Meer dan en net zo veel als

For reasons unknown to me, the DWOTD Facebook page received a few hundred likes over the past 2 months. Not bad for an inactive page 😉 However, over 3000 likes is something to celebrate. Bedankt iedereen! And here is a Dutch lesson on two common mistakes Dutch people make. I will explain things with two example sentences.

1. De Facebookpagina van DWOTD heeft meer dan 3000 likes! Hoera!
(The DWOTD Facebook page has more than 3000 likes! Yay!!)

Dutch nouns
Dutch nouns are always written as one single word, even if the noun is a compound. Therefore it is not ‘Facebook pagina’ but ‘Facebookpagina’. Separating nouns in Dutch seems to occur due to influence of the English language on the Dutch language. So don’t forget: all nouns are written as one word in Dutch. When this leads to a word that may be difficult to read or pronounce, you can insert a hyphen where it may be helpful.

Meer dan
You will often hear ‘meer als’ instead of ‘meer dan’. Or ‘groter als’ instead of ‘groter dan’ (‘bigger than’). When a comparative adjective is used and you are comparing one thing with another, in Dutch the comparative adjective is followed by ‘dan’ and not ‘als’. This as opposed to German, where one would use ‘als’.
We do use ‘als’, but then in the following construct:

2. Deze boom is twee keer zo groot als die boom.
(This tree is twice as big as that tree.)

… zo … als
When you use a comparison of the form ‘… as … as’ in Dutch the form becomes ‘… zo … als‘.

Funny thing is that some people have become overcautious to not make mistakes with als and dan, and this then leads to hypercorrection. The other day I found an example in the NRC newspaper, one of the leading newspapers in the Netherlands. See the photo. Can you find the mistake?

Fragment uit NRC met gebruik van 'dan' in plaats van 'als'

For comments please see the original Facebook post.