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  5. "My mother is writing a note."

"My mother is writing a note."

Translation:Mijn moeder schrijft een briefje.

December 26, 2014

7 Comments


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

Since the English sentence uses the present continuous, why is mijn moeder is aan het schrijven een briefje not allowed?


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

Hi ajcee7!

The word order of your sentence is unfortunately wrong.

In sentences like these you will have the following word order:
Subject + Conjugated verb + Object + Present continuous.

This seems to be the case because it follows the general rule of [Subject + Conjugated verb + The rest of the sentence + infinitive], since the continuous is formed with [ a form of 'to be' (zijn) + aan het + Infinitive" ].

Thus, the sentence we are looking for is:
Mijn moeder (subject) is (conjugated verb) een briefje (object) aan het schrijven (aan het + infinitive).


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

Thank you, that makes perfect sense now!


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

Why is 'Mijn moeder zit een briefje te schrijven' wrong?


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

I feel it's wrong, but I really had to think why. The construction 'zit te schrijven' is a progressive, stretching over a longer period of time, while a note is written in a jiffy. So, it's a not so felicitous translation. Everybody would understand you, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juliehill93

I tried 'Mijn moeder zit om een briefje te schrijven.' I'm not sure when to use 'om.' Just when I think I've got it, the correct answer doesn't include it.


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

You cannot use 'om' here. 'Om' signals purpose, while you only want to express progressive. A possible sentence is: 'Ik ga zitten om een briefje te schrijven.' Here, you'd express the sitting down is done in order to write a note, but no progressive sense is conveyed.

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