Dutch Language Blog

Back to Basics: Comparing Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Dutch Language

On a previous post, I wrote about the incorrect uses of als and how dan is the correct word to use when pointing out differences in a comparison. On this post, I would like to expand on comparisons and the correct words to use.


The following song by Tim Immers is a good point to begin for the use of dan.

With this song, Tim Immers is getting his point across that she is better of staying with him. It is the classic love triangle problem: girl is with boy but a second boy wants to be with girl.

His argument is a great example of using dan:

Jij past beter bij, beter bij, beter bij, beter bij mij
Want ik ben liever dan, liever dan, liever dan, liever dan hij
Beter bij, beter bij, beter bij, beter bij mij
Want ik ben liever dan, iever dan, lief, veel liever dan hij

Tim is clearly a very confident man because the song is a lot more about him than it is about her. He says “you are better off with me because I am sweeter than him.” His catchy tune and repetition has us all believing he really is better than whoever that other man is and she should obviously want to be better off (with Tim of course!).


Another way Tim could have stated his case to the lucky lady would be to use zo and als in combination. The song would have said something like

Ik ben tien keer tien keer tien keer zo liever als hij

ik ben tien keer tien keer tien keer zo liever als hij…

Now, for arguments’ sake, I must side with Tim’s use because this second option requires us to put a number to the comparison. Should she leave the guy who is sweet for someone who is just ten times sweeter? If Tim said Ik ben een millioen keer zo liever als hij, would that sound too exaggerated?

even…als, net zo…als, even

For this example, I think it’s best to take the girl’s perspective because she clearly has to make a choice. Should she stay with her normally sweet guy or should she go for Tim who is sweeter than the current guy? The girls arguments of who to pick could be the following:

Tim is even knaap als hij. (Tim is as handsome as he.)

Tim is net zo slim als hij. (Tim is as smart as he.)

Deze mannen zijn even liever. (These men are equally sweet.)

So who should the girl pick?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!