"Elephants eat apples."

Translation:Olifanten eten appels.

November 25, 2014

6 Comments

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

Okay, so what is the difference between appels and appelen? It seems like they would both be plural, but should one be used differently than the other?

November 25, 2014

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

Oftentimes it's a matter of style and common practice. The way I feel is that -en oftentimes sounds more formal and masculine, whereas -s sounds more informal and feminine. For example, I would interpret studenten as either a group of male or mixed-gender students, whereas I would interpret studentes as a group of female students. Sometimes an s-sound is more easily heard than an n-sound as well (e.g. ziekten vs. ziektes) or just sounds less awkward. In other cases there is no other way than to use -s, oftentimes with loanwords (e.g. garages).

There are plenty of rules and therefore also exceptions, however. For now, I would say it is safe to stick with -en as much as possible. If Duolingo teaches you to use -s, I suggest you pick up a Dutch dictionary and see if it's the only possible ending. This way you'll slowly build up a feel for it.

November 25, 2014

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

Well, you're quite right about the studentes-studenten thing, but please, never say 'appelen', always use 'appels'. If you'd say 'appelen' you'll sound like the king's grandmother, since it is that old fashion and posh.

March 31, 2016

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

What if I am the KingĀ“s grandmother?

March 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/horton884672

Then it's impolite to show off

July 16, 2019

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

Good to know, thank you!

November 25, 2014
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