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  5. "My backpack cannot come on t…

"My backpack cannot come on the plane because there is a rhinoceros in it."

Translation:Mijn rugzak mag niet mee in het vliegtuig, omdat er een neushoorn in zit.

December 12, 2014



OMG, art inspiration time.


I don't get it.I almost got it right, but I don't know why there isn't an "het" in this sentence: "Mijn rugzak mag niet in het vliegtuig, omdat er een neushoorn in zit." I wrote "...in het zit". If you were to say "er zit een neushoorn in de rugzak" you would use the "de". I don't understand how the "er" substitutes the second "it" I'm mentioning.


Basically er substitutes het vliegtuig in the second part of the sentence, so the extra het is superfluous. The following 3 sentences come down to exactly the same thing, the only difference is in word order (and whether er or het vliegtuig is used):

  • …omdat er een neushoorn in zit.
  • …omdat erin een neushoorn zit.
  • …omdat in het vliegtuig een neushoorn zit.

A thing that can be confusing is that you could add in another er in the last sentence, this is an optional er (this er is used often by native speakers, because it makes sentences sound 'nicer' and more natural:

  • …omdat er in het vliegtuig een neushoorn zit.

This is similar to your de rugzak sentence, with optional er:

  • Er zit een neushoorn in de rugzak.
  • …omdat er een neushoorn in de rugzak zit.

Without optional er:

  • Een neushoorn zit in de rugzak. / In de rugzak zit een neushoorn.
  • …omdat een neushoorn in de rugzak zit.

In sentences like the original one, you cannot add in the optional er, because the er that substitutes het vliegtuig is already in there. I think er never occurs twice in a part of a sentence.


I thought from the English sentence that the rhino was in the rucksack not in the plane!


It can refer to either the rucksack or the plane. Indeed usually it will refer to the rucksack, but it's also possible it refers to the plane and the rucksack cannot come on the plane because there is a rhino on the plane (and we all know that when rucksacks and rhino's touch, we don't know what happens to the time-space continuum).

For er is doesn't matter to which of the two it refers BTW.


Thank you! Duolingo comments sections can get really surreal really quickly...


Indeed it's amazing how quickly sentences about very real things like planes and rhinos can turn into something surreal. ;)


Would it be possible to say, "omdat erin een neushoorn zit"?

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