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

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

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Voor

click to hear 2
1a. before - time - "before eight"
1b. before, in front of - place - "a tree in front of the house"
2. for - "a present for Mary"
2a. in favor of - "are you for or against?"
3. various, others - "be kind to animals"
Dutch 'voor' and English 'for' may be fairly equivalent, you can often use Dutch 'voor' where English says 'for,' but in other languages there may be a wide variety of prepositions to express those meanings. Study the many sample sentences for a better understanding of the usage.
Dutch 'voor' is 'before' both in time and place - English rather says 'in front of' for place.
1a. 'voor' - before (time)
'na' - after
compound words
1b. 'voor' - in front of
'achter' - behind - and compound words
2. 'voor' - for (destination, intention, exchange etc.)
3. 'voor' - for (in favor of) and 'tegen' - against

'mee' ~along with
'met' - with
'met' changing into 'mee'

speaking 'tegen'
'zonder' - without
4. 'voor' - other translations
'voort' ~forth

1a. 'voor' = 'before' in time

kwart voor drie click to hear a quarter to 3, 2:45
Het begint vòòr acht uur click to hear It starts before 8 o'clock
De donkere dagen voor Kerstmis click to hear 2 The dark days before Christmas
De uren vòòr twaalf tellen dubbel click to hear 2 The hours before 12 count as double (better sleep)
De stilte voor de storm click to hear The quiet before the storm (literally and figuratively)
De kost gaat voor de baat uit click to hear 2 3 Cost, investment precedes profit - Sayings
Kort voor de voorstelling click to hear 2 Shortly before the performance
Hoe lang nog voor we weer een overstroming krijgen? click to hear How long before we'll have another flood?
Veiligheid vòòr alles click to hear 2 Safety before everything (else) - Safety first! (the English phrase is more common)

Synomyms, Alternates and Related Words

Dutch 'voor' can be both about time and place, but Dutch has different opposites for 'voor' in 'time' and 'place' - like English 'after' and 'behind.' The opposite of 'voor' in time is 'na' click to hear ('after')
voor 't eten click to hear 2 before dinner (or lunch)
na 't eten click to hear 2 after dinner (or lunch)
voor de oorlog click to hear before the war
na de oorlog click to hear after the war
voor tienen click to hear before 10
na tienen click to hear after 10 ->>
't hiernamaals click to hear 2 3 the hereafter

Dutch has many common compound words with 'voor' click to hear 2 ('before') and its 'time' opposite 'na' click to hear ('after')

(het) voorjaar click to hear 2 Spring
(het) najaar click to hear 2 Autumn, Fall
(both a bit formal)
(het) voorgerecht click to hear ['before-dish'] - appetizer
(het) nagerecht click to
    hear [after-dish] - dessert
(het) hoofdgerecht click to hear main course
(de) nasmaak click to hear aftertaste
(het) voorproefje click to hear 2 'foretaste' (mostly
figuratively)
de sonate ervoor click to hear 2 the sonata before it
het boek erna click to hear 2 the book after it
(het) voordeel click to hear advantage
(het) nadeel click to hear disadvantage
(het) voorwoord click to hear 2 foreword, preface
(het) nawoord click to hear 2 afterword
(het) voorgevoel click to hear 2 premonition
(het) voorteken click to hear omen
voorbereiden click to hear 2 to prepare (in advance)
(de) voorbereiding click to hear 2 preparation (readiness)
(het) voorspel click to hear ['foreplay'] prelude
na U click to hear 2 after you (polite)
(het) vooruitzicht click to hear prospect, outlook
(de) vooruitzichten click to hear prospects, outlook
(de) voorouders click to hear 2 ancestors
(de) nakomelingen click to hear descendants
(het) nakomertje click to hear late child
(het) vooroordeel click to hear 2 preconceived notion
(het) vooronderzoek click to hear preliminary investigation
(de) voorwaarde click to hear (pre-)condition
(de) voorkeur click to hear 2 preference
(de) voorrang click to hear priority; right-of-
-way (in traffic)
See also Time Thesaurus
Verkeer van rechts heeft vaak voorrang click to hear 2 3 Traffic from the right often has the right-of-way
Na mij de zondvloed click to hear 2 3 After me the deluge (when I'm gone things will go badly) - Louis XIV

1b. 'voor' 'in front of' ('place)

voor 't huis click to hear in front of the house
een boom voor 't huis click to hear a tree in front of the house
Hij neemt geen blad voor de mond click to hear 2 3 [He doesn't put a leaf in front of his mouth] - He's not afraid to speak his mind, he doesn't mince his words

Synomyms, Alternates and Related Words

When 'voor' is about place, 'in front of,' the Dutch opposite is 'achter' click to hear ('behind, back.') Achter 't huis click to hear ('behind the house.')
English 'after' looks suspiciously like Dutch 'achter' click to hear ('behind.') It must be from the same root - but the Dutch word is now almost only used for place, rarely for time; and English 'after' on the other hand, is only used for time, not for place - though we still find 'aft' - "lav aft inop."
Though the word achteraf click to hear can mean both 'afterwards, after something happened' but also 'remote, remotely located' and 'achter' is found in a time phrase like: achter in de twintig click to hear 2 3 ('in my/his/her late 20s') and a word like (de) achterneef click to hear ('a distant male relative') ->>
Anne Frank: Het Achterhuis click to hear 'Anne Frank' - 'The Back of the House' or 'The House in Back' - usually translated as 'The Secret Annexe.' ->>

voor 't huis click to hear in front of the house
achter 't huis click to hear behind the house
(de) voordeur click to hear front door
(de) achterdeur click to hear back door
(de) voortuin click to hear 2 front yard
(de) achtertuin click to hear back yard
(de) voorsprong click to hear 2 headstart, lead
(de) achterstand click to hear disadvantage, lag
(being behind)
(de) voornaam click to hear first name, christian name
(de) achternaam click to hear last name, family name
(de) voorkant click to hear front (side)
(de) achterkant click to hear 2 back >>
voornaam click to hear with the stress on the second syllable means 'important' - voornaamste click to hear ' most important'
(het) voorhoofd click to hear forehead, brow
(de) achtergrond click to hear 2 background
(de) voorhoede click to hear 2 3 vanguard
(de) achterhoede click to hear 2 rearguard
vooruit click to hear 2 forward
achteruit click to hear 2 backward
(de) voorruit click to hear 2 front window, windhield (car)
(de) achterruit click to hear 2 back window (car)

In the last words above, 'voorruit' ('front window, car windshield') and 'achterruit' ('back window') may have the stress in the first syllable, while 'vooruit' ('forward') and 'achteruit' ('backwards') may have the stress on the last syllable - though it may not be very strong.
Dutch (de) 'gang' click to hear in a building means 'corridor, hallway.' (De) ingang click to hear 2 is 'entry, entrance' - (de) uitgang click to hear 2 is 'exit, egress.' It can be combined with 'voor' and 'achter' to form (de) vooruitgang click to hear 2 ('front exit') and achteruitgang click to hear 2 3 ('back exit.')
De gang click to hear derives from gaan click to hear ('to go') ->> and in some compound words it can mean something like 'course, development.' With the aforementioned 'vooruit' ('forward') and 'achteruit' ('backward') it forms the words (de) vooruitgang click to hear ('progress') and (de) achteruitgang click to hear 2 ('decline, regression.')
Listen sharp to where the stress of the word is, and where you may hear a little pause between the parts of the word.

Was er enige vooruitgang? click to hear 2 3 Was there any progress?
De klok achteruitzetten click to hear 2 To turn back the clock
Hij reed achteruit de garage in click to hear 2 He drove backwards into the garage
Achter de wolken schijnt de zon click to hear 2 Behind the clouds the sun is shining - things will get better
Als dat achter de rug is click to hear 2 When that's behind [our back] us
Achter het net vissen click to hear 2 Fishing behind the net - not getting what you want
De kinderen achter het behang plakken click to hear Glueing the children behind the wallpaper (Many a parent's secret occasional wish)
achterhaald click to hear "overtaken" disproven, superseded, outdated, out-of-fashion
voor de hand liggend click to hear 2 3 obvious
het ligt voor de hand click to hear it's obvious
vergezocht click to hear 2 [remotely sought] far-fetched, far from obvious
note unusual 'short E' click to hear in 'ver'
achter de hand houden click to hear 2 3 keeping something [hidden] in reserve

2. 'voor' = 'for'

It looks like 'voor' is most often translated as 'for,' in a variety of meanings like 'destination, intention, exchange' etc.
Bloemen voor Elly click to hear Flowers for Elly
Een cadeau voor Els click to hear 2 A present for Els
Er is genoeg voor iedereen click to hear 2 3 There is enough for everybody
Goede voornemens voor het nieuwe jaar click to hear Resolutions for the new year ->>
Zij zingen een lied voor mij click to hear 2 They're singing a song for me
Er is bezoek voor je click to hear 2 There is a visitor for you /or/ There are visitors for you
voor het nageslacht click to hear 2 [for the descendants] - for the next generations
Bedankt voor je brief click to hear 2 Thank you for your letter
Waar voor je geld click to hear [Good stuff] Value for (your) money
Wat kan ik voor U doen? click to hear 2 What can I do for you? Can I help you? (polite 'you')
U praat te snel voor mij click to hear 2 3 You're speaking too fast for me, your talking is too fast for me
Ben je er klaar voor? click to hear 2 3 Are you ready for it?
Al die moeite voor niks click to hear 2 All that [effort] trouble for nothing, wasted
Niks voor niks click to hear 2 'Nothing for nothing' - everything has a price, nothing is free
Een kuiltje voor de jus click to hear 2 'A well for the gravy' ->>
Een appeltje voor de dorst click to hear 2 [A little apple for the thirst] - Money saved for a rainy day
Een heitje voor 'n karweitje click to hear 2 A little job for a quarter (Boy Scouts fundraising slogan)
Voor een dubbeltje op de eerste rang click to hear 2 3 4 'The best seats in the house, in first class for a dime' ->>
Er is voor drie dagen eten click to hear 2 3 There is food for 3 days
Het is een taak voor de overheid click to hear 2 It is a task for the government
Partij voor de Vrijheid click to hear [The political] Party for Freedom
Partij voor de Dieren click to hear 2 [The political] Party for The Animals (the Animal Rights Party)
Neem je d'r iets voor? click to hear 2 Are you taking something for (against) it? - medication
voor de afwisseling click to hear 2 3 for variety
voor de verandering click to hear 2 3 for a change
Er was weinig animo voor click to hear 2 3 There was little enthusiasm for it (to get involved)
Als er tijd voor is click to hear 2 3 4 If there is time (for it)
Er is geen plaats voor click to hear 2 3 There is no room for it; there is no space for it
Ik heb er geen tijd voor click to hear 2 3 I [have no time] don't have time for it
Ik heb er geen woorden voor click to hear 2 3 I don't have words for it - I can't describe how I feel
Er is geen tijd voor click to hear 2 There is no time for it
Er is weinig tijd voor muziek click to hear There is little time for music
Is er een ander woord voor? click to hear 2 Is there another word for it?
Ik kan het niet voor je doen click to hear 2 3 4 5 I can't do it for you
Je moet het zelf doen click to hear 2 3 You have to do it yourself
Er is voor jou altijd plaats click to hear 2 3 There's always room for you, you're always welcome
Hij staat altijd voor je klaar click to hear 2 He's always willing, ready to help you ('there for you')
Hij staat altijd klaar voor je click to hear He's always willing, ready to help you ('there for you')
Voor de laatste keer click to hear 2 For the last time
Ik heb 't voor 't laatst bewaard click to hear 2 I saved it for last

Vraag niet wat Nederland voor jou kan doen, maar vraag je af wat jij voor Nederland kunt doen click to hear 2 3
Do not ask what Holland can do for you, but ask yourself what you can do for Holland
(naar president Kennedy click to hear 2)
(after president Kennedy

Note that Dutch leaves out, does not translate 'for' in statements of duration, talking about length of time - more

Ik was drie dagen ziek click to hear 2 I was sick for 3 days

3. 'voor' = in favor of

'For' can also mean 'in favor of' - and its opposite is tegen click to hear ('against') - also literally, 'in physical contact with.'
Ben je voor of tegen? click to hear Are you for or against?
Hij is nergens vòòr click to hear 2 3 4 He is not in favor of anything, he is against everything
Hij is overal tegen click to hear 2 He is against everything, He is not in favor of anything
Tegen een boom click to hear Against a tree
Tegen het huis click to hear 2 Against the house
tegen negenen click to hear 2 'at about, just
before 9 o'clock'
‑>>
(de) voorstander click to hear 2 proponent, supporter
(de) tegenstander click to hear 2 3 4 opponent, adversary
(het) tegenvoorbeeld click to hear 2 counter-example, opposite example (logic)
Er is wat voor te zeggen click to hear 2 3 Something can be said in favor of it (cautious approval)
Daar is wat voor te zeggen click to hear 2 3 Something can be said in favor of that (cautious approval)
Er is niks op tegen click to hear 2 There's nothing against it
Er is geen enkel bezwaar tegen click to hear 2 There is [not any] no objection to it
Tegen beter weten in click to hear 2 3 Against my (your/his/her) better judgement
Tegen 't zere been click to hear 2 3 ['Against the sore leg'] - figuratively hitting someone in a sensitive, already sore spot, like pointing out an already acknowledged failure
't was tegen z'n wil click to hear 2 3 It was against his will, not what he wanted
Vechten tegen de Bierkaai click to hear /
/ 't Is vechten tegen de Bierkaai click to hear 2 3
'It's like fighting [against] the Bierkaai' - 'a hopeless struggle you can't possibly win'
'De Bierkaai' click to hear 2 ('Beer Quay'?) was a rowdy neighborhood in old Amsterdam
Ik kan er niet meer tegen click to hear 2 3 I can't stand [against] it anymore
Slakken staan me tegen click to hear [Snails go against my liking] - I'm revolted by the idea of eating snails
ik houd je niet tegen click to hear 2 I'm not holding you back, I'm not stopping you
We kunnen tegen een stootje click to hear 2 3 ['We can deal with a little shock'] - We're not fragile
Ze kunnen slecht tegen hun verlies click to hear 2 They deal badly with loss (in games or sports) - they're sore losers
(de) tegenslag click to hear 2 3 4 [blow-against] - setback
(de) tegenzin click to hear ['inner protest'] - reluctance, distaste - "I'd rather not" ‑>>
(het) tegenlicht click to hear 'backlight' - when you take a picture in the direction of the light
tegenover click to hear (adjective) opposite, across
't huis ertegenover click to hear 2 3 4 The house opposite it, on the other side of the street
't huis schuin ertegenover click to hear 2 The house diagonally across
tegenovergesteld click to hear / tegenovergestelde click to hear 2 opposite
(het) tegenovergestelde click to hear 2 (the) opposite

Sometimes the differences seem to be fluid or meaningless. Or maybe it's my limited understanding of English prepositions. In the next line I wonder if I should translate 'before' or 'in favor of' - or maybe 'over'?

't Zekere voor 't onzekere nemen click to hear 2 3 Take the certain before the uncertain - i.e. 'not taking risks' /or:/ Take the certain in favor of the uncertain

'Tegen' click to hear and 'against' are not only against a static, physical object, but can also mean 'in the other direction' - like for instance:

Ik heb geleerd tegen de stroom in te zwemmen click to hear 2 3
Ik heb tegen de stroom in leren zwemmen click to hear 2 3 4 I've learned [to swim against the current] - to go my own way, rebel, not follow current trends, fashion or popular thinking, go against the majority ‑>>

Some examples in the list above are ambiguous, but anyway, the opposites of this other-direction 'tegen' are mee click to hear and mede click to hear 2 - something like 'along with' - I guess they're alternate forms of met click to hear ('with.') The next examples nicely show the meaning:

(de) tegenwind click to hear 'wind-against' (you have to fight it) - headwind
wind mee click to hear 2 3 wind in your back (helping you) - tailwind ->>
met de klok mee click to hear 2 3 'along with the clock, in the direction of the clock' - clockwise
tegen de klok in click to hear 2 against [the direction of] the clock - counterclockwise

Door de tegenwind kwamen we maar met moeite vooruit click to hear 2 Because of the wind against us we only progressed with difficulty

(de) meeëter click to hear acne pimple (old-fashioned)
(het) medelijden click to hear [co-suffering] pity
(de) medewerking click to hear 2 cooperation
(de) tegenwerking click to hear opposition, obstruction
(de) mededeling click to hear 2 announcement
meedelen click to hear 2 to announce, inform
(de) medemens click to hear fellow man
The 'neighbor' of the Bible is (de) naaste click to hear ‑>>

medeleven betuigen click to hear to offer sympathy, condolences
also: "gecondoleerd" click to hear 2 '(my) condolences'

bonnetje mee? click to hear 2 3 [receipt along with it?] Do you want a receipt? (in a store)

Neem 'n boek mee click to hear 2 3 4 [Take along a book] Bring a book

(de) klinker click to hear vowel
(de) medeklinker click to hear consonant
plural: medeklinkers click to hear consonants

There are many compound verbs with mee click to hear - often with a tegen click to hear opposite

Meevallen click to hear 2 is 'turning out not to be as bad as expected'
Tegenvallen click to hear 2 3 4 is 'to be worse than expected, to disappoint'

't valt mee click to hear It's not as bad as expected
't valt erg mee click to hear It's really not as bad as feared
't valt tegen click to hear It's worse than expected, it's disappointing
't Zal wel meevallen click to hear 2 3 [It will not be as bad as expected] It won't be very bad
Misschien valt 't mee click to hear 2 3 4 Maybe it won't be as bad as we feared
Misschien valt 't wel mee click to hear 2 3 Maybe it won't be as bad as we feared ‑>>

(Wanneer is 't klaar? click to hear 2 3
When [is] will it be ready?)

Als 't meezit ... click to hear 2 If things go well, if we're lucky ... Als 't meezit is 't morgen klaar click to hear If things go well it will be ready tomorrow

Als 't tegenzit ... click to hear 2 if it doesn't go well, if we're not lucky, if things don't work out ... Als 't tegenzit kan 't nog wel een week duren click to hear If things don't work out it may take a week

't Zit ons niet mee click to hear 2 3 It's not going well, we're having a lot of trouble, luck seems against us

'Meedoen' click to hear is something like 'to join in' or 'do something together.'

Wie doet er mee? click to hear Who'll join us? Who's in?
Doe je mee? click to hear Are you taking part? Are you in?
Gezellig dat je meedoet click to hear 2 3 It's so nice that you're joining us
Ga je mee? click to hear Are you coming with us?

Wil je meezingen? click to hear Would you like to sing along? Willen jullie meezingen? click to hear Would y'all like to sing along?

Je moet met je tijd meegaan click to hear 2 3 slow You should [go along with] adapt to [your] the (changing) times

meewerken click to hear 2 to co-operate
Als jullie niet willen meewerken ... click to hear 2 If you guys don't want to co-operate ... (het) meewerkend voorwerp click to hear ['cooperating item'] - indirect object, dative

meemaken click to hear 2 to experience, 'happen to you,' 'to see' Heb je wel eens zo-iets meegemaakt? click to hear 2
Heb je zo-iets wel eens meegemaakt? click to hear Have you ever experienced something like that? Has it ever happened to you? Dat heb ik nog nooit meegemaakt click to hear That has never happened to me Dat ik dit nog mee mag maken click to hear 2 [That I still can see this] - Amazing (or unexpected) that I still came to this experience, that I lived to see this

'Met' click to hear 'with' is another form of mee and mede - often translated as 'with' but sometimes that's awkward English and/or it is left out

A secondary item added or attached:

koffie met melk en suiker click to hear coffee with cream and sugar ‑>> een boterham met kaas click to hear 2 a slice of bread with cheese ‑>> beschuitje met hagelslag click to hear 2 rusk with chocolate sprinkles ‑>> krentenbrood met spijs click to hear 2 [currants] 'raisin' bread with almond paste, 'Stollen' ‑>> boerenkool met worst click to hear curly kale with sausage ‑>> warme melk met honing click to hear 2 3 hot milk with honey te veel mensen met te veel geld click to hear 2 too many people with too much money ‑>> met man en muis click to hear vergaan click to hear (saying) [perishing with man and mouse] - said of ships being lost completely, no survivors, nothing recovered roos met knoppen click to hear rose with buds ‑>> Jan met de pet click to hear 2 ['John with the cap'] - 'the man in the street' tot en met click to hear 2 up to and including - 'through' maandag tot en met vrijdag click to hear Monday [up to an including] through Friday maandag tot en met zaterdag click to hear Monday through Saturday

'Met' click to hear can also indicate an item used, a tool, a means, a person involved or an item connecting with a verb, further defining a situation

Ik loop met een stok click to hear 2 3 4 I walk with a [stick] cane - more below met alle mogelijke middelen click to hear 2 with all possible means, using everything available met man en macht click to hear (saying) [with man and power] - with all possible means, a great effort met vereende krachten click to hear 2 ['with united [powers] forces'] - working together, a cooperative effort met lege handen click to hear 2 3 4 'with hands empty,' not bringing anything or without results met m'n blote handen click to hear 2 'with my bare hands' - no tools (no gloves) Met vriendelijke groet, click to
 hear 'With a friendly greeting,' - 'regards' (informal greeting at the end of a letter) in verband met click to hear 2 because of [its connection to] met het oog op morgen click to hear 2 ['with an eye on tomorrow'] - taking the future into consideration matten met de politie click to hear (slang) fighting with the police roeien met de riemen die je hebt click to hear 2 (saying) ['row with the oars you've got'] - 'make the best of it working with the material (and people) at hand' met twee maten meten click to hear 2 'measuring with two yardsticks - Using two measuring systems' - applying double standards, a biased approach Zij sleten hun dagen met sigaren click to hear They spent their days (with) [smoking] cigars met een schone lei beginnen click to hear 2 Starting with a clean slate (a new beginning without baggage) Hij heeft vaker met dat bijltje gehakt click to hear 2 3 (saying) ['He has hacked with that little axe before' - 'He has wielded that (little) axe before'] - 'he has done that before, he has the experience' (usually in a somewhat unpleasant task) Hij gooit er met de pet naar click to hear 2 3 (saying) ['He's throwing his cap at it'] 'He's not making a serious effort' Ik heb het met eigen ogen gezien click to hear 2 3 (saying) ['I've seen it with my own eyes'] - I witnessed it myself, personally Ga je met de auto? click to hear 2 Are you going by car? Ga je met je eigen auto? click to hear Are you going with your own car? Will you be using your own car? Wilt U liever met een tolk spreken? click to hear 2 Would you prefer to talk [with] through an interpreter? Ik heb een lang gesprek met m'n baas gehad click to hear I had a long talk with my boss Velen met mij click to hear ['Many people with me'] - a group of like-minded people, agreeing with me goed kunnen opschieten met click to hear 2 3 'to get on well with' (said about good friends) Ik kan goed opschieten met Jan click to hear 2 3 I get on well ('fabulously') with Jan Wat is er met Jan? click to hear 2 3 What's [going on] with Jan? Hoe is het met je moeder? click to hear How is your mother? Hoe zou 't met Kees zijn? click to hear 2 3 How will it be with Kees? (haven't seen or heard from him in a long time) Met mij gaat 't goed click to hear I'm fine Wat is er met m'n stem? click to hear What's (wrong) with my voice? De draak steken met ... click to hear (saying) ['stab the dragon with'] - to ridicule, make fun of ... Hoe gaat 't met je werk? click to hear How is your work coming along? How is your job? Hoe gaat 't op je werk? click to hear How are things at work? Hoe gaat 't met je studie? click to hear How are your studies? How are things at school? Niet praten met je mond vol click to hear 2 [Don't talk with your mouth full] - Don't speak when your mouth is full of food met kleine slokjes drinken click to hear 2 drinking by taking small sips drinken met mate click to hear drink (alcohol) [with] in moderation Ik heb 't met veel plezier gelezen click to hear 2 I read it with great pleasure] - I really enjoyed reading it met twee woorden spreken click to hear 2 ['speak with two words'] - asking children to speak politely met losse handen fietsen click to hear 2 [bicycling with loose hands] riding a bike with your hands not on the handlebars Door de tegenwind kwamen we (maar) met moeite vooruit click to hear 2 3 4 Because of the [wind-against] headwind we only [moved forward] progressed [with difficulty] slowly met pensioen gaan click to hear 2 3 to retire Hij is met pensioen click to hear 2 He is retired ‑>> met rust laten click to hear ['leave in peace'] - leave alone, don't bother Laat hem met rust click to hear 2 Leave him alone, don't bother him Ze hebben ons met rust gelaten click to hear 2 They have left us alone, they haven't bothered us Wie helpt er met de afwas? click to hear 2 3 4 Who'll help doing the dishes? Hartelijk gefeliciteerd met jullie huwelijk click to hear [heartelt] Many congratulations on your marriage

'Met' click to hear is also used to place events, things happening on Special Days

met oud en nieuw click to hear [at old and new] - during New Year's eve and New Year's day Met Kerstmis gingen we naar de nachtmis click to hear At Christmas we went to midnight mass Ik ben met de Kerst vijf pond aangekomen click to hear 2 I have gained 5 pounds over the Christmas holiday Wat doe je met Pasen? click to hear 2 3 What are you doing at Easter? What are your plans for the Easter holiday? Met m'n verjaardag blijf ik thuis click to hear 2 3 I'll stay home on my birthday ‑>>

Occasionally, 'met' indicates a time
Met de Noorderzon vertrokken click to hear 2 (saying) [Departed at the North Sun hour] 'Secretly disappeared at midnight' (leaving unfinished business and/or debts behind)

[a box with a number, a box without a number] See below for zonder click to hear 'without' as the opposite of met click to hear 'with' and there are many other examples of the use of met in the paragraphs below and elsewhere on the page

met click to hear with
doos met nummer click to hear box with a number
zonder click to hear without
doos zonder nummer click to hear box without a number

Very different from compound verbs with 'mee' are verbs that use the preposition met click to hear to 'connect' with an object - because that 'met' changes to mee click to hear when there is not an object but a placeholder (referring to something mentioned before) instead. (There is not always a verb.) When prepositions are involved, the Dutch placeholders are: er click to hear 'it'
daar click to hear 'that'
waar click to hear 'what'

te maken hebben met click to hear 2 3 'having to do with,' 'being a factor in,' 'being involved' - 'being connected' 't Heeft met de temperatuur te maken click to hear 2 It has to do with the temperature De vochtigheid heeft er ook mee te maken click to hear 2 The humidity is also involved in it Misschien heeft 't daar ook mee te maken click to hear 2 3 Maybe it has to do with that too, maybe it's connected, related to that (is there a connection?) Alles grijpt in elkaar click to hear 2 Everything is connected Ik wil er niks mee te maken hebben click to hear 2 3 [I want nothing ...] - I don't want to have anything to do with it

ophouden met click to hear to stop, end, quit, cease ophouden met roken click to hear 2 to stop, quit smoking ophouden met werken click to hear 2 to stop working, to retire ‑>> Daar moet je mee ophouden click to hear 2 You should stop doing that Hou er onmiddellijk mee op! click to hear 2 3 Now stop that (immediately) right away!

Waar ben je mee bezig? click to hear 2 [What are you busy with] ~What are you working on? Ik ben met iets anders bezig click to hear 2 3 I'm busy with, working on something else Je bent er maar druk mee click to hear 2 3 It sure keeps, does keep you busy

Ik loop met een stok click to hear 2 3 4 I walk with a [stick] cane Ik loop met twee stokken click to hear 2 3 I walk with two canes, I use two canes for walking Ik loop soms met een rollator click to hear 2 3 I sometimes use a walker Ik kan er goed mee lopen click to hear 2 With it I can walk well Ik kan er ver mee lopen click to hear 2 I can walk far with it, I can walk good distances with it Ik loop er elke dag mee click to hear 2 3 I walk with it every day, I use it every day for walking

Maar wij zitten met de gebakken peren click to hear 2 3 (saying) ['But we are left with the baked pears'] But we are the ones that have to pick up the pieces, or more precisely: we are left with an unwanted responsibility Wij zitten ermee click to hear 2 3 We are left holding the bag Wij zitten er maar mee click to hear 2 3 We are left holding the bag ‑>>

Ik ben blij met een kopje thee click to hear I'm happy with a cup of tea, a cup of tea makes me happy Bent U blij met Uw fiets? click to hear 2 Are you happy with your bike? (polite 'you') Ben je er blij mee? click to hear 2 3 Are you happy with it? (informal 'you')

Ik ben tevreden met wat ik heb click to hear 2 3 4 5 I'm happy (content) with what I have Hij is er tevreden mee click to hear 2 3 He is happy (content, satisfied) with it

Ik heb moeite met de voorzetsels click to hear I have difficulty with the prepositions, the prepositions are difficult for me

Ik ken de regels ... click to hear 2 I know the rules ... ... maar ik heb er moeite mee ... click to hear 2 3 4 ... but I have difficulty ... ... ze toe te passen click to hear 2 3 ... applying them

Daar moet je mee oppassen click to hear 2 3 4 You have to, you'd better be careful with that Pas op met vuur! click to hear 2 3 Be careful with fire!

Ik heb 't met veel plezier gelezen click to hear 2 [I read it with great pleasure] - I really enjoyed reading it ‑>> Veel plezier! click to hear 2 Have fun! Veel plezier ermee! click to hear 2 Have fun with it!

zich bemoeien met click to hear to meddle with, getting involved with something where you're not wanted See also: Reflexive Verbs
Je moet je d'r niet mee bemoeien click to hear 2 You shouldn't meddle, stay away from it Bemoei je d'r niet mee click to hear Don't get involved with it, go away! (d'r   click to hear 2 3 4 is a bit slang-y but it's sometimes easier to pronounce than 'er')

Ik ga er gelijk mee aan de gang click to hear I'll start on it right away

't eens zijn met click to hear 2 3 to agree (with) ('to be on one page') Ik ben 't met je eens click to hear 2 I agree with you, I think you're right When even the placeholder is left out it's also 'mee'
Helemaal mee eens! click to hear I'm in full agreement, I completely agree

Hoe is 't met je moeder? click to hear How is your mother? Hoe is 't ermee? click to hear [How is it?] How are you? Het beste ermee! click to hear 2 All the best [with it]! Hoe gaat 't met je werk? click to hear How's your job going? Hoe gaat 't op je werk? click to hear How are things at work? Hoe gaat 't met je studie? click to hear [How are your studies?] How is school? Veel succes ermee click to hear 2 3 [(Wishing you) much succes with it] - all the best

weg met ... click to hear 2 3 4 [Away with ] Down with ... Weg met ongelijkheid! click to hear 2 3 4 [Away with ] Down with inequality! Weg met betweters! click to hear 2 3 4 Throw out the know-it-alls! Weg ermee! click to hear 2 3 4 Down with it! Out with it! Weg d'r mee! click to hear 2 3 Down with it! Out with it!

Wie met pek omgaat wordt ermee besmet click to hear 2 3 4 (saying) [He who handles, deals with pitch gets contaminated by it] - He who touches pitch shall be defiled - dealing with evil will easily change you for the worse

A modern Bible translation has Luke 9:50 as:
Wie niet tegen ons is, is voor ons click to hear 2 3 Whoever is not against You is for You But the traditional version is:
Wie niet tegen U is, is met U click to hear 2 3 He that is not against us is for us Also in Matthew 12:30:
Wie niet met Mij is, is tegen Mij click to hear 2 3 4 He that is not with me is against me

In speaking to people, Dutch often says tegen click to hear where English says 'to' - though you could emphasize the friendliness of the exchange by using met click to hear ('with') instead of 'tegen' ('against')

Hij loog tegen mij click to hear 2 He lied to me
Zeg 't niet tegen Piet click to hear 2 Don't tell Piet
Zeg 't maar niet tegen Piet click to hear 2 Better not tell Piet
Zeg maar niks tegen Piet click to hear 2 3 4 Better not tell Piet anything (about it)
Zeg je nog even dag tegen Jan? click to hear 2 Please take a moment to say Goodbye to Jan
Hij stond te praten met ... click to hear He was talking [with] to ...
Hij stond te praten met Piet click to hear He was talking [with] to Piet
but: Hij sprak hun tegen click to hear 2 He contradicted them, he stated it was not like they said
tegenspreken click to hear 2 3 4 to contradict

Another opposite of met click to hear 'with' is zonder click to hear 'without'
For instance, the also in Holland popular French Fries ((de) patat) click to hear 2 ‑>> are usually eaten with mayonaise (Fr.) click to hear 2 'mayo'
Patat met mayonaise click to hear 2 French Fries with mayonaise
or if you prefer without mayo: Patat zonder mayonaise click to hear 2
The word 'mayonaise' is often left out: patat-mèt click to hear 2 - patat-zonder click to hear 2

met prik click to hear 2 [with fizz] carbonated (drinks)
zonder prik click to hear 2 3 [without fizz] non-carbonated (drinks)

zonder cafeïne click to hear 2 without caffeine, decaf
zonder twijfel click to hear without (a) doubt
zonder waarschuwing click to hear 2 without (a) warning
zonder veel gevaar click to hear without much danger
zonder veel moeite click to hear 2 3 4 5 without much effort, without much trouble zonder verdoving click to hear without anaesthesia
zonder weerga click to hear [without (a) reprise] - unique, one-time-only Jan zonder Vrees click to hear 2 [John without Fear] John the Fearless (father of Philip the Good ‑>>)

Wie zonder zonden is werpe de eerste steen click to hear 'Let him who is without sin[s] throw the first stone'
(John 8:7) Jesus addressing a mob of people who want to stone an adulterous woman - ('werpe' is an old-fashioned imperative)
(de) zondaar click to hear 2 3 sinner ‑>>
Als een kip zonder kop click to hear 2 3 (saying) 'Like a chicken without its head' - acting irrationally Geen rozen zonder doornen click to hear (saying) ['No roses without thorns'] 'Nice things always come with problematic attachments' Geen rook zonder vuur click to hear [No smoke without a fire] - where there's smoke, there's fire Zonder blikken of blozen click to hear 2 (saying) ['without batting an eye or blushing'] - shamelessly doing something questionable Zonder slag of stoot click to hear (saying) without resistance, without a fight Gebed zonder end click to hear (saying) ['an endless prayer'] something that goes on too long Hoewel het regende ging hij toch zonder jas naar buiten click to hear Although it rained, he still went out without a coat Hij onderging de behandeling zonder te klagen click to hear He underwent the treatment without complaining Automatisch, zonder erover na te denken click to hear 2 3 4 automatically, without thinking [it over] [(de)] zonderling click to hear 2 peculiar, unusual, strange, odd; a peculiar, unusual person (~weirdo, ~oddball) (de) uitzondering click to hear 2 exception ‑>>
bijzonder click to hear special

4. 'voor' = 'to,' 'of,' and others, various

In other, isolated instances, 'voor' is translated by other prepositions, like 'to' or 'of'
Wees aardig voor dieren click to hear Be kind to animals
Aandacht voor details click to hear Attention to details
Ze zijn een gevaar voor de wereldvrede click to hear They are a danger to world peace
Ik ben allergisch voor katten click to hear 2 I'm allergic to cats
Ik ben allergisch voor eieren click to hear 2 I'm allergic to eggs
Was dat duidelijk voor je? click to hear 2 Was that clear to you?
Hoe weinig tijd er is voor mezelf click to hear 2 How little time there is to myself
Ik heb geen moment voor mezelf click to hear 2 3 I don't have a moment to myself
Kwart voor drie click to hear A quarter to 3, 2:45 ->>
bang voor click to hear 2 afraid of
daar was ik al bang voor click to hear 2 I was already afraid of that
Hij is nergens bang voor click to hear 2 3 [He's afraid of nothing] - He isn't afraid of anything
Er is niks waar hij bang voor is click to hear 2 3 [There is nothing ...] - There isn't anything he's afraid of
hij zorgt goed voor je click to hear 2 3 He takes good care of you
Het verdwijnt als sneeuw voor de zon click to hear 2 It disappears like snow [before] in the sun
De zoutkorrels in de zandloper vallen één voor
één heel langzaam naar beneden click to hear 2 slow slow2
The grains of salt in the hourglass fall down one by one, very slowly (~one before the other) ‑>>

To pass or fail (a test) is 'slagen voor' or 'zakken voor' (een examen)

Ik ben blij dat je voor het examen geslaagd bent click to hear 2 I'm glad you passed the exam
Ik was kwaad omdat ik weer voor m'n rijexamen gezakt was click to hear 2 I was angry because I failed the driving test again
Hoewel hij hard gewerkt had, zakte hij voor het examen click to hear Although he had worked hard he failed the test

(het) voorstel click to hear is 'proposal, proposition' and voorstellen click to hear 2 is to propose, submit a plan, but the reflexive verb zich voorstellen click to hear 2 means 'to imagine' and occasionally 'to introduce oneself'

het voorstel op tafel click to hear the proposal on the table, the proposal that was made
Mag ik me even voorstellen? click to hear 2 Allow me to introduce myself
Ik stelde me voor click to hear 2 1. I introduced myself
2. I imagined ...
Stel je voor ... click to hear 2 magine ... (with another intonation it could also mean: "Introduce yourself!")
onvoorstelbaar click to hear 2 unimaginable, impossible to imagine
Stel je voor dat er geen auto's zouden zijn! click to hear 2 Imagine that there would be no cars!
Stel je voor dat er geen auto's waren! click to hear 2 Imagine that there were no cars!
Ik kan me voorstellen dat ... click to hear 2 3 4 I can imagine that ..., it's possible that ...

(De) voorstelling click to hear 2 3 is literally 'depiction' but it usually means the performance of a stage play
kort voor de voorstelling click to hear 2 shortly before the performance

(Het) voorspel click to hear ['foreplay'] is 'prelude,' and in chess 'opening,' but voorspellen click to hear 2 is 'to predict' or even 'to prophesy'

de toekomst voorspellen click to hear 2 predicting the future ‑>>
voorspelbaar click to hear 2 predictable
't Is zo voorspelbaar wat-ie doet click to hear It is so predictable what he does, his behavior is so predictable
onvoorspelbaar click to hear 2 3 unpredictable

There's a common phrase

'wat is dat voor een ...?' click to hear 2 'What kind of ... is that?'
Wat is dat voor een auto? click to hear 2 What [kind of] brand of car is that?
Wat is dat voor een dier? click to hear 2 What kind of animal is that, what animal is that?
Wat is dat voor een beest? click to hear 2 3 4 What kind of (unpleasant) animal is that? (usually a large bug or a rodent)
Het is een Spijker click to hear It's a Spijker (rare Dutch car brand)
Het is een Daf click to hear It's a Daf (discontinued Dutch car brand)
Het is een bidsprinkhaan click to hear It's a praying mantis

(Het) Voorbeeld = Example

(Het) beeld click to hear 2 is usually 'statue,' short for (het) standbeeld click to hear 2 3 but 'beeld' can also mean 'image,' like in (het) voorbeeld click to hear 'example' below
(het) voorbeeld click to hear example
(het) tegenvoorbeeld click to hear 2 counter-example
bijvoorbeeld click to hear 2 for example
als voorbeeld click to hear 2 as an example
'n sprekend voorbeeld click to hear a [speaking] telling example
Geef 't goede voorbeeld click to hear [Give] Set a good, the right example
Heb je niet meer voorbeelden? click to hear 2 Don't you have more (other) examples?
Het enige voorbeeld dat ik kan bedenken click to hear The only example that I can think of
Ik kan zo gauw geen voorbeeld bedenken click to hear 2 3 I can't think of an example [that quickly] right away
Hij komt bijvoorbeeld nooit te laat click to hear 2 He [comes] is for example never [too] late

More 'beeld' words:
(de) beeldhouwer click to hear 2 sculptor
(het) beeldje click to hear small or very small statue
plural: beeldjes click to hear
(het) beeldscherm click to hear 2 computer or television screen
(het) sterrenbeeld click to hear [image of stars] constellation; sign of the zodiac
(het) kruisbeeld click to hear 2 crucifix ‑>>
heiligenbeeld click to hear saint's statue
(De) beeldenstorm click to hear 'iconoclasm' was a feature of the early Reformation, when mobs ransacked Roman Catholic churches and destroyed saints' statues (1566 in Holland)

Synomyms, Alternates and Related Words

Dutch 'voort' click to hear is old-fashioned like Engish 'forth.' It's found in standard phrases like:
Ga zo voort! click to hear 2 [Go on, continue like that] Carry on!
Zeg het voort! click to hear 2 [Say it on] Spread the word
enzovoort click to hear 2
enz.
[and so forth] etcetera
etc.
voortaan click to hear from now on
Doe voortaan de deur op slot click to hear 2 3 4 In the future, lock the door!
Gaat heen en vermenigvuldigt U click to hear 2 Go forth and multiply

Dutch Vocabulary Overview - Dutch Grammar Overview - Listen to and Read Dutch

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Don't be a dief (thief) / dievegge (female thief) - diefstal (theft) - stelen (to steal) - heler (dealer in stolen goods) - hear Dutch - 2