False friends – 15: knokken vs to knock



Transcript of the video lesson – knokken vs to knock:

Hi, welcome to learndutch.org’s false friends.
Words from different languages that sound or look the same, but with a different meaning. Today the Dutch verb: “knokken”, which looks like the English “to knock”. They do have a bit in common, but still mean something different. They are false friends!

“To knock” in english, is what we call in Dutch “kloppen”. And when we talk about knocking on a door, we can also say “aankloppen”. “Kloppen” can also be used in case of “punching”, but more common it is to use the verb “slaan”. If you talk about knocking down someone, then in Dutch we say “(neer)slaan”.

Now “knokken” in Dutch is not just one punch. “Knokken” is having a fight with physical violence. Like here on the picture. By the way, always when I watch icehockey it’s what I see. For me it’s always hard to understand why specifically in this sport you see players so much “knokken”. I used to watch chess games a lot for years, but there it’s less common.

bij het knokken, sloeg zij hem neer
at the fight, she knocked him down

So now you know, the Dutch verb “knokken” and and the English “to knock” are false friends!

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