neutral introduction. hello. i've read at a grammar book about the neutral introduction of sentences , when the demonstrative pronouns are followed by a verb like: _ het zijn Jan en Peter... dat zijn de boeken van Jan ... etc. Is there any rule on which of dit/dat/het will start the sentence? thank you.
Nov 6, 2018 4:32 PM
Answers · 2
hello and thank you for your reply and nice examples! in the sentence het zijn jan en peter, could het be replaced by dit or dat? in a sense i try to understand if there is a criterion on when to use which pronoun when we have that specific syntax.
November 9, 2018
Hi Alexandros, good question! In the second sentence, 'dat' means 'those', so it could be literally translated to 'those are Jan's books'. However, if you would like to say 'those books', it would be 'die boeken', so I can see how it is confusing. 'That book', on the other hand, would be 'dat boek'. The reason 'dat' is used here is because of how the sentence is structured. For instance, you could say 'Die boeken zijn van Jan' (Those books are Jan's). In the same fashion, the first sentence could be written 'Zij zijn Jan en Peter' (They are Jan en Peter). 'Het zijn Jan en Peter' rather means 'It's Jan and Peter', which I think you could say in English too. Like, hey look, it's Jan and Peter. 'Dat zijn de boeken van Jan' could be an answer to the question 'What is that?' or 'What are those?' Okay, I am not sure this cleared anything up, but I hope it helped a little, haha.
November 8, 2018
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