370. Laat maar zitten

That’s all right / OK, don’t mention it, forget about it, let’s drop it, just leave it [Dutch phrase of the week] Iconspeaker_12

Literally translated "laat maar zitten" doesn’t make a lot of sense: "Just let it sit" 🙂

In speech "laat maar zitten" is used in the following cases:
– when someone thanks you and you want to say something like "don’t mention it, forget about it"; or
– when you ordered/wanted something, but you don’t want/need it anymore; or
– when you want to tell somebody to keep the change; or
– when you don’t want to discuss something any longer.

We have tried to capture this in the following examples, try to make your own!

– "Wat aardig van je dat je de afwas doet!" – "Ach schat, laat maar zitten."
("How nice of you to the dishes / to wash up!" – "Oh honey, don’t mention it.")

– "Wil je je koffie nog?" – "Nee dank je, laat maar zitten."
("Do you still want your coffee?" – "No thank you, I’m/that’s all right.")

– "Mevrouw, laat dat broodje dat ik heb besteld maar zitten, want dit duurt veel te lang."
("Miss/madam, just forget about the sandwich that I ordered, this is taking way too long." Note that you can put the object that you don’t want anymore between "laat" and "maar zitten".)

– "Dat is dan 45 cent terug." – "O, laat maar zitten."
("That’s 45 cents change." – "Oh that’s all right / keep the change." Lit.: "That’s 45 cents back.")

– "Maar waarom wil je niet op bezoek bij mijn moeder?" – "Ach liefie, laat nou maar zitten."
("But why don’t you want to go on a visit to my mother?" – "O darling, just drop it." Note that the adding of the word "nou" strengthens the meaning and clearly indicates that you want to drop the subject. You will also hear "laat nou maar!")

– "Geen dank": don’t mention it.
– "Graag gedaan": you’re welcome.
– "Laat nou maar!": just drop it, just leave it!

6 thoughts on “370. Laat maar zitten

  1. I never, ever hear the entire phrase used. I only ever hear people use “laat maar”. How come?

  2. Hi Steph, good question. I guess that “laat maar” can be used as a shortened version of “laat maar zitten”. But also of phrases such as “laat maar waaien” and “laat maar gaan” (“just let it be/go”).
    In general “laat maar” translates to “don’t bother”, or “never mind” and it is therefore more widely applicable than “laat maar zitten”. But I admit they are close.

  3. The translation for “Do you still want your coffee?” – “No thank you, I’m/that’s all right.” reminds me of an expression (similar to ‘laat maar zitten” I would think) used by mainly younger people in America. And that’s the breezy: “I’m all set,” which I find lazy and irritating. What ever happened to a simple “No, thank you”?

  4. Hi Jay, whenever I’m in the USA I hear “Are you all set?” or “you’re all set!” quite often. I think that one can use “I’m all set” in the example that you state, however in this case “laat maar zitten” also says that you don’t want/need something anymore, after first wanting/needing it. So if for example a waitress would ask you if you would like more coffee, you wouldn’t really say “laat maar zitten”. But if you had ordered coffee earlier and she double checks if you still want it, and you don’t want it anymore, then you can use “laat maar zitten”.
    [Ah well, sometimes I can get confused after all the analysis 😉 ]

  5. Hey, I’m dutch myself and I find this site quite funny :D. Also you talk alot about `laat maar (zitten)` Yeah, we use that alot :P. Example: If you say something to someone, and he says `Wat zei je?`(What did you say?) You could say; `laat maar` if you didn’t want to repeat it. Also mostly used my younger people.

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