Some things don’t separate (Or: B2 Dutch course #13)

Note: we don’t have class tonight, so the next class-related post won’t be until after Tuesday’s lesson.

I’m still alive! I have a short funny story from work, but first you need to know a bit of Dutch. In Dutch one can say “een … of <number>” to reference a length of time. For example, een jaar of tien. A year or ten. The one thing to remember is that een translates to ‘a’ not ‘one’ (it is the same word in Dutch). But you are expressing a bit of uncertainty with the answer. In English we would usually say “10 years or so”. You also have to know that where I work the working language is English, although you’ll hear some Dutch or similar occasionally.

When I came in this morning, there was a few people already in the kitchen/cafeteria area. A coworker as well as someone fixing the coffee machine – i.e. someone from the coffee company. My coworker asked how long it would be until the coffee machine was fixed. He replied (in English) “a minute or 10”. Heh.

In other news, here is some grammar (actually from the lesson before). I’ve already covered separable verbs, but in Dutch you can also have non-separable verbs. These are verbs that have a prefix on the front of the word, but it never separates from the verb. Examples are mislukken, voorspellen, ondertekenen (to fail, to predict, to sign). Unlike seperable verbs where the accent falls on the prefix, here the accent always falls on the first syllable after the prefix (mislukken, voorspellen, onderteken).

Mijn moeder was een getuige voor mijn bruiloft. Zij heeft de trouwakte ondertekend. My mother was a witness for my wedding. She signed the marriage license. Hi Mom!

Further examples:

Voor mijn verjaardag heeft mijn man mij met een etentje verrastFor my birthday my husband surprised me with a dinner.

Dit kan de overvaller niet zijn. Hij werd als een jongensachtig type omschrevenThis cannot be the robber. He was described as a youngish type.

Mijn appeltaart mislukt altijd want mijn oven werkt niet goed. My apple pies always fail because my oven doesn’t work well.


Categories: Courses | Tags: | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Some things don’t separate (Or: B2 Dutch course #13)

  1. Marco

    “Voor mijn verjaardag heeft mijn man mij met een etentje verrast. For my birthday my husband surprised me with a dinner.”

    Wait..I think you’re trying to hint at something here…. 🙂

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