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  5. "Wie had er groene kaas geget…

"Wie had er groene kaas gegeten?"

Translation:Who had eaten green cheese?

December 20, 2014



What is the function of "er" in this sentence? Is it necessary?


It's the optional unspecific subject. One of the its functions here is to indicate that 'groene kaas' is the object of the sentence... otherwise, the same question could also be interpreted as 'Who(m) had green cheese eaten' with 'green cheese' as the subject. Having 'er' removes this ambiguity.


So basically that ambiguity exists in the dutch sentence and therefore requires the "er", but not in the english sentence as it (to have the other meaning) would have to be as you wrote "Who(m) had green cheese eaten". Am I understanding this correctly?


If you look at the grammar explanation for the er skill, I think this is number five (er pointing to an unspecific subject).


Hoe vaak is het om "groene kaas" te zeggen in plaats van "grien tsiis"?


When you are in Friesland you will find packings with griene tsiis, since we are proud of our language. In other parts of the Netherlands people won't understand you. The words skûtsjesylen and fierljeppen are the only Friesian words I can think of which are also common used in Dutch


Isn't grien tsiis Friesian? But this is a Dutch course...


Yes, but groene kaas is Frisian cheese.


I thought green cheese was bad cheese since a couple of days ago my refrigerator died and after about a day some cheese turned green


"Green cheese is a term for a fresh cheese, one that has not thoroughly dried yet, nor been aged, which is white in colour and usually round in shape." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_cheese


I guess that's another way to look at it, but I've never seen blue cheese that's literally blue, so maybe this kinda green cheese isn't literally green


I wrote EXACTLY the correct solution and it was considered wrong. I checked thoroughly for mispelling but there's none. Anyone else had the same problem?


The Dutch sentence is ambiguous. The word "er" can be read as "there", "at that place" but DL does not accept such a translation.


In theory maybe, but in practice there is no ambiguity. The er in this sentence would practically always be understood to indicate the object as jamesjiao explains. So I think it's correct that there isn't accepted.


Change the sentence to: Wie had er een huis gebouwd? Same word types and word order. But now it is very plausible that the question was who had built a house there (in that town, at that spot). It depends on the context what "er" means.


True, it's not as universal as I mentioned in my previous post, I'll adjust it. However talking about how these sentences are used in practice I think there is a clear difference in the importance of the location of cheese that was eaten and a house that was built.

The amount of situations where the cheese sentence could/will be used is vast and right now I can't think of any situation where one would keep on using er instead of hier or daar if the location is important. So I think it makes sense to not accept there. (Keep in mind that the goal of Duolingo is to teach people a language they can use, not to teach unusual sentences that only work theoretically.)

For the house example that's clearly different, and there should be an accepted answer.

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