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  5. "They are cats."

"They are cats."

Translation:Het zijn katten.

January 21, 2015



'Het' is singular, so this seems to be wrong.

  • 5

Nope, that is correct Dutch. Dutch is not always going to be exactly like English.

The use of 'het zijn' (= they are) is a peculiarity, specific to Dutch. Here is an link that explains it well.

We use 'het zijn' followed by a noun, where the English use 'they are'. Examples:

  1. "Het zijn dieren." = "They are animals."
  2. "Het zijn aardappelen." = "They are potatoes."
  3. "Het zijn lieve hondjes." = "They are sweet, little dogs."

Now, when we are dealing with an adjective this formula isn't used. Instead, you'll find sentences like these:

  1. "Ze zijn mooi." = "They are pretty."
  2. "Ze zijn aardig." = "They are nice."
  3. "Ze zijn groot." = "They are big."


Would this be more commonly said over "ze zijn" or "zij zijn"?


Yes, I think it's required


This page displays zij zijn katten, but I was correct by putting Het zijn katten. Upon asking a few dutch friends whom live near Eindhoven they have said Het zijn too


What is the right way to say that?


Het zijn katten


I agree, in fact in this page it's displaying zij zijn katten, which i think is correct

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