'that/those' - indicating remote items
- "that car over there"
'that/those' - referring to something that was mentioned or
happened before - "I forgot to mention that"
'that' - in sub-sentences making a statement after verbs like
'say' or 'think' etc. - "I think that's right"
'that' - instead of 'who' or 'which' in sub-sentences that further
describe a preceding word or phrase - "the pen that wrote those
has four different meanings, three of which are found in the
following sentence: Dat boek zegt dat hij dat gedaan heeft23
'That book says that he did that' - so it's not a big problem for
English-speakers as 'dat' is in most cases equivalent to English 'that'
Dat1 boek zegt dat2 hij dat3 gedaan heeft.
Dat1: pointing at, indicating a usually remote item
Dat2: 'what is said/thought etc.' - connecting two sub-sentences:
Dat3: short for, referring to, replacing something
mentioned before, 'that thing' - a 'placeholder'
There is actually a fourth 'dat' in sub-sentences that
describe or provide details about the preceding word or phrase.
This 'dat' is sometimes rendered in
English as 'who' or
Het enige boek dat dit goed beschrijft23
'The only book that/which describes this well'
[He's wielded that little axe before]
- He's familiar with that (usually unpleasant) duty
Een aanval vanuit een land
is een aanval door dat land
An attack from a country
is an attack by that country
Synomyms, Alternates and
This English 'that'
refers to a
singular remote item; English indicates plural remote items with
'those.' Dutch 'dat' in this sense
is for remote single items known by 'het'-words, while
is for remote single items represented by 'de-'words,
and all plurals. The nearby opposites are
'dit'2 (~this) for
(~these) for 'de'-words and plurals
(recap) 'Deze' and 'die' are used for 'de' words
(including plurals) 'dit' and 'dat'
are used for (singular) 'het' words.
'Deze' and 'dit' indicate nearby items;
'die' and 'dat' indicate distant items.
'Dat' and 'that' is also
found after verbs like 'say' or 'think' etc.,
in a sub-sentence that gives an opinion, makes a statement or
expresses a feeling. In English this 'that'
is often left out. For the change in word order after this
'dat' see the
'Dat' is also found where English uses 'that'
instead of a 'who' or 'which' in sentences that further
describe a preceding word or phrase.
But in sentences where 'that' (or 'who' or 'which') refers
back to a plural or a 'de'-word, Dutch uses
die In English, this 'that' can often be left out.
For the change in word order after this