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- New Page: December 2014
revised October 2016 Disambiguation: Dutch
Disambiguation: Many common Dutch words have more than one meaning.
- Multiple Meanings and Related Words
'very, a high degree of'
'so' (very) - "that's so old-fashioned!"
'that' (very) - "it's not that expensive"
'such a' / 'a very' - "he's such a good cook"
'this/that way,' 'like this/that,' 'as'
- "say it ain't so!"
in a moment, soon - "we'll have dinner in a moment"
Notice that 'zo'
= very, a high degree of: 'so' / 'that' / 'such a' 'zo' is sometimes stressed for
emphasis. Exaggerated, the O of
'zo' can be stretched out to make it mean 'so
't Wordt zo vroeg donker
It gets dark so early
Dat is zo ouderwets!
That's so old-fashioned!
't Is zo voorspelbaar wat-ie doet
It is so predictable what he does,
his behavior is so predictable
Ik was zò ziek
I was so very sick
Ik was zò kwaad
I was so very angry
Ik kan me d'r zò kwaad over maken
It [can make] makes me so very angry
Je lacht zo lief
You [laugh] smile so sweetly
Ik vind 't zo zielig
[I think it's very pitiable] - I'm very sorry
(for them, about it)
Ik ben zo duf
[I'm so very dense, dazed] - I don't feel very bright,
I'm not fully aware
Ik voel me zo vol
I feel so full (having overeaten)
Dat was niet zo leuk
That was not very funny, that was bad
Je geeft 't slechte weer zo mooi weer
You [represent] depict the bad weather so beautifully
Je geeft 't goede weer zo goed weer
You [represent] portray the [good] beautiful
weather [so] very well
't Is niet zo overtuigend
It's not very convincing
't Is niet zo duur
It's not that expensive
't Is niet zò duur
It's not thàt expensive
Is 't al zò laat?
Is it already that late?
't Komt niet zo nauw
It's not that [narrow] strict -
it's flexible, there's a lot of leeway
Doe niet zo stoer!
[Don't act that bravely]
- Don't pretend to be (that) brave
Doe niet zo raar!
[Don't act that weirdly]
- try to be a regular person
Niet zo goed
Not that good (I'm feeling poorly)
Niet zo vaak
Not that often
Zit niet zo te zeuren
Now don't nag that much, Stop that horrible nagging
Ik kan zo gauw
I can't think of an example [that] quickly, in the
rush of things
Toen ik z'n fiets optilde
begreep ik hoe hij zo hard kon
4 When I lifted up his bike I understood
how he could ride that fast
Ik had me nog nooit zo ziek gevoeld
I had never felt that sick before
(literally: 'never yet'
translated as: 'never before'
Misschien was ik nooit zo slim
Maybe I never was that clever
can also be found as
2 - a contraction of
meaning 'such a' or 'a very'
- note that usually 'zo een' ("zo 'n")
sounds the same as
but you can exaggerate and
insert a >> Dutch W:
zo'n mooie dag
such a beautiful day
zo'n sombere zomer
such a dark, gloomy Summer
Hij is zo'n goede kok
He's such a good cook
Ik heb zo'n zin in iets lekkers
I have (such) a great craving for something tasty,
something really nice (usually sweet)
Ik heb zo'n zin
in een kopje
['I have such a great desire for ...']
- What I'd really like now is a cup of tea
't Zal wel
niet zo'n vaart
(saying) ['It's not going to pick up such a
speed']- It won't happen soon (don't worry about it) Synomyms,
Alternates and Related Words
'Such' by itself is
Zulke dingen als vrijheid, en gelijkheid
Such things as freedom, and equality
Zulke dingen als sterke drank
Such things as [strong drink] liquor
Zulke grote voeten!
Such big feet!
Zulke dingen gebeuren
Such things, things like that happen
't Is buiten zulk prachtig weer
It's such wonderful weather outside
't Is zulk mooi weer buiten
It's such nice weather outside,
It's so nice outside
't Is overdag zulk mooi weer
[It's such nice weather in the daytime]
- In the daytime the weather is so nice
'(in) this/that way, like this/that'
We kunnen niet zo doorgaan
We can't go on like this,
We can't go on this way
Er moet iets veranderen
2 Something gotta change
Ga zo voort!
[Go on, continue like that] Carry on!
Veel mensen denken zo
Many people think that way
Zeg dat het niet zo is!
Say it ain't so!
Dat zeg je niet zo
You [don't] can't say it [that way] like that,
That's not the (correct) way to say it
Zo te zien
As I see it, From what I see,
From my observation
Zo is 't echt
That's how it is in reality, It's really like that
Ik weet niet of dat zo is
[I don't know] I'm not sure (if)
it's like that
Ik weet niet of dat echt zo is
[I don't know] I'm not sure (if) it's really like that
't Lijkt maar zo
It only looks that way,
the reality is different
't Mocht niet zo zijn
It was not to be
(something hoped-for sadly didn't happen)
Zo doe je dat
That's the way to do [that] it
Zo is 't nou eenmaal
That's how it is (you can't change it)
Ik heb 't maar zo gelaten
I left it like that
(I didn't act to change or correct it)
Dat zeg je niet zo
3 You don't say (that) it that way
Als ik het zo hoor ...
Hearing this ... (I gather, understand)
Dat is helemaal niet zo
It isn't like that at all
3 such a thing, something like that
such a person, someone like that
Hoe kan iemand zo-iets doen?
How can someone do something like that?
(it's beyond me)
Heb je wel eens
Have you ever experienced such a thing?
Je kunt zo-iemand
3 You can't take a person like that seriously
meaning 'that way' or 'like that' is also found in a word
'similar to,' 'the way that') - and its split-up form
with an adverb in between. And also:
zo ... als
See net ... als
2 also the
Zoals 't klokje thuis tikt, tikt het
5 ['There is no place where the clock ticks like at home']
'Home sweet home'
Zo oud als de weg naar
3 As old as the [road to K.] hills
Zo dood als een pier
As dead as a [rainworm] doornail
't Is niet zo erg als 't lijkt
It's not as bad as it looks
Ik ben niet meer zo slim als ik ooit
I'm no longer as clever [as I ever was]
as I was in the past, as I
used to be
Zoals ik al zei ...
[Like] As I already said, As I said before ...
Mijn zoon is net zo mager als ik
My son is just as skinny as I am
Hij is net zo slim als z'n moeder
He's just as clever as his mom
Dat is twee keer zo ver
That's twice as far
('als' and the comparison item are left out)
Another common phrase with
'zo' meaning 'as' is zo ... mogelijk
('as ... as possible') - but by itself, zo mogelijk ...
means 'if possible'
zo lang mogelijk
as long as possible
zo spoedig mogelijk
as soon as possible
Old-fashioned words for this
'zo' meaning 'in this way' are
(think of 'thus' / 'thusly')
... en aldus geschiedde
... and that's what happened
Leer ons alzo onze dagen tellen
So teach us to number our days (Ps 90:12)
- Teach us to count our days this way Synomyms,
Alternates and Related Words
English 'also' / 'too' is
Er is beneden ook een slaapkamer
There's also a bedroom downstairs,
there's also a downstairs bedroom
Dat staat ons ook te wachten
That's also [waiting for, expected]
going to happen to us, here
Dat is ook goed
That's also good, that's OK too
Dat zou je ook kunnen doen
You could do that too, it's OK to do that instead
Denk je ook niet dat ...
Aren't you also thinking that ...
Ik weet 't ook niet
I also don't know (it) - I don't know either
... maar 't is ook niet bijzonder
... but it's also not very special
(less successful cooking, art)
... maar 't was ook niet geweldig
... but it was also not great, it wasn't great
either (less successful cooking, art)
Misschien heeft 't daar
ook mee te
Maybe it has to do with that too
Wat je ook doet ...
Whatever you do ...
(it doesn't make a difference, it's hopeless) Disambiguation:
and 'Dan' Disambiguation:
English 'so' can also mean drawing a
conclusion, something like 'I gather, I get the impression, in
conclusion, I understand.' This is said in Dutch as
- "So you want to be a rock 'n' roll star?"
Dus je wilt Nederlands leren?
So you want to learn Dutch?
't Was dus allemaal gelogen
So it was all [lied] lies,
It turned out to be all lies
Het is dus fout
So it is wrong,
I'm telling you it's wrong
Ik denk dus ik besta
I think, [therefore I exist] so I am
- Dus niet brommen
Bike path - So no [small motorcyle riding] motorcycles
2 is a small
(50cc engine) motorcycle -
usually means 'to grumble' but it can also mean 'to buzz' (the sound
of a small engine) and in slang: 'to spend time in prison.' The sign
is a nice, unexpected little joke by a bureaucrat. 'brommen'
(no motorcycles) 3.
'soon, in a moment'
See and Hear also:
Hurry, Haste and Urgency in the
3 ['Till in a moment'] - See you soon!
We gaan zo eten
3 We'll eat (have dinner or lunch) in a moment
Ik ben zo klaar
I'll be ready (done) in a moment
Ik kom zo bij U
I'll [come to you] be with you in a minute
Zullen we zo gaan?
Shall we go (leave) in a moment?
Dat zie je zo
[You see that in an instant]
- You notice that right away
Dutch Vocabulary Overview
- Dutch Grammar Overview
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