Meaning of the sentence

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When correcting Dutch texts, (most) vraagbaken use a colour code to distinguish between different types of mistakes. See also: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=753&p=5506#p5506
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oozsakarya
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Meaning of the sentence

Post by oozsakarya » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:39 pm

Hello,

I could not understand meaning of the the "heb er wel recht op" in the following text. I looked at the meanings of the woords but it does not help me.
Could you please help me?
"Geachte meneer,

Ik heb al twee maanden geen reiskostenvergoeding gekregen. Ik stuur u deze brief, want ik heb er wel recht op. Ik stuur u als bewijs een kopie van mijn loonstrook en een verklaring dat ik er recht op heb. Kunt u mij laten weten, wanneer ik weer een vergoeding krijg?
Met vriendelijke groeten,
...
"

Teodor
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Re: Meaning of the sentence

Post by Teodor » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:18 pm

Een recht hebben of iets, literally to have a right on something means to be entitled to something'.

Wel is a bit more difficult to explain, but not really necessary to grasp the meaning, I think. It's one of those modal particles Dutch uses a lot, little words used to indicate the 'mood' in which something is said. They are often very difficult to translate, especially when languages are concerned that rarely or never use them, like English. Often, the translation depends on the context.
'Wel' can perhaps be most easily explained as the affirmative counterpart of niet (not). We usually use it to emphasize an affirmaton (though there are other uses of it as well). It is often used when our conversation partner has explicitely or implicitely stated that something is not the case. E.g.: - "Je hebt je huiswerk niet gemaakt!" - "Ik heb mijn huiswerk wel gemaakt!"? (Teacher: "You didn't make your homework!" - Pupil: "I did make my homework! (but a dog ate it... ;))". Or you can use it in sentences indicating a contrast ("Ik heb geen rijbewijs maar mijn vrouw wel." - "I don't have a driver's licence, but my wife does.")
Often, one can translate it by using an emphasized am/do-construction: "(Some might think I'm not entitled to it, but) I am entitled to it." However, I've got the feeling that such a translation might be too strong, even slightly impolite, in English. Then again, perhaps I'm just not assertive enough ;) Anyways, that's the basic meaning of it.

(The confusing part is that 'wel' is often also used to de-emphasize something: "Hoe gaat het?" - "Het gaat wel..." ("How is it going?" - "Alright I guess... (sigh)"... But that's not the case here.)

A number of people have asked questions envolving wel in the section about modal particles.It might be useful to read them to get the 'feeling' of the word.

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Bert
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Re: Meaning of the sentence

Post by Bert » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:03 pm

Teodor wrote:Een recht hebben op iets, literally to have a right on something means to be entitled to something'.
Everyone has a right to education.
Iedereen heeft recht op onderwijs.

Teodor
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Re: Meaning of the sentence

Post by Teodor » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:15 pm

Oops! Typo, sorry :o

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