Zetten

to put, to place, to set [verb] [zette, gezet] Iconspeaker_3

"Zetten" is a versatile word. We’ve given three possible translations. There are more translations that you can use though, depending on context. A variety is covered in the Examples. The related noun is "zet", which translates to "move", see the Related words.

Don’t confuse "zetten" with "zitten", which translates to "to sit".Bloemen_op_tafel

Examples:
-"Liefie, kun je de bloemen op tafel zetten?" 
("Sweetie, can you put the flowers on the table?")

- "Waar heb je mijn fiets gezet?" – "Daar…tegen die boom."
("Where did you put my bike?" – "There…against that tree.")

- "U kunt hier uw handtekening zetten.")
("You can place your signature here.")

- "Zet de wekker maar op half acht, dan kunnen we relaxed ontbijten."
("Just set the alarm clock for seven thirty, then we’ll be able to have a relaxed breakfast.")

- "Zal ik koffie zetten? Of heb je liever thee?"
("Shall I make coffee? Or would you rather have tea?")

- "Zoveel honger in de wereld… dat zet je aan het denken, toch?"
("So much starvation in the world…it makes you think, right?" Lit.: "…it puts you to think…")

- "Heb je het al gehoord? Franks vriendin heeft een aarsgewei laten zetten!!" 
("Have you heard already?? Frank’s girlfriend has gotten an ass cap!!" Lit.: …has let (the tattooguy [impl.]) put an ass cap (on her [impl.])…")

Expressions:
- "Iemand een hak zetten": to put a spoke in someone’s wheel. Lit.: to place someone a cut.

Example:
- "Kabelbedrijven zetten KPN een hak met snel internet."
("Cable companies put a spoke in KPN’s wheel with fast internet." Note: KPN is the former national incumbent Dutch telecommunication company. It used to be owned by the state, privatized since 1989.)

- "De/Je hakken in het zand zetten": to put up (a) resistance. Lit.: to put the/your heels in the sand. See also Schoen.
- "De bloemetjes buiten zetten": to party, to go wild. Lit.: to put the flowers outside.
- "Te kakken zetten": (informal) to ridicule, to mock. Lit.: to set to poop.

Related words:
- Zitten: to sit [verb] [zat, gezeten].
- Zet: move [noun] [de zet, de zetten].

Example:
- "Dat was een meesterlijke zet van zwart…wit staat schaakmat."
("That was a masterly move by black…white stands checkmate.")

- Gezet: corpulent, stout [adjective].
- "Ontzet": aghast, dismayed at/by [adjective]. Lit. displaced.

2 thoughts on “Zetten

  1. 1)Always find a bit tricky the usage of the words die and/or deze in Dutch.
    In the word of the day: Zetten, you say the following.
    - “Waar heb je mijn fiets gezet?” – “Daar…tegen die boom.”
    (“Where did you put my bike?” – “There…against that tree.”)
    In order to have the equivalent from English “There… against that tree”, should one not say in Dutch: “Daar…tegen deze boom.”? What is exactly the daily usage of die and deze in daily spoken Dutch?
    2)Could you give a sentence/example of the expression below in a sentence?
    - “De bloemetjes buiten zetten”
    - “Te kakken zetten”
    Dank jullie.
    Groet

  2. Hi Maia,
    We plan to explain the usage of “die, deze, dit, dat” in a separate post.
    Regarding the examples, what about these:
    “Maia zet dit weekend de bloemetjes buiten.”
    (“Maia is going wild/to party this weekend.”)
    and
    “Tijdens de opening van de tentoonstelling zette Maia de galeriehouder te kakken.”
    (“During the opening of the exhibition, Maia mocked the gallery owner.”
    Hope this helps,
    Sander

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