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  5. "She has been playing the flu…

"She has been playing the flute for years."

Translation:Zij bespeelt al jaren de dwarsfluit.

January 11, 2015



Can you translate this as "Zij heeft de dwarsfluit jarenlang gespeeld" ?


It's more common to say Zij heeft jarenlang de dwarsfluit gespeeld, but your word order is ok as well. Keep in mind that the dwarsfluit is a specific kind of flute (the western concert flute).


So can heeft gespeeld also be used to talk about something that's still happening? My Dutch students (I'm an English teacher) always, almost without exception, assume that 'has played' is a completed action in the past.


It's only used for things that aren't happening anymore, normally it's interchangeable with the simple past, so that's the explanation for the assumption of your students.


Ah OK, I thought so. The present perfect continuous in English (has been playing) is almost always used for something that's still happening now, or perhaps something that only just ended, so it doesn't sound as if heeft gespeeld would be an accurate translation for this English sentence. Maybe if it's an announcement of her retirement: 'She has been playing the flute for years, but tonight is her last concert'.


Even that doesn't work. You just can't combine heeft gespeeld with al jaren, except heeft al jaren niet meer gespeeld (hasn't played for years). If you combine it with jarenlang it means she's been doing it for years somewhere in the past, for instance:

Ze heeft jarenlang bas gespeeld (Ze speelde jarenlang bas), maar vorig jaar is ze overgestapt naar zang. (She played bass for years, but last year she switched to vocals.)

Edit: on second thought…maybe your sentence works, I'm mixing up Dutch and English in my mind now. Anyway without a specific context like the one you mention, it certainly doesn't work. :)


I just wrote ze heeft de dwarsfluit jarenlang gespeeld and it was not accepted. Based on your comment, I think I'll report it. (June 2017)


in this sentence 'fluit' should also be added as a right answer. because the english word for flute doesn't necessarily mean its thát specific kind of flute


Could you say "Zij speelt de dwarsfluit al jarenlang"?


No, because your sentence is in the simple present tense.


what's the difference between speelt and bespeelt


Perhaps this? http://www.dutchgrammar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3511

If it has an article or not and the emphasis?

I have the same question actually :)

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