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  5. "What is in the box?"

"What is in the box?"

Translation:Wat zit er in de doos?

December 21, 2014



Een hoofd...


Brad Pitt's least favorite lesson.


This sentence appears in many Duolingo courses, even im Japanese


i used doos and it corrected it for doosje... isn't that just a way of calling something a smaller version of itself? like when we add an ie or y at the end of something in english? example look at that cute doggy


Probably you used het instead of de:

de doos

het doosje


Why do you use 'er' in this sentence?


Because it starts with an interrogative pronoun...


Both "wat zit er in de doos" and "wat is in de doos" is accepted here - is "wat is er in de doos" correct as well? That er is tricky... :)


Uhm. My knowledge of languages is pretty poor, so could someone explain, if I'm correct in saying this, why "doos" is suddenly in the diminutive form?


I was wondering that myself


Probably you used het instead of de:

de doos

het doosje


Based on a pattern I saw in another sentence, I tried "Wat zit er het doosje in?", which was rejected. Can a native speaker say if it's really wrong (and if so, when a similar construction can be used)?


Not a native speaker, but i guess for this sentence you need to put "in" in front of "het doosje", as it's a preposition rather than a detachable prefix.


Thanks, Iwaka. Unfortunately, I don't remember what the other sentence I saw this pattern in was, so I can't really compare them now. I am pretty sure, though, that it also had the verb zitten and the in at the end, otherwise I don't think I would have tried my variant in the first place. So my question still remains, but it can be paraphrased: Is there such a verb as zitten but with the detachable prefix in? Or alternately, is there some other possible construction with in at the end?


Hi poltomin,

In wat zit er in de doos? the preposition in is the Head of the prepositional phrase in de doos, so it cannot be placed anywhere else.

That being said, it is true that the verb inzitten exists, but it means something else ('worry'). This verb is indeed a separable verb, but you cannot use it here.

Hope this helps!


Btw, I'm not a native speaker.


Could I use daarin here somehow?


Not really, if you still want to put de doos somewhere.

If you really want to use daarin, you'd be saying something else:

wat zit daarin?= what's in there?


it says box, not little box - doosje should not be correct

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