1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "Boeken zijn geen eten!"

"Boeken zijn geen eten!"

Translation:Books are not food!

January 20, 2015


Sorted by top post


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

January 20, 2015


Voedsel voor de geest inderdaad! :)

January 21, 2015


Mmm... Lekker

January 27, 2015



February 4, 2018


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

January 30, 2018


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

September 15, 2015


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

March 1, 2016


...unless you're a bookworm.

November 20, 2015


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

September 15, 2019


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.

September 16, 2019


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

How can you tell the difference?

January 28, 2015


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.

February 8, 2015


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

August 28, 2017


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

August 11, 2019


Native spanish speaker here! Cocina*

February 8, 2015


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.?

May 29, 2018


"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

April 4, 2019


Books are friends, not food.

December 17, 2017


Zijn is always are, correct? And is = is

August 5, 2015


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

May 7, 2017


They're delicioussss, what are you talking about?

July 25, 2017


That's something you would say to your Dutch dog

October 28, 2017


Isn't eten's mean food and meal?

January 28, 2015


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

March 27, 2015


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

May 12, 2016


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

May 12, 2016


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.) ??

May 12, 2016

[deactivated user]

    Important life lessons with Duo.

    May 13, 2018


    Is "books are not edible" not correct?

    May 23, 2015


    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.

    May 23, 2015


    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

    July 25, 2015


    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".

    July 26, 2015


    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?

    September 11, 2015


    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?

    October 25, 2015


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

    August 6, 2018


    what is wrong with books are not eaten?

    August 13, 2017


    Dutch seems very similar to german

    October 8, 2018


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

    November 14, 2018


    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.


    November 14, 2018


    dank je wel. it is a big relief.

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

    November 17, 2018


    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.

    November 18, 2018


    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

    January 21, 2019


    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.

    January 21, 2019


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

    January 30, 2019


    Boeken zijn vrienden, geen eten.

    February 28, 2019


    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?!"

    August 11, 2019


    Don't tell me what to do

    August 21, 2019


    Now they tell me

    September 11, 2019
    Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.