Speaking English, Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, mistakenly said you are true instead of you are right.

But where does the confusion comes from? 'You are right is' is 'je hebt gelijk' and 'True' and 'right' are quite different words in Dutch: 'waar', 'juist'

'gelijk' is a susbstantive, something that you have. Had he said 'you have right' the mistake would be clear to me.

What expression could interfere to lead him to the mistake?

  • 4
    Could even be internal English logic rather than Dutch interference. If a statement is right, that means the statement is true. But even if a person is right, they aren't true? What a country! Sep 1, 2020 at 3:00
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    @LukeSawczak - If I am saying to someone, "you are right", it is almost invariably because they have made a statement that is correct. Idiomatically, one can also say of a statement, "that's right", which is equivalent to "that's true" - although in English, there are subtle differences of "tone" between the two. By analogy to that's right -> that's true, one not entirely familiar with idiomatic English might well conclude that you're right -> you're true is a valid transformation. Sep 1, 2020 at 17:19
  • @JeffZeitlin Yes, exactly. Sep 1, 2020 at 22:12
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    I am almost sure Mark Rutte knows that it is not a correct sentence, it just came out of his mouth this way. Most likely he mixed up "you are right" and "it is true" but i don't think Dutch language plays a part in this confusion.
    – Draakhond
    Sep 2, 2020 at 18:45


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