af

Een hoekje voor absolute beginners. Hier schrijf je alleen eenvoudige zinnen en over eenvoudige onderwerpen / A corner for absolute beginners. Here, you only write simple phrases and about simple topics.
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Iouri
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af

Post by Iouri » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:40 pm

Please explain af in the following sentences

Ik ging de trap af. - I went downstairs.
Ik fietste de heuvel af. - I cycled down the hill.


Does it show the direction down??????


thanx
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Bert
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Re: af

Post by Bert » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:49 pm

Yes.

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Re: af

Post by Iouri » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:57 pm

Can I say

Ik ga af
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Bert
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Re: af

Post by Bert » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:32 pm

Iouri wrote:Can I say

Ik ga af
No, because it means something else. Afgaan is the basic verb. Ik ga af means 'I do something awkward/clumsy' (and that is recognised by others). You can say Ik ga naar beneden. This is my opinion which is not necessarily true but here you can only find two meanings of afgaan: http://www.woorden.org/zoek.php?woord=afgaan

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Re: af

Post by Iouri » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:40 pm

gotcha

thanx
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Quetzal
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Re: af

Post by Quetzal » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:21 pm

Bert wrote:
Iouri wrote:Can I say

Ik ga af
No, because it means something else. Afgaan is the basic verb. Ik ga af means 'I do something awkward/clumsy' (and that is recognised by others). You can say Ik ga naar beneden. This is my opinion which is not necessarily true but here you can only find two meanings of afgaan: http://www.woorden.org/zoek.php?woord=afgaan
I think that definition is putting it a bit mildly. "Afgaan" is not just that people notice you doing something clumsy, it's really being humiliated in front of other people because of something you did - or more likely, something you failed at. Though the noun ("afgang") is much more common than the verb - if those people witnessing are teenagers, they're likely to comment merely with "Afgang!" or at most "Wat een afgang!". Of course, teenagers have a tendency of calling just about anything "afgang", even in cases where that's really a stretch...

There's also "afgaan als een gieter", that one is always a verb and is even stronger in meaning, though I have no idea what the link between "afgaan" and a "gieter" (watering can) is. Another one of those bizarre Dutch expressions, I guess.

Anyway, to get back to the verb of movement - "afgaan" in that meaning is a transitive verb, i.e. it requires a direct object, there needs to be some object which you go down. Almost always some kind of stairs, can't immediately think of anything else that can be used there.

There are other verbs with "af" that can be used in the general meaning of "go down" / "descend", especially "afdalen" (if you're descending a mountainside, that is "afdalen", noun "afdaling"). "Dalen" on its own means much the same thing, but is also used in other contexts (like some statistic decreasing over time).


The main prefix for "down" would actually be "neer-", in fact. "Neergaan" means "to go down" but only in the sense of a boxer going down in a fight, while "neerdalen" means "to descend", but in a very formal way (like, say, someone descending from heaven).

And while we're at it, that "neer-" is in fact a contraction of the original "neder-", which you may recognize from, oh yeah, "Neder-land" (i.e. "the low country").

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Re: af

Post by Iouri » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:35 pm

Thank you Quetzal for the wonderful explanation
Iouri

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