Zij zegt dat… (Or: Dutch lesson 5 of 14)

Last night I had my 5th lesson (of 14) for Dutch level A2. This week was more review for me (versus last week when we learned about object/subject forms of “it”). There were 16 students in the class – and 4 of them walked in late enough for it to be noticeable. People also talk a bit too much at times, which makes it hard to hear the teacher or the other students.

Both of the main grammer things we covered this week were things that Marco has already drilled into my head (I can just see him saying “Word order! Word order!” over and over…and over). The first is indirect speech – repeating what someone else has said.

Marcia: Ik ga in de zomer naar mijn vakantiehuisje in Zweden.
Marcia: I go in the summer to my vacation house in Sweden.

Simone: Marcia zegt dat zij in de zomer naar haar vakantiehuisje in Zweden gaat.
Simone: Marcia says that she goes in the summer to her vacation house in Sweden.

(Notice how ‘gaat’ moves to the end. This is typical of most complex Dutch sentence – inversion of the verb.)

Of course, it’s a rule used not just in indirect speech.

Ik hoop dat mijn Nederlands goed is.
[I hope that my Dutch is good.]

The other grammatical aspect that we learned was negating “moeten” or must. That verb gave me trouble for the longest time, because I would constantly ask Marco what the verb for “to need” was. But most of the time you use “must” instead. There is a way to talk about need, though. “hebben nodig”, although the nodig doesn’t usually stick with the verb “hebben” (to have). It roughly translates to the following “to have need”.

We hebben meer tijd nodig.
We need more time. (We have need for more time.)

But when you want to negate “moeten” you instead change the verb to “hoeven”. For some reason no one in the world will ever know, I suppose.

Ik moet vandaag werken, maar morgen hoef ik niet te werken.
I must work today, but tomorrow I don’t have to work.

It is official that the student I mentioned last week will drop the class – she decided to wait for the easier A1 class taught in September. On my end I (and Marco) are wondering if there’s anyway to skip any more levels… especially since there will probably be a break from June to September for the next set of classes to be taught. In theory this means more time to study and practice, but you know how that goes.

Looking over the Volksuniversiteit website, it states that there are another 3 sections to go (B1, B2, and C1) before I reach the level I want. At the C1 level is when they talk about the NT2 examen, program 2. Program 1 (B2) level is for lower level jobs, and program 2 (taught at the C1 level) is for higher level jobs, which complements the Master’s degree I already have. This means that down the road I can apply for higher level jobs.

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5 thoughts on “Zij zegt dat… (Or: Dutch lesson 5 of 14)

  1. I’m having trouble with my word order too. But I’m only in an A1 class πŸ™‚ I think they’re more forgiving.

    Reading your tales makes me look forward to my next semester though! πŸ˜€

    • How much Dutch does your professor speak? Ours is 95% Dutch, or even more. But sometimes it takes a while to switch the brain to “Dutch” in the start of the class and I just look at her wondering why she has to speak so fast. πŸ˜›

      • Yeah95% unless the whole class looks at her blankly. And at least one of the Italians and the Russian always know what she’s saying. She’ll switch to Engels if no one reacts to a command πŸ™‚

        As she says, she doesn’t speak too fast, we luisteren te langzaam! (listen too slowly)

        • Heh. Smart answer by her. πŸ˜‰

          Sometimes we all must look pretty blankly at her, I know. The other problem is some of the students talk too much when she’s talking (unfortunately that was me for a few minutes in the last class. I couldn’t get my partner to stop talking to me. :P)

          • Either our class is really good at only talking when they’re meant to, or our teacher only says important stuff when we’re all listening πŸ™‚ As we don’t seem to have that problem. πŸ™‚

            I am ever grateful that our class is always willing to help each other out over stumbling blocks though!

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