"Het citroentje is heel zuur."
Translation:The lemon is very sour.
Does this refer to a small/undeveloped lemon that is sour on account of its underdeveloped unripe state, or is the diminutive not relevant in a size/lemon maturity way? (I never thought I'd ask that question...)
I think it just refers to a small lemon rather than a undeveloped lemon, diminutives are used in dutch to refer to size (or intimacy or endearment, but those are not the case here ;))
I live in the netherlands and the only time when i use the word 'citroentje' instead of 'citroen' is when i order an ice tea with a citroentje. I don't know why. I think it depends on what i feel like asking. It both means the same to me. When i order an ice tea with a citroentje i ask:
Mag ik ijsthee met een citroentje?
But you can also use citroen:
Mag ik ijsthee met citroen?
I think we use citroentje with this kind of things because you don't get a whole lemon. You get a slice so it's a citroentje
Be careful when you order "een citroentje" though.. it also means a lemon jenever! People also order "een citroentje met suiker" to remedy the sourness. https://static.mijnwebwinkel.nl/winkel/topslijtervanderende/full21784020.jpg?