Ten minste

at least Iconspeaker_3
[Dutch phrase of the week]
[ten min-ste]

And the Dutch Word Of The Day is back in 2010!! We hope that everybody has recovered fully from the holidays 🙂

"Ten minste" is composed of "ten" and "minste". "Ten" is a somewhat old-fashioned preposition which translates to "at", and "minste", or "minst", translates to "least" of "fewest". Synonymous to "ten minste" are "op zijn minst", "minstens" or "minimaal".

And now the tricky bit: there’s also "tenminste", which is one word and which also translates to "at least", or "anyway", "anyhow" or "…that is". It has a different meaning though and is used in a different context, which will hopefully become clear from the examples. Synonymous to "tenminste" is "althans".

Of course, most Dutch don’t know when to use "ten minste" or "tenminste" 🙂

– "Ik ben ten minste twee en een halve kilo aangekomen tijdens de feestdagen…" 
("I’ve gained at least two and a half kilos during the holidays…")

– "Deze bank is ten minste 150 euro waard." 
("This couch is worth at least 150 euros.")

– "Ik ben misschien niet slim, maar ik weet tenminste hoe ik een dame moet behandelen!" 
("I may not be smart, but at least I know how to treat a lady!")

– "Stan zal zeker een medaille winnen, tenminste, als hij niet wordt uitgesloten van deelname." 
("Stan will win a medal for sure, if he’s not excluded from participating, that is.")

Related words:
– Minimaal: minimum, minimal [adjective/adverb].
– Minstens: at least [adverb].

– "Vanochtend heeft Frank minstens een half uur lang over zijn baas geroddeld."
("Frank has spread gossip about his boss for at least half an hour this morning.")

One thought on “Ten minste

  1. I feel that in the examples “ten minste twee en een halve kilo” and “ten minste 150 euro” “ten minste” is not correct and should be replaced by “minstens”.

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