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"Love is stronger than death."

Translation:De liefde is sterker dan de dood.

3 years ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Tina_in_Bristol
Tina_in_Bristol
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Why does death ("dood") have to take the definite article, but love ("liefde") doesn't? Or do neither have to? I translated literally from the English, using an article for neither, but strangely, it was only "liefde" that was highlighted as incorrect. But one of the correct answers also didn't have "DE liefde".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chartsman
chartsman
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Anyone??? It's a very interesting question.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tina_in_Bristol
Tina_in_Bristol
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Haha, I forgot I even asked this! Thanks for highlighting that I'm still waiting for an answer. ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1140492440

"De dood" in Dutch has a different meaning than "dood". It does sound a little weird, but see it like this: "De dood" is a concept, or perhaps even a thing, much like "The end" is different than "end". "Dood" would be used as "Hij is dood", while you could say, in another way, "De dood heef hem te pakken gekregen." which would mean "Death has taken him."

I hope I explained it clearly enough for you, I'll explain more if you need.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tina_in_Bristol
Tina_in_Bristol
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Thanks for trying to help, but that was not really my question. I understand the difference between "death" (the noun) and "dead" (the adjective), even though they happen to be spelt the same way ("dood") in Dutch.

Obviously an adjective wouldn't have an article; you don't say: "he is the dead" (well, maybe, if he's a zombie or something ;) )

My query was more about why "dood" has to have an article in this sentence, whilst "liefde" (a similarly abstract concept) doesn't.

I translated as: "Liefde is sterker dan dood" (no articles). The correction said it should have been: "Liefde is sterker dan de dood." - i.e. "liefde" without "de" was accepted, but "dood" was not. Why the difference?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gatacong
gatacong
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We can remove the article in front of 'liefde,' because it does not change the meaning (and as you already noted, love is a general concept).

When it comes to 'dood,' even though it's also a general concept, the article is necessary to differentiate between the noun 'death' and adjective 'dead'.

By removing the article in front of 'dood,' the sentence now incorrectly reads;

Love is stronger than dead.

Another funny example of when the article makes all the difference, is the word 'kussen,' which can be both a noun 'pillow' and a verb 'to kiss':

Ik wil kussen = I want to kiss.

Ik wil een kussen = I want a pillow.

Hope that helps!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1140492440

This is what I said, "de dood" isn't just "dood" with a definitive article, it has a different meaning and is used in different ways. "Dood" is a state of being or a property of something, "De dood" is a concept, or a thing. You might actually be able to say that "dead" in Dutch would be "dood", while "death" would be "de dood".

2 years ago