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  5. "De oude, grijze meneer hoort…

"De oude, grijze meneer hoort ons niet."

Translation:The old gray man does not hear us.

May 22, 2015



Does gray man actually mean something? Like he's dressed in gray? Or is it just a weird sentence?


I assume it is addressing the grey hair underlining the man's age. Gray seems to be American English.


American English accepts both grey and gray. Is it only grey in commonwealth countries?


100% a nod to Gandalf the Grey. /s


No I think it is referring to his hair. It just reinforces the old


I think he's gray skin... maybe a zombie.


Why is 'man' here the only right translation for 'meneer' and 'Mr.' is not accepted, even though it's listed as a correct translation in Formal?


Because "Mr." is a title, not a noun. You can say "the man", but you can't say "the Mr.".


I used "mister" and it was accepted


Well I don't think much of the flow of your English sentence, but it does convey the same idea as the Dutch. For me, the closest term we use in English to politely refer to an unknown adult male in the 3rd person is gentleman. But many languages do use the same term as would also be translated as Mister (Mr.) to do so. But, although I have occasionally heard it, people don't generally refer the people in the third person as Mister. They say the man in the corner or the gentleman in the corner, not the mister in the corner.


In french, we use the word "monsieur" a lot, when talking formally or to the elders. So I get the point of view, but it makes a ton of sense in french when you just use "Mr." alone.


Generally when it is used alone, you will see it spelled out as Mister. There are some regions and some social classes (or subclasses) where it is more common, but I think it's generally considered a little rude. In American English we use sir and ma'am (short for Madam) to address someone directly in a respectful manner like you would with monsieur or madame. To talk about someone in the third person it would be gentleman or lady, although some would prefer woman to lady.


I know for many women, especially on the West Coast of the US, ma'am implies that the person old and is therefore rude to use. As in, there is no point in calling out someone's old age when that's not the topic of conversation. Having worked in the service industry, I've spoken to many people about this issue. You will possibly, and maybe often, offend people if you use ma'am; you will never offend someone if you use miss to address an individual woman. ladies is suitable for a group.

I understand that in the South and other areas (everywhere else?), ma'am is simply the polite way of addressing a women. But it isn't universal and it is rude in other regions.


what is the difference between grijs, grijst, grijze ???

  • Grijst does not exist (it does as a superlative, see comments below).

  • de koe - de grijze koe - een grijze koe - de koe is grijs

  • het huis - het grijze huis - een grijs huis - het huis is grijs

You also may want to have a read through this: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3888221


Wiktionary gives "het grijst" together with "het grijste" as a superlative of grijs (equivalent to "the greyest") on their declension table; is this wrong or just not aplicable here (because we are not in the presence of a superlative)?


To be completely honest, I did not think of het grijst, so yes if you want to say that something is "the greyest" you would use het grijst(e) (note that this is always accompanied by de/het just like you need the in English).


Thanks for the clarification - that's what I assumed as well.


Why is it 'meneer' rather than 'man'?


This is a more polite way to address a man.


Would also like to know this


This is something that is common among many european languages. Often the word which would be translated as Mr or Mrs is also used alone without the surname as a respectful form of direct address and also as a more polite/respectful way to point out or refer to someone in the third person. Thus you might have the following translations.

Meneer Van Dyke. Mr Van Dyke

Sorry, Meneer Sorry Sir

De Meneer. The gentleman

This is similar to the uses of Monsieur in French, Señor in Spanish and Herr in German, so it was easy for me to learn. There is another similar word in Dutch mijnheer. What I cannot tell you from my level of experience is what, if any difference exists between those two words in terms of usage.


The gray old man sounds better


That I think is a personal choice. There is a common expression talking about When I am old and gray which makes this sound familiar. But on Duo you never change the order of things in a series except if there is a set expression or a grammar rule to support it.


Apparently "sir" is not correct... ❤❤❤


I think "The old, gray sir doesn't hear us" should be accepted. Am I wrong ?


Based on my English, yes. Sir is a title used for direct address alone or as a title before the name only if the person has been knighted. It's never used generically about a specific person, the sir, or about a person in general, a sir. In my experience you would generally just say man in American English, although to add an additional layer of respect or politeness, gentleman might be used.


Also based on my English, yes. We do not use "sir" as a noun in this way, it is only used as a title.


Meanwhile, the old gray man being an undercover spy...


Ask him to pronounce "Scheveningen"...

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