Position is the twenty-seventh skill (assuming read left to right) in the language tree for Dutch. It has four lessons and teaches the verbs liggen, zitten, and staan and how Dutch people use them to show positions of items.
In Dutch, something cannot simply be somewhere; it has to be either standing, lying or sitting there. These use the three verbs staan, liggen, and zitten:
Staan is used for:
- Objects placed in a correct manner (like plates set on a table);
- Objects that are placed in a way that they are taller than they are wide (think of books on a bookshelf);
- Objects or animals on legs or wheels (instead of, say, on their side);
- Text or images on a flat surface;
- An individual building (liggen can be used for a group of buildings); and
- Things that are standing.
If you are placing something in a standing position, the verb is zetten
Liggen is used for:
- Objects placed on their side or placed to be wider than they are tall (think flat books or a pile of shirts);
- A geographical location; and
- Things that are lying down.
If you are placing something in a lying position, the verb is leggen
Zitten is used for:
- Objects inside of other objects; and
- Things that are sitting down.
If you are placing something inside of something, the verb is stoppen or doen
Zijn is still used for some positional sentences, but they usually emphasize the existence of a thing, rather than the position it's in. Other possibilities include:
- The location of an event
- The location of something that is not in any of the three positions above or in some combination thereof.
- zitten = to sit
- de auto = car
- de doos = box
- de mand = basket
- liggen = to lie
- Amsterdam = Amsterdam
- dekken = to set (a table)
- het deken = blanket
- de bal = ball
- het park = park
- staan = to stand
- het woord = word
- de papier = paper
- de boom = tree
- zetten = to stand up
- leggen = to lay down
- stoppen = to stop or stuff
Duolingo Lesson: www.duolingo.com/skill/dn/Zitten_Liggen_Staan