A question about the word "moet" in a sentence..

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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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kobi1988
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A question about the word "moet" in a sentence..

Post by kobi1988 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:25 pm

Hallo allemaal!

I ran into this sentence: "Ook dat was prettig, het moet alleen niet te vaak gebeuren."
Google translated it as "That was nice, it just does not happen too often."

Two questions:
1. Is the word "ook" is necessary in the beginning of the sentence?
2. Before I used Google I thought the translation should be: "It was nice, but it must not happen too often". How exactly is the word "moet" represented in the right translation?

Thanks,
Kobi.

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Quetzal
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Re: A question about the word "moet" in a sentence..

Post by Quetzal » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:38 pm

kobi1988 wrote:Hallo allemaal!

I ran into this sentence: "Ook dat was prettig, het moet alleen niet te vaak gebeuren."
Google translated it as "That was also nice, it just does should not happen too often."

Two questions:
1. Is the word "ook" is necessary in the beginning of the sentence?
2. Before I used Google I thought the translation should be: "It was nice, but it must not happen too often". How exactly is the word "moet" represented in the right translation?

Thanks,
Kobi.
Hi Kobi,

looks like your biggest mistake is trusting Google translate too much, since your own idea of the translation was better than Google's! As a general rule, Google Translate can help a lot, but don't ever rely on it fully. It's not nearly as reliable as you yourself (with a dictionary and grammar book if needed).

kobi1988
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Re: A question about the word "moet" in a sentence..

Post by kobi1988 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:41 pm

:-D I'm glad to hear I was right!
I try to use Google carefully, but in that specific context it looked like Google's translation is more reasonable, and thus I thought I might be missing something in the grammar.

Anyway, this was the paragraph:
Ik vlieg vrij veel alleen, zelden tot nooit begin ik een gesprek. Het prettigste vind ik een lege stoel naast me. Een jaar of zeven geleden echter zat ik op een vlucht van Zürich naar New York naast een jonge vrouw die sinaasappelsap over me heen gooide. Haar vader was dierenarts in een Zwitsers dorp. We kregen een korte affaire. Ook dat was prettig, het moet alleen niet te vaak gebeuren.

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Re: A question about the word "moet" in a sentence..

Post by andreengels » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:24 am

The "ook" here functions to create more relationship within the text. It makes a connection between "Het prettigste vind ik..." and "Dat was prettig...", making clear that those two are not some kind of contradiction.

Regarding the "moet" Quetzal already answered you. I would have used "should" rather than "must" in English though.

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