We live on the Bovenweg

No, I’m afraid you don’t. You live on Bovenweg. There’s no article needed for a named street or road or square.

Quite simple really. You could live:

  • on the high street (article with an unnamed road)
  • or on High Street (no article with a named road)
  • but not on the High Street
  • for that reason, you occasionally need to add an extra word in English – a demonstration op de Dam in Amsterdam might need to say in Dam Square or something similar
  • both on and in get used, by the way. You’d be more likely to see on for a major through road, say, and in for an intimate cul-de-sac

Note: I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks that the weekend posts get only a tiny fraction of the number of visits. So they’re not a smart move: I’ll be posting on the weekdays only from now on.

Prevalence: high. And highly persistent. Even translators for whom we’ve noted the error multiple times keep doing it!
Frequency: moderate. The preamble to legal documents, saying who the parties are, is a favourite location.
Native: no. The kind of convention that you’re simply brought up with and wouldn’t ever get wrong.

Published by Mike Wilkinson

Twenty years of translating and editing Dutch into English, as well as writing and publishing in English.

2 thoughts on “We live on the Bovenweg

  1. I read them in the mail. But the publication day of the week is to me largely irrelevant. You are creating a nearly timeless resource that deserves a permanent online accessibility.


    1. Sure, they remain online and searchable no matter what – you’re quite right there. And I’ve no idea when the e-mails get read!
      But for whatever reason, the spontaneous visits to the new posts are about five times lower at the weekends…


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