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Disambiguation: Dutch 'Eens' - Multiple Meanings and Related Words

Disambiguation: Many common Dutch words have more than one meaning.

Disambiguation Home - 'Al' - 'Als' - 'Daar' - 'Dan' - 'Dat' - 'Door' - 'Eens' - 'Er' - 'Erg' - 'Even' - 'Haast' - 'Het' - 'Laat' - 'Maar' - 'Net' - 'Nog' - 'Of' - 'Om' - 'Over' - 'Toen' - 'Van' - 'Voor' - 'Vroeg' - 'Waar' - 'Wat' - 'Zo' - more

Eens

click to hear /or/ click to hear /or/ click to hear
  1. 'once' - "once upon a time ..."
  2. 'sometime' - or hard to translate amplifier or pragmatic marker
  3. " 't eens zijn met " click to hear 2 3 - to agree with

1. 'Eens' = 'once'

'Once' like in the common opening phrase of fairy tales is the similar Dutch eens click to hear
Er was eens ... click to hear 2 3 Once upon a time there was ...
or: Er was er eens ... click to hear 2 Once upon a time there was ...
D'r was eens een prinses ... click to hear 2 Once upon a time there was a princess ...
Do note that the EE of 'eens' is often pronounced as schwa, 'voiceless E' click to hear 2 and not as the 'long E' click to hear 2 you'd expect from the spelling.

'Once' meaning 'one time' is usually said as één keer click to hear in Dutch. See and hear also: 'Time' Thesaurus - 2

één keer per dag click to hear 'one time a day, once daily'

2. 'Eens' = 'sometime' - or hard to translate amplifier or pragmatic marker

'Eens' kan also be an almost meaningless interjection that's often not translated straightforwardly. These words or phrases are sometimes called 'pragmatic markers' that give an indication of how the speaker feels about it - a meaning difficult to precisely define and hard to translate, but without them Dutch looks 'bare' or 'dry' - too matter-of-fact (even for Dutch.) It's very difficult for foreign students to get this right.
Vertel eens wat leuks click to hear 2 'Now tell us something nice, entertaining'
Zeg eens wat click to hear 'Say something'
Hoor eens even click to hear 'Now listen' ('What you're saying is outrageous')
Wacht eens even click to hear 2 'Now wait a moment'
Kijk er eens goed naar click to hear 2 3 'Now look at it sharply, inspect it closely'
Kijk eens in de spiegel click to hear 2 'Take a good look in the mirror'

'Eens' click to hear 2 3 is often combined with prepositions like:

wel click to hear ('amplifier')
nog click to hear again? still?
weer click to hear 2 again
ook click to hear also
wel eens click to hear 2 ever, sometime, sometimes, occasionally
nog eens click to hear 2 again, another time, repetition
weer eens click to hear 2 again, another time, repetition
ook eens click to hear sometime?
Ik vraag me wel eens af ... click to hear 2 Sometimes I wonder ...
Ik heb wel eens gehoord dat ... click to hear 2 I have heard [sometime] that ...
Ik heb wel eens gelezen dat ... click to hear 2 I have read [sometime somewhere] that ...
Ben je wel eens in Denemarken geweest? click to hear Have you ever been to Denmark?
alternate: ooit click to hear 2 'ever'
Ben je ooit in Memphis geweest? click to hear Have you ever been to Memphis?
Ik krijg wel eens honger op straat, maar ik eet altijd thuis slow Sometimes I get an appetite in the street, but I always eat at home
Er gaat er wel eens een de mist in click to hear 2 Occasionally something (a part of a performance) [disppears into the mist] fails
Ik zou wel eens willen weten ... click to hear 2 I really would like to know ...
Heb je wel eens zo-iets meegemaakt? click to hear 2 Have you ever experienced? something like that?

Heb je zo-iets wel eens meegemaakt? click to hear
Have you ever experienced? something like that?
Dat heb ik ook wel eens click to hear 2 That occasionally happens to me too
Zoals ik je misschien wel eens verteld heb click to hear 2 3 As I may have told you (before)
Kunt U dat nog eens zeggen? click to hear Could you please say that one more time, again, repeat that?
Zou U dat nog eens willen zeggen? click to hear 2 Would you mind repeating that please?
Ik heb laatst ... nog eens gelezen click to hear Sometime ago I have re-read ...
nog eens een keer click to hear 2 3 'Another time' - again, once more
Zo is 't toevallig nou ook nog eens een keer click to hear 2 3 ['Now by sheer coincidence it just happens to be that way again'] - That's just how it is
Kom daar nou nog eens om! click to hear 2 [It's not possible to find something like that anymore] - an item or an attitude that went out of fashion
Gisteren heb ik ... weer eens gezien click to hear Yesterday I've seen ... again, another time (a movie)
Dan hoor je het ook eens van een ander click to hear 2 'Then you'll hear it from someone else' ~you'll get the second opinion you need
Laat je handjes maar eens wapperen click to hear 2 ['Just make your (little) hands wave frantically, snap']- Get active! Get cracking!

'Niet eens' click to hear 2 is with 'long E.' It's said when you comment on something unexpected

't Is niet eens zo koud click to hear 2 It's not that cold (I had expected it would be colder)

'Eens' click to hear is also pronounced with 'long E' in dramatic statements like either 'someday in the future ...' or 'there'll be a day that ...' or (depending on context) 'one time only'

Eens zul je begrijpen ... click to hear 2 There'll come a day that you'll understand ...
You could also say: Ooit zul je begrijpen ... click to hear 2 Someday you'll understand ...
't Gebeurt maar eens in je leven click to hear 2 It happens just once in your lifetime

3. 'Het eens zijn met' = 'to agree with'

The word 'Eens' is found with another meaning in the expression:
het eens zijn (met) click to hear 2 3 ('to agree, ~to be on one page with')
Ik ben het met je eens click to hear 2 I agree with you, I think you're right

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