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I am right now studying verbs and their prepositions together.
I came across this one: halten von.

On Duden I found like 20 different meanings for halten.
But what I would like to understand is the combination halten von + dat.

From the examples, found on Duden, I think I would translate it as to consider or maybe to think.

I would translate "Was hältst du davon?" as "What do you think about it?" or "What is your opinion about it?". Is it right? And is it actually used in normal conversations? I would like to know if it would sound normal or common if I use it.

What confuses me, there's also an example that I found that says:
Mein Vater hält viel von einem guten Essen.

I guess it means this: "My father thinks a lot about good food". But I am not sure at all, that that's actually the right interpretation. It just sounds a bit funny to me. Maybe I just found a strange example.

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    I would have to consult an English dictionary, but I think that the English counterpart is “to think of”, although it is used differently, as „viel halten von“ would become “think highly of”. – Carsten S Jun 3 '15 at 8:23
  • Just wondering... do you know dict.cc? It's really comprehensive and you can find a lot of phrasings in there even if what you typed in does not match the entry word by word dict.cc/?s=viel+halten+von – Emanuel Jun 3 '15 at 9:19
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    Same is true for Pons – Em1 Jun 3 '15 at 9:59
  • Wow dict is really aweeesome! Thanks for sharing ! (I knew already pons) – E.V. Jun 3 '15 at 17:26
  • Yeah... I used to be all Leo-fan but Dict.cc really won me over. – Emanuel Jun 4 '15 at 21:23
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You correctly translated Was hältst du davon with What do you think about it, and yes, it is commonly used in normal conversation.

I would translate your next example Mein Vater hält viel von einem guten Essen with

My father highly appreciates a good lunch/dinner

so in this case "viel halten von" means something like appreciate, esteem, hold in esteem.

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    Ok, so this should also apply in this other example on Duden "von einer Sache viel, eine ganze Menge, wenig, nichts halten" That should then not be translated like " he thinks a lot, not so much, not at all about this thing", but instead it means to appreciate a lot or less ect.. Right? – E.V. Jun 3 '15 at 7:57
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    @E.V. Yes, that's correct. – guidot Jun 3 '15 at 8:24
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Adding to the answer given above, according to my study, there are few usages other than expressions you have mentioned above using halten.

  1. Halten von .. (Was hältest du davon, dass ... What do you think that ...)

This seems pretty common among Germans. I indeed hear this expression a lot.

As you mentioned halten viel von could be translated as "to think highly of sth." as such it means to appreciate so basically there are no differences between them.

  1. Halten für .. (This means regard something as something)

This expression is also pretty common. I have seen this multiple times in German literature. For example, wir halten das für gut. (We think that (regard that) that is good).

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