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  5. "Boeken zijn geen eten!"

"Boeken zijn geen eten!"

Translation:Books are not food!

January 20, 2015



Ah duolingo, teaching me important life lessons as well as a language


But they try to tell me that I'm no banana! :c


Because you are an apple


...unless you're a bookworm.


Nowadays a lot of us are appworms, tabletworms, mobileworms, pcworms >


I know what you are saying. But I have to admit that I find that your borrowing of that metaphor for technology only intensifies my feeling that we have actually lost something in the translation. Although bookworms aren't ever worms, bookworm does refer to insects and larvae who bore and chew through books looking for food. But computers and tablets are too sterile. It seems to highlight the fact that we are missing some depth and substance to our reading nowadays.


I'm confusing the difference between eten - to eat eten - food.

How can you tell the difference?


Context, and how it's used in a sentence. In this sentence, it wouldn't make sense for it to be a verb. I think most languages have at least a few words that can be used as a verb and a noun without any change in spelling or prounciation.

"The chain has oil" versus "Did you oil the chain?" Spanish has cocina, which means kitchen or he/she/you cook.

Cocina* not cocina.


Just like fly in English. Fly flies while flies fly.


Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana. The fun gets lost in translation, though


Hm fly works en houden van voor Like works just not in 1 sentences. (It could also mean hold but for (fruit)fly to work it has to be 2nd p.s. buy in dutch that takes -t while the singular doesn't.) Ik vlieg en houd een banaan vast. De fruitvlieg houdt van banaan. Vast!

I fly and hold a banana. The fruitfly likes banana. Sure(ly)

Not bad actually. (Just have an overheated brain now..)

A dutch one is:

Ik niet niet,
maar een nietmachine wel.

Meaning I dont staple
but a stapler does.


Or was it
Een niemachine niet but.. hm I forgot the orifinal but while looking I found this absolute gem!

The text can mean either staples well or defect/not working (literally not good)

Btw the original sentence was something like.
Een naaimachine naait en een nietmachine niet. Meaning
A sewing machine sews and a stapler staples/ doesn't (niet can mean both)


And drinking the drink.


Native spanish speaker here! Cocina*


I have just begun the Dutch course, but I am flying through the early sections because I speak both English and German. But when I got to this question my first Impulse was to translate it as Books are not to be eaten. Now I know that that is passive voice which won't be covered for quite some time, but my point is sometkmes if words have related meanings you get the gyst early on without actually getting the right translation. And as you gain more experience you don't even think about it. Just look up the English word fair. There are many, quite diverse, meanings. But when was the last time you were confused by a native speakers use of that word and choose the wrong meaning.?


"Meisjes eten fruit" Girls eat fruit "Meisjes eten het eten" The girls eat the food

From what i understand, the "het" makes it food, though i could be wrong


Usually, though
"Het eten" can also mean the act of eating, for instance in;
Het eten was pijnlijk
(The act of) eating was painfull

And eten the noun can also be without an article. When it is about food in general as an uncountable thing. Like in

Er was niet veel eten
There wasnt a lot of food.

Er is eten te koop op de markt.
There is food for sale at the market.


Books are friends, not food.


Zijn is always are, correct? And is = is


Zijn can also mean "his" or "its".


They're delicioussss, what are you talking about?


That's something you would say to your Dutch dog


Yes they are!!!! Books are food for the soul! En Ik ben een banaan!


Voedsel voor de geest inderdaad! :)


Yeah, my first reaction was, "Haha, but I disagree."


Isn't eten's mean food and meal?


No Food: eten Meal: maaltijd I may have mispelled though... it's in the food lesson


how would you remember the difference between eten(food) and eten(eat), or would you just have to have common sense, like in this sentence


English has plenty of examples of words that can be used as different parts of speech without any change in pronunciation or spelling. To paraphrase an example from my Twitter timeline: "We do not object to the object."

In this case, you'd know that eten means food(noun) because it's preceded with 'geen', which can be (partially) thought of as "not a".


Closest example in english is drinking a drink (which is even more confusing because sometimes people will differentiate between alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and will only used the word for one of those groups while other people use it for the other or both)


That's not really true. Eten is the infinitive form of the verb. We use our gerund most commonly as a noun, but the infinitive is always possible, although it might sound rather formal or old fashioned. But To be or not to be, that is the question is probably the most famous example. But no one would think it strange if I said My dream was to work with him instead of My dream was working with him. The only thing that makes this sound strange is that we happen to use a separate word for food. But eatings would essentially mean Good if you think about it.


Why not Boeken zijn niet eten? Or are they both technically correct, with "geen eten" being more gramatically accurate?


geen is used to negate nouns. Het is niet groot vs het is geen olifant.


Ah, what a brilliant observation. Thank you. It's much like how in english you can say, "That's no moon!" (As Han Solo did about the Deathstar.) In this case "no" is working like "geen", negating a noun. But you cannot say, "That's no red!", you have to say "That's not red!", in this case not is like "niet." The only difference I'd say is that in English we can also use "not" for nouns, as long as you use an article. Aka, "That's not a moon!" is correct in English. Whereas, I assume, "Dat is niet een maan" is not correct in Dutch. Or... is it?

(Update: sudden rush of brain to the head: Perhaps "Dat is niet een maan" is correct, but it means, that is not one moon, but it might be two moons.) ??

[deactivated user]

    Important life lessons with Duo.


    it is hard to repeat this sentence without saying any of its "n"s, but that is the correct way I assume :|


    I actually hear n's in all those words as he pronounces them, except with Boeken. Not pronouncing final n's is common, but apparently some native speakers even take exception to it.



    dank je wel. it is a big relief.

    but I still hear it as "Boeke zij gee neten"


    Well it does make sense that you hear the n from geen as if it were before the e instead of at the end of geen. Even French, which really doesn't pronounce terminal consonants elides them onto the next word if it begins with a vowel. I don't know how much my German has helped my Dutch, but I haven't had a problem with a n's.


    Is "books are not edible" not correct?


    The Dutch sentence says that books are not food, you could say that makes them not edible (which is open for debate), but to say that the Dutch sentence would be Boeken zijn niet eetbaar.


    Tell that to the bookworm !


    Hm. I made a mistake on this one too. My understanding is that verbs ending with -en is also the infinitive form. So I translated it as: Books are not to eat! This makes good english sense to me. Would there be another way of saying that in Dutch?


    I understood from the lesson notes that short vowels are to be kept short. Shouldn't it be "Boekken", then? Or does this only apply to single vowels?


    It's 'boeken' becomes 'oe' doesn't have both a long and short pronunciation in Dutch. It's always a short [u].


    It is the same vowel sound as in you (not sure you would call that a short u.. but indeed the IPA sign for the sound is [u])


    It's not quite the same vowel sound as you since the y adds more of a u sound to it. It's essentially saying book with your lips more in a tight circle.


    what is wrong with books are not eaten?


    Dutch seems very similar to german


    Could it be translated as 'their books are not food?'. I know it would not make as much sense without context but that was how I read it


    I don't know where you are getting "their" from. This is a fairly simple sentence.

    Boeken is the plural of boek meaning books

    Zijn is are

    Geen is not/no

    Eten is food.

    Their is no ambiguity here. That is what it says.


    Taking "精神食糧" to a new level, eh, Duo?


    Boeken zijn vrienden, geen eten.


    A popular phrase, attributed to mothers that worry about their children that have moved out of the house is: "Jongen/meisje, je eet toch wel goed?!" (≈ Are you eating well?!). This was slightly altered in a campaign to encourage reading: "Je leest toch wel goed?!"


    Now they tell me


    When my birds try to eat my notebook


    Can you say books are not eaten?


    No. That would probably best be Boeken worden niet gegeten. It is true that the word food and the infinitive of the verb to eat look the same. But actually the geen, among other things, shows that it is not the verb. Verbs are always negated with niet. Only nouns are negated by geen. More literally this is Books are no food.


    I think it should be gegeten not gegeben.


    Yes, thank you. I have changed it. I have a keyboard on my smartphone that does predictive text in five languages at the same time, but I use more than five. I didn't have Dutch on, so it substituted the closest German word.


    Thats where you're wrong Duo. Books are food for thought!


    Could not understand eten. Thought they said eenden.


    I always thought they were...


    Reminds me of a line from a Sesame Street book that I remember since childhood: "Books are for reading, not for eating!"


    Don't tell me what to eat, Duo!!!


    Sure, but books are not good for our weight...


    Food for thoughts

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