• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Approximate degree

The approximate degree modifier expresses closeness to a given degree by means of adverbs, such as amper almost, feitlik virtually, hittete only just, naastenby approximately, ruweg roughly, and nagenoeg nearly, etc., or word groups, such as by benadering by approximation, min of meer more or less and om en by about, or by means of reduplication, such as net-net only just and amper-amper very nearly as in the following examples:

Example 1

Dit is amper onmoontlik.
it be.PRS almost impossible
It is almost impossible.
Example 2

Die ontstaansdatum is slegs by benadering bepaalbaar.
the inception.date be.PRS only by approximation determinable
The date of origin can only be determined approximately.
Example 3

Ons was net-net betyds.
we be.PRT just-just in.time
We were only just in time.

A particular category of modifiers expresses an approximate degree of application of adjective or other phrases. Such modifiers may take the form of adverbs (such as omtrent about) or word groups (min of meer more or less). Examples are:

Example 4

Die karkas dryf omtrent heupdiepte in die water.
the carcass float about hip.depth in the water
The carcass is floating about hip-deep in the water.
Example 5

Die fiets se wiele was min of meer ewe groot.
the bicycle PTC.POSS wheels be.PRT more or less even big
The wheels of the bicycle were more or less the same size.

While most modifiers approximate a maximum closeness to a particular degree, minimal approximatives express closeness to a minimal degree, as in the following example:

Example 6

Die slagoffer was skaars herkenbaar.
the victim be.PRT barely recognisable
The victim was barely recognisable.

Certain modifiers may be categorised as idiomatic approximatives, particularly those which express closeness by means of as a PP which contains fixed expressions, e.g. op sterwe na dood all but dead and ternouernood narrowly:

Example 7

Nederlands as moedertaal was op sterwe na dood in Lion Cachet se tyd.
Dutch as mother.tongue be.PRT on dying except dead in Lion Cachet PTCL.GEN time
Dutch as mother tongue was all but dead in the time of Lion Cachet.
Example 8

Hy het ternouernood ontsnap.
he have.AUX narrowly escaped
He escaped by the skin of his teeth.

Lastly, reduplication of certain modifiers can also express an approximate degree of application of adjective or other phrases, such as amper-amper very nearly in the following example:

Example 9

YouTube is amper-amper beter as TV deesdae.
YouTube be.PRS almost-almost betterPTCL.SIMT TV these days
These days, YouTube is almost better than TV.
    This is a beta version.