Het is te laat om nu nog terug te gaan

Dalieux

Member
Portuguese - Brazil
I don't get the use of nog here. The meaning is "it's too late to go back now", but that nog beside the nu makes it a little confusing, like "it's too late to go back still now"? I would expect a word that expressed something like "already", like "it's too late to go back now already", but nog doesn't indicate that idea as far as I know.

Can someone clarify what that nog is actually doing there?
 
  • Pedro Paraíso

    Member
    Flamish
    I guess that the term 'nog' in this context functions of a 'modal particle' (modaal partikel), which is nearly unique in dutch, german and greece, and used for mitigating the strength of a message. Other examples are 'toch', 'even', 'maar', etc. It is inpossible to translate directly these terms in other languages apart from using verbal expressions.
     

    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Thanks for your reply, Pedro. I'm relatively familiar with the modal particles, and I know many times it's impossible to have a 1:1 translation to any other language.

    I guess the kind of answer I'm looking for is not so much a translation but a description of the idea it's adding to the sentence. To give an example, I know that a combination like "net nog" indicates something has just been done, or that "nog net" indicates something that was barely possible to be done.

    In the case of the sentence I provided, are we talking about such combination? Is it "nu nog", "nog terug"?
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    "Nog" is a difficult word with a lot of meanings and uses.

    If I had to translate it into English in your sentence, then I would indeed use "still": It's too late to still go back now.
     

    S.V.

    Senior Member
    Español, México
    Would it sound similar to a 'hands in the air' pronunciation on ahora/agora? Y ahora para regresarte, ya es muy tarde.
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Would it sound similar to a 'hands in the air' pronunciation on ahora/agora? Y ahora para regresarte, ya es muy tarde.
    ¿Qué haces tú aquí? :D

    I'll continue in English because there are not that many people in this forum who speak/understand Spanish.

    Honestly, I don't understand what you mean. Are you referring to the pronunciation of "nog"?
     

    S.V.

    Senior Member
    Español, México
    Ah, thought I could help Dalieux. :p Since ES & PT are close enough, you can also express the nuance in Spanish.

    I was imagining a hand going up, a longer /o/ in ahora, with a tinge of irony...
    .jpg

    so it also comes close in meaning to Weeell, if you still wanted to go back, it's too late now.

    Does it sound like that still? Maybe closer to "a estas horas" (para volver atrás a estas horas, ya es muy tarde), if we try to understand why aún/ainda do not fit in our languages.
     
    Last edited:

    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Hi S.V., I'm sorry but I don't think I understood either what you meant with the ahora example.

    As for your suggestion in english, it's an interesting notion, so I'd like to see what the natives think. Does it represent the same idea as in the original sentence regarding the "nog"?
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    The "still" might be a fairly good equivalent. I think this "nog" is short for "alsnog", which is an uncommon adverb. what it adds to "nog" is something like "toch nog". Het gebeurde alsnog: you would not have it expected it (to be possible), but it did happen.

    Variant: vooralsnog, but the meaning is different. Vooralsnog kan ik niet bevestigen: as for now/for the time being I can't confirm.
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Castellano (variedad chilensis)
    Hi,

    I have just watched a youtube video in which a native speaker says that one of the uses of nog is to empasize that the action takes place right now, at this very moment (the example she provided was: Nog even geduld alstublieft: U bent de eerstvolgende in de rij), could it be that nog is used in the original sentence to emphasize the fact that now it is impossible to go back?

    Thanks in advance,

    G.
     

    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    I know the video you are talking about, G. I follow (and enjoy) her content too.

    I think that's it! It kind of helped me to try and make the correspondence from dutch to portuguese/spanish instead of english. I think we have a closer correspondence with our own words "ainda/aún" than english does with "still".

    For instance:
    Het is te laat om nu nog terug te gaan.
    É tarde demais para ainda agora voltar.
    És demasiado tarde para aún ahora volver.

    The way I see it, "nog" might be indeed emphasizing "nu" the same way ainda/aún is emphasizing agora/ahora.
     

    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Maybe an appropriate english correspondent would be "right now", like "it's too late to turn back right now.". What do you guys think?
     

    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    I don't mean to flood my own question thread, but I was checking on Youglish and my last two posts don't seem to be the case, unfortunately.

    Instead, I now suspect the "nog" might not be modifying the "nu", but rather the word "terug" itself. I found some examples that I would like to share.

    Vooral ook omdat je na dertig dagen je geld nog terug krijgt.
    En de vrouw belde een kwartier later nog terug.
    Hij kwam binnenlopen en kwam nog terug.
    En ook Blink-182 is nog altijd populair, maar komt Tom ooit nog terug?

    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but is it the case that nog and terug are forming a pairing group? Like nog is modifying terug to indicate something. if so, what idea is it?
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    but is it the case that nog and terug are forming a pairing group?
    I don't know. Do you mean "nog" and "terug" are exclusively linked to each other? Then the answer is no.

    If you mean something else, then I don't know if you can say that in "Hij kwam binnenlopen en kwam nog terug." the "nog" qualifies the "terug": you could also say it qualifies "kwam". I would translate this sentence as "He entered and he came back once more".

    "Nog" is quite a versatile word in Dutch.

    Depending on the context, it will be translated differently.

    E.g. (in addition to the meaning "still" from your original sentence)

    Hij heeft nog meer geld dan ik dacht <==> He has even more money than I thought.
    We gaan nog eens terug naar de bank <==> We will return once more to the bank.
     

    Dalieux

    Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    I don't know. Do you mean "nog" and "terug" are exclusively linked to each other? Then the answer is no.

    Hi Peter! No, I'm asking if they are forming a group for a specific semantic meaning but only in the examples provided. I'm aware these are two independent words.

    I understand it's the same case between "net" and "nog", for instance when paired together they can either convey the idea of "just now" (net nog) or "barely" (nog net).

    Regarding your extra examples, in those cases I understand perfectly the role of nog. What I fail to grasp is the nog in the other examples I gave in my last post.

    If I may "abuse" your patience a little longer, how would you translate those other sentences, specifically focusing on the idea nog might be giving (in your opinion, of course).

    Thanks and sorry for the stubborness.
     
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