Mee and Met

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by Diablo919, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Diablo919

    Diablo919 Senior Member

    Dayton, Ohio
    US / English
    What are the differences? My translator says they both mean "with".

    ex. Kom met mij mee fietsen.

    Why do you need both?
  2. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I say this haltingly since I don't speak much Dutch. Please correct me if I'm wrong -

    I think they both mean "with", but met is usually followed by an object and mee usually is used where the logical object does not need to be expressed. Mee is used in translating sentences like "He brought an umbrella with him / along", where the object of with refers to the same person as, for example, the subject, but we don't use -self. No need to decide on the proper pronoun with mee.

    So I guess you could translate one of the withs as "along" = "with me": "Come along and bike with me." / "Come biking along with me." Or just leave it out.

    I wonder if this has anything to do with Spanish "conmigo" (from Latin cum me cum, also with two withs).
  3. muriwery

    muriwery Senior Member

    Tenerife, Spain
    Spain- Spanish & French
    Kom met mij mee fietsen : Come with me together

    You can use: I ga weg met vrienden Kom jij mee? : I go out with some friends, Do you come with ?

    But if you say met mij: that just mean with me

    I don't know if you understand what I mean. I hope it
  4. Joannes Senior Member

    Belgian Dutch
    The difference is a structural one. Met 'with' is a preposition, mee is an adverb ('along' would be the most suitable translation, but mee is used more often than its English equivalent - it is also used in structures expressing the joining of an action/event by someone/something, for example).
  5. Elisabeth85 New Member

    Alkmaar - The Netherlands
    Dutch & English
    Kom met mij mee = Come along with me

    You don't need both, we sometimes use 'double' words that don't add anything to the 'intention' If you are asking someone to join you you can ask:

    Kom? (come?)
    Kom je? (you coming?)
    Kom je mee? (are you coming along?)
    Kom je met mij mee? (are you coming with me?)

    Basically it all means the same but "kom" alone is a bit short and needs some added body language sometimes. These are typical examples of speaking-language that is also used in writing when the rules of grammar (writing language) don't apply strictly.
  6. Lopes

    Lopes Senior Member

    Dutch (Amsterdam)
    I've never heard just 'Kom?', for me there should be 'je' behind it (even if you add bodylanguage. Could that be regional?

    What I do use sometimes is for example 'Gaan?' instead of 'Gaan we (met hun) mee?'
  7. Elisabeth85 New Member

    Alkmaar - The Netherlands
    Dutch & English
    Yeah, but that's what I meant when I said there probably is some body language involved also when you use just "Kom?" I suppose it's the same as "Gaan?" You usually look at the person and sort of move your head in the direction you want to move/go or there is some signing with the hand.
    Often it goes like "Kom? ..... we gaan!"

    Must say I am never that brief but I have seen it used. Plus I was also just making a point that there are so many ways to ask someone to come along with you, you know?
  8. Lopes

    Lopes Senior Member

    Dutch (Amsterdam)
    Yeah I understand that, was just wondering if it was maybe regional because I really have never heard it being used.
  9. optimistique Senior Member


    As Joannes has pointed out, the difference is indeed not in the meaning, but it is structural. Mee is indeed the adverbial form of met.
    The difference is very simple and the examples of Elisabeth85 are to be explained as follows:

    (a) Kom je? - Do you come?

    (b) Kom je mee? - Do you come along?

    In sentence (a) the verb used is komen, and in sentence (b) the verb is meekomen.

    So in a sentence as Kom je met mij mee?, there is a verb meekomen, consisting of a verbal part komen and an adverbial part mee with a prepositional phrase met mij.

    Conclusion: We use mee after met mij not to reinforce the meaning expressed (although of course that is the effect), but simply because we use the verb meekomen in that sentence.

    I hope that I was as easy to understand in my explanation, as the situation is. :)
  10. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In the given context, you would not use the simple present in English, but the present progressive: "Are you coming (along)?"

    As in Dutch, it is possible to drop various parts of the sentence. All of the following are possible:

    You coming?
    Are you coming?
    Are you coming along?

    Back to "met" vs. "mee":

    The example with "meekomen" illustrates one of the differences between "met" and "mee." In the sentence "Kom je met mij mee?", "met" and "mee" have different grammatical functions (and slightly different meanings), as has been clearly and adequately explained.

    In other contexts, "mee" has the same function as "met" would, but "mee" is required for syntactical and grammatical reasons:

    Dat heeft niets met dit onderwerp te maken.
    [als het onderwerp reeds bekend is] Dat heeft er niets mee te maken.

    In the above pair of sentences, the two words are 100% identical in meaning and grammatical function, but "mee" is required in the second sentence because of "er." "Mee" is also required with "waar":

    Dat is de man waar mijn zus eens mee getrouwd was.
    Maar: Mijn zus was met deze man eens getrouwd.
  11. moldo

    moldo Senior Member

    Dutch, Netherlands
    Mee is not the same as met. It is a different word with a different meaning.

    Meefietsen is bicycling together in the same direction. It can be with anyone.
    Met specifies with whom you are bicycling.

    Ik fiets met jou mee - I am bicycling together with you
    Ik fiets met hem mee - I am bicycling together with him
    Wij fietsen met hen mee - We are bicycling toghether with them
    enzovoorts, enzovoorts - and so on, and so on
  12. ablativ Senior Member

    It surely was easy to understand. It's meegaan (medegaan), meefietsen, ermee, daarmee, waarmee enz. Only used as a preposition it's met. And joining a bicycle tour (mee-/medefietsen) in general, one can be biking side by side with (= met = preposition) with one particular friend.

    "Je moet me ze meezingen!" = "You have to join the choir" -- but what choir? The choir of those people here around, "with" = prep. = met hen / ze.

    "With me" does not always fit as a translation for "along". "He came along with his bicycle" = Hij kwam eraan (not ermee) met ( = prep.) z'n fiets.

    In my opinion, optimistique's post really explains the situation as it is.
  13. ablativ Senior Member

    Right you are! There cannot be a preposition before "er, daar, waar". Therefore we would have to use "mee".

    Instead of "waar" one could say "wie" ( "who[m]").

    Dat is de man met (prep.) wie m'n zus eens getrouwd was.

    That's the man to whom my sister .../ ...who my sister was married to.

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