"The woman is frightened by the spider in her shoe."
Translation:De vrouw is geschrokken van de spin in haar schoen.
Any reason for using van instead of door? There prepositions are very confusing...
Maybe if you think of "geschrokken van" as "scared of" it'll make more sense.
I'd like to add: if you use door instead of van, it becomes a passive voice sentence:
De vrouw is geschrokken door de spin in haar schoen
The woman has been scared by the spider in her shoe.
Maybe the spidey just wants another shoe for the pair. Giant radioactive are generally peaceful.
I would have thought "The woman is frightened by the spider in her shoe" would be translated as "De vrouw schrikt van de spin in haar schoen", and that "De vrouw is geschrokken van de spin in haar schoen" would be translated as "The woman was frightened by the spider in her shoe".
I think that the confusion here arises because you're mixing the passive voice with the copulative use of the verb zijn/to be.
While in the passive voice we use zijn as an auxiliary, in this case what we have is the verb zijn as a main verb plus a past participle verb acting as an adjective.
At first sight, such a sentence (both in English as in Dutch) may be confused with a passive voice sentence, so the key is paying attention to the rest (what comes after the past participle):
The woman is frightened/scared of the spider in her shoe.
De vrouw is geschrokken van de spin in haar schoen.
I think 'of the spider in her shoe' here is the DO of the sentence. We can ask ourselves: 'what is the woman scared of?' Here the verb zijn/to be is the main verb of the sentence, and the past participle is acting as a predicative adjective.
The woman is frightened by the spider in her shoe.
De vrouw wordt geschrokken door de spin in haar schoen.
In this case we are in the presence of a passive voice sentence. We can know this because we have an agent, introduced by the preposition by in English and door in Dutch. We can ask ourselves: 'who scared the woman?' Here, the verb worden/to be is an auxiliary verb and the past participle is the main verb of the sentence, which in combination with the auxiliary form a passive sentence.
Remember that in Dutch we use worden and zijn (and their past tense counterparts) as passive voice auxiliaries. Roughly, they are to be translated into the following tenses of the verb to be :
Word(en)= simple present/present continous (am, is, are)
Werd(en)= simple past/past continuous (was,were)
Ben/bent/is/zijn= present perfect (have/has been)
Was/waren= past perfect (had been)
Hope this helps!
Thank you for the detailed explanation. Tenses are not my strong point so I will study your explanation more thoroughly. As my husband once explained, knowing the grammar of the language is one thing. Knowing the language of the grammar is another. I appreciate you taking the time.
Yes, "startled" would probably be the better translation for "geschrokken" in this case - even though "frightened" and "geschrokken" are used in the given sentences. What I was questioning though was the verb tense. Should "is frightened" (present tense) not be translated as "schrikt" , and "is geschrokken" (past tense) as "was frightened/startled"?
Frightened is a quite comon word where startled is less common. Duolingo can't teach everything. It is difficult to get to a 100% score. :) . I agree with your interpretation of the tense.