Inti qieghed hawn: Grammar > Pronouns > Dit is (this is) and dit zijn (this are)

Dit is (this is) and dit zijn (this are)
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Tradott mill-Ingliz minn ...

In Dutch, "This are nice books" is a perfectly correct way to say that you think the books are nice. On the previous page, you already saw a few examples of how we use dit and dat where we would normally use deze or die. We normally use dit/dat for het-nouns, deze/die for de-nouns (including all plural nouns).

For Dutch learners, it must look particularly strange when we use dit and dat to refer to plural nouns. That is why we will look at this phenomenon again, now focusing on plural nouns.

  • Where the English say 'these are [noun]', the Dutch say 'this are [noun]'.
  • For 'those are [noun]', the Dutch say 'that are [noun]'.

As you can see in the example below, singular dit/dat (this/that) does not correspond with plural 'zijn' (are) or 'waren' (were):

Dit zijn inheemse planten. These are indigenous plants.
[lit: This are indigenous plants]
Dat waren aardige buren. Those were nice neighbours.
[lit: That were nice neighbours]

We only do this when 'these/those' is linked to a noun. 'Indigenous plants', and '(nice) neighbours' are nouns.

If 'these/those' is linked to an adjective, the Dutch use the independent demonstratives deze/die?.

[Deze planten]
Deze zijn inheems.
[these plants]
These are indigenous.
[Die buren]
Die waren aardig.
[those neighbours]
Those were nice.

'Indigenous', and 'nice' are adjectives.

If we put the examples in one table, it is easy to see the difference.

Dit zijn inheemse planten
Deze zijn inheems.
These are indigenous plants.
These are indigenous.
Dat waren aardige buren.
Die waren aardig.
Those were nice neighbours.
Those were nice.

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L-ahhar aggornament June 28, 2008 ::