"Wij beweren het te zien."

Translation:We claim to see it.

3 years ago

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/homslice

Do any other English speakers think this translation is bogus? You claim something to take, like coupon, or your rights, not to see something. Unless it's past tense. Or you're 'making' a claim to see it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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To claim (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/claim):

  • [REPORTING VERB] State or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof:
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/agevorgy
agevorgy
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Thank you for taking the time and providing the examples. I tried to find an example of claim + infinitive in the Merriam Webster link (claim) that you kindly provided but was unable to. It's a lot more common to have a that- clause after claim. This proves that even though this use is not incorrect it's uncommon. And the alternative translation should be accepted as correct as well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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We claim that... has been an accepted alternative translation for at least 2 years.

Since you were unable to find it in the references (links are in previous comment):

  • [ + to infinitive ] He claims to have met the president, but I don't believe him. - Cambridge
  • They claim to be the biggest company in the world, which is true if you include their subsidiaries. - Cambridge
  • claim to do something: The organization claims to represent more than 20,000 firms. - MacMillan
    1. (takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to assert as a fact; maintain against denial ⇒ he claimed to be telling the truth - Collins
  • to state as a fact : insist to be true “But our friend the Woggle-Bug claims to be highly educated …” — L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz - Merriam Webster
  • Now, the label Cassandra is typically reserved for those who claim to see impending doom. - Merriam Webster
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rhhpk
rhhpk
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This is an interesting point of language usage. All the examples you give sound perfectly natural, so why does "I claim to see" sound so strange?

Technically, of course, it's perfectly good English. It's just that a native speaker would never say it. Perhaps it's because all the examples above are reported opinions rather than direct speech. So if someone says "I can see it", you could say either "she can see it" (if you believe her) or "she claims she can see it" (if you think she might not be able to see it).

She might answer - "No, I don't claim I can see it - I really can see it!"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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As with a lot of things it's a matter of context. Here are examples that as stand alone sentences may sound strange and you may not come across very often, yet again: context:

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alphathon

The grammar of "We claim to see it." (or "We claim that we see it.") is fine. The issue is that we don't usually use to see with claim like that. We don't normally make a claim that we see something but rather that we can/are able to see

Some more natural phrasings would be "We claim to be able to see it." and "We claim that we can see it."

The issue seems to be mainly restricted to the 1st person (I/we) though: "He claims to see it."/"He claims that he sees it." sound much more natural to me, although still not as natural as "He claims that he can see it". This may be to do with the meaning of claim since if one is making a claim it is usually a matter that is in question. I can see implies something like line-of-sight, that the object is bright enough etc, which is something that can be in question. I see is a subjective experience. I can think of scenarios where "We claim to see it." would fit but not in isolation. (E.g. "We claim to see it, but you claim that that is impossible.") Incidentally, "I see it" is itself often replaced with "I can see it".

It also doesn't seem to be an issue when talking about the past: "We claim to have seen it/that we saw it." sound fine, but "We claim to see it." does not.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rhhpk
rhhpk
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homslice - I see what you mean - it's not really "bogus", just a very unusual sentence in English.

We'd understand it, but it's difficult to imagine a native speaker phrasing it that way. (Perhaps in a game show on TV where people have to say "I claim..." rather than the more normal "I can.."?)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/homslice

Ah, so in Dutch this IS a normal way to use the word, but it's just a bad example English translation?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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Perhaps this is a better example for you:

  • You claim that it is a bad example.
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/homslice

thumbs up

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moparmike

Can i say "Wij beweren te zien het?"

I have a serious problem thinking in SOV instead of SVO.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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No, and it's still SVO

Wij (Subject) beweren (main Verb) het (Object) te zien (other verb(s))

2 years ago

[deactivated user]

    Why it's not: "Wij beweren om het te zien" as in the previous exercises?!

    EditDelete1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/rhhpk
    rhhpk
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    There's a good explanation of when to use "om te" on this page: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15839838

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/grey236
    grey236
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    Zou deze zin correct zijn: Wij beweren het te hebben gezien? (Het is een andere tijd ken ik)

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/xMerrie
    xMerrie
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    Yep, that's a correct sentence. (You can also switch the last verbs: "Wij beweren het gezien te hebben")

    1 year ago
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