Dutch/Lesson 23

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to: navigation, search

Beginner level Intermediate level Advanced level
Cycle 1 Quiz Cycle 2 Quiz Cycle 3 Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6
Main Les 1 Les 2 Les 3 Les 4 Les 5 Les 6 Les 7 Les 8 Les 9 Les 10 Les 11 Les 12 Les 13 Les 14 Les 15 Les 16 Les 17 Les 18 Les 19 Les 20 Les 21 Les 22 Les 23 Main
Practice Les 1A Les 2A Les 3A Les 4A Les 5A Les 6A Les 7A Les 8A Les 9A Les 10A Les 11A Les 12A Les 13A Les 14A Les 15A Les 16A Practice
Examples Vb. 1 Vb. 2 Vb. 3 Vb. 4 Vb. 5 Vb. 6 Vb. 7 Vb. 8 Vb. 9 Vb. 10 Vb. 11 Vb. 12 Vb. 13 Vb. 14 Vb. 15 Vb. 16 Examples
Main page Introduction Pronunciation Vocabulary Index News

Advanced level: cycle 6

Les 23 ~ Lesson 23

Drievoudige scheidbaarheid ~ Triple separability

Usage

Three parts[edit]

There are pronominal adverbs and even a few separable verbs in Dutch that can separate into three rather than two parts. This is an area where not all dictionaries and grammarians agree, particularly where it comes to decide whether to write the components as one word or separately.

Erbovenop[edit]

The pronominal adverb erbovenop means "on top of it", both in the literal sense of sitting on op of a haystack and in the figurative, as in following something very attentively and interactively.

Compare:

Hij zit al een uur boven op de hooistapel boven= adverb op=preposition
Hij zit er al een uur bovenop er=locative adverb replacing hooistapel bovenop =compound prepositional adverb
Hij zit erbovenop erbovenop = pronominal adverb replacing boven op de hooistapel

The above is the standard pattern. Compound prepositional adverbs like bovenop can be used to form pronominal adverbs just like other prepositional adverbs.

However, they cannot be used as prepositions. Instead they fall apart into a preposition (op) with a determining adverb (boven) in front of it.

Examples of triply separable pronominal adverbs that follow this basic pattern:

erbovenuit
ertegenaan
ertegenin
ertegenop
ertegenover
erdoorheen
ernaartoe
eromheen
eronderdoor
eronderuit
eropna
eropuit
eroverheen
ertussendoor
ertussenin
ertussenuit
ervanaf
ervandaan
ervandoor
ervanlangs
ervantussen

Relationship with separable verbs[edit]

As we have seen the prepositional adverbs play a dual role in Dutch: they form both pronominal adverbs and separable verbs. This complicates matters when dealing with compound prepositional adverbs.

Take the sentence:

Hij sprong van de tafel af. - He jumped down form the table.

We could either consider af the separated adverb belonging to a separable verb afspringen, or part of a compound prepositional adverb vanaf

Hij sprong van de tafel af.
Hij sprong van de tafel af.

If we replace the noun tafel by the locative wildcard er and form a pronominal adverb, this would make a difference:

Hij sprong ervan af.
Hij sprong ervanaf

Actually even Onze Taal does not mention this particular case, but it does mention ervanaf vallen, so the second possibility is probably the right one. If that sounds iffy, then hopefully you will understand that mother tongue speakers don't always know how to look at this either. Although they would certainly agree that it is one triple word in:

"Ervanaf!" brulde hij woedend - "Get off of there!" he bellowed angrily.

There are cases here both possibilities exist, but mean something else:

Hij is ervanaf gevallen - He fell down from it (the roof e.g.)
Hij is ervan afgevallen - He lost weight from that.

Triple verbs[edit]

The number of separable verbs with a compound prefix that can lead to triple separability is small. A good example is eruitzien. It means to look in the sense of to look good/bad/tired.

loc+pr-adv+verb Goed eruitzien heeft een hoge prioriteit voor haar Looking good has a high priority for her.
loc..pr-adv+verb Zij heeft er altijd goed uitgezien She has always looked good
verb..loc..pr-adv Hij ziet er niet goed uit. He doesn't look good
verb .. loc+pr-adv Wat zie je eruit! You look awful!

As you can see any combination is possible except *erzien

Other compounds[edit]

Dutch has a number of compound prepositions, such as

te midden van --- in the middle of, amid(st)
Te midden van al het lawaai bewaarde hij zijn kalmte -- Amid all the noise he kept his composure.

If such compounds contain a prepositional adverb like "van", they can also give rise to the formation of adverbial pronouns.

Te midden daarvan bewaarde hij zijn kalmte -- In the middle of that he kept his composure.