zien is (also) a pronominal form?!

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enverhoxha
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zien is (also) a pronominal form?!

Post by enverhoxha » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:16 pm

I found a phrase I cannot understand completely: ”Wij moeten er het verdwijnen van zien te voorkomen”. (It is about an endangered animal.) Now, I know the meaning because it was translated on the same page. What I don't get is what exactly zien is supposed to do here. It shouldn't be "to see", so I guessed it could be a pronoun (van zien = of it??) . If it's too silly, I apologize, but I am just a beginner.

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Quetzal
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Re: zien is (also) a pronominal form?!

Post by Quetzal » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:39 pm

Ah, yes, that would've been impossible for you to know. It's fairly advanced language, I imagine many people here at the site wouldn't have understood it.

It's a rare meaning of the word that, as you say, has nothing to do with "to see". "We moeten het zien te voorkomen" is not very much different from simply "We moeten het voorkomen", the "zien" in this context means something like "manage to", "be able to". "Zien" in this meaning only ever occurs in combination with "moeten". So basically "We moeten het voorkomen" would translate like "We have to prevent it", while "We moeten het zien te voorkomen" would translate like "We have to find a way to prevent it" or something like that.

enverhoxha
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Re: zien is (also) a pronominal form?!

Post by enverhoxha » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:35 am

Thanks, now I understand. But what do you think about the ”van” before ”zien”? Van what?

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Quetzal
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Re: zien is (also) a pronominal form?!

Post by Quetzal » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:27 am

enverhoxha wrote:Thanks, now I understand. But what do you think about the ”van” before ”zien”? Van what?
Oh, that's something else. I would perhaps be more inclined to write it this way: "We moeten het verdwijnen ervan zien te voorkomen", which is probably clearer too. But it's the same thing whether you write "ervan" in one word or in two: "We have to find a way to prevent its disappearance" - the "its" is "ervan".

enverhoxha
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Re: zien is (also) a pronominal form?!

Post by enverhoxha » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:57 pm

OK, I see, ervan is somewhat similar to "davon" in German. Thank you.

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