to reach, to achieve Iconspeaker_3
[be-rei-ken, be-reik-te, be-reikt]

Finish 'Bereiken' is pretty much used the same way as the English 'to reach' (a destination, a goal, old age, a person on the phone).

– "We hebben de afgelopen twee weken veel bereikt. We mogen trots zijn!" 
("We have achieved a lot the past two weeks. We can be proud (of ourselves)!")

– "Ik heb je de hele avond geprobeerd te bereiken; waar was je nou?" 
("I have tried to reach you all evening; where were you?")

– "Over 50 meter rechtsaf slaan. U hebt uw bestemming bereikt." 
("Turn right in 50 metres. You have reached your destination.")

– "Toen hij de leeftijd van 90 jaar bereikte, vond hij het welletjes." 
("When he reached the age of 90 (years), he had had enough." Note the informal expression 'het welletjes vinden': to have had enough, to call it a day.)

Related words:
– Bereik: reach, range, signal reception [noun] [het bereik, <no plural>].

-"Ja sorry, m'n telefoon stond gewoon aan, maar waarschijnlijk had ik geen bereik."
("Apologies, my phone was turned on as always, but probably I had no (signal) reception.")

– Bereikbaar: within reach, accessible, reachable [adjective].
– Onbereikbaar: out of reach, unreachable, inaccessible, unachievable [adjective].

– "Hoe kan ik objectief worden beoordeeld als mijn targets bij voorbaat onbereikbaar zijn?"
("How can I be appraised objectively when my targets are unachievable from the start / by definition?" You can use 'bij voorbaat' to indicate that the outcome is already known and is unlikely to change.)

– Reiken (naar): to reach (for), to stretch/extend [verb] [reikte, gereikt].

5 thoughts on “Bereiken

  1. “Hoe kan ik objectief worden beoordeeld als mijn targets bij voorbaat onbereikbaar zijn?”
    Seems like *somebody* may have had their annual appraisal recently? 🙂

  2. “Wat wil jij bereiken in het leven? Huisje-boompje-beestje, of toch meer?”
    What is ‘huisje-boompje-beestje’?

  3. Hi Stuart – thanks for this question, I’m happy to see that people are reading our tweets at
    Huisje-boompje-beestje is slang for ‘being settled’ and is composed of the diminutives of house-tree-animal: the image of a suburbian house with a tree and a dog for example (as drawn by kids 🙂 )
    Another word associated with this is ‘burgerlijk’; living a conventional middle class (suburban) family life.

  4. @Chris – hehe, I’m not telling you, but perhaps I’m trying to influence my manager with these subliminal messages 😉

  5. Ah, Sander, if only DWOTD had been around when I worked for a Belgian boss! 🙂
    That phrase you used would have been so useful in my own (dismal) appraisals…:-(
    Anyway, Stuart, you may be interested in this huisje-boompje-beestje-related website:

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