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To Watch my Bike??

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Regular verbs, irregular verbs, auxiliary verbs, compound verbs... When do we use which tense? What about those strange constructions the Dutch use to make a continuous? "Staat" my book on the shelf or "ligt" it? Ask all about Dutch verbs here.

To Watch my Bike??

Postby rhino514 » July 29th, 2011, 7:02 pm

How would one say "could you watch my bike"?

Would one use the verb "gadeslaan"? Does the idiom "in de gaten houden" also mean "to watch or keep an eye on" and could it be used here?

bedankt

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To Watch my Bike??

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Re: To Watch my Bike??

Postby Joke » July 29th, 2011, 8:40 pm

In de gaten houden works. You can also use letten op:
Wil je mijn fiets in de gaten houden?
Wil je op mijn fiets letten?
Gadeslaan is a old-fashioned word that just means watch.
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Re: To Watch my Bike??

Postby rhino514 » July 30th, 2011, 9:24 am

Thank you! Such a simple sentence but the subject and your response is very helpful to me on many levels.
Firstly, I notice that "Would you" or "could you" in such cases is not translated by "Zou je" or "zou je kunnen" but simply by "Wil je" which in english wouldn´t be very correct. "Do you want to watch my bike". I guess this is similar to "Ik wil graag fritjes hebben/eten"?: "I would like to have some fries"...Willen can be used practically as a subjunctive

Also, I was wondering what modal particals would commonly be used by a dutch person in such a sentence (for example, as in "could you just watch my bike for a moment?" or "could you please watch my bike"?
"Wil je op mijn fiets even/eventjes/maar letten"? Would it also be common to say, for example, "Kunt u een momentje op mijn fiets letten?"...I suppose it would be better to use "kunt u" if you are asking a person you don´t know very well (or at all)

many thanks in advance!

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Re: To Watch my Bike??

Postby Joke » July 30th, 2011, 11:49 am

The examples that I gave work if you ask your friend. When talking to a stranger, there are several ways to make it more polite, by using u, adding alstublieft and/or choosing a different verb:
Wilt u op mijn fiets letten, alstublieft?
Kunt u op mijn fiets letten?
Zou u op mijn fiets willen/kunnen letten?

It is indeed very common to use a modal particle here. Even works best:
Wilt/kunt u even op mijn fiets letten, alstublieft?
Eventjes or een moment(je) are also possile, but less common.
You can also add misschien:
Kunt u misschien even op mijn fiets letten?

Maar is not possible.

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