1559

Well... took the place for explanatory comments out of the choices on "report a problem"... guess they were getting too much flack. That said, I still think "You can really be"... and "You can be really" are saying essentially the same thing. They DO split hairs too much on some of these.

June 1, 2017

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

Can this translate to the English metaphor, or does it just mean that you can sometimes be not very fast?

April 27, 2016

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

Why it couldn't be 'You can be sometimes very slow'? Is that order incorrect?

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vash63

Yes, that's not proper English. If you don't want "Sometimes" at the end it would be "You can sometimes be very slow."

March 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ronaldsantoro243

I used "You can really be slow sometimes." and was marked wrong. Not sure why DL doesn't think that is not proper English usage.

September 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.napes

why is soms not after slow

August 29, 2019

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

what is "heel" doing in this sentence? It made me think the translation was something like "you can all be slow sometimes!"

November 25, 2014

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

As an adverb, "heel" can strengthen other adjectives. "Heel langzaam" = very/really slow.

I will add it to the hints!

November 25, 2014

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

Ah! Thanks!

November 25, 2014

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

(First of all, this is just a random thought - I don't know why I'm saying it)

It seems like "soms" is some sort of qualifier, and such a word must go right after "jullie kunnen..." (Subordinate Clause, or Main?)

June 25, 2015

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

Could "soms" be put somewhere else?

October 7, 2015

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

In school we all learnt a group of words is a sentence compound (zinsdeel), if you're able to move the word or group of words to the front of the sentence. So there are many possible word orders possible, but only some are standard, others will be mainly used to put the emphasis on the sentence compound you put first.

Sentence division Jullie/ kunnen/ soms/ heel langzaam/ zijn. ('zijn' is no indepent sentence compound, complementing 'kunnen'.)

The conjugated verb is in second place unless in the question in main clauses (in subclauses you would pile up all the verbs including the conjugated one at the end, eg: dat jullie heel langzaam kunnen zijn). In the main clause the conjugated verb and the subject cannot be separated. All this gives you the following word orders.

Jullie kunnen soms heel langzaam zijn.

Soms kunnen jullie heel langzaam zijn.

Kunnen jullie soms heel langzaam zijn? (yes/no-question)

Heel langzaam kunnen jullie soms zijn. (uncommon alternative, strong emphasis on the first sentence compound)

You can also put this specific adverb after a comma at the end of the sentence in all the cases above. eg. Je kan heel langzaam zijn, soms. I think that that about covers it. :-)

October 2, 2016

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

To me, it sounds like the normal speaking voice says "sops", and not "soms". I was very confused about this sentence until I listened to the slowed down version.

November 22, 2015

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

That's true, without looking at the sentence I wouldn't have guessed the "soms", its pronunciation should be reviewed, I suppose.

January 29, 2016

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

why can jullie not be 'you all' to reflect the plural?

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tracey843948

Not all forms of English use 'you all' for the plural. In Australia, we mostly just use 'you', and I think the UK is pretty much the same. You might hear it occasionally for emphasis, but not most of the time.

April 27, 2018

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

The nomative 'je' and 'jij' are only used for second person singular. 'Jullie' is the plural. The possesive pronoun of 'jullie' stays 'jullie', except for the reflexive pronoun which is somewhat confusingly 'je' as in 'Jullie wassen je(zelf)' (You wash yourselves).

October 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonathan976509

Why has this appeared five times in this lesson ?

January 17, 2018

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

I used the English 2nd person plural and was one of the correct answers, which implies Duo has more wrk to do in updating his answers, come on Duo skip to it!

November 28, 2018

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

I almost never use the word "really" (except as a ironic reply to something I don't believe is true). I would expect most Americans to use "so" as in "so slow" (yes, we are a lazy lot; "really" has two syllables).

March 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Artur291996

There was no audio file to access for this item.

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EricN152

I feel like the “zijn” shouldn’t be necessary here. There are plenty of other sentences where zijn is left out because it is implied by another verb

December 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah851648

You cannot leave out "zijn" as it's the main verb here (just like "be" is in the English sentence).

February 5, 2019
Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.