Translation:We are completely surprised that the moon is not made of cheese.
Whaaaaat?!! the moon isn't made out of cheese??! How surprising indeed! Thanks for the good laugh Duolingo :)
.... that the moon is not of cheese." Would this be correct? I was tempted to try it as it is a word-for-word translation.
That wouldn't be correct. "De maan is van kaas" is the same as "De maan is GEMAAKT van kaas" (which is word for word "the moon is MADE of cheese"). In Dutch, it's acceptable to omit the word "made". However, I don't think it's proper English to say something like "this table is of wood", you say "the table is MADE of wood".
Actually, I would, and do, say such a thing. Ex. That table is made of wood and this one is of paper. Perhaps it's an idiosyncrasy...
In your sentence, though, you do use the word "made" once, so it seems like one of those cases where you just omit the word to avoid tedious repetition. Personally, I wouldn't say "That table is of wood", but that's just because it doesn't feel right to me, not based on anything.
FYI 'very surprised' and 'absolutely surprised' were not accepted. Are they wrong?
As a Dutch speaker, I think you could argue about "very surprised" (which is closer to "zeer verrast" or "heel verrast"), although I would accept it. "Absolutely surprised" should definitely be accepted though.
You know how a language often favors one interchangeable word over another in specific uses? "Surprised" is one such use. I believe "absolutely surprised" should be accepted, but in my experience, native English speakers are much more likely to use "completely." The same would go for the adjective (e.g., "It was a complete surprise.).
"completely surprised" - about 527,000 Google hits
"a complete surprise" - about 900,000
"absolutely surprised" - about 46,000
"an absolute surprise" - about 23,000
"absolutely surprised" -
Hallo! Isn't 'verrast' one of those verbs that requires a reflexive noun to go along wij/hij/ik etc?
Wouldn't in this case be 'ons'?
I couldn't find anything about 'verrassen' being a reflexive verb. Perhaps you mean 'zich verbazen' or 'zich verwonderen' (to wonder)? Can a Dutch speaker shed any light on this? Bedankt!
'Verrassen' is not a reflexive verb. But it needs an object if it's the finite verb. This is not the case in this sentence; the finite verb is 'zijn', 'verrast' is the past participle.
- Wij zijn verrast door hem - We are surprised by him
- Wij verrassen hem - We surprise him
- Wij verrassen onszelf - We surprise ourselves