18/02/2014 08:39

Good question: What is the difference between GEWOON and NET in Dutch? Do they both mean JUST in English?

GEWOON and NET can both be translated as just, indeed.

GEWOON

The adverb GEWOON can be translated as just, simply, normally, usually, ordinarily, e.g.:

  • gewoon heerlijk! = simply delightful
  • dat vlees is gewoon niet te eten = that meat is simply/just inedible
  • ga alsjeblieft gewoon zitten = just sit down, please
  • zij is meer dan gewoon begaafd = she is extraordinarily talented
  • hij heet gewoon Smith = he is just plain Smith
  • gewoon doorlopen, alstublieft = just walk past, please

The adjective GEWOON can be translated as usual, regular, ordinary, normal, everyday, common, e.g.:

  • op het gewone tijdstip = at the usual time
  • het gewone woord = the usual word
  • de gewone manier van doen = the usual/ordinary way
  • Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg! = Just be your normal idiotic self!

NET

The adverb NET can be translated as just, exactly, precisely, e.g.:

  • net iets duurder = marginally, a bit more expensive
  • dat is net iets voor hem = this is just the thing for him
  • de bal gaat net naast = the ball has just missed
  • net wat ik dacht = just what I thought
  • hij is net zijn vader = he is the very image of his father
  • het is net koffie = it tastes just like coffee

However, NET can have the typical time aspect as well:

  • Ik heb dat gisteren net schoongemaakt! = I cleaned that only yesterday!
  • we zijn net thuis = we have just come home 
  • Ik heb hem net gezien! = I just saw him! (a few minutes ago)
  • ik ben hier nog maar net = I just came

In this meaning (a short while ago, a few minutes ago), you can never use GEWOON instead.

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