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

Disambiguation Home - Aan - Achter - Af - Al - Als - Binnen/Buiten - Daar - Dan - Dat - Door - Eens - Er - Erg - Even - Haast - Het - In - Laat - Maar - Na - Naar - Net - Nog - Of - Om - Onder/Boven - Op - Over - Toen - Uit - Van - Voor - Vroeg - Waar - Wat - Weg - Zo - more

Dutch 'Achter' = Behind, Back, Rear

Dutch 'voor' click to hear 2 can mean 'in front of' (place) or 'before' (timewise) - but in its opposite Dutch uses two words:
'achter' click to hear 2 ('behind, back' - place - German hinter) and
'na' click to hear ('after' - time) ‑>>
'Achter' is obviously from the same root as 'after,' but meaning diverged between time and place - though English still has the ship (and airplane) word 'aft.'
This page is a major expansion of the 'Achter'  paragraphs on the Disambiguation: 'Voor'  page. On that page you can also find the opposites of some of the 'achter-' words on this page.
See also: pictorial

'Achter' = Behind
'Achter' = Back, Rear
Verbs Splitting - or Not
More Words with Achter
'Echter' = But, Yet, (However, Nevertheless)
'Tussen' = Between and Among

'Achter' = Behind

achter 't huis click to hear behind the house achter een boom click to hear 2 behind a tree Als dat achter de rug is click to hear 2 When that's behind [the back] our backs, us Achter de wolken schijnt de zon click to hear 2 (saying) Behind the clouds the sun is shining - things will get better Achter het net vissen click to hear 2 (saying) Fishing behind the net - ('missing the boat') - not getting what you want achter de hand houden click to hear 2 3 keeping something [behind the hand, hidden] in reserve De kinderen achter het behang plakken click to hear Glueing the children behind the wallpaper (Many a parent's secret occasional wish) achter de schermen click to hear 2 3 [behind the screens] behind the curtain, backstage, in the wings (what's hidden, secret, back room dealings) twee dagen achter elkaar click to hear 2 3 4 Two days [after each other] in a row Die klok loopt achter click to hear 2 That clock [runs behind] is slow Ik zet er een punt achter click to hear 2 3 4 (saying) ['I'm putting a period (dot) behind it'] - I'm putting a stop to it, ending my involvement in it

erachter (er achter) click to hear 2 3 4 behind it Wat zit er achter? click to hear 2 3 What's behind it? Something is hidden - either literally, you can't see what's behind it, or you wonder about the motivation or reason for an action or movement 't huis erachter click to hear 2 the house behind it ‑>> 't huis schuin erachter click to hear 2 3 the house diagonally behind it (kitty-corner) achterburen click to hear 2 'backyard neighbors' ‑>>

achterna click to hear 2 3 after, 'following' de muziek achterna click to hear following the music, walking with a brass band also: Met de muziek mee click to hear 2 3 4 ['along with the music']
Walking behind a brass band was more popular in the past, when access to music was limited and hearing music was rare
Hij gaat z'n vader achterna click to hear 2 3 4 He's taking after his dad, he's becoming like his dad

achteraf click to hear 1. afterwards, after something happened, later
2. remote, remotely located
Achteraf begrijp ik ... click to hear 2 3 Afterwards (now) I understand ... Achteraf heb ik er spijt van click to hear 2 Afterwards (now) I'm regretting it Hij woont ergens achteraf click to hear 2 3 He lives [somewhere remote] in the countryside Also: op het platteland click to hear 2 3 in the countryside, in the country

ergens achter komen click to hear 2 [to come, get behind something] - to find out something ‑>> Hoe ben je erachter gekomen? click to hear 2 How did you find [it] out? Ik kwam er te laat achter click to hear 2
Ik ben er te laat achter gekomen click to hear 2 I found out [about it] too late

'Achter' = Back, Rear

achterin click to hear 2 3 / achter in click to hear 2 3 in the back of, in the rear of, at the end of achter in de kerk click to hear 2 3 in the back of the church achter in de zaal click to hear in the back of the hall achterin het boek click to hear 2 3 at the end of the book achter in de twintig click to hear 2 3 [at the end of 20] - age 27, 28 or 29 - 'in their late 20s'

achteraan click to hear 2 1. at the back, in the rear
2. after
achteraan in de rij click to hear 2 3 at the end of the line (row, queu) We gaan er achteraan click to hear 2 We'll go after it, we'll find out about it Ze zitten achter hem aan click to hear 2 3 They're after him, they're trying to catch him (literally, or sometimes in a court of law)

achterom click to hear 2 1. backward(s) - 'over your shoulder'
2. around the back, through the back door
Kijk even achterom voordat je afslaat click to hear 2 Look backward for a moment before you make a turn (in traffic) Ga maar achterom click to hear 2 3 4 [Just] Go around the back, Feel free to use the back door

achteruit click to hear 2 backwards Kijk vooruit, niet achteruit click to hear Look forward, not backward De klok achteruitzetten click to hear 2 Turning back the clock Hij reed achteruit de garage in click to hear 2 He drove into the garage backwards Alsof ik met m'n ogen dicht achteruit liep click to hear 2 3 As if I was walking backward with (my) eyes closed Hij gaat erg achteruit click to hear 2 3 ['He goes backward badly..'] He's quickly getting worse (health, mental state) and: (de) achteruitgang click to hear 2 decline, regression ‑>>
But also, notice stress: (de) achteruitgang click to hear 2 3 back exit
(de) uitgang click to hear 2 exit, egress ‑>>

achterop click to hear 2 at the back, behind
Die achterop doet er niks aan click to hear 2 3 'The one in back is [not doing anything about it] not helping' - jocular comment to tandem bicycle riders achterop raken click to hear 2 3 to fall behind, lag, not keeping up (de) achterstand click to hear [being behind] disadvantage, lag (het) achterstallig onderhoud click to hear 2 overdue maintenance

blijven click to hear 2 'to remain, to stay' ‑>> - 2
achterblijven click to hear 2 to remain behind // to lag behind, trail

achterstevoren click to hear 2 [rear-in-front] backward, the wrong way 'round, in reverse order ‑>>

The English body part 'the back' is (de) rug click to hear
(de) ruggengraat click to hear 'backbone, spine' - more

English 'back' as in 'being back, coming back, going back, returning' is terug click to hear
de weg terug click to hear 2 3 the way back, the road back - more

Verbs Splitting - or Not

Compound verbs consisting of a prepostition with a verb sometimes split up, as explained on the 'verbs' pages. Two verbs with 'achter ' show the probable rule that the preposition separates when the stress of the word is on preposition, but when the stress is on the main verb it does not split off.

achterhalen click to hear 2 1. to retrieve, find out
2. to overtake, catch up with
The verb is a bit old-fashioned, not much used anymore

achterhalen to retrieve, find out
ik achterhaal I'm finding out
ik achterhaalde I found out
ik heb achterhaald I have found out
click to hear
Al is de leugen nog zo snel, de waarheid achterhaalt haar wel click to hear 2 3 4 (saying) ['However quick a lie may be, the truth will surely overtake it'] - Lies won't last, truth will come out eventually achterhaald click to hear "overtaken" - no longer valid, disproven by new scientific discoveries, superseded by newer attitudes, outdated, out-of-fashion

achterlaten click to hear 2 to leave behind

a strong verb:
achterlaten to leave behind
ik laat achter I'm leaving behind
ik liet achter I left behind
ik heb achtergelaten I have left behind
click to hear
Ik liet hem achter in Babylon click to hear 2 3 I left him behind in Babylon - Place Names

More Words with Achter

In compound nouns, 'achter' click to hear 2 is usually translated as 'back' or 'rear'

(de) achterdeur click to hear back door - house
(de) achtertuin click to hear back yard - yard

Anne Frank: Het Achterhuis click to hear 'Anne Frank' - 'The House in Back' - usually translated as 'The Secret Annexe.' ‑>>

(de) achterneef click to hear second cousin, first cousin once removed, great-nephew (a grandson of your brother or sister or a grandson of your grandfather's brothers or sisters) (de) achterkleinkinderen click to hear great-grandchildren ‑>>

(het) achterwiel click to hear 2 3 rear wheel - bicycling (de) achterruit click to hear 2 rear window
(de) achterbak click to hear 2 3 [back box] trunk - cars

(de) achternaam click to hear last name, family name - Dutch Names

(de) achterkant click to hear 2 back, back side more sides (het) achterwerk click to hear 2 buttocks, ass, 'behind'

(de) achtergrond click to hear 2 background
Er is te veel achtergrondgeluid click to hear There's too much background noise Is 't de ijskast op de achtergrond? click to hear Is it the refrigerator in the background?

(de) achterdocht click to hear 2 3 suspicion, mistrust
achterdochtig click to hear 2 3 suspicious, suspecting, mistrusting

(het) achtervoegsel click to hear 2 3 suffix ‑>>

(de) achterhoede click to hear 2 rearguard - military

De Achterhoek click to hear an area in the East of The Netherlands Names of Dutch and Belgian towns and cities etc.

'Echter' = But, Yet, (However, Nevertheless)

'Echter' click to hear 2 3 is a somewhat bookish, formal word meaning 'however, nevertheless, but, yet.' The more common though not entirely synonymous words are maar click to hear ‑>> and toch click to hear 2 ‑>>
'Echter' click to hear 2 3 can also be the comparative degree of echt click to hear 2 3 (echt/echte click to hear 2) 'real' - so: 'more real.' Also a bit unusual.
Er is echter geen ander woord click to hear 2 There is however not another word Er is echter geen ander woord voor click to hear 2 But there is no other word for it Iets te gaan doen echter lijkt nog steeds een goed idee click to hear 2 3 But to go out and do something, to take action still looks like a good idea

'Tussen' = Between and Among

Dutch just has the one word 'tussen' click to hear for 'between' (two) and 'among' (more than two)
[between and among houses]
tussen de huizen click to hear among the houses
between the houses
[houses_opposite_behind]
't huis ertussenin click to hear 2 3 the house in between (them)

[in front of, between, behind: 3 balls in a
  row]
voor click to hear in front of, before - more
achter click to hear behind - more above
tussen click to hear between -and- among
[3 balls (A,B,C) in a row, another ball (D) next to them]
A is voor B en C click to hear A is in front of B and C
B is tussen A en C click to hear B is between A and C
C is achter A en B click to hear C is behind A and B
naast click to hear next to, beside ‑>>
D is naast A click to hear D is next to A

tussen de bomen in het bos click to hear among the trees in the forest Er is iets tussen gekomen click to hear 2 3 Something came [in between] up (interrupting plans) Tussen de wal en 't schip click to hear 2 (saying) ['(falling) between the quay and the ship'] - 'to fall between two stools' Tussen de regels door lezen click to hear 2 3 (saying) 'Reading between the lines' - to notice not just what's written but also what's implied and/or left out Tussen de buien door click to hear 2 3 In between showers (when there is/was a break in the rain) ‑>> Is 't uit tussen Jan en Klazien? click to hear 2 3 Is it over between Jan en Klazien? (Is the relationship over?) ‑>>

(de) weg click to hear way, road // away ‑>> (de) tussenweg click to hear 2 compromise (avoiding extremes) een tussenweg vinden click to hear 2 to find a compromise

haakjes click to hear 2 parentheses ‑>>
singular: (het) haakje click to hear 2
'tussen twee haakjes' click to hear 2 between parentheses

(de) middag click to hear afternoon
tussen de middag click to hear during the lunch break, say 12-1PM or a little later, between morning and afternoon work or school - but it is a bit strange when you think of it, literally it is 'between the afternoon.' Maybe 'and morning' was dropped somewhere along the way. tussen 1940 en 1945 click to hear between 1940 and 1945

ondertussen click to hear 2 3 in the meantime ‑>>
Er is ondertussen veel veranderd click to hear 2 3 Much has changed in the meantime

(het) tussendoortje click to hear 2 [(small) in-between thing] - snack ‑>> (de) tussenkomst click to hear 2 3 intervention, help in negotiation (de) tussenpersoon click to hear 2 [in-between person] - intermediary

also:  Onder ons gezegd en gezwegen ... click to hear 2 ['Spoken and silent between us'] 'Just between you and me ...' ‑>> mannen onder elkaar click to hear 2 3 'men among each other' - men without women, occasionally misbehaving Concerning people, 'among' and 'between' is occasionally said as onder click to hear ('under') ‑>>

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