liking/desire, meaning, sense, sentence [noun] [de zin, de zinnen]

"Zin" is truly a homonym: it has several different meanings and can be used in many contexts (the list above is not even complete!).

1. "Ik heb zin in ijs als toetje."

("I feel like ice cream for dessert.")

2. "Nu vraag ik je: wat is de zin van het leven?"
("I ask you now: what is the meaning of life?")

3. "Pas een half uur na zijn woedeuitbarsting kwam Frank weer bij zinnen."
("Only half an hour after his raging outburst, Frank came to his senses again.")

4. "Door gebrek aan inspiratie kreeg de columnist slechts enkele zinnen op papier gezet."
("Due to lack of inspiration, the columnist was able to put only a few sentences on paper.")

5. "Ik heb geen zin!"
("I don’t feel like it!")

The following use of "zin" is quite common:
"Zin hebben in/om": to feel like. Depending on the sentence you either use "in" or "om", the latter always involving a verb.

1. "Ik heb zin in koffie."
("I feel like coffee.")

2. "Ik heb zin om koffie te drinken."
("I feel like drinking/having coffee.")

3. "Ik heb helemaal nergens zin in!"
("I don’t feel like doing anything at all!")

Related words:
1. "Onzin": nonsense.
2. "Zinnig": sensible.
3. "Onzinnig": senseless, absurd.

5 thoughts on “Zin

  1. I would like to add two common expressions using “zin”:
    1. “Heb je nou je zin?!”
    (“Are you happy now?!” or “Is this the way you wanted it?!”, implicitly blaming the other for wanting to have it his/her way which now resulted in something unfortunate.
    2. “Op iets je zinnen zetten.”: [expression] to have one’s mind set on something.
    “Ik heb mijn zinnen gezet op een nieuwe auto.”
    (“I have set my mind on a new car.”)

    • Hello, Sander,
      Can you further explain what it means when someone asks, “Heb je er zin in?”
      b.v., a young child is sitting in an art class, and one of the teachers comes by and cheerfully asks, “Heb je er zin in?”
      Surely the teacher isn’t asking, “Do you feel like it?” which sounds a bit odd.

      • Hi Bruce,
        Well, it is exactly as you say, ‘Heb je er zin in’ means ‘Are you up for it / Do you feel like it / Do you want to do it / etc.’.
        It is often used encouragingly, and also to set the mood, e.g. when said to an audience at the beginning of a show (‘Hebben jullie er zin in?!’ – ‘JAAAAA!’).

  2. Hi there!!
    Funny website you’ve got!
    What about the word “zak(ken)”? Might be that this has already been explained, but I couldn’t find out easily how to check words 1-72.

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