Inti qieghed hawn: Grammar > Pronouns > Iets & niets (something & nothing)

Iets & niets (something & nothing)
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Tradott mill-Ingliz minn ...

Iets and niets are used exactly like 'something' and 'nothing' in English. The only difference is that the Dutch do not make a distinction between 'something' and 'anything'.

Iets and niets are singular pronouns.

Dutch Application English
iets singular something, anything
niets singular nothing

If we combine iets or niets with a preposition (met iets, voor niets), we can use a pronominal adverb? (see further below).

Iets [something] and niets [nothing]

Ik wil graag iets zeggen. I would like to say something.
Moeten we iets meenemen? Should we bring anything?
We hebben nog niets gedaan. We have not done anything yet.
Niets is onmogelijk. Nothing is impossible.

Pronominal adverbs ergens [somehwere] and nergens [nowhere]

Sometimes, we change the pronoun into an adverb when it is preceded by a preposition. For example, instead of voor iets ('for something'), we can say ergens voor ('somewhere for').

We do not have to do this. We are perfectly allowed to write a preposition before iets or niets. However, if we want, we can use the pronominal adverbs? ergens (somewhere) instead of iets (something) and nergens (nowhere) instead of niets. If we do this, the following happens:

preposition + iets arrow ergens + preposition
preposition + niets arrow nergens + preposition

Note that (n)ergens is not attached to the preposition.

Dat deed me aan iets denken. That reminded me of something.
Dat deed me ergens aan denken.
Ze was voor niets bang. She was not afraid of anything.
[She was afraid of nothing]
Ze was nergens bang voor.

Iets and niets before adjectives

If iets or niets precedes an adjective, we add -s to the end of the adjective.

Er is niets interessants op tv. There is nothing interesting on TV.
Er is niets anders. There is nothing else.
Kun jij iets beters bedenken? Can you think of anything better?
Er was iets vreemds aan hem. There was something strange about him.

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L-ahhar aggornament June 28, 2008 ::