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Dutch for Beginners

Dutch is quite a difficult language. It's not very widely spoken, but it's certainly a difficult language to learn and to pronounce. Dutch is, of course the native language of The Netherlands, and also of Northern Belgium (Flanders). The Belgians have a very typical accent. you immediately notice whether a person is from Holland or Belgium. Dutch is a language of Germanic origin and besides The Netherlands and Belgium, it's also spoken on the Netherlands Antilles, Suriname and many people in Indonesia also speak it (all former colonies of The Netherlands). And in South-Africa, they speak a language derived from Dutch: Afrikaans. Part one of this course is only intended for absolute beginners.
Contents Lesson 1: To Be Introductions Summary Vocabulary Lesson 2: Articles and Gender Articles Gender Hebben - to have Summary Vocabulary Exercises Lesson 3: Formal Pronouns, Possessive Adjectives, and Plural Nouns Formality Possesion Plural nouns Vocabulary Exercises Lesson 4: Regular Verbs and Negation Regular verbs Negation Vocabulary Exercises Lesson 5: Adjectives, Adverbs, and Questions Adjectives Adverbs Asking questions Vocabulary Exercises

Part One - The Basics

Lesson 1: To Be
Welcome to the Dutch course here at UniLang. We want to help you learn foreign languages and we hope this little course can help. Of course we also have a big grammar reference and a list of vocabulary available for you to study. These courses in part one are intended for absolute beginners who need a little assistance with starting to learn some basics, so this is not a complete course. When we've shown you the most important basics we'll let go you and then you can explore our grammar reference all by yourself. Before you continue you must do two things. First of all, make sure you are familiar with all the basic grammar terms. Do you know what a noun is? What a verb is? What an adverb is? You can then secondly take a peek at the Dutch pronunciation page. Introductions We'll start by teaching you how to introduce yourself in Dutch. Take a look at the following Dutch sentence and it's English translation. All Dutch text will be written in blue and the English translation in green. "Ik ben Robert" "I am Robert"

Here we see your very first Dutch sentence where you introduce yourself as Robert, a fictional person. You should of course replace the name with your own name. Although the sentence consists of only three words we are going to carefully examine each word. The first word "Ik" is the Dutch equivalent of the English word "I", also referred to as 1stperson singular. It's a subject pronoun. The second word "ben" is a verb. It's a conjugation of the irregular Dutch verb "zijn", which is the Dutch equivalent of "to be". Now we've seen how to introduce yourself using "ik ben" but we can also introduce other people, take a look at the following examples: Ik ben Robert I am Robert Jij bent Robert Hij is Robert Zij is Roberta Het is Robert Wij zijn Robert en Paul You are Robert He is Robert She is Roberta It is Robert We are Robert and Paul

Jullie zijn Robert en Paul You are Robert and Paul Zij zijn Robert en Paul They are Robert and Paul Thats alot of new words, but it's all very easy. Now that you've seen all subject pronouns in Dutch, you know how to refer to people. And besides that, you've also learned your first Dutch verb, an irregular verb: "Zijn", in English "To be". There is also a small new word that appeared in this lesson, the Dutch words "en", which means "and". It's also a good exercise to try to pronounce every Dutch sentence you see on this page, and when you're uncertain of how to pronounce a certain character or group of characters then go to the pronunciation page. Summary In this lesson you've learned two aspects of Dutch grammar, you've learned the subject pronouns and you've learned the full conjugation of the irregular Dutch verb "zijn". Vocabulary We'll ask you to study a number of words in each lesson , this time we'll give you a couple of very easy words to study. Learn them in both directions! English-Dutch and Dutch-English.

vader oma opa


father grandmother grandfather

moeder mother

Each lesson will come with some exercises so you can practice the grammar and vocabulary of this lesson. Exercise A: Translate to English: 1) Hij is Robert. 2) Het is vader. 3) Zij zijn Robert en Piet. 4) Zij is moeder.

5) Jij bent oma. 6) Jullie zijn opa. 7) Wij zijn George en William. Exercise B: Translate to Dutch: 1) We are James and Jane. 2) They are father. 3) I am mother. 4) She is grandmother. 5) They are Robert and Paul. 6) You are George and William. 7) You are grandfather. Solutions After you've done the exercises you can check whether your answer is correct using the following solutions: Solution of Exercise A: 1) He is Robert. 2) It is father. 3) They are Robert and Piet. 4) She is mother. 5) You are grandmother. 6) You are grandfather. 7) We are George and William. Solution of Exercise B: 1) Wij zijn James en Jane. 2) Zij zijn vader. 3) Ik ben moeder. 4) Zij is oma. 5) Zij zijn Robert en Paul. 6) Jullie zijn George en William. 7) Jij bent opa.

Lesson 2: Articles and Gender

Articles Apparently you've succesfully finished lesson one, so now we can continue with the second lesson. In this lesson you'll learn how to describe certain objects. First of all, we are going to teach you articles. In the previous lesson you learned how to say "He is father" but that sounds a little bit tarzan-like. Wouldn't it sound better if you could say "He is a father" or "He is the father" ? That's what you'll learn now. Take a look at these Dutch sentences: Hij is een vader He is a father Zij is de moeder She is the mother Het is de stoel Het is een stoel Het is een huis It is the chair It is a chair It is a house

Het is het huis It is the house It looks pretty logical at the beginning. You'll quickly notice that "een" is the correct Dutch translation of "a" and "an". But what's the correct translation of "the"? You see two different Dutch word for "the", you see "de" and "het", but which one is the right one? Of course they are both right, otherwise we wouldn't show them to you.

Gender But how can it be possible that the word "the" has two translations in Dutch? This has to do with the difficult concept of noun gender, a concept not known in English but is in almost every other language. In most other languages a noun has a certain gender. So you're telling me a noun can be a boy or a girl? Indeed...that's what we're saying. A noun has a certain gender in Dutch (and many other Germanic languages). There are three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. Every noun (note that this gender concept only applies to nouns) has one of these three genders. How to determine what gender is very hard. In Dutch gender is not very imporant because it doesn't effect many grammar rules. But nevertheless some grammar rules are dependent of the gender of the noun, so you'll have to learn the gender of each noun. One grammar rule that is gender-dependent is the formation of the definite articles, in other words, how "the" is translated in Dutch. When the noun to which the article applies is a masculine or feminine noun, then "the" is translated as "de". If the article applies to a neuter noun, then the article that has to be used is "het". That's why we said "het huis" and "de stoel"; "huis" is a neuter word and "stoel" is a masculine or feminine word (most Dutch people can't even tell this. The difference between masculine and feminine isn't very important in Dutch, but for those who want to know, it is a masculine word). Well, this noun gender concept might have confused you a bit. For English speaking people it can be a weird concept. But if English is not your native language, then it's most likely that you are already familiar with noun gender. From now on we will also mention the article of a noun in our vocabulary lists. Note that the indefinite article ("a" and "an") is gender independent and is always translated with "een". Hebben - to have In this lesson we'll also introduce another irregular Dutch verb, the verb "hebben", which means "to have". Take a look at the full conjugation and translation of this verb: Ik heb Jij hebt Wij hebben Jullie hebben I have You have We have You have

Hij/Zij/Het heeft He/she/it has

Zij hebben They have Now you've learned a new verb, memorize it. Summary In this lesson you've learned the concept of noun gender, what articles to use, and another irregular verb. Vocabulary Learn the following words. The words of the previous lesson are mentioned again, but this time we also show what definite article to use.

de vader

the father

de moeder de oma de opa de stoel het huis de tafel de kat de hond het bot het dier

the mother the grandmother the grandfather the chair the house the table the cat the dog the bone the animal

het gebouw the building

Exercise A: Translate to English: 1) Een kat is een dier. 2) Het huis is een gebouw. 3) De hond heeft een bot. 4) Ik heb een kat. 5) De vader heeft een huis. 6) De vader en de moeder hebben een hond. 7) Jullie hebben een huis. Exercise B: Translate to Dutch: 1) The grandmother has a cat. 2) A cat is an animal. 3) The table has a chair. 4) The grandmother and the grandfather have a dog. 5) The mother has a dog and the father has a cat. 6) We have a table. 7) They have the house. Solutions Solution of Exercise A: 1) A cat is an animal. 2) The house is a building. 3) The dog has a bone. 4) I have a cat. 5) The father has a house. 6) The father and the mother have a dog. 7) You have a house. Solution of Exercise B: 1) De oma heeft een kat. 2) Een kat is een dier. 3) De tafel heeft een stoel. 4) De oma en de opa hebben een hond. 5) De moeder heeft een hond en de vader heeft een kat. 6) Wij hebben een tafel. 7) Zij hebben het huis.

Lesson 3: Formal Pronouns, Possessive Adjectives, and Plural Nouns

Formality Before we teach you how to tell that something belongs to a certain person we first have to teach you how to be polite in Dutch. In Dutch and most other languages, but not in English, there exists a certain polite form of "you". In Dutch they say "U" instead of "jij" in formal speech. "jij" is only used among friends and for children. Verbs after "U" are also conjugated differently, usually like after 2nd person singular ("jij"), but sometimes like after 3rd person singular ("hij"). Take a look at the following sample sentences: Jij bent oma. You are grandmother. U bent oma. You are grandmother. Jij hebt een hond. You have a dog. U heeft een hond. You have a dog. Possesion Now that you know how to be polite we'll continue with indicating possession. We're gonna teach you the so-called "possessive pronouns" or "possessive adjectives". At the same time you'll learn how to translate "this" and "that" (demonstrative pronouns). Here are a couple of new sentences: Dat is mijn stoel. That is my chair. Dit is jouw stoel. This is your chair. Dat is uw stoel. That is your chair. (This is the polite/formal form) That is his chair. (Don't confuse the pronoun "zijn" with the verb Dat is zijn stoel. "zijn"!) Dit is haar stoel. This is her chair. Dat is onze stoel. That is our chair. Dit is jullie stoel. This is your chair. Dat is hun stoel. Deze stoel Dit huis Die stoel That is their chair. This chair This house That chair

Dat huis That house You've learned a couple of things now. First of all you know that "this" is "dit" and "that" is "dat" in Dutch. But this only applies when those pronouns appear before the verb "zijn". When they are used adjectively (next to the noun) then these words become gender dependent: "this" is "dit" (with neuter nouns) or "deze" (with masculine/feminine nouns) and "that" is "dat" (with neuter nouns) or "die" (with masculine/feminine nouns). You've also seen the possessive adjectives and you probably noticed that possessive adjectives also have a formal form. Plural nouns Now it's time to learn plural nouns. Until now you've only seen singular nouns such as "house" and "chair", but now we'll teach you how to form a plural noun ("houses", "chairs") in Dutch.

There are several rules that apply to forming plural nouns. Take a look at the following examples: "Boek - Boeken Paard - Paarden, Zak - Zakken, Tas - Tassen, Rivier - Rivieren, Oog - Ogen, Aap - Apen, Zaal - Zalen, Toon - Tonen" When a syllable ends in a consonant you can usually add -en, but you might need to repeat the consonant when a single vowel precedes the consonant and you want the tone not to change. You also usually need to reduce two equal vowels that immediately precede the ending consonant to just one single vowel: When a syllable ends with an S that is preceded by two vowels then the S will usually be replaced by a Z and EN will be added: "Muis - Muizen , Kaas - Kazen, Doos - Dozen" When a syllable ends on -el, -er or -en then an S is added. Also modern words and words derived from English get an extra S when made plural: "Sleutel - Sleutels, Luidspreker Luidsprekers, Vinger - Vingers, Toren - Torens, Cirkel - Cirkels" Words that end in a vowel get 'S: Foto - Foto's, Camera - Camera's Note that with pointing at plural nouns, you use different demonstrative pronouns, just like in English. Instead of "these" the Dutch say "deze" and instead of "those" they say "die", irregardless of the gender of the noun. To make things even more confusing, when the demonstrative pronoun is separated by a form of the verb "zijn", then the demonstrative pronoun always appears as if the noun is singular, even when it's plural. Some samples: Deze muizen These mice Die huizen Those houses BUT WHEN SEPARATED BY "ZIJN": Dat zijn boeken. Those are books. Dit zijn sleutels. These are keys. About the articles: when a noun is plural then the concept of noun gender doesn't matter anymore. "het" is never used with plural nouns. Instead, "de" is used, even when the noun has neuter gender. The indefinite article ("een") is always omitted when dealing with plural nouns, just like in English (We never say "a houses"). That's enough material for this lesson.

het boek het paard de rivier het oog de aap de muis de sleutel de vinger

the book the horse the river the eye the monkey the mouse the key the finger

de toren de cirkel de foto hier daar veel


the tower the circle the photo here there much/many

de camera the camera

Exercise A: Translate to English: 1) Dat zijn mijn foto's. 2) Een aap heeft vingers. 3) Dit zijn hun sleutels. 4) Zijn boeken zijn hier. 5) Zij zijn hier. 6) Ik heb veel paarden. 7) Jij hebt onze camera. 8) Zij heeft uw sleutel. 9) Dit zijn jullie foto's. 10) Jij hebt deze boeken. 11) Wij hebben die camera's. Exercise B: Translate to Dutch: 1) We have many fingers. 2) These are my eyes. 3) That is his key. 4) This is your book and these are your dogs. (spoken to a stranger) 5) I have those photos. 6) Her books are there. 7) They have the house. 8) This house is your house. (spoken to a dear friend) 9) You are their grandmother. (use formal speech) 10) Here is our camera. 11) The houses have many keys. Solutions Solution of Exercise A: 1) Those are my photos. 2) A monkey has fingers. 3) These are their keys. 4) His books are here. 5) They are here. 6) I have many horses. 7) You have our camera. 8) She has your key. 9) These are your photos. 10) You have these books. 11) We have those cameras. Solution of Exercise B: 1) Wij hebben veel vingers. 2) Dit zijn mijn ogen. 3) Dat is zijn sleutel. 4) Dit is uw boek en dit zijn uw honden. 5) Ik heb die foto's. 6) Haar boeken zijn daar.

7) Zij hebben het huis. 8) Dit huis is jouw huis. 9) Uw bent hun oma. 10) Hier is onze camera. 11) De huizen hebben veel sleutels.

Lesson 4: Regular Verbs and Negation

You've already worked your way through three chapters. Make sure you understood everything that appeared in those chapters. Make sure you understand the grammar and vocabulary and do make the exercises to practice. Also make sure you try to pronounce every Dutch sentence so you can practice your pronunciation. Regular verbs Let's start now by learning a regular Dutch verb: "zeggen" ("to say" in English). In Dutch a regular verb in the present tense always has the same ending. That ending is underlined in the following example. The part of the verb that's not underlined is called the stem, the part of the verb that always remains the same (although it might occur that the last consonant of the stem is repeated so the vowel before it retains the same sound. This is the case with this verb). Ik zeg I say You say also applies to the formal Jij zegt form "u" Hij/Zij/Het zegt He/She/It says Wij zeggen Jullie zeggen We say You say

Zij zeggen They say We'll now discuss this conjugation somewhat more. The first person singular ("Ik") is easy. It uses the full stem without any specific ending. The second person singular ("Jij") gets an extra T behind the stem. So does the 3rdperson singular ("Hij/Zij/Het"). Now all the plural forms have the same conjugation. Usually EN is added, except when the stem already ends in an E. Then only N is added. When the stem ends in a T it's also unnecessary to add another T. But something strange can occur. The last consonant of the stem has to be repeated when it's preceded by a vowel that would otherwise get a different sound. "zeg" is pronounced somewhat like "zech" (pronounce the ch like in the scottish word "loch"). And "zeggen" is pronounced like "zech-un". When the last consonant wasn't repeated it would say "zegen" and would be pronounced like "zai-chun". So you see that's you have to repeat the consonant in some occasions because the sound of the stressed vowel might change otherwise, and that never happens with regular verbs. Now a simpler verb: "kijken", meaning "to look/to watch". Ik kijk I watch Jij kijkt Wij kijken Jullie kijken You watch We watch You watch Hij/Zij/Het kijkt He/She/It watches

Zij kijken They watch Note that the infinitive verb (the unconjugated form, in English preceded by "to" as in "to see") ends on EN in Dutch. Drop the EN and you have the stem of the verb. Then you can go conjugate it. You already know that the stressed vowel in a regular verb always has the same sound. This sound is copied from the infinitive verb. So besides adding an extra consonant there is also the matter of adding an extra vowel. Before you continue reading, make very sure you understand everything about the Dutch pronunciation. Let's take a look at the verb "praten" ("to speak / to talk") for example. The infinitive verb is pronounced as "pra-tun" (with the A pronounced differently than in English, with a long open sound). It has this special long sound because the A appears at the end of a syllable. When you would say "Ik prat" then that special sound would be lost because an "A" in the middle of a syllable has a very different sound. That's why instead of "ik prat" they say "ik praat", to retain the same sound as in the infinitive verb. Remember this! Note that in the 1st person plural ("wij"), it's not needed to use this double vowel (double vowels never occur at the end of a syllable): "Wij praten". The full conjugation of "praten" can be found below: Ik praat I speak Jij praat Wij praten Jullie praten You speak We speak You speak Hij/Zij/Het praat He/she/it speaks

Zij praten They speak There are actually three types of regular verbs (strong verbs and two types of weak verbs) but this only effects the past tense of the verb. The present tense is equal to all three types, so we won't look into this matter now. Negation Now we're going to talk about negation, because you might want to say: "That is NOT a house", "and that is NO dog". In Dutch there are two word for "no": "geen" and "niet". "geen" is used when talking about nouns. It's a kind of adjective. "niet" is used with verbs. It's a kind of adverb. For example, when denying quantity of a specific noun you use "geen", as in "ik heb geen hond" ("I have no dog"). "niet" can be used to deny a verb. "Ik kijk niet" ("I am not looking"). It then appears after the verb and the direct object (at the end of the sentence). "geen" always appears directly after the verb and before the direct object. A little trick to remember whether to use "geen" or "niet": "geen" applies to having "none" of something; "niet" can never be substituted by "none". That's enough material for now. Make sure you understand it. It's quite hard, so don't hesitate to reread this lesson a couple of times. Vocabulary Learn the following words. From now on there will also be regular verbs (or at least verbs that are regular in the present tense) in the list.


kijken weten praten zeggen lopen rennen zien het kind de man de vrouw de appel engels
Exercises 1) Ik zie de foto's. 2) De man rent.

to watch / to look to know to speak to say to walk to run to see het child (plural: de kinderen) the man the woman the apple english

nederlands dutch

Exercise A: Translate to English:

3) Het kind wil jouw boeken. 4) De vrouwen zien de man niet. 5) Ik zie geen kinderen. 6) Hij heeft geen paarden. 7) Het kind weet veel. 8) Wij weten veel. 9) Dit zijn geen dieren. 10) De vrouw kijkt niet. 11) U spreekt Nederlands. 12) Zij spreken Engels. Exercise B: Fill in the blanks, "NIET" or "GEEN" ? 1) Ik heb ...... appels. 2) Ik zie de stoel ....... 3) De man heeft ....... hond. 4) De vrouw ziet ......... kinderen. 5) Ik kijk .......... 6) De vrouw ziet de kinderen ........... Exercise C: Translate to Dutch: 1) I see a tree. 2) You do not see this child. 3) We speak Dutch. 4) I have no children. 5) She sees this man. 6) This isn't her grandfather. 7) You speak Dutch. 8) They see my house. 9) They know this. 10) I am not Dutch. 11) We do not have those keys.

Solutions Solution of Exercise A: 1) I see the photos. 2) The man runs. 3) The child wants your books. 4) The women do not see the man. 5) I see no children. 6) He has no horses. 7) The child knows much. 8) We know much. 9) These are not animals. 10) The woman doesn't look. 11) You speak Dutch. 12) They speak English. Solution of Exercise B: 1) Ik heb GEEN appels. 2) Ik zie de stoel NIET. 3) De man heeft GEEN hond. 4) De vrouw ziet GEEN kinderen. 5) Ik kijk NIET. 6) De vrouw ziet de kinderen NIET. Solution of exercise C: 1) Ik zie een boom. 2) U ziet dit kind niet. OR Jij ziet dit kind niet. 3) Wij spreken Nederlands. 4) ik heb geen kinderen. 5) Zij ziet deze man. 6) Dit is haar opa niet. 7) U spreekt Nederlands. OR Jij spreekt Nederlands. 8) Zij zien mijn huis. 9) Zij weten dit. 10) Ik ben niet Nederlands. ("Nederlands" is not a direct object) 11) Wij hebben die sleutels niet.

Lesson 5: Adjectives, Adverbs, and Questions

After the difficult lesson you've just done we'll make things a little easier. In this lesson we'll teach you how to use adjectives in Dutch. Adjectives An adjective tells something about a noun, it describes a property of a noun. It usually appears next to the noun, although it can also be separated from the noun using the verb "zijn" (in English: "to be"). Note that in such a construction the "independent" adjective is never a direct object! Het huis is groot. Het kind is jong. De vrouw is oud. The house is big. The child is young. The woman is old.

De appels zijn rood. The apples are red. This is an easy construction. The Dutch adjective is never conjugated in any way in such a construction. A somewhat more difficult but more common construction is to use the

adjective next to the noun. In this case the Dutch adjective conjugates and gets one extra E. Note that you might have to drop one vowel of a double vowel to retain the same sound: Het grote huis. The big house. Het jonge kind. The young child. De oude vrouw. The old woman. De rode appels. The red apples. Well..this isn't all very complicated. Just add an E and don't forget to remove a double vowel if it would otherwise appear at the end of a syllable. But there's one exception. If the the noun is neuter and the indefinite article (een) is used, or if no article at all is used, then the E is not added! So: Het grote kind The big child Een groot kind A big child groot kind big child Adverbs Now we can move on to the matter of adverbs. An adverb can be compared to an adjective but instead it says something about a verb instead of a noun. It's easy to form an adverb in Dutch, because an adverb remains unconjugated and is the same as the full unconjugated adjective form. Hij rent snel Hij vliegt laag He runs fast He flies low Ik praat langzaam I speak slowly Zij zwemmen diep They swim deep Now you also know how to form adverbs. It's really easy. Asking questions We can continue with asking question in Dutch. To tell things is nice, but once in a while you might need to ask something of someone. We'll teach you. The word order in a Dutch question is almost the same as in English, although in English we use the helper verb "do". In Dutch, there's no such helper verb. Where in English we'd use "do", the Dutch use the real main verb, in the correct conjugation that matches with the subject. Some questions: Wat is uw huis? Waar is hij? Wanneer komt hij? Wat zie je? Wat zien we? Wat ziet hij? What is your house? Where is he? When does he come? What do you see? What do we see? What does he see?

Wie is die oude man? Who is that old man?

This is also easy to understand. Just remember that the Dutch don't use a helper verb such as "do". Instead of it they use their main verb in the corresct conjugation. You've also seen some interrogative pronouns now (the words used to ask question: such as: "what?" etc...) Vocabulary Learn the following words. From now on there will also appears adjectives and adverbs in the list (as well as interrogative pronouns in this lesson).

vliegen willen spelen komen snel old jong goed slecht leuk aardig nieuw de fiets wat? wie? van wie? welke? waarom? hoeveel? heel

to fly to want to play to come fast oud young good bad nice kind new the bike what? who? whose? which? why? how much/many? very

zwemmen to swim

langzaam slow

wanneer? when?

Exercise A: Translate to English: 1) Dat is een aardige man. 2) Wie is dat leuke kind? 3) Waarom vlieg jij laag? 4) Wat is dat? 5) Dat grote huis is hun huis. 6) Hij rent snel.

7) Mijn oude oma is heel aardig. 8) Ik wil een nieuwe fiets. 9) Dit zijn hele leuke aardige dieren. 10) Wat zie jij daar? 11) Mijn oude opa rent heel snel. Exercise B: Translate to Dutch: 1) I want a new chair. 2) I see an old woman. 3) The kind man says: "who are you?" 4) She is not old. 5) They fly fast. 6) Our grandmother is an old woman. 7) These children play. 8) The young child sees a high table. 9) What does the bad dog see? 10) When does that kind cat come here? Solutions Solution of Exercise A: 1) That is a kind man. 2) Who is that nice child? 3) Why do you fly low? 4) What is that? 5) That big house is their house. 6) He runs fast. 7) My old grandmother is very kind. 8) I want a new bike. 9) These are very nice kind animals. 10) What do you see there? 11) My old grandfather runs very fast. Solution of Exercise B: 1) Ik wil een nieuwe stoel. 2) Ik zie een oude vrouw. 3) De aardige man zegt: "Wie ben jij?" OR De aardige man zegt: "Wie bent u?" 4) Zij is niet oud. 5) Zij vliegen snel. 6) Onze oma is een oude vrouw. 7) Deze kinderen spelen. 8) Het jonge kind ziet een hoge tafel. 9) Wat ziet de slechte hond? 10) Wanneer komt die aardige kat hier?

Dutch for Beginners: Part II

In part one of this course you have seen some of the basics of the Dutch language. You have seen the verb "zijn", personal pronouns, articles and gender, formal pronouns, possessive adjectives and plural nouns, regular verbs and negation and adjectives, adverbs and questions. In this second part we will expand our knowledge and go deeper into the material.

Lesson 6: More pronouns More pronouns Colloquial Use Vocabulary Exercises Lesson 7: Prepositions and Conjunctions Prepositions Conjunctions Relative pronouns Vocabulary Exercises Lesson 8: Verb Tenses Past tense Strong verb conjugation Perfect Tense Future tense Conditional tense Verbs with Prefixes Exercises Lesson 9: Reflexive Verbs, Gerund, and Degrees of Comparison Reflexive Verbs Gerunds Degrees of Comparison Exercises Lesson 10: Filling the gaps Small Nouns Counting Days of the week The months of the year Imperative Correlatives Exercises

Lesson 6: More pronouns

More pronouns In Lesson One we learned about personal pronouns, we can remember the following list: Ik Jij U Hij Zij Wij I You You (formal) He She We

Jullie You (plural) Zij They Note that all of these pronouns appear in the subject position of the sentence: Ik zie de man I see the man We all know that personal pronouns have a different form when they are in the object position of the sentence. Theobject is the part of the sentence that is undergoing the action of the verb while the subject is the one initiating the action of the verb. If we would simply move a personal pronoun from subject position to object position, then we would get a wrong sentence, as the following example illustrates: *I see he Because "he" appears in object position in this case, we have to change it's form to "him". Likewise "we" changes to "us", etc.. The same principle applies to Dutch. We can construct the following table for Dutch object pronouns: Mij Me Jou U You You (formal)

Hem Him Haar Her Ons Us Jullie You (plural)

Hen Them So the example sentence would translate as follows: I see him Ik zie hem So you get the idea: in object positions you have to use the object pronoun because otherwise you will get an ill-formed sentence, just like in English. We can distinguish another grammaticality. Pronouns can appear in, the so-called indirect object. An indirect object is the receiver of the action. Consider the following: I give the man a present Ik geef de man een kado You will note that de man is obviously the receiver in this example, and therefore it is the indirect object. Like there are direct object pronouns, which we've just seen, there are also indirect object pronouns. Fortunately, there happens to be no difference between the two in Dutch, so we see the same table for indirect object pronouns: Mij Me Jou U You You (formal)

Hem Him Haar Her Ons Us Jullie You (plural) Hen Them And thus we can replace "de man" with an indirect object pronoun, obtaining the following result: I give him a present Ik geef hem een kado We can even construct double pronouns now: I give the man a woman Ik geef de man een vrouw I give him a woman Ik geef hem een vrouw I give him her Ik geef hem haar Like in English, the indirect object pronoun comes first in this case and is followed by the direct object pronoun. We have cleverly omitted the neutral pronoun in our discussion, but we will need to bring it into the picture as well because it is often used. The neutral pronoun in Dutch, the equivalent of the English pronoun "it" is "het". This pronoun has the same form in subject, object and indirect object position, just like English. A small exception in word order occurs however when we deal with double pronouns: I give the man a present Ik geef de man een kado I give him a present Ik geef hem een kado I give him it Ik geef het hem You see that in the last Dutch example, the two pronouns have swapped position, unlike in English. In English this can be done to: "I give it to him", but that introduces an extra

preposition "to". And in Dutch the words HAVE TOare swapped, because otherwise the sentence would be incorrect. Colloquial Use You have to be aware of the fact that the forms we have discussed so far are often replaced with simpler versions where the ij or ou sound is replaced by a neutral e. The following forms are all equivalent: Official Alternative Jij Je Zij Mij Jou Ze Me Je

Wij We You might expect "hij" to change into "*he", but that never happens and it would produce an incorrect sentence. Below are some sentences that are all exactly the same in meaning: Ik zie jou Ik zie je Jij ziet mij Jij ziet mij Jij ziet mij Je ziet me Je ziet mij Jij ziet me

Zij zien jou Ze zien je Using the formal ij or ou form has a highlighting result. You stress explicitly the pronoun and make it more obviously present. In daily speech, you will find the colloquial form more often. Vocabulary Geven To give Het kado The present
Exercises Note that we will mainly use the colloquial pronoun forms from now on. Exercise A: Translate to English 1) Ik geef de aardige man een groot kado. 2) Hij geeft mij een nieuwe fiets. 3) Wij zien hen goed. 4) Wat wil ze? 5) Waarom lopen ze snel? 6) U ziet haar niet. 7) We geven het hen. 8) Ze zien het niet. 9) Het is goed. Exercise B: Translate to Dutch 1) I see her. 2) Her dog sees me well. 3) You give me a present. 4) They see it. 5) What does she give him? 6) Why don't you see it? 7) They give me her. Solutions In this lesson, we will list both the official pronoun forms as well as the colloquial ones, In next lessons we will only list one of them.

Solutions to Exercise A 1) I give the nice man a big present. 2) He gives me a new bike. 3) We see them well. 4) What does she want? 5) Why do they walk fast? 6) You don't see her. 7) We give it to them. 8) They don't see it. 9) It is good. Solutions to Exercise B 1) Ik zie haar. 2) Haar hond ziet mij/me goed. 3) Je eeft mij/me een kado. 4) Zij/Ze zien het. 5) Wat geeft zij/ze hem? 6) Waarom zie jij/je het niet? 7) Ze geven mij/me haar.

Lesson 7: Prepositions and Conjunctions

Until now we've managed to stay away from prepositions. But now the time has come to discuss this issue, because prepositions are such a vital part of a language and it's hard to build a sentence without them. Prepositions Prepositions are those little words that mark places in space or time. The prepositions are best explained when envisioning a birdcage and a bird, and the ways they relate to each other: The bird can be in the cage. ("in" being a preposition) But it can also be on top of the cage, under the cage, it can flythrough the cage. Or fly out of the cage. It can be stuck between two cages or it can take a nap in front of the cage. You see that there are a lot more possibilities! All those bold-faced words are prepositions. Prepositions are quite abstract and therefore different languages have entirely different prepositions. There is not a simple one-to-one relation between pronouns in different languages so they will have to be discussed separately. Possession Let us start our discussion with possession. In English we use the pronoun "of", in Dutch we use: "van". Het huis van mijn vader The house of my father But like in English, Dutch also has an analogous way of expressing this without a preposition: Mijn vader's huis My father's house Origin Ik kom uit Nederland I come from the Netherlands Ik krijg een kado van mijn vader I get a present from my father Here you already see two possible translations for the English prepositions. "uit" is used with countries/cities. But "van" is a more common translation in other situations. It's often

hard to know what preposition to use, and differences between languages are huge. Often only experience and practice can help you. Destination Ik ga naar school I go to school Ik ga naar mijn vader I go to my father Location We will discuss now some simple prepositions specifying a location: Ik ben in het huis I am in the house Ik sta voor het huis I stand in front of the house Ik sta achter het huis I stand behind the house Ik sta op het huis I stand on the house Ik sta naast het huis I stand on the side of the house Ik sta bij het huis I stand near the house Ik sta onder het huis I stand under the house Ik sta boven het huis I stand above the house Ik sta boven op het huis I stand on top of the house Ik sta tussen de huizen I stand between the houses Movement Note that when it comes to movement, Dutch sometimes uses postpositions instead of prepositions, meaning that the word comes after the complement it applies to. Ik ga het huis in I go into the house Ik ga het huis uit I go out of the house Ik spring over het huis I jump over the house Ik spring op het huis I jump onto the house Ik ga door het huis I go through the house The Dutch prepositions above are more-or-less used in the same situation as their English counterparts. Horizontal vs. Vertical Placement Het schilderij ligt op de tafel The painting lies on the table Het schilderij hangt aan de muur The painting hangs on the wall You see that for horizontal placement, the Dutch use "op", while for vertical placement they use "aan", whereas English only uses one preposition. Company Ik ga met jou I go with you Ik ga zonder jou I go without you Means Ik ga met de fiets I go by bike Ik eet met mijn handen I eat with my hands Creator Gemaakt door mij Made by me Being with people Ik ben bij mijn ouders I am with my parents Ik ben bij mijn ouders I am at my parents'

Time Ik ga na jou I go after you Ik ga voor jou I go before you Ik blijf tot vanavond I stay until tonight Ik ben hier sinds gisteren I am here since yesterday Ik ben hier voor drie dagen I am here for three days Ik kom over drie dagen I come in three days Ik schrijf je binnen drie dagen I write you within three days When you use a personal pronoun after a preposition, you have to used the forms equal to those you use as a direct object, but in this case you have to use the long forms with ij and ou and can never shorten them to e! Conjunctions We have now shown you the most common prepositions. Try to practice a lot with them because that's the best way to learn them. We will now move on to conjunctions. Conjunctions are the words that glue sentences together. The most obvious one we have already dealt with: "en" meaning "and". But there are far more such words which can glue sentences together in a certain way. Like we did with the prepositions, we will discuss these through examples... Ik ga en ik wil reizen I go and I want to travel Ik ga of ik wil reizen I go or I want to travel Ik ga want ik wil reizen I go because I want to travel Ik ga, maar ik wil reizen I go, but I want to travel These are the so-called coordinating conjunctions. The sentences that are glued together are of equal importance. There is also a second type of conjunction, which is more common: the subordinate conjunction. It also glues sentences together but the sentences are not of equal importance. One sentence is called the subordinate clause and is more or less integrated into the main clause using a subordinate conjunction. In the following example we demonstrate what a subordinate clause is by highlighting that part of the sentence: I go because I see you Ik ga omdat ik je zie Note that the word order in the Dutch subordinate clause is different from what we are used to! This is the case in all Dutch subordinate clauses. In a normal sentence we would expect to see: ik zie je Which is a SUBJECT-VERB-OBJECT order which we also see in English. However, subordinate clauses in Dutch have a different word-order, namely: SUBJECT-OBJECT-VERB, as in the following example: .........ik je zie This is obligatory and a crucial fact of many Germanic languages: subordinate clauses have different word order. Now we know about this we can start discussing the subordinate conjunctions. Ik ga omdat ik je zie Ik ga hoewel ik je zie Ik ga tenzij ik je zie I go because I see you I go although I see you I go unless I see you

Ik ga als ik je zie I go if I see you Ik ga terwijl ik je zie I go while I see you Ik ga wanneer ik je zie I go when I see you Ik ga zodat ik je zie I go in order to (so) I see you Relative pronouns This now takes us to a similar issue where subordinate clauses are involved. The subordinate clause in this case is related to a part of the main clause or the main clause entirely. Take a look at the following example: Ik weet dat ik je zie I know [that] I see you Ik weet wat ik zie I know what I see De stad waar ik ben The city where I live De man die je ziet The man who sees you De stoel die groot is The chair which is big Het huis dat groot is The house which is big Note that while "that" in English can often be omitted, it can never in Dutch. The use of "dat" or "die" depends, just like with the demonstrative pronouns we've seen in part one, on the gender and number of the noun it applies to.

ook nog [steeds] al nu de stad de vrouw

Exercises Exercise A: Translate to English 1) Hij komt ook uit Nederland. 2) Zie jij dat ik je zie? 3) Ik ben al in mijn huis.

also/too still already now the city the woman, the wife

alleen [maar], slechts only, just

4) Ik ga met mijn vader naar Amsterdam omdat het een grote stad is. 5) Ik zie een oude man die naar het huis rent. 6) De stoel die ik zie is niet groot. 7) Ik loop voor het huis. 8) Ik zie het gebouw na jou. 9) Ik zie alleen een man met een hond die door mijn nieuwe huis loopt. 10) Ik heb een stoel voor deze hond. Exercise B: Translate to Dutch 1) Do you see that man with his wife? 2) I walk to the city so I can see my new house. 3) My father's house is big although he is a small man. 4) I go to school by bike because my bike is fast. 5) He has a cat, but he wants to have a dog. 6) They go into the house that is new. 7) She goes when he goes into the house.

Solutions We will use either the official or colloquial form of the pronouns, so multiple answer are possible. Solutions to Exercise A 1) He also come from The Netherlands. 2) Do you see that I see you? 3) I am already in my house. 4) I go to Amsterdam with my father because it is a big city. 5) I see an old man who runs to the house. 6) The chair which I see is not big. 7) I walk in front of the house. 8) I see the building after you. 9) I only see a man with a dog who walks through my new house. 10) I have a chair for this dog. Solutions to Exercise B 1) Zie je die man met zijn vrouw? 2) Ik loop naar de stad zodat ik mijn nieuwe huis kan zien. 3) Mijn vader's huis is groot, hoewel hij een kleine man is. 4) Ik ga naar school met de fiets omdat mijn fiets snel is. 5) Hij heeft een kat, maar he wil een hond hebben. 6) Zij gaan het huis dat nieuw is in, Zij gaan het huis in dat nieuw is. 7) Zij gaat wanneer hij het huis in gaat.

Lesson 8: Verb Tenses

Our knowledge of Dutch is already improving gradually! It is time we now move on from present tense and discuss other verb tenses as well. We will start with the past tense: Past tense Dutch past tense of regular verbs comes in three groups: Strong verbs, Weak verbs with T, Weak verbs with D. The strong verbs have an irregular stem in the past tense, but are conjugated regularly, the only issue is remembering the correct stem. Weak verbs are completely regular and come in two flavors: a T-flavor and a D-flavor. The flavor it takes depends on the final consonant of the verb's stem. If the final consonant is one appearing in the mnemonic word 'T KOFSCHIP then it belongs to the T-group, otherwise it belongs to the D-group, provided that is isn't a strong or irregular verb. Can you still follow it? Let's start conjugating each of the three groups as an example: Strong verb conjugation LOPEN (liep) TO WALK Ik liep I walked Jij liep Hij/zij liep Wij liepen Jullie liepen You walked He/she walked We walked You walked

Zij liepen They walked Above you see the past tense conjugation of the strong verb "lopen". Since the verb is strong it has an irregular stem in the past tense: "liep". You see that the rest of the conjugation is quite straightforward and there are in fact only two different forms. It is important that when you learn a strong verb, you memorize it's stem in past tense, just like you do for English verbs like "bite - bit - bit". Now let's take a look at the weak verbs. The

two left columns show a T-group weak verb (since it's final consonant is one of 'T KOFSCHIP). The two right columns show a D-group weak verb: HOPEN TO HOPE DELEN TO SHARE Ik hoopte I hoped Ik deelde I shared Jij hoopte Wij hoopten You hoped We hoped Jij deelde Wij deelden You shared We shared Hij/zij hoopte He/she hoped Hij/zij deelde He/she shared Jullie hoopten You hoped Jullie deelden You shared

Zij hoopten They hoped Zij deelden They shared You notice the similarities in conjugation between the two types of weak verbs, one uses a T, and one uses a D. That's all there's to it, and with 'T KOFSCHIP you have an easy mnemonic tool for determining whether a verb uses the T or the D form, provided of course that you can rule out that it is a strong verb. There are no tricks for knowing that, so that will have to be memorized. Now things will get even more confusing: you probably just grabbed the concept of when the double consonants and vowels and when to make them single again; it all has to do with retaining the sound of the vowel. However, when it comes to strong verbs, this principle is set aside partially. When a past verb stem contains a short vowel, then it is no problem if this short vowel gets replaced by a long one for the plural forms. Consider the following example of a strong verb: SPREKEN (sprak) TO SPEAK Ik sprak I spoke Jij sprak Hij/zij sprak Wij spraken Jullie spraken You spoke He/she spoke We spoke You spoke

Zij spraken They spoke Notice that because of the Dutch pronunciation rules, the A-vowel in "sprak" sounds different than the A-vowel in "spraken". But also note that although you are used to compensating this by adding a consonant, this is not done when conjugating strong verbs in the past tense. However, the other way round still applies, if the vowel in the stem is a long one, then it has to remain long even after addition of -EN. Below we will quickly show how to conjugate some irregular and strong verbs we have seen in past lessons. The irregular verbs are fully conjugated. For the strong verbs we only mention the stem, since you can do the rest yourself with what you have learned in this lesson. Zijn: Ik was, jij was, hij was, wij waren, jullie waren, zij waren Hebben: ik had, jij had, hij had, wij hadden, jullie hadden, zij hadden Weten: wist Zien: zag

Zeggen: Ik zei, jij zei, hij zei, wij zeiden, jullie zeiden, zij zeiden Doen: deed Spreken: sprak Lopen: liep Kijken: keek Vliegen: vloog Zwemmen: zwom Komen: kwam Geven: gaf
Perfect Tense

Like in English, this is not the only kind of past tense the Dutch language knows. There is also the perfect tense (which in turn comes in two different forms). Your head might be spinning right now, but don't worry about it because perfect tense in Dutch is very similar to perfect tense in English. Let's first refresh your memory by showing what perfect tense is, we will show both forms, present perfect and past perfect and illustrate this with the example verb "to speak". Present Perfect Past Perfect I have spoken I had spoken You have spoken We have spoken You have spoken You had spoken We had spoken You had spoken He/she has spoken He/she had spoken

They have spoken They had spoken You see that perfect tense is composed of a form of the verb "to have" + the socalled participle of the verb in question, in this case the participle is: "spoken", which is an irregular verb. For regular verbs, the participle looks just like the past tense, for example: "hoped". In Dutch the participle of strong verbs is again, irregular. Most Dutch participles start with the prefix "ge-". Participles of weak verbs are formed like this: For D-group verbs:: GE- + PRESENT-TENSE-STEM + D For T-group verbs:: GE- + PRESENT-TENSE-STEM + T So the participles of the two weak verbs we have discussed will be "gehoopt" and "gedeeld", since the present-tense stem of "hopen" is "hoop", and that of "delen" is "deel". The participle of the strong verb is, as we already explained, irregular. In the case of our example it would be: "gelopen". The Dutch present perfect and past perfect is composed exactly the same as in English. It consist of a form of the verb "hebben", and a participle. For our three example verbs we can construct the following scheme for the present perfect: HOPEN DELEN LOPEN Ik heb gehoopt Ik heb gedeeld Ik heb gelopen Jij hebt gehoopt Hij/zij heeft gehoopt Jij hebt gedeeld Hij/zij heeft gedeeld Jij hebt gelopen Hij/zij heeft gelopen

Wij hebben gehoopt

Wij hebben gedeeld

Wij hebben gelopen

Jullie hebben gehoopt Jullie hebben gedeeld Jullie hebben gelopen Zij hebben gehoopt Zij hebben gedeeld Zij hebben gelopen The past perfect tense is almost the same. The only difference is that the auxiliary verb "hebben" is conjugated in the past tense, just like in English ("have" vs "had"). Consider the following table: HOPEN DELEN LOPEN Ik had gehoopt Ik had gedeeld Ik had gelopen Jij had gehoopt Hij/zij had gehoopt Wij hadden gehoopt Jij had gedeeld Hij/zij had gedeeld Wij hadden gedeeld Jij had gelopen Hij/zij had gelopen Wij hadden gelopen

Jullie hadden gehoopt Jullie hadden gedeeld Jullie hadden gelopen Zij hadden gehoopt Zij hadden gedeeld Zij hadden gelopen While direct object and indirect objects in English appear after the HAVE + PARTICIPLE construction, they appear between them in Dutch. The participle is often last in the sentence. We've already shown you the past-tense stem for the strong verbs (which are irregular) which we've seen in these lessons. Now we will show you the participle of these strong verbs: Zijn: geweest Hebben: gehad Weten: geweten Zien: gezien Zeggen: gezegd Doen: gedaan Spreken: gesproken Lopen: gelopen Kijken: gekeken Vliegen: gevlogen Zwemmen: gezwommen Komen: gekomen Geven: gegeven
Future tense

Now we've covered some quite difficult material it's time for something easy, and fortunately Dutch future tense is just that. In English future tense is made by "will" plus the infinitive form of the verb in question (meaning the full unconjugated form). In Dutch it is exactly the same. Verbs are made by a form of the verb "zullen" plus the infinitive form of the verb. Strong verbs, weak verbs, D's and T's are all out of of the picture here. Take a look at the table below:

Ik zal zien Jij zult/zal zien Hij/zij zal zien Wij zullen zien

I will see You will see He/she will see We will see

Jullie zullen zien You will see Zij zullen zien They will see Note that you can say both "Jij zult zien" and Jij zal zien". It means exactly the same.
Conditional tense

Strongly related to the future tense it the conditional tense, where instead of "will", the past tense "would" is being used. The same applies to Dutch by using the past tense of the verb "zullen". The following table will show this: Ik zou zien I would see Jij zou zien Hij/zij zou zien Wij zouden zien Zij zouden zien
Verbs with Prefixes

You would see He/she would see We would see They would see

Jullie zouden zien You would see

Before we end this lesson, we are going to have to take a closer look at the formation of participles. We learned that we can construct a participle for a weak verb by using the prefix "ge-", the present tense verb-stem and a final D or T. This is often the case, but not always. There are verbs which already start with a common type of prefix. If this prefix is a meaningless one, the three most common ones being: "be-" and "ver-" and "ont-", then the prefix "ge-" is not needed anymore. For example, the participle of the verb "vertrouwen" ("to trust") is "vertrouwd" and never "*gevertrouwd". Another example: the participle of "bewaren" ("to save/to conserve") is "bewaard" and never "*gebewaard". It is also possible that the verb start with a meaningful prefix derived from a preposition, such as the verb "uitstappen" ("to exit from something"). This verb starts with the prefix "uit" which is derived from the preposition "uit". Such verbs are quite common in Dutch and other Germanic languages. In this case you do use the prefix "ge" to form the participle, but the prefix is inserted AFTER the already existing prefix. So in this case we will obtain the participle: "uitgestapt" instead of "*geuitstapt" In more cases you will see that the prefix derived from a preposition can take another position not directly attached to the other part of the verb. This is already immediately obvious in the present tense conjugation of such verbs: Ik stap uit Jij stapt uit Hij/zij stapt uit Wij stappen uit Zij stappen uit I exit You exit He/she exists We exit They exit

Jullie stappen uit You exit

And also in past tense, this behavior continues: Ik stapte uit Jij stapte uit Wij stapten uit I exited You exited We exited

Hij/zij stapte uit He/she existed Jullie stapten uit You exited Zij stapten uit They exited It can go even further. If the verb can take a direct object and/or and indirect object, then the prefix moves all the way over those. The following is an example with the verb "uitzoeken" ("to select"). Ik zoek een mooi boek uit I select a nice book Well, that's enough material for this lesson. We have discussed some very important aspects of Dutch grammar, not all easy or obvious.
Exercises Exercise A: Translate to English 1) Ik zag de hond die jij ook had gezien. 2) Ik zal naar huis lopen tenzij ik al in het huis ben. 3) Ik hoopte dat jij het met me zou willen delen. 4) Hij liep door het huis tot hij bij de hond kwam. 5) Wij hebben de hond gezien. 6) Ik keek naar mijn vader terwijl hij liep. 7) Ik zal naar het huis kijken. 8) Hij zou komen als ik ook kom. Exercise B: Translate to Dutch 1) I spoke with my father while we walked. 2) She had seen the man before you saw him. 3) We will come to your house. 4) I trusted him. 5) I choose/select a bike for my father. 6) They would see the house. 7) He came because he saw me. Solutions Solutions to Exercise A 1) I saw the dog that you saw too. 2) I will walk to the house unless I already am in the house. 3) I hoped you would share it with me. 4) He walked through the house until he came to the dog (until he reached the dog). 5) We have seen the dog. 6) I looked at my father while he walked. 7) I will look at the house. 8) He would come if he come too. Solutions to Exercise B 1) I sprak met mijn vader terwijl we liepen. 2) Ze had de man gezien voor jij hem zag. 3) We zullen naar jouw huis komen. 4) I vertrouwde hem. 5) Ik zoek een fiets uit voor mijn vader. 6) Zij zouden het huis zien. 7) Hij kwam omdat hij me zag.

Lesson 9: Reflexive Verbs, Gerund, and Degrees of Comparison

In our previous lesson we have obtained a lot of information about Dutch verbs. However, we have not yet found the time to discuss reflexive verbs. That we will do now. Reflexive Verbs Reflexive verbs are accompanied by a so-called reflexive pronoun. The following table illustrates the reflexive verb "to wash oneself" and the Dutch equivalent "zich wassen". Note that in these infinitive verbs forms, we can already note the reflexive pronoun "zich" ("oneself") Ik was me I wash myself Jij wast je Hij wast zich Zij wast zich You wash yourself He washes himself She washes herself

Wij wassen ons We wash ourselves Jullie wassen je You wash yourselves Zij wassen zich They wash themselves Every Dutch reflexive pronoun can also be found with the suffix "-zelf" which will make them resemble the English form more. Gerunds In English, we are all familiar with the continuous tense, better known as the "-ing" tense. In Dutch you will find this less, but it does exist. While in English we use "to be +ing", the Dutch use "zijn aan het +infinitive". Consider the following example: Ik ben aan het lopen I am walking Jij bent aan het lopen Wij zijn aan het lopen You are walking We are walking Hij/zij is aan het lopen He/she is walking Jullie zijn aan het lopen You are walking Zij zijn aan het lopen They are walking Do not forget though, that this is used far less than in English, so you shouldn't substitute every English continuous tense with this Dutch construction. Instead, the Dutch present tense usually suffices. Degrees of Comparison Adjectives and adverbs can be modified according to degrees of comparison to their meaning BIGGER or BIGGEST. In English we obtain sets of three like: "late - later - latest". In Dutch this is exactly the same: "laat - later - laatst". There is no difference whatsoever. And the analogy goes further. We can say "the latest" in English. In Dutch we get: "het laatst" and when we are using it adjectively we have to make it agree with the noun gender and number, so the article can change and the adjective can get an extra E as the following table illustrates: Het laatste uur The latest hour De laatste minuut The latest minute

De laatste uren The latest hours When used as an adverb we don't need the extra E but we can't omit the article as in English. Ik kom het laatst I come [the] latest Now we will take a look at comparisons of inequality and later we will discuss comparisons of equality. The sentence below illustrates a comparison of inequality: Ik ben groter dan jij I am bigger than you Hij is kleiner dan wij He is smaller than we And an example of comparisons of equality: Ik ben even groot als jij I am as big as you Hij is even klein als wij He is as small as we An alternative way of saying this is possible too: Ik ben net zo groot als jij I am [just] as big as you Hij is net zo klein als wij He is [just] as small as we
Exercises There are no exercises anymore...

Lesson 10: Filling the gaps

In this lesson we will discuss some small issues we haven't gotten around yet. You will see things you might have been wanting to know all along.. Small Nouns In Dutch there is a suffix "-je" that will make a noun small. For example, adding "-je" to "huis" generates "huisje", meaning "little house". You will often see such small nouns in Dutch. Note that they all are of neuter gender and therefore use the article "het" in singular.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

nul n twee drie vier vijf zes zeven acht negen tien elf twaalf dertien veertien

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 123 200

vijftien zestien zeventien achttien negentien twintig nentwintig tweentwintig drientwintig vierentwintig dertig veertig vijftig zestig zeventig tachtig negentig honderd honderddrientwintig tweehonderd duizend tienduizend honderdduizend

1000 10000 100000

1000000 [n] miljoen

Days of the week

Unlike in English, the days of the week do not receive a capital first letter. Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday Saturday maandag dinsdag donderdag vrijdag zaterdag

Wednesday woensdag

Sunday zondag The preposition used to point at day is always "op". However, there is also an alternative construction using "'s" and the name of the day appended by an extra S. Ik kom op maandag I come on Monday Ik kom 's maandags I come on Monday

The months of the year

Like the days of the week, the months of the year are never capitalized: January February March April May June July August October januari februari maart april mei juni juli augustus oktober

September september November november December december The preposition used to point at a month is "in", just like in English.

There is still a verb tense we have left undiscussed: the so-called imperative tense/mood. This is used to give commands and is very easy to use in Dutch because like in English, it simply consists of the present tense stem: Kom! Come! Loop! Walk! We can also form this into a "Let's ..." expression using "Laten we" plus the infinitive verb: Laten we lopen! Let's walk! Laten we vliegen! Let's fly!

Below you will see a very extensive scheme that will show you words like "somebody": Unspecific Interrogative Specific All-inclusive All-exclusive That kind of, Every kind of, Some/any kind of What kind of? No kind of such a all kinds of Quality Wat voor soort Dat soort, Een soort Elk soort Geen [enkel] soort ? zo'n [soort] Therefore, For some reason Why? For every reason For no reason so Reason Om n of andere reden Waarom? Daarom Om alles Nergens om Sometime, anytime, When? Then Always Never ever Time Ooit, eens Wanneer? Dan Altijd Nooit Somewhere, anywhere Where? There Everywhere Nowhere Location Ergens Waar? Daar Overal Nergens Direction Somewhere, anywhere Where to? [to] there [to] everywhere [to] nowhere


Ergens [heen] Waarheen? Somehow, anyhow How? Op n of andere manier Hoe? Someone's, anyone's Iemand's Something, anything Iets Some Enige Somebody, anybody




Person Iemand Adjective

Exercises There are no exercises anymore...

Some, any Enig, enige

Daarheen Like that, so Zo That one's, Whose? his, hers, theirs Wiens? zijn,haar,hun What? That Wat? Dat That/so muc How much?, h, That/so How many? many Hoeveel? Zo veel That one, Who? he,she,they Die, hij, zij, Wie? hen which?, what? That Welke? Die

Overal naartoe In every way Op elke manier Everybody's, everyone's Iedereen's Everything Alles All [of it] Alles Everybody, everyone Iedereen Every, each, all Elke, alle

Nergens naartoe In no way Op geen enkele manier Nobody's Niemand's Nothing Niets, niks None [of it] Niets Nobody Niemand None, no Geen enkele, none