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'Er' referring to a location
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When the pronoun het is preceded by a preposition, we replace het by er (see also het turning into er?).

Not only is het replaced by er, the preposition is also attached to er. Moreover, it does not precede it - as it does with a noun, but it is placed after it. The preposition, thus, turns into a postposition.

We do not say: "Ik hoop op het", but: "Ik hoop erop". Following the same rule, in het becomes erin, over het becomes erover, et cetera.

The prepositions met (with) and tot (to, until) turn into mee and toe. For example: tot het becomes ertoe en met het becomes ermee.

Note that this only applies to het functioning as a pronoun, not to the article het!

Ik heb mijn handen met zeep gewassen I have washed my hands with soap
Ik heb er mijn handen mee gewassen I have washed my hands with it
Ik heb onder een parpaplu gelopen I have walked under an umbrella
Ik heb eronder gelopen I have walked under it
De bal werd over het hek heen* gegooid. The ball was thrown over the fence
De bal werd eroverheen gegooid The ball was thrown over it

(*) Heen is a postposition that often occurs with a preposition indicating movement, in this example with over

Note that deze/dit (this) and die/dat (that) are replaced by hier and daar in the same way (see also dit/dat turning into hier/daar?.

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L-ahhar aggornament May 17, 2007 ::