the use of EENS in this example?

[modale partikels]
The Dutch use words like 'nou', 'toch', 'hoor', 'maar', 'wel', 'eens', or 'even' to modify the tone of a sentence. Their only function is to reflect the mood or attitude of the speaker. In spoken Dutch, there is hardly a phrase that does not contain one of these hard-to-explain words.
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rhino514
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the use of EENS in this example?

Post by rhino514 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:18 pm

Ik heb een vraag; regarding the follwoing sentence:

"De kleine krokodil vindt bananen best lekker, maar eigenlijk zou hij ook wel eens een kindje lusten"

Is EENS here used to make the sentence more polite? Or does it mean "Just once/one time, the crocodile would like to eat/have a child?"g
If it a politeness term, could anyone explain why it would be more appropriate in this example than EVEN or GRAAG? I´ve been looking at the other modal particles but am still lost with EENS.

bedankt!

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Quetzal
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Re: the use of EENS in this example?

Post by Quetzal » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:38 pm

It's more in the "just once" direction, but not as narrow as that - it doesn't have to be one time and no more, it can be a few times as well. I'd translate with something like "for a change" here ("but he wouldn't mind eating a small child for a change"). But of course with idiomatic use like that, translations are always approximate, and depend strongly on context.

rhino514
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Re: the use of EENS in this example?

Post by rhino514 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:38 pm

Great! "For a change" makes perfect sense.

I just came across the following: "ik zal er eens even hard over na moeten denken"

"for a change" doesn´t seems to really translate well here. Could you clarify this example a bit for me? I notice that it is often used with even in such cases. I thought this is in cases where the speaker is trying to be more polite. But since he is not responding directly to someone I have trouble understanding why he would try to make this sentence sound more polite in this case. Maybe it means something entirely different.

thanks!

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Re: the use of EENS in this example?

Post by Quetzal » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:40 pm

rhino514 wrote:Great! "For a change" makes perfect sense.

I just came across the following: "ik zal er eens even hard over na moeten denken"

"for a change" doesn´t seems to really translate well here. Could you clarify this example a bit for me? I notice that it is often used with even in such cases. I thought this is in cases where the speaker is trying to be more polite. But since he is not responding directly to someone I have trouble understanding why he would try to make this sentence sound more polite in this case. Maybe it means something entirely different.

thanks!
That's not really something I would say myself, it kind of seems like overkill to have both "eens" and "even". The "eens" indicates that you'll have to think about that at some undefined point in the future, as opposed to thinking about it right now. It's often used like that to make vague, not-very-binding promises - like, somebody is telling you about some place they've visited that they're really enthusiastic about, and you aren't too interested but don't want to be impolite, so you say "Dan moet ik daar misschien ook eens naartoe gaan", or words to that effect.

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