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"My sister not only buys a dress, but also a hat."

Translation:Mijn zus koopt niet alleen een jurk, maar ook een hoed.

January 2, 2015



I wrote -

  • "mijn zus koopt niet enkele jurk, maar ook een hoed"
  • "mijn zus koopt niet enige jurk, maar ook een hoed"

Google translate says they mean -

  • "my sister does not buy a single dress, but also a hat"
  • "my sister does not buy any dress, but also a hat"

Lesson learnt.


Why is "enkel", as translation for "only", not correct ?


Because "niet enkele jurk" means "not a single dress"

Take a look at my comment above.


I agree that "not a single dress" means "geen enkele jurk". But in my opinion, "my sister not only buys a dress" can be translated by "mijn zuster koopt niet enkel een jurk".


You might think that, but that's not the case, so it's not correct.


You might think that, but that's not the case. Als a native Dutch speaker I am 100% sure that 'Mijn zuster koopt niet enkel een jurk, ... ' is a perfect translation.

You are wrong, JohanStokes is right.


The English version is not correct. It should be "not only buys.. but also buys" or "buys not only.. but also".

I was surprised that the Dutch version followed the correct structure. I literally translated the English version and got it wrong.

Lesson learnt: Grammar (Parallelism) is important in any language.


Ok, someone please explain the difference between 'pet' and 'hoed' to me. No Dutch person has yet to give me a satisfactory answer.


Not a native speaker, but from what I can find it look like 'pet' is specifically a baseball cap type of hat, whereas 'hoed' is more general.


"mijn zus koopt geen alleen jurk, maar een hoed ook" is it wrong ?


I believe it is. The way I usually remember it is by thinking of geen as 'no', (not no as in no you can't do that but no as in not only) so that would be 'my sister buys no only dress', which wouldn't make sense. I'm still learning though, so I could be wrong.


ElisabethH610325 : No, I think you are right. In English, the negation 'no' would only make sense in the sentence 'My sister buys no dress'. But it is not the sentence here, 'not' doesn't negate the fact that your sister buys a dress, but that she ONLY buys a dress. 'Only' is NOT a name, thus the Dutch negation has to be 'niet', and not 'geen' like before a name. I hope everyone understands.


"Mijn zus koopt niet enkel een jurk, maar ook een hoed." should also be accepted.


What about mijn zus koopt niet alleen maar een jurk maar ook een hoed?


That should also be accepted. It is correct Dutch.


Mijn zus koopt niet maar een jurk, maar ook een hoed. Is that not correct?


No. 'Mijn zus koopt niet maar een jurk' = 'My sister does not buy but a dress.'

That is not a correct sentence in either Dutch or English.


The English translation of this sentence, is something you would never say

  • 1992

What are the rules for the position of "ook" ? What was wrong with "Mijn zus koopt niet alleen een jurk, maar een hoed ook." ?

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