support, assistance, comfort Click to listen
[de steun, de steu-nen]

Boekensteun "Steun" can be used for both physical, mental and financial support. The verb is 'steunen' (to support) or 'ondersteunen' (to support as in to prop up, to hold up). When you are financially supporting somebody, you can also use '(financieel) ondersteunen'.

When you are supporting a team, you are just a supporter, although of course you could be a big 'steun' (comfort) to the team when they do badly 🙂

– "Na het overlijden van haar man had zij veel steun aan haar familie."
("When her husband had passed away her relatives were a big support to her." Note that when the Dutch say 'family' they typically mean their relatives in general. When you mean 'father, mother and children' we say 'gezin'.)

– "Het nieuwe plan vond geen steun bij de parlementsleden." 
("The new plan was not supported by the members of parliament." Lit. 'did not find support'.)

– "Dit evenement is tot stand gekomen met steun van de volgende bedrijven…" 
("This event was realized with the support of the following companies…")

– "Wij verlenen steun aan alle lagen van de bevolking." 
("We lend support / give assistance to all sections of society.")

– "Kan ik op jouw steun rekenen?" 
("Can I count on your support?")

– "Ik ben bang dat deze palen niet voldoende steun bieden, pas maar op!" 
("I'm afraid that these posts will not offer enough support, be careful now!")

– "Een steuntje in de rug": a bit of encouragement, a helping hand. Lit.: a bit of support to the back.
– "Iemands steun en toeverlaat zijn": to somebody who the other person can always rely on, to be a prop and stay
to someone

– "Heb jij een beste vriendin?" – "Jazeker, zij is echt mijn steun en toeverlaat."
("Do you have a best friend?" – "Absolutely, I can always rely on her.")

– "Zijn voor": to support / to root for / to be a fan of.

– "Vanavond speelt Feyenoord tegen Ajax. Voor wie ben jij?"
("Tonight Feyenoord plays against Ajax. Who do you root for / who do you support?")

Related words:
– Armsteun/voetsteun: armrest/footrest [noun] [de steun, de steunen].
– Ruggensteun: back support [noun] [de ruggensteun, <no plural>].
– Boekensteun: bookend [de steun, de steunen].
– Ondersteunen: to support, to prop up, to hold up [verb] [ondersteunde, ondersteund].
– Ondersteuning: support [noun] [de ondersteuning, de ondersteuningen].
– Juichen: to cheer (for) [verb] [juichte, gejuicht].

2 thoughts on “Steun

  1. i get a little confuse from the first sentence “Na het overlijden van haar man had zij veel steun aan haar familie” if it means her family supported her, can i say “veel steun van haar familie”?

  2. Hi Fay, a very good question. So, I think the answer is this:
    – When you write, as I did, ‘steun hebben aan’, then it is from your perspective, and you experienced whatever they did as ‘support’ (could be merely being present).
    – When you write, ‘steun krijgen van’ (note the verb ‘krijgen’) then you clearly indicate that they in one way or the other actively support(ed) you.
    So the difference is subtle 🙂
    Hope this helps,

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