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  5. "Where are you going?"

"Where are you going?"

Translation:Waar gaan jullie naartoe?

December 30, 2014



Isn't "waar ga je?" also correct?


I believe that it's not good Dutch to drop the naartoe, however you can use heen in its place


What is the difference between 'naartoe' and 'heen'?

Waar gaan jullie heen? Or waar gaan jullie naartoe?


Well, actually, even when there's no difference in meaning, there's a grammatical difference:

heen is an adverb modifying the verb gaan in this case, and conveying the idea of movement or direction. It means 'away, gone...' (See the link on my other post)

naartoe is a kind of adposition, a circumposition (the other two types being prepositions and postpositions), which means that it's formed by a preposition (naar) and a postposition (toe) that 'enclose' or 'surround' the Subject of the sentence (the 'doer', 'senser', 'experiencer', 'sayer', etc.).

In this particular case, naartoe is also giving the idea of movement or direction (just as when using the adverb heen), but, in grammatical terms, while we can answer We gaan naar het park (toe) (more natural without toe... And even more if we just answer Naar het park), we cannot re-use/recycle heen in our answer.

More info? Follow the following links:




Hope this helps.


adposition, a circumposition , way over my head.


There's no difference.


it gives the idea of direction and movement, i guess, but i'm not a native speaker


I'm not a native speaker either, but you're right (see my comment below).



Could someone help me understand the difference in usage between 'naartoe' and 'naar' in a sentence? For example:

Ik ga naar mijn huis. Ik ga naar mijn huis toe.

Does one indicate going 'to' something and the other 'toward' something? I remember seeing that somewhere but am a bit confused.


Normally, both can be used interchangeably, but if we examine it closer:

Ik ga naar mijn huis

(here adding mijn places emphasis on the fact that it's my house... To say 'go home' you'd say naar huis)

In this case you're indicating that you're going to your place, that's your destination.

Ik ga naar mijn huis toe

You're going towards your place, but maybe that's not your destination, you may continue walking/cycling/driving and go visiting a friend who lives past your place.

But, as I said before, many speakers just use both interchangeably in such a context.

Hope this helps.


"Where are you going?" gets translated as "Waar gaan jullie naartoe?"
Why is this the primary interpretation of this sentence? Insofar as I understand your explanation, this is ok if you know that there is an ultimate destination, but are asking for the direction of my movement. Example: When I'm driving towards Fresno from Northern California, my ultimate destination is Fresno, but for most of the route I'm also driving towards Los Angeles. Here it looks like the interlocutor wants to know the destination, not in whether I'm going towards somewhere else along the way. Therefore shouldn't "Where are you going" be translated as "Waar gaan jullie naar"? If so, why not?


Valid and logic question but unfortunately "Waar gaan jullie naar?" doesn't work as in questions "-toe" is mandatory when a movement to a particular direction is involved. Questions only have 2 options: Waar & waar naartoe/heen. Waar ben je? (static) vs. Waar ga je naartoe / Waar ga je heen? (dynamic). In affirmative clauses "-toe" can be skipped when talking about a specific destination. Maybe because questions by definition don't yet have the specific information available? Hard to say.


That made the purpose (or at least a purpose) of "toe" much clearer. Thanks.


Why is here not included "er" like "ernaartoe"?


Because we don't know where we're going yet. "er" would mean that we have an idea of where we're going. Here is an example of how this exchange could go: 1- Waar gaan jullie naartoe? 2-Wij gaan naar onze vriend toe. 3- Wanneer gaan jullie ernaartoe? 4- Wij gaan er nu naartoe!

1 - So in the first sentence, we don't know where you (and your group of friends) are going, so there's no "er". 2 - In the second sentence, you tell us where you are going : you're going toward your friend. As you've noticed, naartoe is actually two words put together : naar (which you could translate to "to") and toe (which brings the element of movement to the "to"). When you want to tell where you're going with more than just "here" or "there", you will use "naar" like you normally do, and then add "toe" at the end : ik ga naar de school toe, ik ga naar hem toe.... 3 - In the third sentence, the person asking now KNOWS where you are going/what you're going towards so they can use "er" connected to "naartoe". ernaartoe stands for "naar jullie vriend toe" in that sentence. 4 - In that fourth sentence, you can find an example about why the order of the words in a Dutch sentence matters quite a lot : in a normal affirmative sentence, "er" will go after the verb. BUT that goes ONLY for "er". If other complements (like "nu" in this sentence) or a negation are also in the sentence, it sends the "naartoe" away from the "er".

The order of words in Dutch can be a complex subject, here is an excellent explanation about it : http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=WordOrder.00 .


Thank you very much


Waar ga je naartoe? and Waar ga je heen? are both fine.


But why not "waar ga je?" without any "naartoe" or "heen"?


It's just not used that way in Dutch, it's an incomplete sentence.


Ok, but what is being omitted, that makes the sentence incomplete. In this case it looks like a meaningless distinction.


"Waar ga je?" would probably mean something like "At which place are you going?" Adding "heen" or "naartoe" changes then meaning to "To which place...?"


what about waarnaartoe ga je?


Nope, sorry, that's ungrammatical.

Please read my answer to Sanjay's question above, and follow the links I shared there.



When you mouse over the words in this sentence it has nothing about heen or naartoe. It only show "waar, duren, ben or bent, u jullie or jij and aan het gaan, gaan or gaat. I don't understand this.


Where are you going to. I think this would be more appropriate english.


The sentence-ending preposition "to", is acceptable here, not necessary. It's mostly popular amongst foreigners, not so much amongst English speakers. To add that preposition, only adds emphasis, and could be considered superfluous.



I am English. Born in the UK. I stand by what I say. People often use the phrase I stated. Obviously not in your neighbourhood then. The only time Oxford English is used is on a professional basis.


Duolingo teaches academic language and definitely the academic variant is more appropriate for translations.

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