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  5. "Dat zijn schildpadden."

"Dat zijn schildpadden."

Translation:Those are turtles.

January 22, 2015



why is "these are turtles" wrong?


'dit' is the same as 'these', and 'dat' is the same as 'those'


So 'dat' is both 'that/those', while 'dit' would be 'this/these'? So far vs near


That would be 'Dit zijn schildpadden'.


Why is they are turtles wrong?

  • They are turtles = Het zijn schildpadden


Why not “Zij zijn schildpadden.“?


‘Zij’ is only used for people. For animals & things you use ‘dat’


Thx for the detailed answer below. I am replying here because down below I don't see any reply botton any more. In all the tables het is never listed under plural but I believe you nevertheless. Thx again. Why I am learning Dutch? Hmm, I like the Dutch area of Europe and the women seem to be a bit more open minded^^ plus I might be moving close to the Netherlands due to work... maybe. And I speak English and German already. So, Dutch seems to be easy if you speak these two languages. ;-)


Hahaha cool :)

The thing with ‘het’ is confusing, but basically if you say ‘het zijn schildpadden’ you say ‘it are turtles’, but obviously this is incorrect so it becomes ‘they are turtles’


Ok, but "they" is plural. As far as I could see "het" is only singular. Or is there a plural "het"?


‘They’ is indeed plural, but ‘het’ could be used for both. You could say ‘Het is een schildpad’ (It is a turtle), but you could also say ‘Het zijn schildpadden’ (This sentence is a hard one to literally translate, but this would translate to ‘They are turtles’)

You don’t use ‘zij’ for this because ‘zij’ only refers to people.

Technically ‘zij zijn schildpadden’ would be correct, if you were to point at a group of people dressed as turtles :)

May I ask you why you’re learning Dutch? Just interested because it isn’t really a big language like Spanish.


Is there a different word for turtle vs tortoise?


Turtles: schildpadden Tortoises: landschildpadden


Not really we don't see them as different and they aren't (tortoises are a type of turtle for those that don't believe it look it up).

We do have the words zeeschildpad and landschilpad. But they usually aren't used since context makes it clear. By default we think about the landschildpad when hearing the word turtle so it's mainly seaturtle that is used to specify when context doesn't make it clear.

But like I said specification usually isn't necessary because it doesn't matter. They are both turtles so only when talking about something that applies to one of them but not the other you might use the word land or sea.


So there is no singular/plural distinction - that/those both=dat, and this/these both=dit?


No as in they were correct or no as in they were wrong


No, those/these are = dat/dit zijn. So there's no singular/plural distinction like in English.


Couldn't "deze" be used?


If directly followed by a noun. So

Deze schildpadden zijn blij.
Dit zijn blije schildpadden.

(Or groot and grote if blij was too many vowels for newcomers to handle ;) )

Terminology isn't my forte I think it was something like demonstrative pronoun and demonstrative determiner (it's hard enough in your native language but foreign grammatical terminology makes my head spin haha I try to learn it though. (Well I allready know the basic ones like conjugation and inflection etc but the more obscure ones)

In english these happen to coincide or more likely they merged


"They're turtles" this is how I would say it in English... I would never say "those are turtles", ever.


That would be 'het zijn schildpadden'


I typed they too bease it's more common, but those is correct.

What are those? Those are turtles.

They is a correct sentence too but isnt the exact translation.

[deactivated user]

    Why is "That are turtles" wrong? Sounds like perfect English to me, despite the singular/plural mismatch.


    It is ungrammatical because in English the verb and the subject must agree in number. You should have use "those" instead.

    Remember that there's no 1-to-1 correspondence between languages, and what is perfectly grammatical in a language may be ungrammatical in another.


    I thought that unmarked "het" words => dit/dat and "de" words => deze/dem. Schildpadden is a "de" word. Why isn't it "Die zijn schildpaddden"?


    De isnt a dutch word perhaps you are confused with German?

    No idea what you mean by unmarked.

    Looking at the rest of your sentence I guess you mean the absence of a noun?

    "Die schildpadden zijn daar" is correct but in that case the noun follows the demonstrative


    So THIS time those is right?!


    In dutch there is a difference between demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative determiners (also called demonstrative adjective). The grammatical distinction is there in english too but they actually have come to use the same word for it.


    "Those are turtles" would typically, but not always and not exclusively, be uses to distinguish one set on things from another. (E.g. "These are fish. Those are turtles.")

    "They are turtles" usually has no implied reference to another set of things, but is just as valid in English.

    I think "They are turtles" should be marked as a correct translation.


    'They are turtles' is 'het zijn schildpadden'


    OK, but my translation was from Dutch into English - not the other way round.


    Yes, but in both English and Dutch 'those/dat' and 'they/het' are distinct, and it wants you to translate the Dutch word to its corresponding English one; you provided an example where the two have different uses.


    I've had to think a long time about this and drafted an argument in my favour, but now I think you are right. It is clarified by considering the singular:

    "That is a turtle" compared with "It is a turtle".

    Correct me if I'm wrong. Ignorance is not bliss.

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