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Dutch ~ English

Learning the Dutch Language Continue to the Main Content Page

Begin the Wikibooks Dutch Language Course!


Inleiding ~ Introduction Hoe Nederlands leren met dit lesboek ~ How to Study Dutch using this Textbook
Les 1 >>

The Dutch Language

Dutch (Nederlands) is a member of the western group of the Germanic languages. It is spoken primarily in the Netherlands, and in a major part of both Belgium and Surinam. Continue reading about the Dutch language and its history at Wikipedia. There are many sound files embedded in the course, so make sure your computer can play them. Listening and speaking yourself are an important part of language acquisition.

Dutch and English

If you are an English speaker unfamiliar with Dutch, you may be surprised to learn that English and Dutch are closely related languages and share many words that are very similar. This is particularly true for everyday words in English that are Anglo-Saxon (i.e. Germanic) in origin. After 1066 English has absorbed a lot of (Norman) French. Dutch also has been exposed to contact with first vulgar Latin and then French, but the French influence has been less pervasive. Consider the following list of English words followed by their Dutch counterparts: arm ~ arm book ~ boek cat ~ kat father ~ vader finger ~ vinger house ~ huis hand ~ hand man ~ man mother ~ moeder mouse ~ muis name ~ naam son ~ zoon begin! ~ begin! Many words of French origin have entered both languages and are quite recognizable: communication ~ communicatie proclaim ~ proclameren But in many cases Dutch retains a Germanic word, sometimes aside the Latin one: proclaim ~ uitroepen English spelling has conserved many now silent consonants, e.g. gh in light. This may have been an obstacle when learning to write English but when learning Dutch the investment pays off. Dutch has licht and the ch is very much

Dutch/Introduction still pronounced as a guttural fricative /x/ like in German Bach or Scottish Loch. Of course, even words whose spelling is no different in English and Dutch may be pronounced quite differently or mean something different (false friends): door ~ deur through, by ~ door worst ~ ergst, slechtst sausage ~ worst Nevertheless, when reading Dutch you will see the kinship between the languages, even in many short words, common or not. For example compare: This week, my father is on the wharf with my brother and his daughter. Deze week is mijn vader op de werf met mijn broer en zijn dochter. These sentences consist almost entirely of cognates: words that evolved from the same source. Notice however the position of the verb is in these two phrases. In Dutch it stands in front of the father. This is because Dutch has retained something that English has lost: the rather complicated word order (syntax) of the West-Germanic languages. Many English speakers who learn Dutch find that one of the most difficult aspects to learn to do correctly, but it hardly ever leads to miscommunication.

As a standard language Dutch is relatively young phenomenon. The standard is based on a variety of dialects that are much older and show considerable differences not only in pronunciation but even in grammar and syntax. This holds for many languages, including for English as spoken in the UK. By urbanization, suburbanization and the influence of the mass media the standard language has been gaining ground at the cost of the dialects for over a century, so that it is now the mother tongue of most. But even in the way that it is spoken there are many regional differences in pronunciation but even in syntax and grammar. This course aims at teaching Dutch that would be received by most if not all speakers but will point out a number of important differences that a non-native speaker is likely to encounter in his/her interaction with native speakers. In Brugge (Flanders), Rotterdam (Netherlands) or Paramaribo (Surinam) Dutch will sound as different as English does in Edinburgh, London or Indianapolis.

A dynamic language
Dutch has undergone far more sweeping changes in grammar and syntax in the last century or two than either English or German. It has lost most of its case endings and much of one of the three original genders (feminine). This has led to some interesting shifts in its grammar and syntax. Some of these developments are still taking place today. This means that Dutch grammar is less set in stone than the reader may be familiar with from other grammars. Occasionally we will have to discuss the evolution rather than the creature to explain modern Dutch usage.


Dutch and German

Both Dutch and German are West-Germanic languages and this means that there are many resemblances. However, Dutch is easier to learn for a speaker of English for a number of reasons. First of all, (High-) German underwent a major shift of almost all its consonants in the early Middle Ages. In term of its consonants Dutch has been pretty conservative. Compare:
English water make! pepper Dutch water maak! peper German Wasser mache! Pfeffer

This makes a major part of Dutch vocabulary easier to memorize. Secondly, German retained its system of case endings in contrast to Dutch and English. It is not easy to master that system if your mother-tongue does not have it. Compare:
English Dutch German

the old man sees the pretty woman de oude man ziet de mooie vrouw der alte Mann sieht die hbsche Frau the pretty woman sees the old man de mooie vrouw ziet de oude man die hbsche Frau sieht den alten Mann

Knowledge of German can certainly help in learning Dutch, but it can also be a source of confusion. A good example is the letter combination sch. In German it denotes the same consonant as sh in English (in IPA: []), in Dutch this sound is relatively rare. It only occurs in loans from languages like Frisian, English, French etc. In Dutch 'sch' can either denote and [s] followed by a velar spirant [x], like in schip. In the ending -isch the 'ch' is mute and it is pronounced as [-is] as in English 'fleece'. A topic where knowledge of German is a great help is syntax (word order).

Vocabulary and Grammar

In learning to read or speak any new language, two important aspects to be mastered are vocabulary and grammar (others are pronunciation and syntax, but they usually do not stop you from being understood). Acquiring vocabulary is a "simple" matter of memorization.

Learning by ear
Children do it all the time, but they are at an advantage: they memorize far easier than grown-ups. Age is a definite disadvantage in language learning. The child's learning process can be "reactivated" to some extent by immersion in a second language: a method of learning a new language by moving to a place where that language is spoken and having to get around and live without use of one's native tongue. If you do not have the opportunity of residing in a Dutch speaking area an alternative is to listen to recordings and we are in process of adding bits and pieces as .ogg files so that you can learn by ear. Use them as much as you can. More than once. These files take different forms 1. Single words. They are useful when you are trying to memorize vocabulary 2. Spoken text of the chapter. They should be used to study the conversations 3. Drills. Here you need to repeat words or utterances in the pauses. 4. Translation drills. Here you are told to say something in Dutch yourself.

Dutch/Introduction Of course there is also a drawback to the by-ear method: You do not get much immersion into reading Dutch. You as an internet user, will most likely want to be literate in Dutch.

Learning by eye
This is why this course also tries to train your eyes, but this will not work without effort from your side. This is why we often say: Your turn! (Uw beurt!) So what do you need to do? There are a variety of things. We are tackling the problem with a multi-pronged approach. Be sure to "learn"commit to memoryall of the vocabulary words in each lesson as they are presented. Early lessons have simple sentences because it is assumed that the student's vocabulary is limited. To help you accumulate vocabulary there are a number of additional pages see: Dutch/Vocabulary. In part they are visual and there are exercises to go with them (still being created). Throughout the text, more complex discourses (often as photo captions) are included to introduce the student to regular Dutch in use. It may be helpful to translate these using a Dutch-English dictionary (access to one is a must). Other sources of Dutch, such as newspapers, magazines, web sites, etc. can also be useful in building vocabulary and developing a sense of how Dutch words are put together. The Dutch Wikipedia [1]provides an ever expanding source of Dutch language articles that can be used for this purpose. Further, a Dutch version of the English Wikibooks projecta library of textbooks in Dutch is available at Dutch Language Textbooks and there is a growing Dutch version of wiktionary to which a number of words in the text have been linked for direct reference.

Learning grammar and syntax

This is where as a grown up you are at an advantage, because you may already know how grammar works from your mother tongue or other languages you are proficient in to some extent. Dutch grammar is sufficiently similar to English grammar that "reading" Dutch is possible with minimal vocabulary. The student should generally recognize the parts of a sentence. With a good dictionary, a sentence can usually be translated correctly. Of course there are some notable exceptions and false friends, e.g. in the way that the passive voice is formed: hij wordt gezien - he is seen hij is gezien - he has been seen. To speak and write Dutch you do need to learn its grammar and syntax. Particularly the latter (word order) is rather different. We will gradually introduce it. Do not be daunted by it. Learning a language goes bit by bit, word for word, structure by structure. Just keep at it and look at what you have gained not at what you don't understand. Children don't always understand everything either, but they are not ashamed or humiliated by that.


A guide to pronunciation of Dutch is provided as Appendix 1. You should become familiar with this page early on, and refer to it often. Nothing can replace learning a language from a native speaker, but the text is liberally sprinkled with audio files providing the student with valuable input from hearing spoken Dutch. Analyze the spoken words carefully. The pronunciation guide in Appendix 1 can only closely, not exactly, convey how Dutch words should be pronounced.

Layout of Lessons
This textbook is intended as a beginning course in the Dutch language for English speakers. Early lessons emphasize conversational subjects and gradually introduce Dutch grammatical concepts and rules. In addition, sound files accompany appropriate parts of each lesson. The main lessons aim at introducing grammatical topics by means of conversations, interspersed with some exercises. Of course that is not sufficient to actually start speaking the language. Therefore each lesson is accompanied by a parallel lesson 11A that elaborates the material further in conversations, reading material, fill in the blank exercises etc, rather than focussing on grammar. In addition there are pages intended to build up vocabulary. Which way the reader wishes to use the book may vary. People who have experience with other languages, grammars etc. might want to follow the order Lesson 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > and on to the end of the basic text Others that want to start tackling the language in context of a situation and worry about grammar later might want to start with Lesson 1A and then check 1 to understand some of the grammatical details Another strategy is Lesson 1 > 1A > 2 > 2A > 3 > 3A >, etc.

The Student and the Lesson

The text is designed to constitute a course of study in the Dutch language. Each lesson should be read thoroughly and mastered before moving on. Substantial text in Dutch is included and the student should read all of it, not once, but multiple times. Complete translations into English are included only in selected places. Most of the text must be translated by the student using his or her acquired vocabulary and the vocabulary presented at the bottom of each lesson. As the Dutch is read (out loud is better), the student must succeed in gaining an understanding of the meaning of each sentence, and the role each word plays in establishing that meaning. To the beginner, there will seem to be many words in a Dutch sentence that are out of place or even redundant or unnecessary. These add subtleties to the language that will make sense eventually. But it is important to experience these subtleties from the very beginning.

[1] http:/ / nl. wikipedia. org/

Dutch/Lesson 1

Dutch/Lesson 1
Les 1 ~ Lesson 1 Eenvoudige Gesprekken ~ Simple Conversations
Simple conversations Grammar: Pronouns: I,me etc. Polite and clitic forms

<< Voorwoord |

Les 1 | Les 2 >>

Grammatica 1-1 ~ Introduction to Dutch grammar

Children learn their mother tongue without knowing the parts of speech such as verbs, nouns and phrases. However these are helpful for anyone attempting to learn a second language from a book or a website. Of course the children have it right: the best way to learn a language is to listen to a mother tongue speaker and simply repeat. But such a speaker may not always be available to you. This book will try to compensate this by addition of audio files, but that is still a cumbersome substitute. We do recommend that you use them as much as you can. Firefox seems to give easier access to them than other browsers. The main lessons Dutch/Lesson 1, 2 etc. concentrate on introducing points of grammar, although there are exercises, sound files etc. Lessons 1A, 2A etc. concentrate more on practice, pronunciation drills, more conversation etc. As of June 30 2009 they are still in construction. English speakers will find many strong parallels between their language and Dutch. Where possible we will try to point out the similarities and exploit them. However, as noted in the introduction, Dutch grammar is more complex than English grammar, and identifying the meaning of words in a Dutch sentence is difficult without understanding the clues to word function that come from the grammatical rules. The basic lessons of this textbook are set up to first introduce the parts of speech, and then bring in the rules that govern these. Pay particular attention to sentence word order as you progress through the lessons.

Using Wiktionary
Throughout the texts and in the vocabulary lists there are blue links that take you to the Dutch version of our sister project Wikitionary [1]. Of course the layout is in Dutch and you may not immediately understand everything, but that is not a disaster. If you want to learn a language you also should learn to be a bit of a detective: you often need to get the gist of something with a few pieces of the puzzle missing. Don't let that scare you off! Here are a few useful pieces: 1. There usually is an English translation of a word under the heading Vertalingen, marked Engels 2. There may even be a geluidsopname (sound recording) or an phonetic description under Uitspraak. If you can: listen to the pronunciation a few times: it will help you remember the word and become an active speaker. If you are really lost use the interwiki link to the English version (or any other language you know) as back up, but don't give in to it too easily! We strongly encourage you to use the links to expand your vocabulary. First guess what a word means, then click!

Dutch/Lesson 1

Some words will be underlined. Try to hover your mouse over such words.

Gesprek 1-1 ~ Vrienden: Jan en Karel

Read the following conversation. Use the hover method to see an instant translation of a certain word and try to piece together the meaning of the story. Once you have an idea of the gist of the story you can open up the drop down box and read the translation to see if you were right. When learning a new language it is very important to be able to deduce meaning from limited information, because you will often not know all the words used. Picking up their meaning from context is an important skill. You will also see that Dutch sometimes strings words together a bit differently than English. Dutch word order is quite different and a difficult aspect of the language. Jan komt Karel op straat tegen. Ze zijn vrienden. Jan: Hoi, Karel! Hoe gaat het met je? Karel: Hoi! Dank je, met mij gaat het goed. En met jou? Jan: Dank je, met mij gaat het ook goed. Tot ziens. Karel: Tot ziens, Jan! Dutch pronunciation varies with region and speaker, but the following gives a reasonable idea: 'jn.kmt.'ka.rl.p.'stra.'te.(n) z.zn.vrin.d(n) j,'ka.rl.u.'at.t.'m.c j,d.kj,mt.'m.'at.t.xut.n.'m.'c d.kj,mt.m.'at.t.'ok.xut. t.'tsins t.'tsins.jn

Grammatica 1-2 ~ Forms

Clitic forms
Notice the difference between "Hoe gaat het met je"? and "En met jou?". Both translate literally into with you, but there is a difference in emphasis. Jou carries emphasis, je does not. In Dutch, there are often two forms of the same pronoun: a strong one and a weak ('clitic') one. The clitic forms cannot have emphasis and the vowel in a clitic is often reduced to a neutral 'schwa' [] or omitted entirely. In colloquial English the same thing can be heard at times: seeya! instead of see you!.

Polite forms
The above conversation was between two good friends. It utilizes the familiar form of the personal pronoun (je, jou) where English uses you. However, Dutch also has a polite or formal form of the personal pronoun for the second person (you), u. Many languages have this distinction. It is e.g. comparable with Sie in German, vous in French, usted in Spanish, or in Russian . When to use one or the other is not always easy to decide. Someone unknown, particularly if older, is generally u, an old friend typically je, jou. The latter roughly corresponds with the 'first name basis' in English. Notice the use of u in the conversation below.

Dutch/Lesson 1

Regional forms
In the South of the area where Dutch is spoken (Flanders mostly), people do not distinguish between familiar and polite forms, instead they use yet another pronoun gij (clitic: ge, object: u). It is used much like you in English for both singular and plural. In the North gij is only encountered in archaic phrases like: gij zult niet stelen - thou shalt not steal. This course is mostly based on northern usage as this is most widely accepted, including in Suriname and the Antilles, but some important differences will be pointed out.

Gesprek 1-2 ~ De handelaars

Push the button and listen to the following text. It is recommended to first just listen. Please read the following conversation. It is a bit more formal than the one before. If you are not sure of the meaning of a word, hover your mouse over it, if it is underlined. A translation will pop up. Meneer Jansen komt mevrouw De Vries tegen. Het zijn handelaars. Meneer Jansen: Goedendag, mevrouw De Vries! Mevrouw De Vries: Goedendag, meneer Jansen! Meneer Jansen: Hoe gaat het met u? Mevrouw De Vries: Zeer goed, dank u wel. En met u? Meneer Jansen: Ook goed. Mevrouw De Vries: Mooi. Kent u meneer Standish? Bent u hem al tegengekomen? Meneer Jansen: Uit Engeland? Nee. Is hij op bezoek? Mevrouw De Vries: Ja. Hij spreekt Nederlands. Tot ziens, meneer Jansen! Meneer Jansen: Tot ziens, mevrouw De Vries.

Have you figured out the gist yet? Then open the translation box to see if you were right: Go back to the pronunciation, close your eyes and see how much you understand now. You may have to repeat the process a few times.

Grammatica 1-3 ~ Introduction to pronouns

A pronoun is a short word that takes the place of a noun previously mentioned in the sentence, paragraph, or conversation. Recall: Kent u meneer Standish? Bent u hem al tegengekomen? Hem refers back to meneer Standish. It is a pronoun that stands for (pro- !) meneer Standish. There is a variety of pronouns like personal, possessive, relative and indefinite ones. Let's look at the personal pronouns first.

Personal pronouns
Personal pronouns are quite familiar in English: They are words like I,you,he,she,we,you and they. At least this is the case for the subject (nominative case). As object (accusative) some of them are different: me,you,him,us,you,them. Compare: I see you. You see me. Notice how I turns into me when used as an object. You remains the same. Much like in English ik (subject) turns into mij as object in Dutch, whereas je remains the same in both roles: Ik zie je. Je ziet mij.

Dutch/Lesson 1 The system in Dutch resembles the English one quite a bit, after all the languages are close relatives: As in English there are three persons in Dutch grammar: first (I), second (you) and third (he) As in English there is a distinction in number between singular (I) and plural (we). As in English there are gender distinctions in the third person singular (he, she, it) As in English there are case distinctions between subject and object (he, him)


Nevertheless the Dutch system is a little more involved, as we have seen there are: familiar and polite forms: je versus u. weak (clitics) and strong forms: je versus jou. In addition there are regional differences: (jij/jullie - u) (North) versus (gij) (South) a growing rift between how inanimate and animate nouns are treated In English he and she are reserved for animate nouns -usually persons- and this is increasingly the case in Dutch as well, certainly in Northern usage. In English all inanimate objects can be referred to as it. However, in Dutch this is only true for het-words (neuter gender) and that leaves two thirds of all nouns uncovered.... We will revisit this awkward problem later.

Subject case (nominative)

Person 1st 2nd (fam.) 2nd (polite) 2nd (South) 3rd ge (-ie) ze ('t) u gij zij singular clitic ('k) plural clitic we ge ze

Object case (accusative)

person 1st 2nd (fam.) 2nd (polite) 2nd (South) 3rd u u hem haar het singular clitic me je (-m) (d'r) ('t) plural ons jullie u u clitic -

hen (hun*) ze

Dutch/Lesson 1 Remarks 1. As you see not all pronouns have clitics and some of them (shown in parentheses) are not used in the written language. 2. The pronouns in italics: hij, zij (sing.), hem, haar, hen and hun are increasingly reserved for persons and animate objects. For inanimate objects these pronouns usually get replaced either by demonstrative pronouns (see lesson 4) or by a special kind of adverb, the pronominal adverb (see lesson 8) 3. *In speaking, many Dutch speakers use the dative form hun instead of the accusative hen. This is because the hen form was artificially created by the grammarians of the past [2] In the spoken language hen is seldom used and speakers increasingly avoid the issue by opting for the clitic ze.


Woordenlijst 1
You have already encountered quite a few words above. Now make sure you own them! Listen to their pronunciation, sort the table by English and read back to Dutch, check the pronunciation again. Click on the blue link to go to the Dutch wiktionary and try to figure out what you may. If you do not understand, follow the interwiki link to go to the English wiktionary. In short: there are many ways to use this table and you can try one thing one day and come back another to try something different. Dutch word de appendix het bezoek (het) Engeland het Nederlands de vriend, vrienden de handelaars het gesprek, gesprekken de grammatica de les de straat de woordenlijst de woordenschat op straat tot ziens uit Engeland Met mij gaat het goed goedendag! (de) dag! goed En met jou? Hoe gaat het met jou (u)? hoe gaan audio file English translation appendix, supplement visit, attendance England Dutch friend, friends business people, businessmen, tradesmen, merchants (pl.) conversation, conversations grammar lesson street word list vocabulary on (in) the street goodbye (lit: see you again) from England I am fine (lit: With me goes it well) Good day (greeting) (Good) day! Hi! Hello! good And how are you? (lit: And with you?) How are you (lit: How goes it with you?) how to go

Dutch/Lesson 1

12 it goes with is visiting to meet, come across, encounter, run into comes across , runs into, meets to visit but, however also, too, as well thank you; thanks simple it (pronoun) Ms., Miss, or Mrs. Mr. me no yes correct already, yet beautiful (in this case, 'nice' or 'fine') very and

het gaat met is op bezoek tegenkomen komt ... tegen bezoeken maar ook dank je, dank u. bedankt simpel het mevrouw meneer mij nee ja correct al mooi zeer en

Your turn! Building vocabulary 1

When learning a language you need to start building up your vocabulary. There are various ways of doing that. One is to study the above conversations well. Often words are easier to remember when put in context. But there are other ways. Wiki adds a few methods to the range of possibilities. One is the hover method. Just hover your mouse over this. We will add vocabulary building exercises to each lesson to make it easier for you to memorize it all. You may want to study some example conversations from world literature in Voorbeeld 1. Les 1A: more conversations and practice >>
<< Lesson Layout Guide Pronunciation Guide >> [1] http:/ / nl. wiktionary. org/ wiki/ Hoofdpagina [2] "Dutch" by Jan G. Kooij in The world's major languages edt. Bernard Comrie ISBN 0-19-520521-9 Oxford University Press 1987

Dutch/Example 1


Dutch/Example 1
The following voorbeelden (examples) accompany Les 1.

Poesje en Hondje
The following text was taken from a Mother Goose rhyme and translated to Dutch. The original appears in the Project Gutenberg [1] text 'Verse and Prose for Beginners in Reading'. In order to get a literal translation, the Dutch text was not made to rhyme.

Poesje zit naast het vuur Hoe kan zij braaf zijn? Dan komt het kleine hondje binnen "Poesje, ben je daar? Zo, zo, mejuffrouw Poesje, Zeg me, hoe gaat het met je?" "Dank je, dank je, Hondje, Het gaat heel goed met me op dit moment."

Kittycat sits beside the fire, How can she be fair? In comes the little dog, "Pussy, are you there? So, so, dear miss Kittycat, Pray tell me how do you do?" "Thank you, thank you, little dog, I'm very well at the moment."

en: vuur: met: and fire with

hoe gaat het met je: lit. 'How goes it with you', how are you?, how do you do? heel: very; also whole

Dutch/Example 1


1. Poesje is pronounced puss-yah. The digraph oe is pronounced somewhere between 'u' and 'oo'. The English word pussy is actually a very Dutch-like diminutive of puss. Among some speakers of Dutch, pussy would be an acceptable pronunciation.

Poesje Mauw
The following is a Dutch volksliedje (folk song).

Poesje Mauw Kom eens gauw Ik heb lekkere melk voor jou En voor mij Rijstebrij O wat heerlijk smullen wij

Pussy Mou Come quickly I have tasty milk for you And for me Rice porridge Oh how we will enjoy this meal

1. The meter in the Dutch version is nearly perfect and should provide hints for pronouncing the words. 2. Lekkere is pronounced as 'le-kre' in this case, to fit the meter (but this is non-standard pronunciation).

brij: mash smullen: to thoroughly enjoy food

Crimes and Crimes

The following is a fragment of act 1, scene 2, The Cremerie, from the August Strindberg comedy There Are Crimes and Crimes, as translated by Edwin Bjorkman and included in Project Gutenberg [1].

Dutch/Example 1


ADOLPHE. [Komt eerst binnen; na hem HENRIETTA] Hee, daar heb je Maurice. Hoe gaat het met je? Laat me deze dame voorstellen aan mijn oudste en beste vriend. Mademoiselle Henriette--Monsieur Maurice. MAURICE. [Stijfjes groetend] Aangenaam kennis te maken. HENRIETTA. We hebben elkaar al eerder gezien. ADOLPHE. Is dat zo? Wanneer, als ik vragen mag? MAURICE. Zojuist. Hier. ADOLPHE. O-oh!--Maar nu moet je blijven en wat met ons kletsen.

ADOLPHE. [Comes in first; after him HENRIETTE] Why, there's Maurice. How are you? Let me introduce this lady here to my oldest and best friend. Mademoiselle Henriette--Monsieur Maurice. MAURICE. [Saluting stiffly] Pleased to meet you. HENRIETTA. We have seen each other before. ADOLPHE. Is that so? When, if I may ask? MAURICE. A moment ago. Right here. ADOLPHE. O-oh!--But now you must stay and have a chat with us.

voorstellen: to introduce aan: to (addressing) aangenaam kennis te maken: lit. nice to make your acquaintance; pleased to meet you. elkaar: each other. kletsen, babbelen, een praatje maken: chat (compare 'prate' for the last form, although Dutch praten lacks the negative connotation)

1. The play takes place in Paris, hence the French names and phrases. 2. Past participles in Dutch often end in 'd' or 't', and start with 'ge'. 'Gezien' is an irregular form, as is its English counterpart, 'seen'. 3. Generally, Dutch speakers won't use phrases such as 'how are you' and 'nice to meet you'. It is not wrong to use them, but neither is it considered impolite to leave them out of a conversation. Such a conversation could have the following course: Anonieme spreker: Hariette van Dorp, mag ik Jan van Galen aan je voorstellen? Hariette: Hariette van Dorp. Jan: Jan van Galen.

[1] http:/ / www. gutenberg. net

Dutch/Lesson 1A


Dutch/Lesson 1A
back to Lesson 1

Gesprek 1A-1
Let's have a look at some more conversations with everyday phrases. Some words will already look familiar. If not hover to see an instant translation. Try to memorize some phrases, particularly the greetings. Hoe gaat het met je? Met mij gaat het prima, met jou? Ben je gisteren naar dat concert geweest? Nee, ik had andere verplichtingen. Is die man daar de baas van het hotel? Nee, hij is slechts een medewerker Dan heb ik dat verkeerd begrepen. Wanneer ben je hier weer? Ik ben hier elke week om deze tijd Vorige week was ik hier ook. Ik moet nu gaan. Het was prettig om kennis met je te maken. Tot ziens Dag!

Fill in the blank- 1A-1-F

Dat is de baas van het hotel niet, dat is slechts een _____. Met ____ gaat het goed, en met jou? Nee, verplichtingen zijn niet altijd ____. Ik moet nu gaan, tot ____! Ben je hier elke week om deze ____? Ben je ___ naar het concert geweest? Heb ik dat verkeerd ____?

Dutch/Lesson 1A


Pronunciation drill 1A-1-P

Listen to the following audio files and repeat what the speaker says in the pauzes. Notice how "met" and "je" 'meld' together. This is very common in casual speech. Notice the use of the full pronoun 'mij', because emphasis is put on it. That's why the sentence starts with it. This in turn switches the words "het" and "gaat" into inverse order, much like in the question above. Did you notice how the z of ziens assimilates from [z] to [s] once it is put behind the -t of tot?. This happens a lot to voiced consonants in initial position. All final obstruents are voiceless automatically and they even infect the next word! If you are American pay attention to the [u] sound in moet, it is quite a bit more rounded than Americans pronounce a 'u' sound.

Gesprek 1A-2
Jan en Mieke have a bite to eat in a small restaurant Mieke, wil je iets drinken? Nou, eh, ja, eigenlijk wil ik ook wel iets eten. Ik heb trek. Kijk dat lijkt wel een leuk tentje, vind je niet? Ja, dat lijkt wel aardig. Ze gaan het restaurant binnen. Goedemiddag, meneer, mevrouw, wilt u iets eten? Ja, graag! Kunnen we op het terras zitten? Natuurlijk! Ik pak even de menukaarten. Kijk Jan, ze appelpannenkoeken hebben

Hmmm, ik heb liever een spekpannenkoek! Pas op, je wordt veel te dik. Je hebt al een buikje! Ach kom, dan ga ik wel weer naar de gym. Wat wil je drinken? Een biertje, en jij? Geef mij maar groene thee

Dutch/Lesson 1A


Pronunciation drill 1A-2-P

Did you notice the /w/? It is produced not between the upper and lower lips as in English or French, but between the upper teeth and the lower lips. At least in the Netherlands it is. In Flanders and in Surinam a bilabial w is more common, so it is not a disaster if you do that one wrong. Of course the latter will test your abilities to produce gutturals... They are quite numerous in Dutch, so that you do need to practise them. As the /r/ is concerned, this speaker still uses the oldfashioned rrolling one, but today (2009) there are many different varieties being used, producing interesting combinations if preceded or followed by a g or ch.

Dutch/Lesson 2
Les 2 ~ Lesson 2 Onbekenden en vrienden ~ Strangers and Friends
Simple conversations II Grammar: Introduction to Verbs Grammar: Adjectives, demonstratives and articles Syntax: Question and negation

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Gesprek 2-1
1. First push the button to simply listen to the following conversation. 2. Then study the text to find out what the meaning is. If necessary, hover your mouse over a word if you don't know it. Once you think you understand the conversation open the dropdown below to see the full translation. 3. Finally listen to the conversation again and see how much you understand. First with eyes open to see the text. Then do it with eyes closed. 4. If there are parts you do not understand when listening, go back to step 2. Standish: Goedemorgen meneer. Hoe gaat het met u? Jansen: Goedemorgen. Goed. Hoe heet u? Standish: Ik heet Standish. Robert Standish. En u? Wat is uw naam? Jansen: U heet Robert? Wat toevallig! Ik heet ook Robert. Robert Jansen. Standish: Inderdaad toevallig! Wij heten allebei Robert. Weet u hoe die mevrouw daar heet? Jansen: Ik geloof dat zij Alice heet. Standish: Gelooft u dat of bent u zeker ervan? Jansen: Vrij zeker. Ze heet Alice Koopman.

Dutch/Lesson 2


Grammatica 2-1 ~ Introduction to Verbs

A verb (in Dutch: werkwoord) is that part of speech that describes an action. Verbs come in an almost bewildering array of tenses, moods, voices and aspects, and there are several major types: intransitive, transitive, ditransitive, and ergative verbs. Fortunately, the Dutch verb is not too different from the English one, although it does have a few more forms. I am called Standish What are you called (named)? ...that she is named (called) 'Alice' We are both called Robert Ik heet Standish Hoe heet u? ...dat ze 'Alice' heet Wij heten allebei Robert

The Dutch verb heten can best be translated as "to be named" or "to be called" and we see two forms of it here 1. a singular one: heet used with ik,u,ze 2. a plural one heten used for wij (as well the other plural persons). Actually there are usually three forms. This can be seen from: I believe do you believe? Ik geloof gelooft u?

In the case of heten the extra -t does not get added because the stem already ends in a -t. In a later lesson we will revisit the verb forms associated with each person. The irregular verb to be-zijn has a few more forms in both languages.

Gesprek 2-2 ~ De Engelsman

Meneer Standish, een Engelsman, gaat naar de boekhouding. Meneer Standish: Goedemorgen. Bent u mevrouw Koopman? Mevrouw Nieman: Nee. Zij is het meisje daar. Ik ben mevrouw Nieman. En u? Hoe heet u? Meneer Standish: Ik heet Standish. Mevrouw Nieman: Aangenaam kennis te maken. Bent u Nederlander? Meneer Standish: Nee, ik ben een Engelsman. Mevrouw Nieman: Echt waar? Dat is erg interessant. Kunt u mij verstaan? Meneer Standish: Ja. Als u een beetje langzamer spreekt. Mevrouw Nieman: Goed zo! Mag ik u mijn collega voorstellen, mevrouw Koopman? Meneer Standish: Jazeker!

Grammatica 2-2 ~ Inversion in questions and negations

You may have wondered about the order of the words in ik geloof dat ze Alice heet. Even though Dutch verbs are not so much more complicated than English ones, word order is. In fact it is quite a bit more complicated than in English. For the moment let's just leave the above sentence for what it is and start with questions.

Dutch/Lesson 2


A question sentence in Dutch simply reverses the order of subject and verb. Recall: U heet meneer Standish ('You are named Mr. Standish). It became: Hoe heet u? as a question The normal word order of subject (u or "you") then verb (heten) is reversed and, in this case, an interrogative (hoe or "how") added. Additional examples:
Hoe gaat het met u? Het gaat goed met u

Bent u mevrouw Koopman? U bent mevrouw Koopman Bent u Nederlander? Verstaat u mij? Gelooft u? U bent Nederlander ("You are Dutch"). U verstaat mij ("You understand me"). Ik geloof

English does the same thing when using the verb to be: I am - are you? ik ben - bent u? Dutch does not use the auxiliary to do as English requires in most other cases: ik weet - weet u? I know - do you know? (instead of "know you?")

The negative is formed by simply adding niet at the end: Ik versta u - I understand you Ik versta u niet - I do not understand you Again, Dutch does not use the auxiliary to do. (In fact using it sounds very foreign.) Even a negative question does not use to do: Verstaat u mij niet? - Don't you understand me?

Gesprek 2-3 ~ Het nieuwe meisje

In this conversation, the parties are close friends. Karel: Heleen, wie is dat nieuwe meisje? Die brunette daar. Heleen: Ik geloof dat ze Karolien heet. Karel: Ze is erg mooi. Heleen: Ze is leuk, als je kleine meisjes met lange zwarte haren leuk vindt. Karel: Ja. Ik ben gek op dat haar. Wat een mooie meid! Heleen: Karel toch!

Dutch/Lesson 2


Grammatica 2-2 Adjectives, demonstratives and articles

Where English uses the demonstrative pronoun that, Dutch uses either dat or die, recall: dat nieuwe meisje. Die brunette. - that new girl, that brunette Similarly,where English uses the article the, Dutch has two possibilities: de or het, recall: de boekhouding, het meisje. - the administration, the girl We will revisit this phenomenon (gender) in the next lesson more extensively. There is a bit of a problem with it in Dutch. For the moment it is enough to realize that there are two kinds of words, ones that take de and die ones that take het and dat Both articles and demonstrative pronouns are a special kind of adjectives: words that are added to make the meaning of another word more precise, like new, small or exciting

Recall that some adjectives in the dialogue ended in -e (mooie meid), sometimes they did not (is erg mooi). Adjectives can be used in two ways: in front of a noun and after a verb like is (a copula). In English the adjective remains the same regardless: The house is red (copula + adjective) The red car (adjective + noun) Behind a copula (as predicate) this is true in Dutch as well: Ik ben gek (I am crazy) Ze is mooi (She is pretty) De auto is rood (The car is red) But in Dutch they are inflected if they occur in front of a noun (as attribute). Compare: de rode auto - the red car een rode auto - a red car de rode auto's - the red cars rode auto's - red cars Neuter words are the ones that carry the definite article het and the demonstrative dat. They are a bit different (Again: we will revisit them in the next lesson.) het rode huis een rood huis - a red house de rode huizen rode huizen As you see the adjective is not inflected after the indefinite article een. This also holds if there is no article: met groot gemak - with great ease (het gemak: neuter) But: in hoge nood - in desparate need (de nood)

Dutch/Lesson 2 Thus, apart from the indefinite neuter an attributive adjective is usually inflected with -e. There are a few exceptions, compare e.g.: de man - the man een grote man - a big man een groot man - a great man


Making nouns out of adjectives

Adjectives can be turned into nouns, by assuming their inflected form: Dat is een grote That is a big one Dat is een kleine That is a small one Die lange heeft mijn fiets gestolen That tall guy has stolen my bike Notice that Dutch does not use 'one' in such cases. There are a number of adjectives that can be turned into nouns by adding -te. They all carry de. In English the corresponding suffix is -th: wijd wijdte (wide - width) lang lengte (long, tall - length) groot grootte (big - size) breed breedte (broad - breadth) eng engte (narrow - narrowness) zwaar zwaarte (heavy - heaviness) heet hitte (hot - heat) warm warmte (warm - warmth) zwak zwakte (weak - weakness) sterk sterkte (strong - strength) droog droogte (dry - drought) hoog hoogte (high - height) menig menigte (many - crowd) duur duurte (expensive - dearth) gewoon gewoonte (usual - habit) More about nouns in the next lesson.

Woordenlijst 2

Dutch/Lesson 2


Dutch word de brunette de Engelsman het haar, de haren het meisje, de meisjes de collega Mag ik...voorstellen? Jazeker Aangenaam kennis te maken Goed zo! gek zijn (op) verstaan verstaat u? geloven ik geloof heten ze heet praten u praat voorstellen leuk vinden als je ... leuk vindt Nederlands het (neuter) de (m/f) dat (neuter) die (m/f) daar daarginds daarachter een een beetje haar interessant leuk kort, korte lang, lange langzaam

audio file English translation brunette Englishman hair(s) girl, girls colleague May I introduce...? yes, indeed Pleased to meet you That's nice! to be crazy (about) to understand do you understand? to believe I believe to name, call (a name) she is called to speak, to talk you speak to introduce to like if you like ... Dutch the the that that there over there over there a, an somewhat, a bit her interesting cute short long slow

Dutch/Lesson 2

24 langzamer mijn mij mooi naar nieuw, nieuwe zwart, zwarte zij u als wie? slower my me beautiful to new black she you if who?

Pronunciation Guide >>

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Dutch/Lesson 3
Les 3 ~ Lesson 3 De Getallen ~ The Numbers
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Gesprek 3-1
Mam teaches her toddler, Jeroen to count: Mam: Hoeveel vingertjes heb je, Jeroen? Jeroen: een, twee, drie, vier, vijf. Mam: en je andere hand? Jeroen: ook vijf! Mam: Ja, tel ze maar: zes, zeven, acht, negen en tien

Leren 3 ~ Tellen van 1 tot 12

In Dutch, as in English, there are both ordinal and cardinal numbers, and number formation is similar in that the first twelve numbers are unique. Above twelve, numbers are formed by combination. For example, 15 is vijftien and 16 is zestien. Other numbers will be the subject of more advanced lessons. Note in the table how ordinals are formed from the cardinals in Dutch by adding -de. 'Ten' becomes 'tenth' in English; tien become tiende in Dutch. As in English, there are several variants: eerste, derde, and achtste.

Dutch/Lesson 3


hoofdtelwoorden rangtelwoorden cardinal numbers ordinal numbers one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve een twee drie vier vijf zes zeven acht negen tien elf twaalf 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th eerste tweede derde vierde vijfde zesde zevende achtste negende tiende elfde twaalfde

Remark: een is used both as an indefinite article (a or an) and a number (one). One often puts accents on the e's when one is meant in case of ambiguity: n. There is also a difference in pronunciation: /n/ (schwa-n) for the article and /e:n/ (ayn) for the number.

Eerst en laatst
The ordinals are a special kind of adjectives. They always have the inflection -e. So, words like *zesd do not exist. The only exception is eerst. As in English, it can be used as an adverb: Hij gaat eerst naar huis - he first goes home Its opposite (antonym) is laatst as adverb and laatste as adjective: de laatste trein - the last train.

Grammatica 3-1 ~ Telling time (hours)

Knowing the numbers from 1 to 12, you can now begin asking and telling time in Dutch.

Gesprek 3-2
Twee jongens, Hendrik en Karel, zijn vrienden. Op een middag komen ze elkaar tegen. Hendrik: Karel. Hoe gaat het? Karel: Hallo! Hendrik: Wil je voetballen? Karel: Graag, maar hoe laat is het? Hendrik: Het is n uur. Karel: Dan kan ik nog tot twee uur spelen. Hendrik: Dat is goed. We spelen nog een uur lang! Karel: Ja, En daarna breng je me op je motor naar huis.

Dutch/Lesson 3


Asking for the time is accomplished by the sentence: Hoe laat is het? ("What time is it?", lit. "How late is it?"). The answer is: Het is ____ uur - "It is ____ o'clock", substituting the correct cardinal value.

The half hours are indicated differently in Dutch: het is half twaalf - 11:30 it is half past eleven

het is kwart voor zes - 5:45 het is kwart over zes - 6:15
De klokkentoren van Antwerpen

Grammatica 3-2 ~ Some more word order: inversion

We have seen that inversion of subject and verb is used to create a question: Het is twee uur Hoe laat is het? However, recall from the conversation that inversion happens for other reasons. ...daarna breng je... ...op een middag komen ze... These are not questions, still there is inversion. The reason is that the adverb daarna or the adverbial expression op een middag was put before the subject + verb part for emphasis. This causes inversion. We could also have said: Jij brengt mij daarna op je motor naar huis. Zij komen elkaar op een middag tegen. Notice that the verb loses final -t when using the informal second person jij of je in such cases as it does in questions: jij brengt - breng je

Grammatica 3-3 ~ Introduction to naamwoorden

Dutch grammar uses the word naamwoord (lit. name-word) that does not translate well into English. Naamwoorden indicates a rather broad class of words, both independently used (like nouns) or used to specify another word (like adjectives). Dutch grammar is therefore structured a bit differently from the English one. Besides naamwoorden there are two other large classes of words in Dutch: werkwoorden (verbs) and bijwoorden (adverbs). A noun is a fundamental part of speech, occurring in sentences in two different ways: as subjects (performers of action), or objects (recipients of action). As a generality, a noun is the name of a "person, place, thing or concept". Nouns are classified into 1. proper nouns (eigennamen): e.g. "Janet" 2. common nouns (zelfstandige naamwoorden): e.g. "girl" 3. cardinals (telwoorden): e.g. one, two, three, etc.

Dutch/Lesson 3 4. pronouns (voornaamwoorden): e.g. "she", "her" The latter group is often considered a separate class of words. They stand in for (pro-, voor-) nouns. Words like "hij" - "he" are known as personal pronouns (persoonlijke voornaamwoorden) Dutch has its own grammatical nomenclature and to use dictionaries and grammars it is useful to know it. Noun is rendered as zelfstandig naamwoord ('nameword that stands on itself'). An adjective is called bijvoeglijk naamwoord (nameword that can be added). Naamwoord is more general than noun. It derives from the Latin term nomen: nomen substantivum (zelfstandig naamwoord) and nomen adiectivum (bijvoeglijk naamwoord). Adjectives are usually added to nouns to further determine them: "mooi" weer "beautiful" weather Some pronouns, e.g. possessive pronouns (bezittelijk voornaamwoord) are used as adjectives: "mijn" auto "my" car A special class of adjectives is formed by the articles (lidwoorden): "the" car "de" auto


Gender of Nouns
We have seen evidence of word gender in the pronouns we have been encountering; notably 'he', 'she', and 'it' in English and hij, zij, and het in Dutch. We also saw that adjectives depend on gender in Dutch. There are a few rules that help to determine a noun's gender, but mostly it must be learned as children do: word by word. Noun gender is also reflected in the definite article It should always be learned as part of the noun, as this is a good way to memorize gender.

Definite Articles
Definite articles are equivalent to an English 'the', and the two basic gender forms in Dutch are as follows: het: neuter singular (pronounce /hEt/, "h-eh-t") de: (pronounce /d/) all other cases Animate nouns Much like in English there are three genders for animate nouns (people, pets etc.) and this shows up clearly in their personal pronouns: hij, zij and het (he, she and it) and their possessive pronouns zijn, haar and zijn (his, her, its): To say 'the man' in Dutch, you would say de man, because man is a masculine noun. You refer to de man with hij (he): Hij is een man. Een man en zijn (his) hond To say 'the woman' in Dutch, you would say de vrouw, because vrouw is a feminine noun. You would say: Zij (she) is een vrouw. Een vrouw en haar (her) werk To say 'the calf' in Dutch, you would say het kalf, because kalf is a neuter noun. You would say: Het (it) is een kalf. Een kalf en zijn (its) stal However, zijn is not used much anymore to refer to a neuter word and we will see a different way of expressing "its" later.

Dutch/Lesson 3 In the plural the gender distinctions are absent: de mannen, de vrouwen, de kalveren are all refered to by zij (they) and hun (their). As you see the definite article is the same for masculine and feminine, but it is not just definite articles, but also adjectives and pronouns that must match the gender of the noun they are related to. Inanimate nouns In the Netherlands (the North) the distinction between masculine and feminine was lost for inanimate nouns (things, concepts etc.) in the 17th century. The feminine and the masculine have merged into a common gender north of de grote riveren (the Great Rivers: the Meuse, the Rhine and its branches) almost entirely. Someone learning the language therefore best considers Dutch a two-gender language for anything but persons: the clock is de klok, because it is common gender the book is het boek, because it is neuter gender This does not hold for the South, where a "de klok" may still be referred to as "zij" (she), but it is acceptable standard Dutch to disregard the masculine-feminine distinction. By contrast, the twofold split common-neuter is still very much alive in Dutch and this must be mastered by any beginner to learn the language well. Therefore, it is important when learning Dutch nouns to always learn them together with their correct definite article. That is: Memorize the word for 'book' in Dutch as het boek, not simply boek. Memorize the word for 'clock' in Dutch as de klok, not simply klok. This is by far the most important thing you should do right now. The fine distinctions between the varieties of the language can wait. The reference problem As we saw above the personal pronouns (hij,zij,het) still show the three-gender distinction that Dutch inherited from its Indoeuropean ancestry. That makes it hard to use personal pronouns for an inanimate common gender word. Nowadays hij and zij are pretty much restricted to people or their pets, so they indicate natural rather than grammatical gender, certainly in the North. In the South de klok may still be called a she, but Northerners avoid such references and so should you. Notice that you cannot resort to het (it) as done in English, because de klok is not neuter... This leaves roughly two thirds of all inanimate nouns without a personal pronoun to refer them by. For possessive pronouns (his, her, its) a similar problem exists. We shall see three common ways that speakers use to avoid this reference problem: using demonstratives using pronominal adverbs using diminutives (always neuter) These three aspects of the language play a more prominent role in Dutch than they do in English. One could say that the merger of m/f into common gender has triggered a number of shifts in the language, that for example German or English do not have and must be mastered to speak Dutch well.


Dutch/Lesson 3


Rules for gender

There are a few general (and helpful) rules for gender: 1. Diminutives are neuter: de klok het klokje 2. Words in -ing, -heid, -teit, -te carry de. (they are actually feminine, but do not worry about that). 3. Loans usually retain their gender: (Latin) museum het museum (both neuter). Another helpful fact is that all genders behave the same in the plural, all use de, die, zij etc. Apart from these general rules, nouns should be memorized together with their definite article. So, learn "de klok", not just "klok" and "het paard" not just "paard"

Double gender
There is an interesting group of words for which the natural gender is in conflict with the grammatical gender, e.g. diminutives of people: The girl: het meisje The (little) boy: het jongetje Grammatically they are neuter and their articles, adjectives and demonstratives follow the neuter pattern. However the personal and possessive pronouns follow the natural gender: Een mooi (n!) meisje en haar (f!) moeder Dat (n!) jongetje? Hij (m!) is niet hier

Woordenlijst 3
Dutch word het boek het getal, de getallen het huis de jongen, de jongens de klok de klokkentoren de man het meisje de middag de motor het uur de vrouw breng je me... dat is goed Ik kan... spelen Het is Hoe laat is het? op een middag tot twee uur audio file English translation book number, numbers house boy, boys clock clock tower man girl afternoon motorcycle hour; also "o'clock" woman you take me... very well (lit.: "that is good") I can play... It is What is the time? one afternoon until two o'clock

Dutch/Lesson 3

30 Wil je... ? van x tot y Do you want... ? (familiar form; also: Would you like to... ?) from x to y (exclusive) to bring to play to count to play soccer/football then after that each other hello your you long late my to (as in "I'm driving to London.") to/until we

brengen spelen tellen voetballen dan daarna elkaar hallo jouw je lang laat mijn naar tot we

Also included in the vocabulary for Lesson 3 are the ordinal and cardinal numbers 1 through 12 from the table at the beginning of this lesson.
Pronunciation Guide>>

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Dutch/Lesson 4


Dutch/Lesson 4
Les 4 ~ Lesson 4
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Gesprek 4-1
Peter is een student medicijnen. Hij gaat naar de universiteit. Hij wil Elly uitnodigen voor een etentje, maar hij heeft geen geld. Hij kan er niks aan doen; studeren is duur. Pa, ik heb geld nodig! Alweer? Ja, sorry hoor, maar ik heb echt stoelen en een tafel nodig! Ja, ja, tafels en stoelen zeker. Feesten zul je bedoelen. He Pa, toe nou... Die heb ik echt nodig, hoor. Nou, vooruit dan maar weer...

Grammatica 4-1 ~ The indefinite articles een en geen

...chairs and a table ... stoelen en een tafel ...has no money... heeft geen geld In the previous lesson you were introduced to the definite articles'the' in English and het or de in Dutch. Indefinite articles precede nouns in the same way that definite articles do, but convey a general or indefinite sense. These are 'a' or 'an' in English. Thus, 'the book' or het boek refers to a definite or specific book, whereas 'a book' or een boek is indefinite about which book is referred to. Dutch indefinite articles only come in one form (een), so they don't display gender. The use of definite and indefinite articles is virtually the same as in English. The few deviations are best learned when listening to the language or speaking it.


Dutch/Lesson 4



een de

masculine/feminine de tafel - een tafel (the table - a table) het raam - een raam (the window - a window)

een het neuter

Please note (see also previous lesson) that the indefinite article has the same form as the numeral one (n). One could argue that one is a clitic form of the other. To denote the difference, one could place accents on the numeral. Also, there is a difference in pronunciation. The numeral n (one) is pronounced /e:n/, the article een (a) with a much weaker /n/. Occasionally Dutch has one and English the other: op een middag - one afternoon Notice that one is used here in the meaning of a certain, not say in contrast to two or three. There is an inflected form ene that is used independently: Occasionally Dutch has one, English the other. Soms heeft Nederlands het ene, Engels het andere

In English a negative of an indefinite article is simply formed by adding not: this is a car this is not a car Alternatively one can drop the article and say: this is no car. In Dutch there is a special negative of een: geen. dit is een auto dit is geen auto. The combination niet + een is only used in contrasting things: dit is niet een fuut maar een eend. this is not a grebe but a duck.

Dutch/Lesson 4


Grammatica 4-2 ~ Possessive and demonstrative pronouns

Recall the following from Gesprek 3-1: Ja. En daarna breng je me op je motor naar huis. Which translates as: 'Yes. And after that take me home on your motorcycle'. The sentence demonstrates one of the possessive pronouns. These are (singular) 'my', 'your', and 'his/her/its' in English and mijn, jouw or je, and zijn/haar/(zijn) in Dutch. The pronoun je is a weak form of jouw and it is used when the emphasis is on something else, such as the motorcycle in this case. Dutch does not have a possessive case as English does. In English one could say this house of mine, where mine (and yours, hers, his, ours, yours, theirs) is possessive case. Dutch uses objective case for this: dit huis van mij as if 'van' (of) is a preposition. See Dutch/Appendix 3 for a table of the possessive pronouns. In English, this is used as demonstrative pronoun to indicate something in proximity. That indicates greater distance. In Dutch a similar distinction exists, but gender plays a role: de trein deze trein - this train het huis dit huis - this house So, one replaces 'de' by deze and 'het' by dit. At a greater distance: de trein die trein het huis dat huis Notice that often when English has th, Dutch will have d: the - de that - dat think - denk A third, even more distant pronoun exists (gene, gindse), but it is about as common as its English equivalent yon, yonder. Again, the two languages betray their kinship. In some words, a g in Dutch corresponds to a y in English.. Compare: gisteren - yesterday de gist - the yeast geel - yellow

Dutch/Lesson 4


Using demonstrative pronouns instead of personal pronouns

Recall: Die heb ik echt nodig, hoor! As we have seen Dutch is on its way to a two-gender system. For inanimate nouns, this makes demonstrative pronouns a more attractive choice to refer things by than personal pronouns. Compare:
close gender neuter personal het far def. indef.

demonstrative dit deze dat die het de

article een

masculine hij feminine (plural) zij zij


As you see demonstratives do not distinguish whether a word is feminine or masculine and follow the same common-neuter pattern as the articles. Compare: Ik zie Jan. Hij is sterk - I see John. He is strong. Ik zie zijn auto. Die is duur. - I see his car. It is expensive. Note: because de auto is not neuter, it is not correct to say: Het is duur. But saying hij is duur or zij is duur makes the word specifically masculine or feminine. Using die avoids the issue, because die follows the common gender pattern of the definite article. Increasingly, personal pronouns are reserved for reference to persons (natural gender as in English). To refer to things people resort to substituting the demonstratives.

Grammatica 4-3 Plural of nouns

As seen above the plural definite article is always de (for all genders), there is no indefinite article and the demonstratives are deze and die and the personal pronoun is zij or its weak form ze. Forming the plural of the noun itself is a bit more complicated. Recall: ...tafels en stoelen... With few exceptions like ox - oxen pretty much all words simply get an -s in English. Dutch however has two main ways to form a plural: by adding -s and by adding -en. The latter is pronounced /-n/, /-/ or even as a syllabic /-n/ depending on the region. Which plural applies is best learned case by case as gender is, although we can attempt a general rule:
All words of more than one syllable get -s, if they end in: 1. e+liquid: -el, -em, -en, -er, 2. vowels: -a, -e, -i, -o, -u and -y , All others get -en.

The ones in -a, -o, -i and -y get an apostrophe before the -s baby - baby's Unfortunately there are lots of exceptions. Many recent (latinate) loans from English or French and all diminutives get a -s. de tafel - de tafels de familie - de families

Dutch/Lesson 4 het meisje - de meisjes Words in -te and -laar usually get -s: de hoogte - de hoogtes de kandelaar - de kandelaars Amongst the many words that get -en are the ones in -ing: de helling - de hellingen


Vowel changes
Most monosyllabic words have -en in the plural: de stoel - de stoelen het raam - de ramen In the latter case, notice that one of the a's is dropped in the spelling of the plural. This difficulty is related to the fact that most Dutch vowels occur in two varieties, a closed one and an open one. Dutch spelling has a rather ingenious and systematic way of denoting which one is intended. It involves the doubling of either vowels or consonants. Compare: het bot /bt/ (the bone) has an open vowel // like British pot (or American paw) de boot /bot/ (the boat) sounds much like British boat. In this case the vowels remain the same in the plural, but notice the doubling: het bot - de botten ['bt(n)] (bot-ten) de boot - de boten ['bot(n)] (bo-ten) It is customary to call the first sound [] a 'short o' and the second [o] a 'long o', but this terminology can be rather confusing. There are languages like Czech where vowels are indeed distinguished purely on their length. In Dutch, however, the difference in length (quantity) is actually pretty negligible, but the difference in vowel sound (quality) is not. This presents a problem for speakers of the many languages with a five-vowel system, like Italian, Russian, Arabic or isiXhosa whose ears are not accustomed to this kind of difference. Anglophones usually do quite well.

The Dutch spelling rule

The Dutch Spelling Rule is: an 'open' syllable that ends in a vowel such as bo- sounds like boat /o/, a 'closed' one bot- like pot (//). If the opposite is desired, either the vowel is doubled ( boot) or the consonant (botten).

For non-native speakers a complication arises in those cases where the actual vowel changes ('lengthens') in the plural, compare: dat pad (/pt/) - die paden (/'padn/ - vowel changes) (that path - those paths) die pad (/pt/) - die padden (/'pdn/ - no vowel change) (that toad - those toads) The vowel // in pad and padden is approximately as in father. Paden has a vowel /a/ like in broad American 'Oh, my God' (In Dutch the spelling would be: Gaad). Also, notice the gender difference of the two words. Vowel change is systematic in the plural of the past of certain strong verbs (see 6). ik zat (/zt/) - wij zaten (/zatn/) (I sat - we sat) A few words show vowel changes other than between the open and closed variety of the same vowel: de stad - de steden (city).

Dutch/Lesson 4 Words ending in -heid get -heden: beleefdheid - beleefdheden There are about a dozen plurals in Dutch that end in -eren: het kind - de kinderen (child - children) het lam - de lammeren (lamb) The ending -eren is essentially a double plural. It derives from a plural in -er and in some compounds that is still visible: de kinderkamer - the children's room de lammergier - a species of vulture Some words in -ie have an -en plural that requires a diaeresis (trema in Dutch). The spelling depends on where the stress falls: de kolonie - de kolonin de dynastie - de dynastien A trema is also used after -ee: de zee - de zeen de diatomee - de diatomeen Occasionally a Latin or Greek plural is preserved in Dutch: het museum - de musea de chemicus - de chemici


Woordenlijst 4
Dutch term de tafel de stoel het geld de student de universiteit het medicijn kan er niks aan doen nodig Ik heb nodig bezoeken verkopen wat niks nog duur weer vooruit Audio file English translation table chair money student (university) university the medication, the drug cannot help it necessary I need attend (as a student) sell some nothing still expensive again ahead, 'let's go'

Dutch/Lesson 4

37 te weinig too little

Pronunciation Guide>>

Advanced Lesson 4>>

Dutch/Lesson 5
Les 5 ~ Lesson 5
<< Les 4 | Les

5 | Les 6 >>

Gesprek 5-1
The beautiful train station
John is te voet op zoek naar het station en spreekt een voorbijganger aan. Kunt u mij vertellen waar ik het station kan vinden? Zeker, neem de derde straat aan uw rechterhand. Als u de weg volgt, dan vindt u het station aan de linkerkant. Het is een prachtig gebouw. U kunt het niet missen. Ik vind het wel.
Station Valkenburg

Hij volgt de weg en vindt zijn bestemming. Dat gebouw ziet er inderdaad mooi uit. Vind je ook niet?

Grammatica 5-1 ~ Conjugation of verbs; the four moods

Dutch has a relatively simple system of verbs with four moods and eight tenses. The Dutch verb has a few more endings than the English one. We will focus on three forms: 1. stem 2. stem + -t 3. stem + -en

Dutch/Lesson 5


Imperative mood
The simplest form is the imperative mood. As in English it is simply the stem of the verb: Neem! - take! There is a (rather archaic) plural of the imperative, that takes an extra -t: Neemt! - take (you all!).

Indicative mood in the present tense

By far the most important mood is the indicative one and its tenses. We will look at the present tense only here. The first person singular has the same form as the imperative: neem! - take! ik neem - I take The third person (he/she) singular acquires a final -t in the present. In English it gets a -s instead: ik volg - I follow hij volgt - he follows In contrast to English this also applies to the second person singular: jij vindt - you find (informal) U kunt - you can (formal, polite) However, the -t ending is lost for the informal jij form, when the word order is reversed, e.g. when asking a question: Vind je dat ook niet? The Dutch verb has a 'plural' form that generally ends in -en, which is used for all plural persons and for the infinitive as well: vertellen - to tell wij nemen - we take jullie volgen - you (all) follow zij kunnen - they can Notice that the vowel usually does not change and therefore we are doubling either consonants or vowels when we go from one syllable to two: vertel - vertelt - vertellen => single e remains [] in syllable closed by extra l. loop - loopt - lopen => o remains [o], even in the closed syllable, as indicated by "oo". Brief exercise Choose the correct form of the verb, then hover you mouse over the verb to see the right answer.

Dutch/Lesson 5


jij (werken) jullie (werken) wij (volgen) (werken)!!

ik (lopen) u (graven)

wij (lopen) zij (kijken)

ik (bereiken) (verkopen) ik? (zitten) wij? (halen) jij

hij (verstoppen) het (waaien) wij (begrijpen)

Infinitive mood
The plural form is also the infinitive of the verb: wij maken - we make maken - to make It occasionally takes 'te' as in English 'to' but that is more exceptional in Dutch and not usually considered part of the infinitve: dat is moeilijk te maken - that is hard to make The infinitive can be used as a noun where English uses the gerund in -ing. It is always neuter in gender: het vertellen van volkverhalen is een leuk tijdverdrijf. the telling of folktales is a nice pastime. het eten - the food, the meal het eten is klaar! - dinner's ready! het leven - life There is a present participle, it ends in -end(e) rather than -ing. It is used mostly as an adjective: de week die volgt de volgende week the week that follows the following week volgend jaar next year There are forms ending in -ing in Dutch but they are (feminine) nouns of action only loosely associated with the verb they derive from, e.g. vertalen - to translate de vertaling - the translation We will revisit verbal nouns much more extensively in one of the later lessons. Some verbs are monosyllabic, e.g. zien - to see ik zie - I see hij ziet - he sees zij zien - they see

Dutch/Lesson 5


Subjunctive mood
The subjunctive mood is even rarer in Dutch than it is in English. It only exists in third person singular and (with few exceptions) present tense. It looks like the infinitive minus -n: Men neme twee pond gehakt lit. (May) one take two pounds of ground beef (minced meat) Het zij zo - be it so It is only mentioned here for the sake of completeness. It is only used in a few wishes and recipes.

Some irregular verbs

Of course, there are a number of irregular verbs in Dutch, but often they are the same ones as in English. In English can and may do not take an -s in the third person. In Dutch a similar thing happens: kunnen ik kan - I can jij kunt - you can hij kan - he can (no t - no s) mogen ik mag - I may jij mag - you may hij mag - he may (no t - no s) We will revisit irregulars later.

Exercise 5.1
Read conversation 5.1 again and underline all verbs. Mark all endings as 0) - none 1) - t and 2) -en and identify in each case why this ending is used.

Exercise 5.2
Translate into Dutch:

Grammatica 5-2
Clitics revisited
As shown before many personal pronouns have a strong and a weak form: mij,me - me (object) jij,je - you (subject) jou,je - you (object) wij,we - we zij,ze - they or she hen,ze - them The weak forms me, je, we and ze are used when the emphasis lies on some other part of the sentence. The strong form expresses mild emphasis. Hij ziet me in de spiegel - He sees me in the mirror (not on television).

Dutch/Lesson 5 Hij ziet mij in de spiegel - He sees me in the mirror (not my mother). In the spoken language there are more weak forms than in the written one, e.g. for he (ie), him ('m) and for her (d'r or 'r) Dat heeft-ie niet gedaan - He ain't done it Hij heeft 'r geslagen - He beat 'r up Ze hebben 'm gezien -- They spotted him For possessive pronouns the same holds. Compare: Mijn motor is een Honda. Wat is jouw motor? - My bike is a Honda. What is your bike? Ik wil graag een ritje op je motor maken. - I'd love to ride y'r bike! mijn, m'n - my jouw, je - your zijn, z'n - his haar, (d'r)- her Again the spoken language has a clearer distinction than the written one. The forms m'n, z'n, and especially d'r are often written as mijn, zijn and haar in formal writing. The form je is pretty much the only clitic possessive generally accepted in writing.


Woordenschat 5
Dutch term de tafel zeker inderdaad vertellen missen volgen zien U kunt de bestemming (f.) prachtig mooi het station de kant (m.) de weg (m.) de spiegel (m.) het gebouw Audio file English translation table certain(ly), sure indeed to tell to miss to follow to see You can the destination beautiful fine, pretty, beautiful the train station the side the road the mirror the building

Dutch/Lesson 6


Dutch/Lesson 6
Les 6 ~ Lesson 6
<< Les 5 | Les

6 | Les 7 >>

The Spanish general is led before Prince Maurits at Nieuwpoort

Gesprek 6
Jan: Zestienhonderd was de Slag bij Nieuwpoort, he mam? Ma: Ja, jongen, heb je dat op school geleerd? En wat gebeurde er toen? Jan: Prins Maurits versloeg de Spanjaarden, maar wat was er in zestienhonderdn? Ma: Eh nou, dat weet ik niet, hoor... Jan: Het njarig bestaan van de Slag bij Nieuwpoort, natuurlijk.

Grammatica 6.1 ~ Numbers

Use the sound buttons to help you with the pronunciation.

-teen = -tien
Dutch has a similar way of constructing the numbers for 13-19 as English, it is mainly the simple number (e.g. vijf, zes) followed by -tien, which means "ten" and is very similar to English -teen 13 dertien 14 veertien 15 vijftien 16 zestien 17 zeventien 18 achttien 19 negentien

Dutch/Lesson 6


-ty = -tig
As another example of the relationship between English y versus Dutch g, the English ending -ty in twenty, thirty etc, is "-tig" in Dutch: 20 twintig Starting at twenty one things get a little funny, Dutch puts the single unit before the ten-unit: 21 eenentwintig (literally: one-and-twenty) 22 tweentwintig 23 drientwintig 24 vierentwintig 25 vijfentwintig 26 zesentwintig 27 zevenentwintig 28 achtentwintig 29 negenentwintig Notice that one way to deal with two subsequent vowels in Dutch spelling is the diaeresis . The same system goes for 30, 40, 50.... 30 dertig 32 tweendertig 40 veertig 50 vijftig 60 zestig 70 zeventig 80 tachtig (!!) 90 negentig The only irregular one is tachtig. Notice that 60 and 70 are pronounced with initial [s].

Large numbers
100 honderd Dutch does not use one as in "one hundred" or "one thousand" 101 honderdn 111 honderdelf 112 honderdtwaalf 113 honderddertien 121 honderdnentwintig 957 negenhonderdzevenenvijftig In Dutch all numbers lower than one thousand are written as one word. There should be a space after '1000' (duizend), though. There's also a space before and after: miljoen, biljoen, miljard, biljard, etc. 1000 duizend 1001 duizend n 1017 duizend zeventien 1538 duizend vijfhonderdachtendertig or vijftienhonderdachtendertig 2000 tweeduizend 8000 achtduizend 100.000 honderdduizend

Dutch/Lesson 6 143.000 honderddrienveertigduizend 143.500 honderddrienveertigduizend vijfhonderd 1.000.000 n miljoen 2.000.000 twee miljoen 453.897.245 vierhonderddrienvijftig miljoen achthonderdzevenennegentigduizend tweehonderdvijfenveertig For higher power of one thousand Dutch follows the British rather than the American system n miljard (not: biljoen, see below) n biljoen n biljard 245.078.476.453.879 tweehonderdvijfenveertig biljoen achtenzeventig miljard vierhonderdzesenzeventig miljoen vierhonderddrienvijftigduizend achthonderdnegenenzeventig Notice also that the interpunction is the reverse: English: $1,324,432.93 = Dutch: $1.324.432,93 Dutch has a decimal comma, not a decimal point.


Grammatica 6.2 ~ Past and perfect tenses

Recall: ..heb je dat op school geleerd?... ..wat gebeurde er ... Maurits versloeg... These are examples of past and perfect tenses. There are three kinds of verbs in Dutch when it comes to forming them. 1. Weak verbs add either -te(n) or -de(n) to the stem of the verb. 2. Strong verbs change the vowel of the stem. 3. Irregular verbs often have a combination of the two or show other idiosyncrasies. The numbers: 1. The vast majority (thousands) of Dutch verbs are regular weak verbs. 2. There are some 150 strong roots. Derived verbs included there are some 1500 strong verbs in total. 3. There are only about six irregular roots and about two dozen derivatives. However, the strong and irregular verbs are amongst the most frequently used ones. The more specialized and recently formed ones are typically weak.

Weak verbs
leren - to learn ik leer - I learn stem is leer Past tense The past tense typically has a singular and a plural form: ik, jij, hij leerde - I, you, he learned wij, jullie, zij leerden - we, you, they learned Notice the similarity with English: the past is formed with a dental suffix: -de (Dutch) -ed (English). However if the root ends in a voiceless consonant (t, k, f, s, ch, p and x) the endings are voiceless in Dutch -te, -ten:

Dutch/Lesson 6 passen - to pass ik pas - I pass stem is pas ik paste - I passed wij pasten - we passed This happens in about a third of the weak verbs. Perfect tense The past participle on -d and -t The perfect uses an auxiliary + the past participle. It is formed by prefixing ge- and suffixing -d in the case of leren: the perfect ik heb geleerd - I have learned If the root ends in a voiceless consonant (t, k, f, s, ch, p and x) the ending is a voiceless -t: passen - to pass, to fit ik pas - I pass stem is pas ik heb gepast - I have passed Dutch has "final obstruent devoicing", a fancy term for the fact that a consonant at the end of a word is always pronounced as voiceless. That means that both the -d of "geleerd" and the -t of "gepast" as actually pronounced the same, as [t]. However, as in English the participle can also be used as an adjective. As such it also has an inflected form with -e: De geleerde les - the lesson learned Gepaste eerbied - fitting reverence In this case the /d/ of geleerde is actually also pronounced [d] and the /t/ of gepaste as [t]. If the root already ends in -d or -t the ending is omitted: feesten - gefeest baden - gebaad Word order In contrast to English the participle is put at the end of the sentence: Ik heb dat op school geleerd. Prefixes If the verb already has a prefix like be- or ver-, the ge- prefix is omitted: Wat bedoel je? - What do you mean? Ik heb dat zo niet bedoeld. - I did not mean it that way. Wat gebeurt er? Wat gebeurde er? Wat is er gebeurd?


Dutch/Lesson 6 Auxiliaries The auxiliary is usually a form of hebben like it is to have in English (see below for its forms). However, unlike English there is a group of verbs (ergative verbs) that take zijn (to be) instead. Notice that gebeuren (to happen) is one such case: It is an ergative verb. Instead of an action such verbs express either a process or a movement. Compare: type process movement action zijn zijn hebben Dutch English


de sneeuwballen zijn gesmolten have the snowballs have melted ze zijn gegaan ze hebben dat gedaan have have they have gone they have done that

Strong verbs
lopen - to walk (cf. leap) Ik loop - I walk Ik liep - I walked (notice the vowel change) Ik heb gelopen The participle ends in -en in the case of strong verbs. There are more than 150 strong roots and including all derived forms lopen, belopen, verlopen etc. there are more than 1500 strong verbs in Dutch. There are seven distinct patterns (classes) of vowel change. The most common one (Class I) has ..ij... - - ..e..: schrijven - schreef - geschreven blijven - bleef - gebleven lijden - leed - geleden English has far fewer strong verbs left and they have become irregular, i.e. the patterns are no longer very recognizable, although sometimes the resemblance is still striking, compare: spreken - to speak sprak - spoke gesproken - spoken We will come back to strong verbs later. Fortunately for all Dutch verbs except a handful it is enough to memorize de stamtijden (the primitive times): lopen-liep-gelopen (infinitive - past tense - past participle) Lopen is a verb of movement. This is why is uses to be as auxiliary if a direction of the movement process is specified. Compare: Ik ben naar huis gelopen - I walked home Ik heb altijd veel gelopen - I always did a lot of walking In the latter case the verb takes "hebben" because the emphasis is not on the movement process but on the activity (action). Notice that Dutch often uses the perfect tense where English uses a simple past. The past tense corresponds more to the past continuous in English, although the division of labor between the tenses is different in the two languages. Ik liep naar huis - I was walking home The past of some of the strong verbs has a plural that undergoes lengthening of the vowel:

Dutch/Lesson 6 breken-brak-gebroken ik brak (as in father) wij braken (as in Gaad) (Thus the verb has four stages of vowel change. This is a very ancient aspect of the language. It stems straight out of Indo-European. Anglo-Saxon had something similar.) Past continuous Dutch does not have a past (or present) continuous as such, although there is a construction using aan het + infinitive that can be used to describe continuity rather emphatically: Ik was naar huis aan het lopen, toen ik hem zag I was (busy) walking home when I saw him Verbs like lopen, staan, zitten, liggen (walk, stand, sit and lie) can also be used to express continuous action. They take te + infinitive: Ik zat te denken - I was thinking (while sitting) Ik stond te bellen - I was on the phone (while standing)


Irregular verbs
There are only a few verbs (actually 6) that demand more knowledge than that which is contained in the three stamtijden (primitive tenses) They are: zijn, hebben, zullen, mogen, kunnen and willen The auxiliary to have The most important irregular verbs are hebben and zijn: hebben-had-gehad hebben - to have ik heb - I have jij hebt - you have hij heeft - he has wij, jullie, zij hebben - we, you, they have Past tense ik, jij, hij had - I, you, he had wij, jullie, zij hadden - we, you, they had Perfect ik heb gehad The auxiliary to be zijn-was-geweest zijn, wezen - to be ik ben - I am jij bent - you are hij is - he is

Dutch/Lesson 6 wij, jullie, zij zijn - we, you, they are Past tense ik was wij waren Perfect ik ben geweest - I have been Notice that to be is seen as an ergative: it is not an action, but a 'process'.


Strong and weak verbs with irregularities

Some strong and weak verbs do not completely follow any of the regular patterns. We have seen one: verslaan ik versla ik versloeg ik heb verslagen Notice that the present tense and the infinitive do not have a "g". There is also a group of weak verbs ends in -cht rather than just -t: brengen - bracht - gebracht denken - dacht - gedacht The vowel of these roots also changes, but historically these verbs are weak. Notice that English has something similar (brought, thought). In these cases it is still enough to know the three primitive tenses to reconstruct the entire verb. As this is the case for all Dutch verbs bar six it is customary to represent a verb whether weak, strong or irregular by these primitive tenses and reserve the term irregular for the handful cases where this does not suffice.

Woordenschat 6
Dutch word de school het jaar jarig zijn de slag de natuur de jongen natuurlijk schrijven-schreef-geschreven s lezen-las-gelezen s leren-leerde-geleerd w bedoelen-bedoelde-bedoeld w lopen-liep-gelopen s bestaan-bestond-bestaan s audio file English translation school year having a birthday blow, battle nature boy naturally, of course to write to read to learn, to teach to mean, to aim at to walk to exist

Dutch/Lesson 6

49 zijn-was-geweest irr hebben-had-gehad irr weten-wist-geweten irr zien-zag-gezien s zwemmen-zwom-gezwommen s vinden-vond-gevonden s eten-at-gegeten s zitten-zat-gezeten s denken-dacht-gedacht s slapen-sliep-geslapen s to be to have to know to see to swim to find to eat to sit to think to sleep

Also see Dutch/The numbers for a synopsis and the hover test based on it.

Dutch/Lesson 7
Les 7 ~ Lesson 7 Samenstellingen en Verkleinwoorden ~ Compounds and Diminutives
I want an ice cream Grammar: compound nouns Diminutives

<< Les 6 | Les

7 | Les 8 >>

Gesprek 7
Ma, krijg ik een ijsje? Ach vooruit dan maar, je bent braaf geweest. Wil je een vanilleijsje? Nee, ik wil een bananenframbozenmokkaijsje met vanilleslagroom. Een kleintje? Nee, een grote.

Grammatica 7.1 Compounds

In this chapter you will learn how to glue words together. Dutch, like German, Norwegian and Danish, is often mocked for the (theoretical) possibility of creating long words such as randjongerenhangplekkenbeleidsambtenarensalarisbesprekingsafspraken (the agreements for the negotiations concerning the salary of public officials who decide on the policy regarding areas where unemployed youth are allowed to hang out). Actually compounds are seldom so excessive and the compounding of words happens in English as well. However in English, compounds are written as separate words, so English speakers are often not aware that a word like "apple juice" is a compound, much like its Dutch counterpart "appelsap". Notice that when you pronounce "apple juice" you pronounce the word "juice" with much less emphasis than you pronounce "apple" with. This is what signals word compounding in English and Dutch alike.

Dutch/Lesson 7 Sometimes, compounds are spelled as a single word even in English. For example, the word "database" is a compilation of the words "data" and "base". For some words, such as "mailbox", a double spelling can be used: "mail box" is also acceptable in English. In Dutch, the rule for spelling compounds is simple: if two nouns form a compound, write them together. Always. Examples: apple juice appelsap, wrong: appel sap mail box postbus, wrong: post bus Linux operating system Linuxbesturingssysteem, wrong: Linux besturingssysteem Should a word get unreadable by writing it together, you can use a dash to make it more readable. In the latter case Linux-besturingssysteem is more usual because Linux is a brand name. Dashes are used sparingly and never in simple compounds like deurbel (door bell). This rule even applies to words imported from English into Dutch: sciencefiction businessunit This dash is required when one of the elements in a compound is an acronym: DNA molecule DNA-molecuul, wrong: DNA molecuul If you use two compound words in the same phrase that have an element in common, you can replace it by a dash: "ondergrens en bovengrens" (lower boundary and upper boundary) can be replaced by "onder- en bovengrens". (lower and upper boundary) Remember that you can do this in English as well: "standard temperature and standard pressure" is often replaced by "standard temperature and pressure". But note that by omitting the second occurrence of "standard", the text becomes ambiguous; it can no longer be seen from the text itself whether "standard" applies to just to the temperature, or to the pressure as well. The exact meaning will have to be gathered from the context. In Dutch orthography however, by means of the dash, the difference is made clear: "Standaardtemperatuur en -druk" means standard temperature and standard pressure "Standaardtemperatuur en druk" means standard temperature, and pressure


Spelling revisions
Dutch orthography -in contrast to the English one- used to be changed every half century or so, but recently we have seen revisions every decade. It is fair to say that there is a government (i.e. tax payer) sponsored craze for change and not always for the better. The question whether something is written separately, together, with a diaeresis (trema in Dutch) or with a hyphen seems to be a favorite playground for this kind of activity. A good example can be found here [1]. This is a comparison of the changes between 1995 and 2005. Many of these words had already changed in 1995. The result of this kind of changing is that most speakers and writers of the language do not know what to do anymore. The Genootschap Onze Taal (Society 'Our Language') has even published an alternative spelling guide (the little white book) in opposition to the governmental one (the little green book). Many publishers and media representatives have joined the revolt. Obviously, no Dutch speaker will dare to fault a non-native for doing such things wrong. One aspect of the new spelling is that in compounds a "collision of vowels" in not resolved with a diaeresis anymore but with a dash. There is a verb for "to imitate" that literally means "to ape after" someone. It used to be written as napen, now it is na-apen.

Dutch/Lesson 7


Grammatica 7.2 Diminutives

Apart from a plural the Dutch noun generally also has a diminutive. It is formed by adding -je to the noun and is always neuter in gender: de vaas - het vaasje Diminutives have a plural in -s: het vaasje - de vaasjes.

Het vaasje literally means the little vase, but the usage in Dutch is quite pervasive. One reason is that turning a word into a diminutive is another way of avoiding the m/f gender problem. Often the diminutive is as frequently or even more frequently used than the noun itself. A handsize vase will generally be called vaasje. The word 'vaas' is more reserved for something that needs to be carried with both hands. In some cases the diminutive has acquired a life of its own (become 'lexicalized'). Compare: het ijs - the ice het ijsje - the ice cream de meid - the maid het meisje - the girl de kaart - the (geographic, road) map, the postcard het kaartje - the ticket, the business card This implies that a big cone of ice cream becomes: een groot ijsje (lit. a big little ice). In the case of meisje, the original word meid can be rather derogatory: Die meid hoort in het gevang! lit. That 'broad' belongs in jail! It can also be a somewhat colloquial term of endearment: Wat 'n leuke meid! -- What a cutie! Grote meid! -- Atta-girl! Lexicalized diminutives are even formed from other parts of speech than nouns. tussendoor - in between een tussendoortje - a snack Adverbs can be formed from adjective by adding an extra -s: zacht - soft zachtjes - softly Even the names of persons are at times turned into the diminutive, usually as a term of endearment: Marietje, je bent een schat Mary dear, you are a darling Even cardinal numbers are not safe: We gaan met z'n tweetjes We'll go the two of us Some words are better left alone, e.g.:

Dutch/Lesson 7 de moord - the murder de begrafenis - the funeral Putting these in the diminutive is downright disrespectful and morbid. If would indicate that the speaker is involved with such things for fun on a daily basis. In other words diminutives in Dutch express a whole lot more than just small size. They are a major mechanism of producing derived terms.


The formation of the diminutive sometimes requires the addition of -tje or -pje, the latter after m: het eten - the food het etentje - taking someone out for dinner de bloem - the flower het bloempje - the little flower In some cases the vowel changes like it does in the plural: het pad - the path de paden - the paths het paadje - the little path, the trail but: de schildpad - the turtle de schildpadden - the turtles het schildpadje - the little turtle In other cases an extra syllable is inserted: de kom - the bowl het kommetje The suffix -je often causes consonants to be more or less pronounced as palatals. (Paadje as IPA /'pac/ rather than /'patje/). There is considerable variation between the dialects in the formation of the diminutives. Many dialects pronounce -je as -ie /i:/. In others, the suffix tends to be -ke: meiske, blommeke.

Woordenschat 7
Dutch word het ijs het ijsje braaf vooruit krijgen - kreeg -gekregen s de appelsap de room de slagroom de postbus het molecuul de grens audio file English translation ice ice cream good, obedient ahead, come on, to the front get, obtain apple juice cream (milk fat) whipped cream mail box molecule border, limit

Dutch/Lesson 7

53 de temperatuur de druk de vaas het meisje de kaart zacht zachtjes de schat de moord de begrafenis de bloem het pad de pad de kom temperature pressure, print edition vase girl map, postcard soft softly treasure, darling murder funeral flower path toad bowl

[1] http:/ / taalunieversum. org/ spelling/ archief/ overzicht_trefwoorden_met_spellingwijziging/

Dutch/Lesson 8
Les 8 ~ Lesson 8 Er en de voornaamwoordelijke bijwoorden ~ Er and the pronominal adverbs
Is there coffee? Grammar: Pronominal replacement Use of the locative er

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Gesprek 8
Marjo? Ja, wat is er? Is er al koffie? Nee ik heb er nog geen gezet. Nou, dan doe ik dat wel even. Zijn er zakjes? Ja, in de kast. Zie je de broodtrommel? Ze liggen er vlak onder. Heb je er ook nog een pak koekjes bij? Ja, er zijn er zelfs twee.

Dutch/Lesson 8


Grammatica 8 ~ Er and the pronominal adverbs

Locative adverbs
The word er is one of the most ubiquitous words in the Dutch language and often rather hard to translate, because it does not have an exact counterpart in most other languages, French being an exception with the words y and en. Compare:
Dutch Type Personal Pronoun het Locative adverb er hier daar waar ergens nergens overal Pronoun it this that what English Locative adverb ?? here there where

Demonstrative (close) dit Demonstrative (far) Rel./Interrogative Indefinite Negative indefinite General dat wat iets niets alles

something somewhere nothing nowhere

everything everywhere

Er relates to more specific indications of place like here, there, where, or somewhere in a similar way as the word it does to the more specific this, that or what. The word is a kind of locative wildcard. In computer terms you could say that er is *ere, with * being a wildcard for h-,th- or wh-. Another way of putting it is that er is a clitic (weak) form of hier or daar. Indeed it never carries emphasis. Historically, however, the word only partly originated as a weakening of hier or daar. In part it also reflects an old genitive of the pronoun "het". The two sources have coalesced so strongly that they cannot be distinguished anymore. In many cases where Dutch uses er, English will resort to a more specific there: Is er koffie - Is there coffee? Ken je Londen? Ja, ik ben er geweest. - Do you know London? Yes, I have been there This is also true in the relatively few cases that English uses pronominal adverbs like thereof, therefore, thereafter etc. Dutch will distinguish a more general (clitic) ervan, ervoor, erna from a more specific (accentuated) daarvan, daarvoor and daarna.

Pronominal adverbs
In English pronominal adverbs like therein or hereby are a remnant from the past. They are quite old and occur in most Germanic languages, both of the Western and the Northern (Scandinavian) group. However, pronominal adverbs are much more prominent in Dutch than in English or the other Germanic languages. Their formation is still an active mechanism. If anything their use is increasing (due to the gender problem). They form an important part of the grammar and have to be mastered to speak the language properly. Pronominal adverbs are commonly used in Dutch to replace the combination of preposition + pronoun, particularly if the latter is an inanimate it or them: of it thereof = ervan for it therefore = ervoor Notice how the elements swap place: the prepositional part moves to the end. This is true in both languages. While rare in English, in Dutch this replacement/swap is not just common, in many cases it is mandatory .

Dutch/Lesson 8 Pronominal replacement Although in the spoken language even this is slowly changing, it is uncommon, even somewhat disrespectful to apply pronominal replacement to people (animate nouns): after her = na haar (not erna) for them = voor hen (not ervoor) In all other cases pronominal replacement is frequent or even mandatory. It is a major way of avoiding m/f gender references for inanimate nouns, because er is genderless. This means that replacement can also be applied to common gender words that do not really have a personal pronoun to refer them by. The most common pronominal replacements (from the table above) are: van het huis (van het)* ervan van dit huis van dit,deze hiervan van dat huis van dat,die daarvan van welk huis (van wat)*, van welk(e) waarvan van iets ergens van van niets nergens van van alles overal van (...)*: In this case the replacement is so common that not using the replacement is simply bad Dutch. Notice that if the replaced pronoun is personal (het), demonstrative (dit, dat) or interrogative/relative (wat) the resulting pronominal adverb is written as one word (ervan, hiervan, daarvaan, waarvan). In other cases an adverbial expression with two separate adverbs results. Translating its by replacement In English it is common to use the possessive pronoun its to refer to a noun that indicates a thing. In Dutch, a pronominal adverb like ervan is used instead, again representing a convenient way to avoid the gender issue: This tale is nice. Its beginning is spectacular. Deze vertelling is leuk. Het begin ervan is spectaculair. (Yes, please..) Deze vertelling is leuk. Haar begin is spectaculair. (No, please..) Yes, in principle the latter is correct. A word in -ing is feminine, but who remembers? Occasionally a writer will try to dazzle the reader with this kind of superior knowledge, often only to get it wrong... Please use the adverbial ervan, especially if the noun is inanimate. This is true for neuter nouns as well Dit verhaal is leuk. Het begin ervan is spectaculair (Yes, please..) Dit verhaal is leuk. Zijn begin is spectaculair. (No, please..) The latter is strictly speaking correct Dutch, but a neuter (inanimate) possessive zijn is so uncommon that it is better avoided. Possessives like zijn and haar are more and more reserved for animate masculine and animate feminine nouns (person, pets) and indicate natural rather than grammatical gender, just like the personal pronouns hij and zij.


Dutch/Lesson 8 Formation A pronominal adverb is formed from the locative adverb that corresponds to the replaced pronoun + the preposition in adverbial form. Usually this prepositional adverb is the same as the preposition itself (van het)* ervan (tussen het)* ertussen But this is not always the case: (met het)* ermee (arch. ermede) (tot het)* ertoe Pronominal adverbs can be formed from most prepositions. Words like ertussenin (lit. thereinbetween) or ergens achter (lit. somewhere behind) or even nergens onderuit (lit. nowhere from under out) do not raise any eyebrows. A few adverbial forms do not have a corresponding prepositions: eraf (off of it) erheen (expresses a direction: to) Conversely, some prepositions (like via, behalve, mits etc.) do not have a corresponding prepositional adverb. This makes it difficult to use them in relative clauses or in combination with it. Compare: Dit is de weg waarlangs ik naar huis fiets. Dit is de weg via dewelke ik naar huis fiets. This is the road along which I ride my bike on the way home. Because via does not have a prepositional adverb one is forced to use a relative pronoun like dewelke that is more and more experienced as awkward and archaic, because in most constructions it is replaced (langs dewelke waarlangs). Separation To further confuse the enemy, pronominal adverbs are usually split apart in the sentence. Compare: He has a remedy for it. Hij heeft een remedie *(voor het). Hij heeft een remedie ervoor. Hij heeft er een remedie voor'. The first translation is unacceptable. The second one is awkward, the third one is what most people would say. In the case of the preposition van (of), the van-part may be omitted, giving the word er a partitive flavor: He has seven of them. Hij heeft zeven *(van ze). Hij heeft zeven ervan. Hij heeft er zeven van. Hij heeft er zeven. The four translations are unacceptable, awkward, reasonable and most common respectively. The partitive flavor extends to the negative: Is er koffie - Is there coffee? Ik heb er nog geen (van) gezet - I have there(of) yet none made - I haven't made any yet. Sometimes the two parts of the pronominal adverb can end up quite far apart. Notice what happens to "by it" (door *het) => "erdoor":


Dutch/Lesson 8 Lance Armstrong heeft kanker gehad. Lance Armstrong had cancer. Hij heeft zich er echter, blijkens zijn zeven opeenvolgende overwinningen in de Tour de France, op geen enkele manier in zijn loopbaan als 's werelds sterkste wielrenner door laten weerhouden. However, given his seven consecutive victories in the Tour de France, he did not in any way allow himself to be thwarted by it in his career as the world's strongest cyclist. Getting used to understanding such sentences, let alone producing them in speech, takes a lot of practice. As an exercise: identify all the parts of this sentence to see how different the word order is.


Exercise 8.1
Replace the object by a pronominal adverb: e.g. Het boek ligt in de kast Het boek ligt erin.

Exercise 8.2
Translate the above sentences into English in both forms.

Woordenschat 8
van met door voor achter tussen onder over boven tot na naar de overwinning de loopbaan het koekje de wielrenner het wiel de zak het zakje de koffie de wereld zetten koffie zetten weerhouden schrijven behalen of, from with by, through for, before after, behind between under, beneath over above to, until after to victory career cookie (loanword of New York/Dutch origin) cyclist wheel bag baggie coffee world to to to to to put make coffee keep from, to thwart write score, to obtain

Dutch/Lesson 8 echter even al nog niet geen geen enkel eenvoudig though, however quickly, with no effort, even already not yet no not a single simple


See also nl:wikt:Categorie:Nederlands voornaamwoordelijk bijwoord

Dutch/Lesson 9
Les 9 ~ Lesson 9
Annemiek has her passport extended Grammar: Future tense Modal verbs: Kunnen and laten Stative verbs: Staan, zitten, liggen, lopen.

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Gesprek 9
Annemiek wil op reis naar Zuid-Afrika. Daarvoor heeft zij een paspoort nodig, maar haar paspoort is verlopen. Zij gaat daarom naar het gemeentehuis en vraagt een ambtenaar om inlichtingen A.: Dag meneer, zou u mij kunnen zeggen waar ik mijn paspoort zou kunnen laten verlengen? ambtenaar: Goedemiddag, mevrouw. Zeker, u kunt het beste de lift naar de derde verdieping nemen. Daar zult U een loket vinden. Het zal alleen nog niet open zijn. Het is nog lunchtijd. A.: Wanneer zal ik er dan terecht kunnen? ambtenaar:Dat zal maar een paar minuten duren. Dan is het half twee. A.: Weet u misschien hoe lang een verlenging gaat vergen? ambtenaar: Dat zou ik niet precies durven zeggen, maar het zal een weekje of twee duren.

Grammatica 9.1 ~ Zullen, kunnen and laten

The official future tense is formed using the auxiliary zullen + the infinitive In Dutch this tense is called: de onvoltooid tegenwoordige toekomstige tijd (ottt), the imperfect present future tense. We shall revisit this nomenclature later. ik vind - I find. ik zal vinden - I'll find. But you can also express the future by using a present, if futurity is declared in the sentence by an adverb (like 'tomorrow').

Dutch/Lesson 9 ik vind het - I find it. ik zal het vinden - I'll find it. ik vind het morgen wel - I'll find it tomorrow Occasionally, Dutch resorts to the use of gaan: dat gaat twee weken kosten - that is going to take two weeks. In both cases the infinitive ends up at the end of the sentence.: je zult het op de derde verdieping vinden - you will find it on the third floor zullen is an irregular verb (shall): ik zal jij zult, u zult (u zal) hij zal wij zullen jullie zullen zij zullen


Its past tense forms what it known as the onvoltooid verleden toekomstige tijd (ovtt), the imperfect past future tense that roughly corresponds to the conditional tense in English. ik zeg - I say ik zou zeggen - I would say ik zou jij zou, u zoudt/zou hij zou wij zouden jullie zouden zij zouden

Infinitives instead of participles

The verb zullen does not have a past participle, instead its infinitive is used in phrases like: Ja, ik heb dat zullen doen, maar ik had geen tijd meer. Yes I had intended to do so, but I ran out of time

There is a number of verbs that show this phenomenon, A good example is kunnen (can) although this verb does have a past participle and it can be used in separation: ik kan dat niet - I cannot do that ik heb dat nooit gekund - I have never been able to. ik heb dat nooit kunnen doen - I have never been able to do that. Sometimes this leads to lengthy strings of infinitives: waar ik het zou hebben kunnen laten verlengen.

Dutch/Lesson 9 where I would have been able to have it extended. Kunnen is an irregular verb as we have seen before. Its past tense is: ik, jij, hij kon wij, jullie, zij konden (could) hij kon niet meer - he was exhausted (lit. he could no more)


The verb laten corresponds to the English verb to let but is used somewhat differently. It is a regular strong verb: laten-liet-gelaten Laat mij maar rijden - just let me drive Dat zul je laten! - no, you won't! Ik heb het zo gelaten - I left it the way it was Hij liet zich niet kisten - He fought back. (lit. he did not let himself be put in a coffin.) Iets laten maken - Have something fixed. Laat maar! - Don't bother! Hij kan het roken niet laten - He can't stop smoking.

Stative verbs: staan, zitten, liggen, lopen

All of these are strong verbs: staan - stond - gestaan to stand zitten - zat - gezeten to sit liggen - lag - gelegen to lie lopen - liep - gelopen to walk Scholars do not agree whether to consider these verbs as auxiliaries. Some do consider them aspect auxiliaries, because but they often serve to express continuity: Ik zit te lezen - I am reading (while on my chair) Ik loop te denken - I am thinking (while going somewhere) The prefect of these expressions drop the "te" and use an infinitive to replace the past participle: Ik heb zitten denken - I have been thinking (on my chair) We hebben staan bellen - We have been on the phone (while on our feet) These verbs also frequently replace to be in impersonal expressions with er: Er liggen drie boeken op tafel - there are three books (lying) on the table Er zitten nog drie koekjes in de doos - there are still three cookies (sitting) in the box Er loopt een goeie film - there is a good movie on.

Dutch/Lesson 9


Doen: to do
As in English this verb is irregular. doen - deed - gedaan Its role is much more restricted than in English, but at times it can be used as an auxiliary that turns an ergative into an active construction: Het vet stolt - the grease solidifies De koude doet het vet stollen - the cold makes the grease solidify Again the perfect has an infinitive: De koude heeft het vet doen stollen. - the cold has made the grease solidify

Dutch/Lesson 10
Les 10 ~ Lesson 10 Meer over werkwoorden ~ More about verbs
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Jan, heb je het licht uitgedaan? Nee schat, ik doe het straks wel uit, ik heb dat karweitje nog niet afgemaakt. Maar Jan, dat levert zo weer een dikke stroomrekening op. Wanneer ga je het afmaken? Ik moet alleen even naar de WC, dan ga ik weer naar beneden. Als je het af hebt, ruim je dan ook even op? Ja hoor, wees maar niet bezorgd, alles wordt keurig opgeruimd.

Grammatica 10-1 ~ Separable verbs

A lot of verbs in English have fixed adverbial complements and a comparable association often holds in Dutch. Compare: the bomb went off. de bom ging af. the light went on. het licht ging aan. In English one could consider to go off as the infinitive of a distinct verb. In Dutch the association is even stronger, because in some of the forms of such a verb, e.g. the infinitive, the adverb af is actually written as a prefix. This becomes clear in the future tense: the bomb will go off. de bom zal afgaan. This means that there are two types of prefixes to a Dutch verb: inseparable ones (such as be-) and separable ones (like af-). The first kind we have seen before: bedoelen - to mean hij bedoelde

Dutch/Lesson 10 hij heeft bedoeld The primitive tenses of a separable verb look like: afgaan het ging af het is afgegaan. Notice that the separable verb does take the ge- marker of the past participle whereas the inseparable ones do not. There is another difference, at least in the spoken language: the accent of the word lies on the prefix if it is separable, i.e. one says fgaan, but bedlen. Some prefixes can occur both separably and inseparably such as door- (through, by) and voor- (for,before) and in some cases there are two different verbs that look deceptively the same, one separable, the other not, with different meanings. In the spoken language they differ by wordaccent, but this is not visible in the written one unless accents are deliberately added to avoid confusion. Compare: voorkomen - kwam voor - voorgekomen - to occur voorkomen - voorkwam - voorkomen - to prevent de kluut komt meer in Nederland voor dan in Engeland. wij moeten er het verdwijnen van zien te voorkomen. the Avocet is more numerous in the Netherlands than in England. (lit. ...occurs more in NL than...) we have to prevent its disappearance. Notice that just like in the case of the pronominal adverb ervan that translates its, the two parts of the separable verb can end up rather far apart in the sentence. Another example: een school doorlopen - to walk through a school building (takes 5 minutes) een school doorlopen - to absolve one's education at a school (takes 5 years).


Relationship to the prepositional adverbs

In fact the comparison between pronominal adverbs and separable verbs is rather pertinent. Many prepositional adverbs occur both as part of pronominal adverbs and of separable verbs: meelopen met... => loop mee met ... (to march along with) (verbal separation) met alles => overal mee (with everything) (pronominal replacement) aanzitten aan ... (to partake in an official dinner party) aan alles => overal aan (at everything) (pronominal replacement) Thus, occasionally the same prepositional adverb appears twice at the end of the phrase: hij liep overal mee mee. (he went along with anything at all) hij zat overal aan aan. (he was a high level social tiger) The latter should not be confused with: hij zat overal aan. (he could not keep his hands off of anything) zitten aan (to touch, to not being able to keep your hands off something.) The comedian Toon Hermans exploited this oddity once to great effect in one of his One Man Shows.

Dutch/Lesson 10


In a dependent subclause, e.g. a clause that starts with dat ("that") the separated forms of a separable verb reunite ik doe het licht uit. - I switch the light off. ik zeg "dat" ik het licht uitdoe. - I say "that" I switch off the light. Notice also the peculiar position of the verb in the subclause: it moves to the end of the phrase in its entirety.

uitdoen - deed uit - uitgedaan opruimen - ruimde op - opgeruimd opleveren afmaken karweitje stroom rekening keurig bezorgd straks weer zo even extinguish, switch off clean up deliver produce finish finialize fixing job current, electricity bill neat, well groomed worried in a moment again thus, so, before you know it quickly

Dutch/Lesson 11


Dutch/Lesson 11
Les 11 ~ Lesson 11
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Word order
Many English speakers who set out to learn the Dutch language succeed in their effort to a considerable extent. Some of them become quite fluent. They do encounter a few problems. One is that Dutch speakers consider it polite to reply in English when detecting an English accent and it takes some insisting to break through that barrier. Another major stumbling block is the fact that Dutch has retained West-Germanic word order and English has abandoned it in favor of one that resembled that of the French-speaking nobility that ruled the land after 1066. We'll examine a number of aspects.

We have already seen a number of examples of inversion. For example, that of the of verb and subject in questions: Jij hebt een mooi huis. Heb je een mooi huis? Apart from the fact that the final -t is lost for the jij-form of the verb, this is not unfamiliar, as inversion also occurs in some English phrases like: Hi, how goes it? How are you? Another example of inversion occurs when the order is changed for the sake of emphasis by putting an item at the beginning of the sentence. Een mooi huis heb je! That's a fine house you've got! Morgen ga ik naar huis. Tomorrow I'm going home. Sometimes this is not so much a question of emphasis. It is more a way to stuff a few more items in the same sentence, particularly adverbs or adverbial expressions. Zonder twijfel gaat hij morgen naar huis. Undoubtedly he will go home tomorrow. Notice that the adverb of time (morgen) precedes the indication of place here, because naar huis gaan is felt as a verbal expression and verbs tend to end up at the end of the sentence.

Dutch/Lesson 11


Verbs in final position

Another feature we have already encountered is that in tenses that use an auxiliary the participle or infinitive is put at the end of the sentence: Ik heb gezien Gisteren heb ik vanaf de dijk een aantal kluten gezien Morgen zal ik nog eens op de dijk gaan kijken. Notice that in this case the inversion is applied on the auxilliary (heb ik..., zal ik...) and that in compounds with more that one infinitive as gaan kijken (go have a look) they both end up at the end. Whether gaan or kijken goes first varies a little from region to region; one can also hearparticularly in the south: Morgen zal ik nog eens op de dijk kijken gaan.

Indirect clauses and conjunctions

In Dutch, word order is used to mark what role a clause plays with respect to the rest of the sentence. The indirect clause has a different order, particularly in the position of the the verb. jij hebt een mooi huis ik zie dat je een mooi huis hebt In this case it is the persoonsvorm, i.e. the conjugated part of the verb (that carries the -t ending) that moves to to the end of the clause to indicate that it has become the direct object of the main clause ik zie.... This is also true if the persoonsvorm is an auxilliary: jij bent gisteren met de trein naar huis gegaan ik betwijfel dat je gisteren met de trein naar huis gegaan bent Again there is some variation possible: ik betwijfel dat je gisteren met de trein naar huis bent gegaan. The same principle applies after a conjunction like omdat (because). Je hebt gelijk omdat ik met de auto gegaan ben.

Onderschikkend and nevenschikkend

Not all conjunctions produce a hierarchical relationship. Conjunctions (voegwoorden) like want (for) of (or) and en (and) maar (but) simply link two equivalent phrases. Compare: Je hebt ongelijk want ik ben gisteren wel degelijk met de trein naar huis gegaan Je hebt ongelijk omdat ik gisteren wel degelijk met de trein naar huis gegaan ben In the case of want (for) the two clauses are on equal footing, in the case of omdat (because) the first part je hebt gelijk (you are right) is the master program and the rest a subroutine initiated with omdat (because). Conjunctions that produce a subordinate clause are known as onderschikkend, in English, they are known as subordinating conjunctions; the ones that link two phrases in equality are called nevenschikkend, in English, co-ordinating conjunctions. (Sometimes the onderschikkend kind is called subjunctions rather than conjunctions (see e.g. the German wiktionary), but in English where the distinction is of no consequence for the syntax this is unusual.)

Dutch/Lesson 11


Onderschikkend omdat hoewel zodat of (if,whether) wanneer

Nevenschikkend want en maar of (or) dus

Most other voegwoorden are onderschikkend Because the relative role of the clauses is more clearly marked by their word order, it is possible to make longer sentences in Dutch without generating ambiguity. In English compound sentences become confusing and ambivalent more easily. When writing English, a speaker of Dutch needs to fight the tendency to produce convoluted sentences. Conversely Dutch may look somewhat long-winded to an English speaker. Exercise: Use the conjunction in brackets to unify into one sentence: Het is niet mogelijk. Dit is niet op deze manier gebeurd. (omdat) Het is niet mogelijk. Het is wel op deze manier gebeurd. (hoewel) Het is heel erg. Het is wel op deze manier gebeurd. (maar) Jan is met de trein gekomen. Hij is met de auto gekomen. (of) Jan is met de trein gekomen. Hij blijft hier een paar dagen. (en) Jan is met de trein gekomen. Hij blijft hier een paar dagen. (zodat)

Dutch/Lesson 12
Les 12 ~ Lesson 12 De telefoon
Grammar: The use of the verb worden. Grammar: Transitives and the passive voice Grammar: The use of the auxiliary zijn Grammar: Ergatives and unergatives

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Gesprek 12 De telefoon
Mirjam: Jan, er wordt gebeld! Jan: Ja, ik hoor het. Is het antwoordapparaat ingeschakeld? Mirjan: Nee, het is uit. Neem even op, het zal ma zijn. Anders wordt ze weer kwaad. Jan: Ach ja, je moeder. Wanneer zal ze eens door je vader tot de orde geroepen worden? Ik word naar van haar gezeur. Mirjam: Ze bedoelt het goed, Jan. Maar ze is al vaak door mensen teleurgesteld. Jan: Ja ik zal wel een grote teleurstelling geweest zijn. Je wordt bedankt.

Dutch/Lesson 12 Jan neemt de telefoon op. Jan: U spreekt met Jan Snijders. .... Jan: Ja, mam, .. ... Jan: Ja, mam , ik hoor je wel, maar wat is er nou gebeurd? Is het.. ..... Jan: Maar wie is er .. .... Jan: Oh, de kat! Is de kat weggelopen?


Grammatica 12-1. Worden and the Passive Voice

In most languages transitive verbs can be put in the passive voice. In English for example: Active: The cook prepares dinner. Passive: Dinner is prepared by the cook. The object dinner of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive one. It is this 'transition' that makes the verb to cook a transitive one. The passive voice is formed by means of its own auxiliary worden in Dutch. It is a regular strong verb: worden werd geworden

Use as a copula
The verb can also be used as a verb (copula) in its own right rather than as an auxiliary and then it translates into to become or to get. Compare: Ik word piloot I (will) become a pilot Hij werd zo rood als een kroot! He became as red as a beet (He blushed for shame). Je schilderij wordt erg mooi! Your painting is turning out very well! Niet kwaad worden! Don't get mad!

Dutch/Lesson 12


The perfect of worden

As worden describes a process rather than an action, it is itself an ergative verb. (More about those below). In Dutch that means that it takes the verb zijn in the perfect and not to have as in English. Hij is piloot geworden He has become a pilot.

Use as an auxiliary
As an auxiliary + past participle it expresses the passive voice: Hij verslaat me ==>Ik word door hem verslagen He beats me ==> I am beaten by him Notice the change in word order: 1. As in the case of the perfect tenses the past participle moves to the very end of the sentence. 2. As in English the subject (he) and the object (me) swap places. 3. The old subject becomes an expression with door (English: by)

The perfect tense of the passive

The perfect tense of the passive can cause some confusion because of the ergative conjugation with zijn and the fact that the participle geworden is usually omitted: Ik ben door hem geslagen (geworden) Ik ben door hem geslagen I have been beaten by him. Thus, in such cases ik ben does not translate into I am, but into I have been!. Notice that this imparts to the verb zijn and its forms (ben, bent, is, was, waren etc.) three rather different roles: 1. copula (the verbal equal sign =) 2. active perfect auxiliary for ergative verbs, i.e. those of motion or those describing a process instead of an action. 3. passive perfect auxiliary for transitive verbs. Compare: Ik ben piloot. (copula) Ik ben naar huis gelopen (ergative perfect of directed motion) Dit ongeluk is gisteren gebeurd (ergative perfect of a process) Ik ben door hem geslagen (passive perfect) The latter sentense is a transpostion of: Hij heeft mij geslagen (active perfect) Notice that the agent of the action ("hij") reappears as a prepositional object with door: "door hem" in the passive. The ergative perfects do not have such an agent. They also generally take "to have" in English.

Dutch/Lesson 12


Particularly in the imperfect tenses, the passive voice is quite common in Dutch, probably more so than in English because the auxiliary worden makes it easily recognizable. It often occurs without a clear subject in conjunction with the adverb er (8) to describe circumstance. Er wordt veel van je verwacht. (veel is subject) Much is expected from you. Er wordt van je verwacht dat je meedoet (dat je meedoet is subject) It is expected of you that you partake. Er wordt vaak om gelachen (no subject) It is often laughed at. Er is veel om die grap gelachen That joke has been much laughed at. The active version of such expressions requires the use of the indefinite personal pronoun men that translates into one or an impersonal they men verwacht dat je meedoet lit. one expects that you participate they expect you to participate men lacht erom / ze lachen erom they laugh at it

Indirect objects and ditransitive verbs

The transition to the passive construction normally involves the direct object. However for some verbs it is also possible to make the indirect object the new subject. Such verbs are usually called ditransitive. In English the same auxiliary "be" or "have been" is used to construct the new sentence. In Dutch that is not the case: a different auxiliary is used krijgen instead of worden. Such a construction is usually called a pseudopassive construction. Compare the following sentence where "him" is the indirect and "house" the direct object:
construction active passive pseudopassive construction active perfect passive perfect English I give/donate a house to him A house is given to him by me He is given a house by me English I have given him a house Dutch Ik schenk hem een huis. Een huis wordt door mij aan hem geschonken. Hij krijgt van mij een huis geschonken. Dutch Ik heb hem een huis geschonken.

A house has been given to him by me Een huis is door mij aan hem geschonken. Hij heeft van mij een huis geschonken gekregen.

pseudopassive perfect He has been given a house by me

The pseudopassive construction with krijgen is relatively rare in Dutch. Notice that the agent usually gets van rather than door in the pseudopassive.

Dutch/Lesson 12


Ergatives (+zijn) and unergatives (+hebben)

A verb that carries a direct object is called a transitive verb. In Dutch these verbs can form passive voice constructions much like in English: De politieman ziet een inbreker ==> De inbreker wordt door de politieman gezien. The cop sees a burglar ==> The burglar is seen by the cop. Verbs that do not have an direct object are often called intransitive in English, but there are really two kinds in Dutch. There are the ergative verbs like gaan, komen, smelten, gebeuren, worden and a few others. They take zijn as their active(!) auxiliary in the perfect and they have no passive voice at all. Ik ben gisteren gekomen - I have come yesterday. Dit is gisteren gebeurd - This (has) happened yesterday A different group is called unergative. These verbs do take hebben in the active perfect, as English does. Take smoking: Hij rookt. - He smokes. Hij heeft vele jaren gerookt - He has smoked for many years. These sentences -indicating that someone is a smoker- do not have a direct object.

Impersonal passive voice

In contrast to English intransitive verbs, Dutch unergatives such as "roken" do form a passive of sorts, but it is an impersonal passive usually initiated with er. Hij rookt -> Er wordt door hem gerookt. Unfortunately, there is not really much of an English equivalent for this. Something like "smoking is done by him" is a clumsy rendering of the meaning of the impersonal passive sentence. In Dutch however such constructions are very common. Actually, the most common usage is to leave the actor out altogether: Er wordt hier gerookt -- People smoke here. Er wordt gebeld! -- Someone is calling. Neither sentence possesses a subject in Dutch, and a real direct translation does not really exist. English typically resorts to an active sentence using someone or uses an entirely different construction like: I hear the bell. In Dutch, such impersonal passives are a very common way to indicate that it is not clear who the actor is or that the focus is not on the actor. Impersonal passives are not limited to unergative intransitive verbs. Transitive verbs also form them: Er werd door de politiagent een inbreker gezien. In this case een inbreker is the subject. Notice that this sentence has the indefinite article een rather than definite de in the sentence above. A sentence like: Er werd door de politiagent de inbreker gezien*. is not possible, because the impersonal passive expresses the idea that the identity of the burglar is either not known or not of interest. English would often use a word like some. Some burglar was seen by the cop.

Dutch/Lesson 12


When is a verb ergative?

As we saw above ergatives take zijn (to be) in their (active) perfect tense, where English takes to have: ik ben gekomen - I have come. het is gebeurd - it has happened. This presents a problem for native English speakers. (Germans have no problem, their language has a very similar situation.) How do you know what to use? There are two main groups of verbs that are ergative. 1. One is the verbs that express motion like coming, going, driving, floating etc. 2. The other is verbs that express a process or event that happens autonomously (not: a deliberate action), without a clear party who is to blame for it like happening, melting, flowing, solidifying, sinking. Obviously the examples floating and sinking show that the two groups overlap.

Verbs describing processes

Such verbs often only occur as ergatives: Stollen - to solidify ergative present: Het vet stolt- The grease solidifies. ergative perfect: Het vet is gestold - The grease has solidified. Because this verb involves a process, not an action, Dutch uses "to be" to form the perfect, not "to have" as English does. Sometimes however "process" verbs occur both in an ergative and in an active transitive form. Smelten - to melt active: Ik smelt het ijs - I melt the ice ergative: Het ijs smelt - The ice melts Notice that in this case English has the same active - ergative switch. The subject of the latter (ijs/ice) is the object of the former. Ergativity itself is not the problem: English has that too. The problem only arises when putting the verb in the perfect, because Dutch opts for a different auxiliary: active: Ik heb het ijs gesmolten - I have melted the ice ergative: Het ijs is gesmolten - The ice has melted Notice that the active can also be switched into a passive using "worden" passive: Het ijs wordt door mij gesmolten passive perfect: Het ijs is door mij gesmolten geworden As "geworden" is typically omitted in Dutch (in contrast to German "worden") the perfects of the ergative and the passive are very similar. The difference is the presence of an agent ("door mij").

Dutch/Lesson 12


Verbs of motion
Verbs of motion are often more complicated, because can be used both as ergatives and as unergatives. Lopen - to walk ergative: Ik ben naar huis gelopen. - I walked home unergative: Ik heb vandaag veel gelopen - I have walked a lot today In general one can say that if the sentence focuses on a directed process of movement (e.g. "home") the verb of motion is ergative (i.e. uses zijn). If the focus is on the action (exercising in the park or so) the verb takes hebben. The ergative version does not possess a passive, but the unergative version can have an impersonal passive, usually with "er": impersonal passive: Er wordt hier veel gelopen. Besides the ergative and unergative there can also be a transitive variant, in which case a personal passive can at times be formed: Rijden - to drive ergative: Ik ben naar huis gereden - I drove home unergative: Ik heb vandaag veel gereden - I have done a lot of driving today transitive active: Ik heb hem naar huis gereden - I took him home in my car transitive passive: Hij is door mij naar huis gereden - He was taken home by me (in my car)

Exercise 12-1:
For solution see: ../Lesson 12/Key

de regering de wet de piloot de ellende het gebruik in gebruik nemen de dief de inbraak de oplichter de twijfel de voldoening de oorlog de nalatigheid de tegenslag het gat de eeuw gesloten met behulp van verwachten, -te raken, raakte terugzetten, zette terug government law pilot misery usage, custom take into use thief burglary fraud, conman doubt satisfaction war negligence setback, misfortune, disappointment the hole century closed by means of to expect to touch put back

Dutch/Lesson 12 in de gaten houden onlangs aannemen - nam aan - aangenomen doorzien - doorzag - doorzien winnen - won - gewonnen lijden - leed - geleden verwijten - verweet - verweten vliegen - vloog - gevlogen vergeten - vergat - vergeten to keep an eye on recently to adopt to comprehend to win to suffer to blame to fly to forget


Dutch/Lesson 13
Les 13 ~ Lesson 13
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13 | Les 14 >>

Gesprek 13
Nathalie is een Franse toeriste die korte tijd op bezoek is in de Nederlandse hoofdstad Amsterdam. Zij heeft veel goeds gehoord over de plaatselijke musea en besluit het bekende Rijksmuseum te gaan bekijken. De uitgebreide verzameling Oude Meesters uit de Gouden Eeuw is wereldberoemd. Een jongeman spreekt haar aan in een van de achterste zalen van het museum. Goedemiddag, heeft U dat prachtige doek van Rembrandt gezien? Goedemiddag, welk doek bedoel je? Het linkse of het rechtse? Ik bedoel dat linkse daar, waarvan de donkere delen zo sterk afsteken tegen dat gouden, lichte deel in het midden. Is het niet fantastisch hoe enorm Rembrandt je blik weet vast te houden? Ja, dat is waar. Je blijft kijken en hoe langer je kijkt des te meer het beeld gaat leven. Ja, het is een waar wonder te zien hoe die mensen die al lang dood zijn toch weer tot leven komen. Het is prachtig. Je houdt erg van deze bijzondere stijl, geloof ik?

More about adjectives

Dutch adjectives are only a little more complicated than their English counterparts. An adjective generally occurs in two forms, an undeclined one and a declined one, ending in -e. Which one is used depends on a number of factors.

Predicative versus attributive

In general the undeclined form is used for a predicate, the declined form if the adjective is used as an attribute: predicative: dit huis is prachtig - this house is gorgeous attributive: dit prachtige huis - this beautiful house

Dutch/Lesson 13


Gender and indefiniteness

There is an important exception to the above main rule. If an adjective is used attributively before a singular neuter word in the indefinite case, it remains undeclined: het mooie huis (definite) een mooi huis (indefinite) mooi werk ! (indefinite uncountable) The 'indefinite' case includes words like geen, welk?, ieder etc.: dit is geen mooi huis.

Adverbial use
Dutch adjectives can be used as adverbs without further ado, this contrasts with English where the ending "-ly" is usually required. Compare: attributive een langzame afdaling - a slow descent predicative de afdaling is langzaam - the descent is slow adverbial hij daalde langzaam af - he descended slowly

The adjective can be made independent as a substantive, in which case it does carry an -e in the predicate: dat is een mooie - that is a nice one (Notice that Dutch does not add 'one' in this case). The same holds for possessive pronouns, e.g.: dat is de mijne - that's mine.

Comparatives and superlatives

In English a few adjectives form comparatives and superlatives by adding "-er" and "-(e)st". Dutch follows the same pattern. hoog - hoger - hoogst high - higher - highest However, in contrast to English this pattern is used for almost all Dutch adjectives, even for long ones and when formidable consonant clusters form. interessant - interessanter - interessantst interesting - more interesting - most interesting After "-r" often a dental is inserted: helder - helderder - helderst For a few words ending in "-s" or "-isch" Dutch resorts to paraphrase as English does far more often; fantastisch - fantastischer - meest fantastisch Comparatives and superlative receive the ending -e as all adjectives: de mooiste bloemen

Dutch/Lesson 13 de meest fantastische webstek As in English a few adjectives have irregular forms: goed - beter - best good - better - best weinig - minder - minst little/few - less/ fewer - least/ fewest veel - meer - meest much/many - more - most


As in English a participle behaves as an adjective and in most cases it receives the suffix "-e" as described above: gekookte aardappels kokende olie An exception is the past participle of a strong verb that ends in "-en", it remains undeclined: gebakken aardappels Only as a substantive does it receive "-e": dit is een gevangene - this is a prisoner (lit. a 'caughtee') In contrast to English the present participle is seldom used to initiate a clause: The train departing from platform 6 is delayed De van perron 6 vertrekkende trein is vertraagd De trein die van perron 6 vertrekt is vertraagd. Vertrekkende would not be used after trein. Past participles are occasionally found in such a construction, particularly if other attributes are already prefixed: Het uitgestrekte gebied verloren bij het verdrag van XXX werd heroverd. The vast territory lost at the treaty of XXX was regained by conquest.

As in English adjectives that indicate a material end in "-en": wollen - woolen They are indeclinable and are only used attributively: de wollen muts To express the predicate, the preposition van is used: de muts is van wol.

Dutch/Lesson 13


Other endings
Dutch lost its case endings more recently than English did and it is not uncommon to encounter endings like "-er", "-en" etc. in frozen expressions: te goeder trouw (dat. fem. sg.) -- in good faith in koelen bloede (dat neut. sg.) -- in cold blood goedenavond! (acc masc. sg.) -- good evening! van ganser harte (dat. fem. sg., despite hart being neuter) -- with all my heart te gelegener tijd (dat fem. sg.) -- at a convenient time The latter contrasts with ten tijde van where tijd in shown as a masculine dative... Clearly the case system was getting pretty corrupt before most of it got abolished in official spelling (1947). Partitive -s One form of case ending is still productive. After words that indicate a quantity such as iets, wat, niets. veel an adjective gets a genitive (partitive) "-s": iets moois - something beautiful veel liefs - a lot of love iets wikibooksachtigs - something like wikibooks

Dutch/Lesson 14
Les 14 ~ Lesson 14 Naamwoorden van handeling ~ Verbal nouns
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14 | Les 15 >>

Verbal nouns
Na de zware aardbeving in de Indische Oceaan en de erdoor veroorzaakte vloedgolf op de kust van Atjeh is zoals gevreesd het dodental nog steeds stijgend. De verwoesting en het verlies aan mensenlevens is uitzonderlijk groot, vooral de sterfte onder kinderen. De behoefte aan hulp van allerlei aard is enorm maar het uitvallen van vrijwel alle verbindingen is een grote hindernis voor een toereikende hulpverlening.

The -ing problem

In English the -ing form is used extensively for a number of rather different functions. Although Dutch also has an ending -ing it does not correspond to the English one in most situations: 1. he is singing hij is aan het zingen 2. he walked out of the room singing hij liep zingend de kamer uit 3. singing is her profession zang is haar beroep In the above examples singing is used as: 1. part of the present continuous tense

Dutch/Lesson 14 2. as a participle 3. as a verbal noun (gerund). In Dutch different nouns are used in these three cases none of which ends in -ing Properly rendering -ing forms in Dutch may therefore present a bit of a problem for an English speaker.


Continuous tenses
In the strict sense Dutch does not have continuous times and in many cases where English uses them Dutch will use a simple present or past. he was walking to school when he saw the UFO hij liep naar school toen hij de vliegende schotel zag hij was onderweg naar school toen hij de vliegende schotel zag To emphasize continuity Dutch can use the infinitive as a neutral noun preceded by the preposition aan: hij was aan het wandelen he was going for a walk zij waren aan het verhuizen they were busy moving Another common construction is to use an auxiliary verb like zitten,staan,liggen, lopen de voetballer liep op de scheidsrechter te schelden. the soccer player walked around fuming at the umpire. ik zat te denken I was just thinking (on my chair) The "on my chair" or "on my feet" distinction is often of negligible importance and the verbs zitten, liggen etc are used more or less interchangeably as auxiliaries of the continuous aspect.

Present participles
The present participle in Dutch is formed by adding -d(e) (not: -ing) to the infinitive: lopen lopend(e) staan staand As in English it can be used as adjective: flying saucer vliegende schotel But it is rarely used as a (static) predicate: kinine is koortswerend quinine has the property of abating fever Using it in a continuous tense construction as in English sounds odd and rather ironic. ach, was jij schrijvende? roughly: Wow, did I catch you in writing mode? Present participles are seldom used to initiate a clause as is common in English: The second car moving at greater speed could not stop De tweede auto die sneller reed kon niet stoppen

Dutch/Lesson 14 De tweede, sneller rijdende auto kon niet stoppen Either the participle rijdend is used as a preceding adjective or it is avoided by paraphrase.


The term gerund is seldom used in Dutch grammar. One could argue that Dutch does not have one in the English sense of the word, despite the presence of a rich variety of verbal nouns. First of all, in many cases Dutch uses the infinitive as a neutral noun where English uses a gerund in -ing and one could argue that this is the Dutch gerund: addition and subtraction are the basis of arithmetic optellen en aftrekken vormen de grondslag van het rekenen There are subtle differences associated with the use or omission of the neutral article het, but the same holds in English: singing is healthy zingen is gezond the singing finally ended het zingen hield eindelijk op There is typically no plural. In times past the word did get inflected -as Latin gerunds do-, e.g.: Tot ziens! - See you! Willens en wetens - Deliberately. The -s ending is an old genitive.

Suffix -ing
Many Dutch verbs do form a (feminine) verbal noun in -ing, but it usually corresponds more to an English noun with (latinate) ending -ion than to a gerund with -ing: deze aftrekking is niet juist this subtraction is incorrect Note that de aftrekking denotes a particular case of subtraction, where het aftrekken denotes the general process of subtracting The formation of a verbal noun is -ing is quite common, particularly for verbs with prefixes like ver-, be-, af- etc. It is also a productive suffix, which means that newly formed verbs tend to form their verbal noun this way. It has a plural in -en: zegening zegeningen blessing blessings However, the -ing form is certainly not as ubiquitous as in English where only a few verbs like can or must do not possess one. Not all Dutch verbs have an -ing form as there is a number of older ways to form verbal nouns, although most of them are no longer productive. The -ing verbal noun is feminine and occurs frequently with "ter" (te + the old feminine dative der), which translates roughly into "in order to". Hij besprak maatregelen ter verbetering daarvan - He discussed methods that could be used to improve that. This process is still productive: ter wikifiring -- to be wikified Interestingly, this means that even north of the Great Rivers feminine gender is not quite dead yet...

Dutch/Lesson 14


Verbal stems
Many strong verbs have a verbal noun based on the stem of the verb with ablaut (vowel change) and lack an -ing form: helpen de hulp na drie dagen kwam er eindelijk hulp after three days help finally arrived wreken de wraak: wraak is zoet revenge is sweet zingen de zang hij studeert zang he is studying voice Notice that in these cases forms in -ing like *helping, *zinging do not exist in Dutch. Sometimes the vowel does not change: lopen de loop in de loop van het proces in the course of the process These nouns are typically common gender and often lack a plural, but this does not always hold. For example a weak verb like werken has het werk and a plural de werken

Other endings
Some verbs add -t or -st to the stem, a process not entirely unfamiliar in English: vliegen de vlucht plural: de vluchten to fly the flight telen teelt (no plural) cultivate cultivation At times, there is more than one verbal noun: graven graf gracht (<graft 1600's) to dig grave canal Plurals: graf graven gracht grachten After nasals -st is more common: dienen de dienst plural: de diensten to serve service komen de komst no plural come advent, arrival vangen de vangst catch catch de vangst van kabeljauw bij de Canadese kust is gestaakt

Dutch/Lesson 14 cod fishing has been suspended off the coast of Canada A few verbs have -te: behoeven de behoefte need need baren geboorte give birth birth Plurals have -s: behoeftes, geboortes, sometimes also -n: denken gedachten, gedachtes think thought(s) Other verbs have -nis, -enis or -tenis kennen kennis to know knowledge / acquaintance gebeuren gebeurtenis to happen event bekennen bekentenis to confess confession hinderen to obstruct, to bother hindernis obstacle Plurals get -sen: kennissen (acquaintances), bekentenissen In English this ending is more common after adjectives like bald(ness), good(ness). In Dutch this is rare: sad sadness droef droefenis Usually Dutch has -heid in such cases: droefheid Dutch also has latinate endingsas English doesthat sometimes compete with the germanic ones: The latin -tio(n) ending is -tie in Dutch and usually pronounced as [tsi] or [si] ('see') communiceren communicatie communicate communication but: achiveren archivering to archive archiving


Dutch/Lesson 14


Prefix geAnother way to form a verbal noun is to add ge- to a stem. It forms a neuter noun from verbs without prefixes. vallen het geval de gevallen to fall the case missen het gemis - (no plural) to miss the lack, missing spreken het gesprek de gesprekken to speak the conversation voelen het gevoel de gevoelens to feel the feeling This type is still productive, at least for verbs that do not carry prefixes. Newly formed nouns carry the connotation of annoying repetition and they usually have no plural: dat onophoudelijk geblaf moet afgelopen zijn! enough of that incessant barking! hij viel op het toneel: gelach en boegeroep in het publiek... he fell on stage: laughter and boos in the audience... wat een gedoe! what a hassle! Notice the difference with the past participle: gelach gelachen laughing,laughter laughed Verbal nouns with ge- tend to have a dysphemic connotation and some are better avoided by a non-native speaker: gezeur, getter, gezeik, gezwam (all ~ bull s#$t) zeuren to nag etter puss zeik urine (four letters..) zwam fungus

Subjects and objects

As in English the -er suffix denotes the subject of the verb: geven gever to give giver As in English the plural is in -s: gevers. There usually is a feminine version in -ster as well, although under feminist influence it is under considerable pressure especially for functions in society: voorzitten voorzitter voorzitster to chair a meeting chairman chairwoman Voorzitter is increasingly used, regardless the gender of the chairperson. There are other feminine endings, e.g. -eres: (plural -eressen) zingen zanger zangeres

Dutch/Lesson 14 to sing singer (m) singer (f) There is also an infrequent -sel suffix indicating an object, e.g.: scheppen schepping - schepper - schepsel to create creation - creator creature Note that in this case English has completely shifted to latin roots and endings where Dutch has remained faithful to its germanic roots altogether, at least in religious context. Otherwise creation is often creatie. The number and type of available verbal nouns differs from verb to verb.


Verbal adjectives
Apart from the two participles the verb can form various adjectives as it can in English. One suffix that corresponds to the English latinate ending -able is -baar: verstaan verstaanbaar understand understandable Another suffix -heid (cf. English -hood) can be added to turn the adjective into a (feminine) noun: danken dankbaar dankbaarheid to thank grateful gratitude The -heid suffix (plural -heden) can also be used behind participles. bergen - geborgen geborgenheid to secure secured, safe feeling at ease opletten oplettend oplettendheid to wacht out attentive attention There is also a suffix -elijk , cognate with -ly. (The 'ij' is usually pronounced as a schwa.) bewerken bewerkelijk to process -requiring much work sterven sterfelijk - sterfelijkheid to die mortal - mortality

In the above text identify all verbal nouns and adjectives and the verbs they derive from. Dutch/Lesson 14/answer

Dutch/Lesson 15


Dutch/Lesson 15
Les 15 ~ Lesson 15
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15 | Les 16 >>

Gesprek 15
Marjan en Jessica zijn gezellig aan het winkelen maar Jessica merkt tot haar grote schrik dat ze haar portemonee verloren heeft. Er zit weinig anders op dan om het winkelen voorlopig maar te vergeten en op zoek te gaan naar Jessicas geld en haar pinpas. Ze hadden zojuist een broodje gegeten in een restaurantje. Het ligt dus voor de hand dat ze het daar heeft laten liggen. Zij haasten zich terug naar de mogelijke plek des onheils. Marjan: Ober, wij hebben hier zojuist wat gegeten en mijn vriendin hier is haar portemonnee kwijt. Heeft u die hier soms gevonden? Ober: Het spijt me dames, maar ik ben nog maar net begonnen met mijn werk. Weet u nog wie u bediend heeft? Jessica: Ik weet de naam niet, maar ik weet wel dat het een jongeman was met hoogblond kort haar. Ober: Dan weet ik wel wie u bedoelt. Dat is Pim, maar die is net vertrokken, vrees ik. Ik heb hem namelijk afgelost. Ik zal wel even vragen of hij iets afgegeven heeft. Een ogenblik alstublieft. De ober verdwijnt naar achteren, de vriendinnen nerveus achterlatend. Jessica: Ik hoop nu maar dat het gevonden is. Wat moet ik anders, Marjan? Marjan: Nou. maak je nu maar geen zorgen. Het komt allemaal best wel goed. De ober keert terug met een grijns op zijn gezicht. Ober: Wat is uw naam precies, mevrouwtje? Jessica: Hoezo, heeft u het gevonden? Ober: Ja we hebben wat gevonden, maar ik weet natuurlijk niet of dat wel van u is, he? Dus hoe heet u? Jessica: O ja natuurlijk, daar heeft u wel gelijk in. Ik heet Jessica van den Heuvel. Ober: Mooi zo, nou, dan heeft u geluk gehad. Dan heb ik hier inderdaad uw portemonnee.

Grammatica 15 Modal particles

Recall: .. Er zit weinig anders op om het winkelen voorlopig maar te vergeten .. .. maar ik ben nog maar net begonnen met mijn werk .. ..Ik weet de naam niet, maar ik weet wel .. .. Dan weet ik wel wie u bedoelt .. .. Ik zal wel even vragen of .. ..Dus, zegt u mij uw naam eens?.. Dutch has a variety of adverbs that function as modal particles. They are often hard to translate exactly. They do not have so much a clear 'meaning', but add a certain flavor to the phrase they are in. wel

Dutch/Lesson 15 The adverb wel is strictly speaking the adverbial form of the adjective goed, just as English well and good. Nevertheless it is used rather differently in Dutch. One meaning it has is to negate the words niet (not) and geen (not a, no): dit is niet uw portemonnee this is not your wallet Wel! Dit is wel mijn portemonnee yes, it is! ..Ik weet de naam niet, maar ik weet wel .. I do not know the name, but I do know... It is often used to introduce but: ik heb wel gezegd dat ... maar... I did say that ... but... It is often added to a sentence to indicate that he speaker is making an admission or is volunteering something: Ik zal wel vragen.. let me go ask.. (I volunteer) Another use is to indicate that something is exceptional: er waren wel dertig tornado's! there were thirty tornadoes (no less!) even even indicates that the action will not cost much time or effort. Adding it to a sentence adds an implicit no problem to the utterance: .. Ik zal wel even vragen of .. Let me go ask, no problem, will take just a moment eens literally eens means once, but it is often added to add a flavor of an exceptional occasion. heb je wel eens..? - did you ever.. ? zal ik eens koffie zetten? - (for a change) would you like me to make coffee? maar The word maar can be used as a (nevenschikkend) conjunction and is usually translated by but. It is also an abverb with the meaning of only, just: ik heb maar zeven euro op zak I only have seven euro on me Geeft u mij maar een biertje Just give me a beer However it can also be a modal adverb that indicates a certain measure of resignation or lack of choice of the speaker: ik heb maar gezegd dat ... I said that ..., because I did not know what else to say .. Er zit weinig anders op dan om het winkelen voorlopig maar te vergeten .. lit : there is little else on (the list of options) than to forget (sigh..) the shopping spree temporarily


Dutch/Lesson 15 Adding maar can also 'soften' the sentence and indicate that the speaker is trying to be polite or friendly. geef hier! - give it (..or else!) geef maar hier! - why don't you give it to me (Don't worry: I'll take care of it) With a more ironic intonation it could also mean: just give it up - (you're busted) combinations In Dutch modal particle can be heaped up into interesting combinations of flavors, e.g.: hij zou wel eens even laten zien hoe sterk hij was - he was going to show off how strong he was (but ..)


Grammatica 15-2 The old cases

Recall : de plek des onheils an old genitive. Indo-European languages, to which both English and Dutch belong were originally highly inflectional with eight cases, three genders and usually four or five declensions. Both languages have lost this system, Dutch however a bit later than English. In fact in the written standard language Dutch retained four cases and three genders up to the spelling reform of 1947. In the spoken language the case endings and the masculine-feminine distinction had been gone for much longer, but prior to the second world war the educational and political establishment tenaciously tried to preserve the case system, even tried to introduce forms that never existed in the language artificially. The discrepancy between written standard and spoken language led to serious educational problems with equally serious social consequences. After the destruction by the second world war spelling modernization was imperative and a lot of old baggage was thrown overboard. Since then case endings are a bit of an unpopular subject. They are often seen as oldfashioned, even harmful to 'progress'. Nevertheless, there is a fair bit of remnants left in the modern language even though case endings have definitely ceased to be part of a system. The leftovers are idiom more than grammar. To understand the remnants it is useful to have a peek at the definite article as it was before 1947:
case masculine feminine de der de(r) de neuter het des den het plural de der den de

nominative de genitive dative accusative des de(n) den

The above implies that prior to 1947 one had to write: ik zien den man ik zie de vrouw Worse than that, it was: ik vereer de deugd (f) ik haat den leugen (m) Most people above the Rhine had to use a dictionary to do the latter right, because the m-f contrast was no longer alive in their spoken mother tongue and neither were the -n and -r endings. In 1947 a small (but sweeping) change was allowed in the spelling: the n in the masculine accusative was made optional. With a sigh of relief everybody promptly stopped using the infamous buigings-n and it has has not been used since... This change obliterated both the accusative-nominative distinction and the masculine-feminine one. The dative only occurred when indirect objects were used without a preposition. All prepositions had come to use the accusative which was now identical to the nominative for anything but personal pronouns. The genitive was still a bit

Dutch/Lesson 15 more common although it was always possible to use a construction with van to avoid it: de vloek der mensheid > de vloek van de mensheid Thus the change of 1947 basically put an end to the case endings as a system. Still, there are numerous relics that are difficult to understand, let alone use properly, without some knowledge of the old system.


As in English, genitives are regularly used to indicate possession with proper names: Jans auto John's car There is a growing tendency to extend this usage to female proper names (in defiance of the old case endings) in stead of a construction using the clitic form of the possessive pronoun. Annies auto - Annie d'r auto For inanimate nouns the genitive is clearly on its way out, although the plural can occasionally still be seen: het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden de prins der dieven het periodiek systeem der elementen the periodic system of the elements Occasionally people deliberately opt to use the odd archaic expression like plek des onheils as a stylistic gadget. The adjective still has a productive partitive genitive in -s that occurs after words like wat, iets, veel etc.: iets lekkers something yummy The genitive occurs in various fossilized forms -usually functioning as adverbs- like: 's ochtends in the morning, at day break 's morgens - in de morning 's middags in the afternoon 's avonds in the evening 's nachts in the night 's winters during the winter tweemaal daags - twice a day barrevoets - barefoot blootshoofds with bare head grotendeels for the most part een ieder ging zijns weegs - each went in his own direction Notice the vowel change in dag daags and weg - weegs The form 's is a clitic form of des, the masc/neuter genitive article. Notice the -n of grotendeels. The adjective had had both strong and weak endings (as it still does in German) and the -n is weak ending.

Dutch/Lesson 15


One preposition had stubbornly retained the dative and it still occurs mostly in petrified dative forms. It is the word te at, to. The noun originally received an -e in this case. The proposition often occurs fused with the old dative articles: te + den -> ten (masc and neut. sg.) te + der -> ter (fem sg. and plural) ten tijde van - in the days of.. ten hoogste - at the most ten dele partly ten eerste - firstly terdege - thoroughly ter gelegenheid on the occasion of ter aarde bestellen commit to earth, bury Interestingly the old feminine dative ter still enjoys a measure of productivity in combinations with verbal nouns in -ing: ter wikifiring - to be wikified This also holds for words in -heid ter gelegenheid This is one reason why words ending in -ing, -te, -tie, -heid are recognized as feminine proper and Dutch does not have a common gender like a number of Scandinavian laguages.. te also occurs without articles: te allen tijde at all times te zijner tijd in due course te gelegener tijd at a convenient moment Notice that tijd is feminine in the latter two, masculine in the other, a good example of how corrupt the case/gender had become in the end. The feminine is probably a German influence (die Zeit is feminine). There are more oddities: het hart ter harte (neuter -feminine) Te also has a few non-archaic usages. It is used in combination with infinitives as to does in English: Dat is goed om te weten that is good to know Hij begon af te vallen he began to lose weight It is also used to indicate excess, as English too: Dit is te veel This is too much. Or with locations, as English at or in : te A'dam in Amsterdam A few other prepositions had taken the dative in a previous phase of the language and some forms remain: van den bloede - of (royal) blood van harte! - from all my heart met verve with passion in den beginne in the beginning (Genesis) in koelen bloede

Dutch/Lesson 15 Accusative relics are rare because the case resembled the nominative, but a greeting like: goedenavond has an extra -n- because it was an accusative ending of the adjective goed.


Dutch/Lesson 16
Les 16 ~ Lesson 16
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16 | Les 17 >>

Les 16
Verhaal: Zijn zieke moeder
Het sneeuwde hard, de oostenwind gierde over de vlakte en sneed door alle kleding. Jan rilde, maar hij vermande zich en trok zijn muts wat verder over zijn oren. Hij gaf zijn Harley wat meer gas. Toen het bericht hem bereikte dat er naar hem gevraagd was, had hij gezegd dat hij, als het maar even kon, komen zou. Dit was en bleef zijn moeder tenslotte. Wat er ook gebeurd mocht zijn, hij moest er niet aan denken dat zij zou kunnen sterven zonder haar nog een laatste keer te zien. Daarvoor herinnerde hij zich te veel goede tijden met haar. De kamer waar ze lag was niet groot en had een echte ziekenhuislucht. Plichtmatig groette hij zijn zus en die zwager waar hij nooit mee op had kunnen schieten. Ma? Jongen, ben je toch gekomen? Ja natuurlijk. Hoe is het nou? Ach, gaat wel.. Ze zorgen goed voor me hier. Heeft de dokter nog wat gezegd? De dokter? Ja, ik mag weer naar huis. Was het niet veel te koud? Je bent helemaal nat.. Ja het sneeuwt een beetje. Mag je weer naar huis? Zo! Wanneer? Vrijdag, geloof ik... Ze zuchtte. Haar ogen sloten zich en gingen niet meer open.

Introduction to werkwoorden
The second large family of words besides the naamwoorden is that of the verbs, the werkwoorden. The types that are important in Dutch are basically the same ones as in English: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. transitive verbs - overgankelijke werkwoorden intransitive verbs - onovergankelijke werkwoorden reflexive verbs - wederkerende werkwoorden auxiliary verbs - hulpwerkwoorden modal verbs - modale werkwoorden impersonal verbs - onpersoonlijke werkwoorden copulas - koppelwerkwoorden

Dutch/Lesson 16 Transitive verbs Overgankelijke werkwoorden A transitive verb has a direct object which can be converted into an object in the passive voice. They are the only ones that can undergo this transition (overgang). Ik zie het paard Het paard wordt door mij gezien Ditransitive verbs The verb can have other objects, like indirect ones or prepositional ones. In English these can be transposed into a passive construction where the indirect object becomes the subject He gives me - I am given by him He sent for me - I was sent for by him Notice that me is transposed into I in English. In such cases it is possible to construct an impersonal passive without a subject in Dutch. Often the locative adverb er is used to open the sentence. Hij geeft mij - Mij wordt door hem gegeven / Er wordt door hem aan mij gegeven Hij vroeg naar mij - Er werd door hem naar mij gevraagd Notice that the object does not become subject. There are some verbs where it can become the subject but in Dutch. However, this is done not with worden but with krijgen (to get) as auxiliary: De kok schotelde de man een ovenschotel voor - The cook served the man an oven dish. Door de kok werd aan de man een ovenschotel voorgeschoteld - An oven dish was served .. De man kreeg een ovenschotel voorgeschoteld - The man got served .... Intransitive verbs Onovergankelijke werkwoorden An intransitive verb does not have a direct object Hij gaat naar Amerika - he goes to America Jij geneest - you get well Such phrases cannot be transposed into a passive voice construction Sometimes the same verb can be used as a transitive, that does have a passive: Jij genas hem - you heal him Hij werd door jou genezen - he is healed by you. Another way of making a verb transitive is to prefix be-: Ik kijk naar de tekening - I look at the drawing Ik bekijk de tekening - I examine the drawing In Dutch there are really two types of intransitives: ergatives and inergatives.


Dutch/Lesson 16 Ergatives Ergatives take the auxiliary zijn in the perfect: Jij geneest. Jij bent genezen. - you have healed. Genezen kan also be transitive, but some verbs are only ergatives: het vet stolt - the grease solidifies het vet is gestold. Ergatives typically express autonomous processes that happen and the typically do not have a clear agent. The causative auxiliaries doen en laten are used to transform ergatives into transitives: Ik doe het vet stollen. Vice versa the auxiliary raken can be used to create an ergative sentence from an adjective or participle: Hij raakte verwond. - He got wounded. Inergatives Inergatives take the auxiliary hebben in the perfect. There is a clear agent: De hond blaft De hond heeft geblaft. That darned dog is the culprit! These verbs are not entirely intransitive, but form an impersonal passive with er: Er wordt geblaft - There is barking. Reflexive verbs Wederkerende werkwoorden In a sense, reflexive verbs are intermediary between active and passive. Their subjects equal their direct objects. In Dutch they are accompanied by the reflexive pronoun zich in its various forms. Verbs can occur both as reflexive and as an ordinary transitive verb, albeit with a different meaning: ik herinner me - I remember dat herinnert me aan.. - this reminds me of.. Others occur only in reflexive form: zich gedragen - to behave hij wist zich niet te gedragen - he did not know how to behave zich vermannen - to pull oneself together (lit. to make oneself a man) Reflexive verbs do not have a passive voice, but they can have a second direct object besides the reflexive pronoun: hij herinnerde zich dat. Zich is a relatively recent loan from German -Afrikaans does not have it e.g.- and only used for the third person and occasionally together with u. The other reflexives are identical to the object forms of the personal pronouns. It is possible to add -zelf to a reflexive pronoun to make the reflexive relationship more emphatic. Thus I wash myself can be expressed with four subtle degrees of emphasis: ik was me -- I'm washing not dressing e.g. ik was mij -- I don't wash you ik was mezelf -- You don't wash me ik was mijzelf -- I neither wash you nor do you touch me: buzz off!


Dutch/Lesson 16 The addition of -zelf is only possible if the verb is optionally reflexive. E.g. you can also wash someone else. If the reflexiveness is mandatory forms with -zelf are not possible. Auxiliary verbs - Hulpwerkwoorden Auxiliary verbs are used to form the various compound tenses and voices of the verb. In Dutch they are: hebben: forms active perfect tenses zijn: forms active perfect tenses of some verbs and passive perfect tenses of transitive verbs worden: forms passive imperfect tenses zullen: forms the future tenses Occasionally gaan is used for immediate future constructions. In contrast to English to do the verb doen is not used as an auxiliary, although there are expressions like: hoop doet leven - lit. 'hope makes one to live' - where there is hope there is life dit doet vermoeden dat... - this makes one suspect that... Modal verbs Modale werkwoorden Modal verbs are closely related to auxiliary verbs. They are verbs like kunnen, moeten and mogen ik kan komen - I can come, I am able to come ik zou kunnen komen - I would be able to come In the latter case the word order is a bit more restricted in dependent clauses: ik wist dat ik komen kon ik zei dat ik kon komen are both possible, but: ik zei dat ik zou kunnen komen In this case it is unusual to put zou at the end Impersonal verbs Onpersoonlijke werkwoorden Some verbs only occur in the third person singular with the neuter personal pronoun het. Weather phenomena are a good example: het regent - it rains het sneeuwt - it is snowing het dooit - it is thawing het waait - the wind blows Impersonal verbs are not limited to the weather: het spijt me - I'm sorry Impersonals always take hebben: het heeft gewaaid het heeft me gespeten.


Dutch/Lesson 16 Copulas Koppelwerkwoorden Copulas couple two concepts, the subject and what in Dutch is known as het naamwoordelijk deel van het gezegde, the nominal part of the compound verb. The naamwoordelijk deel can be either zelfstandig or bijvoeglijk. The most common copula is zijn (to be): Jan is piloot Jan is sterk Worden can be used as a copula in Dutch, corrsponding to to become: Jan wordt piloot There is a few more copulas such as: blijven: dit blijft moeilijk this remains difficult lijken: dit lijkt mooi - this seems beautiful blijken: dit bleek onmogelijk this proved impossible schijnen: het scheen eenvoudig it appeared easy


The four contrasts of the verb

Indicative mood
The forms of the Dutch verb in the indicative mood are determined by the four contrasts: 1. 2. 3. 4. is the action now or in the past (tegenwoordig - verleden) is the action finished or not (onvoltooid - voltooid) is the action real or predicted / hypothetical (niet toekomend - toekomend) is the action performed by or applied to the subject (bedrijvend - lijdend)

The first contrast is rendered synthetically, the other three require auxiliary verbs: 1. 2. 3. 4. hebben or zijn zullen worden

The contrasts can be combined freely. This leads to 2x2x2x2 = 16 forms for a transitive verb, for an intransitive one the passive voice (contrast 4) does not apply and there are 8 forms.
(niet toekomend) tegenwoordig bedrijvend onvoltooid ik zie voltooid lijdend ik heb gezien verleden ik zag ik had gezien toekomend tegenwoordig ik zal zien verleden ik zou zien

ik zal gezien hebben ik zou gezien hebben

onvoltooid ik word gezien ik werd gezien ik zal gezien worden ik zou gezien worden voltooid ik ben gezien ik was gezien ik zal gezien zijn ik zou gezien zijn

Note that in the prefect passive tenses worden takes zijn as its auxiliary. In the passive voice construction its past participle geworden is typically omitted, rendering zijn the auxiliary of the perfect passive by default. In Dutch the tenses are indicated by their contrasts, e.g. ik zou gezien zijn is de voltooid verleden toekomende tijd van de lijdende vorm. As this nomenclature leads to rather lengthy names it is usual to use an acronym: vvtt van de lijdende vorm

Dutch/Lesson 16 Notice that in Dutch grammar the past future tenses replace what is known in other grammars as the conditional (mood). It is thought of as a future tense uttered in the past: Yesterday I said: "he will come" => yesterday I said that he would come.


Infinitive mood
In the infinitive mood the present-past contrast is missing:
(niet toekomend) bedrijvend onvoltooid zien voltooid lijdend gezien hebben toekomend zullen zien gezien zullen hebben gezien zullen worden gezien zullen zijn

onvoltooid gezien worden voltooid gezien zijn

Compound infinitives are rather more prominent in Dutch than in English, especially in combination with the particle te: Hij was bang door de wachters gezien te zullen worden He was afraid that he would be seen by the guards Na hem gezien te hebben sloegen zij alarm After they had spotted him they sounded the alarm Notice that in the latter example the infinitive is part of an adverbial expression of time, using the preposition na, but that it still carries a direct object: hem. In the first example the compound infinitive is accompanied by a prepositional object door de wachters. Infinitives thus do function as verbs in Dutch. They allow their action to be encapsulated inside another sentence without putting the action in a separate clause starting with a relative pronoun (that, who etc.) or a conjunction (after, because etc.)

Subjunctive and imperative moods

The other two moods are far more limited. There is usually only one form in the active present. For the imperative that is the second person singular, for the -all but extinct- subjunctive the third person singular. For the subjunctive tense, only a few forms have managed to stay alive in our modern world. Leve de koning! Opdat hij lang moge leven. Long live the king! May he live long. Wat de reden dan ook zij, je moet je huiswerk afhebben. Whatever the reason be, you must have your homework done. Ik zou eerder zijn gekomen, ware het niet voor het slechte verkeer. I would have come earlier, had it not been for the bad traffic. The subjunctive has now rather more disappeared over time, and isn't practiced any longer. Only a few fossiled expressions might still contain a trace of what used to be the subjunctive, which is now practically forgotten about.

Dutch/Lesson 17


Dutch/Lesson 17
Les 17 ~ Lesson 17 Bijwoorden en Voorzetsels ~ Adverbs and Prepositions
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17 | Les 18 >>

We have seen two major groups of words in the Dutch language: naamwoorden (nouns, adverbs, pronouns etc.) and werkwoorden (transitive verbs, intransitives, copula's, auxiliaries). The third group that comprises all the rest is known as bijwoorden (adverbs) and again they occur in a number of forms. Unfortunately it is not possible to classify them quite as thoroughly as the other two groups. In fact it is a bit of a miscellaneous rest group, a kind garbage can into which anything is flung that does not fit in the other two. We have already seen a few groups of words that fall under the denominator bijwoord in the more extensive sense of the word and we will examine a few more 1. prepositional adverbs, like in, voor, mee, toe, heen, af etc. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. prepositions like in, op, bij, over, met, tot conjunctions (including subjunctions) modal adverbs (particles) like wel, maar, eens, ... adverbs of place and time, like nu, toen, dan or daar, waar interjections, like oh, hoi, ach, dag, nou

Prepositions and prepositional adverbs

Prepositions are often hard to translate exactly because which one is used in which case often differs between the languages. Historically, prepositions developed from adverbs that were put before an object to clarify the meaning of a case ending. Later they supplanted the use of the case endings completely. In Dutch many propositions have anoften identicaladverbial form, the prepositional adverb, that occurs either as the separable part of verbs or as the prepositional part of the pronominal adverb. As we have seen the latter plays a considerable role in Dutch grammar. Thus the separation between prepositions and adverbs is not as sharp in Dutch as it is in some other languages. There is a number of forms that were formed by prefixing be- and often end in -(e)n, cf. in - binnen uit - buiten over - boven (neder) - beneden English has a few comparable forms like before, between, beside, below and behind

Dutch/Lesson 17


In translates mostly as its cognate in hij woont in dat huis - he lives in that house hij gelooft in spoken - he believes in ghosts Its identical adverb in often occurs pronominal replacement: erin, daarin (in it, in there) etc. as well as in separable verbs as will be shown below. Notice that Dutch does not have an equivalent of into but uses in as prepositional adverb to express the concept of movement 'into' something. An alternative is to use binnen which often translates into inside hij is binnen - he is inside binnenlopen: e.g. Hij liep het huis binnen. He entered the house. binnen twee minuten - within two minutes To emphasize movement naar can be added: hij liep naar binnen - he walked in hij liep er naar binnen - he entered it Notice that Dutch has no hangups about ending sentences in 'prepositions'. A word like binnen is not considered a preposition unless it actually precedes a noun. Otherwise it is an adverb and there is no law against ending a sentence in an adverb... Separable verbs inademen e.g. Ik adem in. I breathe in. inlopen e.g. Hij loopt het huis in. He walks into the house. Inseparable verbs None.

door is a cognate of through and often corresponds to it: Het licht valt door het raam. The light shines through the window. In many cases the correct translation is by particularly when it is used with the passive voice: Hij is door de wol geverfd. lit. He has been dyed by the wool. (He is a veteran, old hand.) Together with heen the meaning is through and through or passage through: Hij stak de naald door het vel heen. He stuck the needle (all the way) through the skin.

Dutch/Lesson 17 Separable verbs doorhakken: e.g. Hij hakte de knoop door. He cut the knot through. Inseparable verbs doorzien: e.g. Hij doorzag de list. He saw through the ruse.


Although the word is cognate of by it often is used rather differently. It indicates a location slightly to the side of something. Schiphol ligt bij Amsterdam - Schiphol is near Amsterdam bij de les blijven - stay with the lesson bij slecht weer - in the case of bad weather het is bij vijven - it is around five o'clock hij bleef erbij - he stuck to it Separable verbs bijkomen: e.g. Hij kwam eindelijk bij. He finally regained consciousness. Inseparable verbs bijwerken: e.g. Ik heb het bijgewerkt. I have updated it.

Although cognate of up it usually translates as on or upon hij is op vakantie - he is on vacation het boek ligt op de tafel - the book lies on the table. op je gezondheid - a toast to you health (not : up your .. etc.) Separable verbs opnemen: e.g. Hij nam op. He picked up, answered (the phone), he recorded, he absorbed. ophoepelen: Ach , hoepel toch op! Ow, get lost!, lit. to hoop up; to get lost Inseparable verbs None.

Dutch/Lesson 17


naast translates mostly into next to, beside Jan en Elly wonen naast John en Heleen. Jan and Elly are the neighbors of John and Heleen. Zij wonen ernaast. Separable verbs None. Inseparable verbs None.

over translates mostly as it identical cognate: hij vloog over het koekoeksnest - he flew over the cuckoo's nest (The latter is an unlikely occurrence given the fact that this bird does not build nests). There are both separable and inseparable verbs (see below). boven translates as its cognate above hij zette er een punt boven: he put a dot above it. Its identical adverb usually means up, upstairs hij is boven : he is upstairs To indicate movement Dutch uses naar hij liep naar boven - he went upstairs, he went up the hill etc. Separable verbs overlopen: e.g. Het bad liep over. The bathtub overflowed. Inseparable verbs overzien e.g. Ik overzag het slagveld. I oversaw the battlefield.

tegen usually translates as against hij was tegen dit wetsvoorstel - he opposed this proposition de fiets stond tegen de muur - the bike stood against the wall but: hij zei tegen haar - he said to her

Dutch/Lesson 17 Separable verbs tegenwerken: to thwart, to work against e.g. Hij werkte me altijd tegen. He always blocked me. tegenkomen - to encounter, to run into Inseparable verbs None.


zonder means without hij drinkt koffie zonder suiker It did not have an adverbial form but increasingly pronominal adverbs like waarzonder are used. Separable verbs None. Inseparable verbs None.

tegenover means on the opposite side of. Het hotel staat tegenover het conferentiecentrum. The hotel is opposite the conference center. Separable verbs tegenoverstellen - put against, balance, add an objection Inseparable verbs None.

Some dialects, e.g. in Zeeland and West Flanders have a form bachten in the meaning of behind but it is not considered part of standard Dutch. Separable verbs achterstellen - to discriminate, to marginalize e.g. Deze groep is eeuwen lang achtergesteld. This group has been marginalized for centuries.

Dutch/Lesson 17 Inseparable verbs achterhalen e.g. Ik achterhaalde de waarheid. I retraced the truth.


achterin translate mostly into in the back of achterin de auto liggen nog wat boodschappen - in the trunk of the car there a still a few groceries It is often used as an adverb together with in: Het lag achterin in de auto Separable verbs None. Inseparable verbs None.

achterop is mostly used to indicate the passenger seat of a bike and is used more as an adverb than as a preposition met z'n meisie achterop - with his girl on the back Separable verbs None. Inseparable verbs None.

The form beneden can be used as preposition in the meaning of below, under underneath, south of beneden de rivieren - south of the rivers (i.e. Rhine, Meuse etc.) beneden de Iridiumlaag vind je dinosaurusbotten - below the Iridium layer you find dinosaur bones With naar it indicates downward movement: hij viel naar beneden - he fell down The form neer (<neder) is not used as a preposition but occurs as an adverb with the meaning of down in separable verbs.

Dutch/Lesson 17 Separable verbs neerzien op: e.g. Hij zag neer op die mensen. He looked down upon these people. neerzitten bij: e.g. Hij zat bij de pakken neer. He surrendered to resignation. (He gave up.) Inseparable verbs None.


uit is represented by out of or from uit dit erts wordt goud gewonnen - out of this ore gold is produced hij komt uit Utrecht - he is from Utrecht buiten usually means outside buiten de stad - outside the city hij is buiten - he is outside hij ging naar buiten - he went ouside' Both uit and buiten have separable verbs. Uit often means off in these. Separable verbs uitdraaien: e.g. Hij draaide de radio uit. He turned the radio off. uitdoen: e.g. Zij deed het licht uit. She switched off the light. e.g. Zij deed haar jas uit. She took her coat off. Inseparable verbs Buiten often means out in verbs: buitensluiten - to lock out

bezijden is comparable to besides but occurs mostly in the expression. bezijden de waarheid - aside of the truth (i.e. not true) Separable verbs None.

Dutch/Lesson 17 Inseparable verbs None.


benevens is a rather formal alternative to naast (besides, next to). benevens de aandelen is er het huizenbezit - besides the stocks is there the real estate Separable verbs None. Inseparable verbs None.

onder is the cognate of under and has similar applications: de hond ligt onder de tafel - het dog lies under the table It can also be used in the meaning of among: onder professoren - in the circle of professors Separable verbs ondergaan: e.g. De zon gaat onder. The sun sets. Inseparable verbs ondergaan: e.g. Hij ondergaat een operatie. He undergoes surgery.

met usually means with. hij gaat met zijn vrouw naar Canada - he goes to Canada with his wife Its adverbial form is mee (from: mede). Separable verbs meegaan: e.g. Hij ging mee. He joined. hij ging mee met haar. He accompanied her. Inseparable verbs None.


naar translates mostly as to or at: hij kijkt naar het schilderij - he looks at the painting hij kijkt ernaar - he looks at it.

Dutch/Lesson 17 hij gaat naar Kaapstad - he is going to Cape Town In the sense of to rather than at naar is often reinforced by adding the adverb toe: hij gaat naar Kaapstad toe In pronominal replacement the addition is mandatory: hij gaat ernaartoe Alternatively, however, one can say: hij gaat erheen - he is going there heen is an adverb that indicates movement. It does not occur as preposition but there are separable verbs: heengaan - to leave (usually permanently) hij ging heen - he left Its opposite is weer (from: we(d)er- that means back or again) heen en weer - back and forth It occurs in separables like: weerkeren hij keerde weer - he came back de wederkomst - the second coming It is related to with as in withstand and forms inseparable verbs as in English: weerstaan - withstand toe is the adverbial form of the preposition tot that mostly means until or to: dit is geldig tot het eind van de maand - this is valid until the end of the month dit dient tot versterking van de dijk - this serves to reinforce the dyke dit is waartoe het dient - this is the purpose it serves Another meaning of toe is closing, narrowing. Somewhat archaic is: doe dat eens toe - please would you close that af en toe - occasionally, now and then but it occurs in a separable verb like: zich toespitsen - become more acute - coming to climax e.g. Het geweld spitst zich toe. The violence is exacerbating.


Dutch/Lesson 17


tussen means mostly between tussen Maryland en Noord-Carolina ligt Virginia Separable verbs Tussenvoegen - to insert. Inseparable verbs None.

van translates mostly into of and from: van verse tomaten is een heerlijke soep te bereiden - a delicious soup can be made of fresh tomatoes het westen van het land - the west of the country hij komt van ver - he comes from far hij viel van zijn stoel - he fell off his chair When a downwards motion or fall is implied as in the latter case, the adverb af (cognate of off) can be added: hij viel van de trap - he fell off the stairs hij viel eraf - he fell off het water komt van die berg af - the water comes from that mountain het komt er vanaf - it comes off of it af does not occur as proposition, but is part of separable verbs: afvallen - lose weight, fall off (sailing) van does not occur in verbs.

aan has various translations such as to, at, on or is implied in an English verb. It typically implies a touching or reaching until contact is made. zij gaven geld aan deze organisatie - they gave money to this organization hier komt deze laag aan de oppervlakte - here this layer reaches the surface aan deze feiten valt niet te twijfelen - these facts can not be doubted er valt weinig aan te doen - there is little we can do about it wat is er aan de hand? - what is at hand? what is happening? hij zit aan het schilderij - he is touching the painting hij zit eraan - he is touching it nergens aan zitten! - hands off! af is the opposite of aan in: af en aan - off and on But uit can also be the opposite: Is het licht aan of uit? Is the light on or off?

Dutch/Lesson 17 Separable verbs aankomen - to arrive, gain weight e.g. Hij is gisteren aangekomen. He arrived yesterday. e.g. Hij is tien kilo aangekomen. He gained 10 kilos. Inseparable verbs aanbidden - to worship e.g. In het Oude Egypte werd de god Horus aanbeden. In Ancient Egypt the god Horus was worshipped.


om can mean around: hij deed een nieuwe band om de velg - he put a new tire around the rim om de burcht ligt een gracht - there is a moat around the castle In this meaning it is often reinforced with heen: er ligt een gracht om de stad heen er ligt een gracht omheen It can also have less literal meaning of about, because of, for: dit werd om onduidelijke redenen afgelast - this was cancelled for unclear reasons There are separable verbs: omdoen - wrap around e.g. Zij deed een sjaal om. She put a shawl around her neck. Under German influence om can also imply change, inversion. hij liet zich ompraten - he allowed himself to be persuaded to change his mind wegomlegging - detour

langs evokes a parallel position or motion and is mostly translated by along. langs de rivier loopt een weg - there is a road along the river hij liep erlangs - he passed by it Separable verbs langskomen - drop by Inseparable verbs None.

Dutch/Lesson 18


Dutch/Lesson 18
Les 18 ~ Lesson 18 Scheidbare werkwoorden in bijzinnen~ Separation and Subordination
<< Les 17 | Les


More word order

We have seen that word order depends on quite a few factors in Dutch: 1. inversion 1. in questions 2. for emphasis 2. separation 1. of compound verbs 1. auxiliary 2. rest of the verbal cluster 2. of prefixed verbs 3. of pronominal adverbs 3. subordination

Separation and subordination

What happens when the above factors are combined, for example if a separable verb is put in a subordinate clause? Notice what happens to the persoonvorm: that part of the verb that carries the ending: Inseparable vertrekken Direct: Hij vertrekt morgen naar Berlijn Indirect: Ik zeg dat hij morgen naar Berlijn vertrekt Separable aankomen Direct: Hij komt morgen in Berlijn aan Hij komt morgen aan in Berlijn Indirect: Ik geloof dat hij morgen in Berlijn aankomt As you see in the subordinate clause the verb is put at the end and is no longer separated. At least this is true for the present and simple past tense. If we use the future tense the situation is somewhat different: Inseparable vertrekken Direct: Hij zal morgen vertrekken Indirect:

Dutch/Lesson 18 Ik betwijfel of hij morgen vertrekken zal Ik betwijfel of hij morgen zal vertrekken Separable aankomen Direct: Hij zal morgen aankomen Indirect: Ik zeg dat hij morgen aan zal komen Ik zeg dat hij morgen aankomen zal Ik zeg dat hij morgen zal aankomen There is considerable variation in word order possible, some with separation, some without and usage varies from region to region and person to person. In general we can say that all parts of the verb like to be at the end of the sentence, except the persoonsvorm of a direct phrase. When there are many bits and pieces at the end they tends compete for last place. There are a few restrictions to the latter in the case of modal verbs: ik weet dat hij nog komen moet ik weet dat hij nog moet komen Both are fine in Dutch, but if we add another auxilliary: ik denk dat hij nog zal moeten komen ik denk dat hij nog komen moeten zal ik denk dat hij nog moeten komen zal The first is fine, the second rather awkward, the third is not acceptable.


Separable versus inseparable in dependent clauses

Recall that some verbs occur in both a separable and an inseparable form, e.g. doorlopen. Ik loop de school door - takes five minutes to walk through the school physically Ik doorloop de school - takes five years and ends in graduation In a dependent clause the only difference between the two is in the stress pattern, so that in written language the following sentence can have two pronunciations and two meanings: Ik geloof dat hij de school doorloopt In such cases of ambiguity Dutch spelling allows the addition of stress marks: Ik geloof dat hij de school drloopt - takes five minutes Ik geloof dat hij de school doorlpt - takes a number of years

Dutch/Lesson 18


Separable infinitives and te

Infinitives are at times used with te, much like in English they are with to: Dat is moeilijk te lezen - that is hard to read In such cases separable verbs do separate: Dat is onmogelijk op te schrijven Such infinitives can express an action that must be performed (as in English something to do). They can even used in an adjectival construction: De onmogelijk op te schrijven tekst werd ter zijde geschoven The text that was impossible to write down, was pushed aside.

Dutch/Lesson Afrikaans
Welkom by die Afrikaans les
Daar is 'n eie wikiboek vir Afrikaans, hierdie is net 'n vergelyking van die twee tale. Er is een eigen wikiboek voor Afrikaans, dit is slechts een vergelijking van de twee talen. Afrikaans has its own wikibook. This page discusses the relationship between the two sister languages.

Afrikaans & Nederlands

Dutch is used in the countries The Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles & Aruba, sometimes in Indonesia and some neighbouring parts of Germany and France. But if you speak Standard Dutch you can also hold conversations very easily in Southern Africa, in South Africa and Namibia. Since the founding of Kaapstad (Capetown) in 1652 a variety of Dutch was spoken at the Cape, gradually spreading over much of Southern Africa. Since 1806 the political ties were severed and the spoken languages evolved in their own directions, much as English did in the U.S. and French did in Quebec. Some Dutch dialects and Afrikaans are still very close to each other and the differences between Dutch dialects are at least as big as between Dutch and Afrikaans. In fact, until 1925 there was only one written standard legally recognized both in South Africa and in Belgium and the Netherlands. Unfortunately, this written standard was rather artificial and archaic and did not reflect what people actually spoke. For example the standard still had case endings and three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter). Only certain dialects of Flanders and the southern part of the Netherlands still had at least three genders in the spoken language. The northern Netherlands only had two genders and South Africa only one. The inflectional system was already gradually becoming disused in the Middle Ages, but later grammarians decided that it had to be preserved even brought back at all costs. On top of that the spoken language of South Africa had a much simplified verbal system, e.g. it no longer used the simple past tense. There were also numerous differences in pronunciation and semantics. The discrepancies between the single written standard and what people actually spoke were so large that they created serious educational problems and formed an impediment to social progress both in Africa and in Europe. This was why the Kollewijn spelling (1891) proposed radical changes for the spelling of the language. It is also known as "Schrijf zoals je praat / Skryf hoe jy praat-spelling" (Write-as-you-talk spelling). In South Africa, where the discrepancies were the most conspicuous, his ideas were implemented in the 1920's with considerable vigor. In the Netherlands and Belgium (and their colonies) his ideas were dismissed as outrageous and iconoclastic. It was also feared that what had been one language would splinter into many, each of which would be unable to compete in the modern world.

Dutch/Lesson Afrikaans In 1925 Afrikaans was officially recognized as a separate language with its own spelling and grammar, much closer to what people actually spoke. In Europe it was only after the Second World War that the educational and political establishment finally threw in the towel and followed the Afrikaans example. In 1947 the spelling was revised in such a way that case endings (notably the -n in the masculine singular accusative: den) were made optional. Rapidly it disappeared from use. Many silent and superfluous letters were omitted, e.g.: de menschen wenschen die mense wens de boeken van dien aardigen kleinen jongen die boeke van die aardige klein jong The reform of 1947 was not quite as sweeping as the one in 1925. For example the word for at home is still written as thuis (from: te huis) in Dutch, but as tuis in Afrikaans. Similarly, thans (from te hands: now) is written as it is pronounced in Afrikaans: tans. In part the reluctance to reform had to do with the fact that earlier ideas in Flanders to create a separate standard closer to what was spoken there had largely been abandoned. In Belgium the language was under considerable pressure from a French speaking elite and could ill afford further fragmentation. Despite considerable variety in the spoken language there was clearly a desire to keep the written umbrella unified. This led to increased linguistic cooperation between Flanders and the Netherlands and the creation of the Taalunie. The ties with South Africa in the mean time become all but severed because the Apartheid government there amongst other things - emphasized the uniqueness of the Afrikaans language. In fact in 1961 all linguistic ties were broken. The Netherlands and Belgium increasingly joined the boycott against apartheid. Since 1994 there is a slow process of renewal of ties but the languages have continued to evolve in different directions in the meantime.


Afrikaans: Afrikaans is een van die elf amptelike tale in Suid-Afrika en is ook die grootste, maar nie amptelike taal nie van Namibi. Afrikaans, 'n betwiste kreool van Nederlands, word gepraat deur 6 miljoen mense in Suid-Afrika as huistaal. Naas die 6 miljoen is daar ook 10 miljoen wat Afrikaans praat as tweede taal, vaak naas Engels, Xhosa of Zoeloe Let op: Hierdie mense wat Afrikaans praat is nie alleenlik blanke Suid-Afrikaners van Nederlandse afkoms nie maar word ook gepraat deur die sogenaamde kleurlinge en swarte Suid-Afrikaners. Tot 1925 het Afrikaans as Nederlands gereken, maar in 1961 het Afrikaans Nederlands offisieel vervang. Tot di tyd het die mense Afrikaans en Nederlands beskou as sinonieme. Na 1961 heet die taal Afrikaans. Nederlands is oorspronklik die taal van die Nederlandse koloniste, toe die Boere en nou die Afrikaners. Deesdae word die taal deur mense van alle kleure gepraat. Die taal is die meest verspreide taal in Suidelike Afrika en meer as 60% van die Namibirs kan 'n proffesionele gesprek in Afrikaans voer.

Dutch/Lesson Afrikaans


English: Afrikaans is one of the eleven official languages in South Africa and also the biggest, but not an official language of Namibia. Afrikaans, a creole of Dutch, is spoken by 6 million people in South Africa as a mother tongue. Beside those 6 million there are also 10 million people that speak Afrikaans as a secondary language, often next to English, Xhosa or Zulu. Note: This is not only the white South Africans of Dutch descent but also the "coloureds" and also many black South Africans. It was in 1925 that Afrikaans was recognized as Dutch in South Africa, but in 1961 Afrikaans replaced Dutch officially, till those times it was Standard Dutch and Afrikaans considered as synonyms. After 1961 the language is called Afrikaans. Dutch was originally the language of the Dutch colonists, later Boers and now Afrikaners. But these days the language is used by people of all colours. The language is the most spread out language in Southern Africa and more than 60% of the Namibians can have a professional conversation in Afrikaans.

Differences between Dutch and Afrikaans

Verbs One major difference between the two languages is that Dutch retains the simple past tense, Afrikaans does not: I learn - I learned - I have learned ik leer - ik leerde - ik heb geleerd ek leer - ............ - ek het geleer In the present tense Dutch typically has three forms: ik leer jij, hij leert wij, jullie, zij leren In Afrikaans there is only one: leer

Dutch/Lesson Afrikaans


Examples of Afrikaans (on left) and Dutch (on right)

Dutch/Lesson 2A


Dutch/Lesson 2A
back to lesson 2

Exercise 2A-1 Inflection

As you have seen in lesson two, Dutch adjectives have two main forms, an uninflected one and an inflected one in -e. In the sentences below chose the right form. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Deze auto is rood/rode. Het is een rood/rode auto. Dit huis is groot/grote. Ik heb een groot/groot huis. Is de weg erg lang/lange? Is het een lang/lange of een kort/korte? Is het huis mooi/mooie? Ja het is een prachtig/prachtige huis! Hij heeft een beter/betere manier gevonden.

^ Les 1 ^

Appendix 1 ~ Alphabet and Pronunciation Guide

Het alfabet ~ The alphabet

The Dutch alphabet, like English, consists of 26 basic letters. However, there are also a number of letter combinations. The following table includes a listing of all these letters and a guide to their pronunciation. As in English, letter sounds can differ depending upon where within a word the letter occurs. The first pronunciation given below (second column) is that in English of the letter (or combination) itself. Reading down this column and pronouncing the "English" words will recite the alphabet in het Nederlands (in Dutch). Note that letter order is exactly the same as in English, but pronunciation is not for many of the letters. SAMPA-orthography: see SAMPA
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q (ah) (bay) (say) (day) (ay) (ef) (khay) 'g' as 'ch' in Scottish 'loch', but voiced (/G/) (hah) (ee) (yay) (kah) (el) (em) (en) (oh) (pay) (kuuh) Long 'o' as 'o' in 'open' (oh; /o:/); short 'o' as 'aw' in British English 'law' (/O/) No aspiration Usually voiced. Long 'i' as 'e' in 'seen' (ee) (/i:/); short 'i' as 'i' in 'pit' (/I/) Pronounced like 'y' as in 'yes' No aspiration Thinner than in English Long 'a' in French 'bateau', but longer (SAMPA /a:/); short 'a' as in 'arm' (/A/) Pronounced like 'p' when at the end of a word Like 's' preceding i, e and y; like 'k' preceding a, o, u and consonants Pronounced like 't' when at the end of a word Long 'e' as 'a' in 'late' (/e:/); short 'e' as 'e' in 'pet' (/E/)

R S T U V W X (err) (ess) (tay) (uuh) (vay) (way) (iks) for Holland: between upper teeth and lower lip (not between lips) / for Flanders (Belgium): between the lips No aspiration Long 'u' as 'u' in French 'du' (/y:/); short 'u' somewhat like 'i' in 'bird' (/Y/) trilled (see below)


Y or IJ (eh-ee). Y only in loans, IJ is a diphthong and considered two letters. Z (zet)

combined letters aa ee oo uu au ei eu ie ij oe ou ui ch ng
<< Contents Page

Nederlandse uitspraak ~ Dutch Pronunciation Guide

Dutch has quite a few vowels (13). To be well understood by a native speaker it is imperative to master them, which can be quite challenge for native speakers of languages that rely more on their many consonants such as Russian. One general observation is that they are always pronounced as pure (or only slightly diphthongized) vowels as in French, never drawled or 'chewed upon' as in many varieties of English. Most vowels occur in pairs that are traditionally indicated by the terms short and long. Unfortunately, this nomenclature is rather misleading because the difference is not a matter of length, but rather a difference in the position of the tongue root (lax vs. tense).




'short' (lax)

'long' (tense) /a/ as in broad US 'my God!' (Gaad) or Fr. bteau /e/ as in bait /i/ as in beet /o/ as in boat

a - - stal - staal // as in squat, father e - - bed - beet i - - bit - biet o - - bot - boot // as in bell // as in bit // as in paw or UK Potter

u - - put - kluut // more rounded than subtle /y/ as in French tu oe - - koet eu - - deuk /u/ as oo, but rounded // as German Mwe

In addition there is a neutral vowel that occurs in almost all unstressed syllables, the schwa // as is does more or less in English as well. It is spelled with an 'e', so that this letter has three meanings: the above two in stressed syllables, the schwa in unstressed ones. Notice the value of the letter 'u' in Dutch. As in French it denotes the /y/ sound. Thus, in German it corresponds to . It is relatively rare in Dutch because most words that used to have it have shifted it to the diphthong ui. It occurs mostly at the end of words like u, nu or in front of a w or r: ruw, stuur. Trick: If you can whistle: whistle a high note, freeze your mouth in the position it is in and sing. You'll produce a /y/-sound. The trick is to have the tongue far in the front of the mouth and the lips rounded. The spelling 'oe' for /u/ is a real Dutch oddity. Most languages use 'u' as German and Latin. (French uses 'ou', English often used 'oo', although it does have words like shoe). The Dutch /u/ sound is strongly rounded and dark with the tongue pretty far retracted back in the mouth. (American 'oo' sounds tend to be intermediary between /u/ and /y/ ) There is a systematic way in the spelling to indicate which of the two varieties is intended. An open syllable has the 'long' one, a closed one -ending in one or more consonants- has the 'short' one. na /na/ nat /nt/ If a conflict arises, either the vowel or the consonant is doubled: zaak - zaken both have /a/ (business - businesses) zak - zakken both have // (bag- bags) Notice how the formation of the plural necessitates a good mastery of this principle. The vowels oe and eu do not exhibit the dual quality of the other vowels. The case of the letter i is a bit special. There has been a double ii in the past but to avoid confusion with a hand-written u it was replaced by -ij. Afterwards the long /i:/ sound it represented became a diphthong /i/ (although many dialects retain /i/). To write the long /i/ sound Dutch mostly uses -ie. As said above, the distinction 'short'-'long' has little to do with pure length, because the change from open to closed is much more important. There is an exception. In front of -r the long vowel may indeed just be the same vowel held a bit longer: bord : /brt/ boord: /brt/ In front of -r there are a few other oddities: keel - /kel/ keer - /kr/ keus - /ks/ keur - /kr/



ei and ij are both /i/ compare English feisty au and ou are both /au/ as in English now ui is /y/ needs to be learned by ear, it is a bit like in French l'oeil. aai is /ai/ ooi is /oi/ ieu is /iu/ or /iy/ eeu is /eu/ uw is /yu/ Diphthongs like /i/ (as in English toy) or /i/ (as in English my) are not used in the standard language. In various dialects they do occur and producing them is often frowned upon. They are considered 'lower class' in many circles. In unstressed syllables like the suffix -lijk the ij represents a schwa.

Most consonants in Dutch are pronounced more or less the same way as in English but there are a number of notable exceptions. First of all a number of phonemes that English has are simply missing in Dutch. Phonemes are sounds that suffice in marking one word as different from the other.

Missing phonemes
// : th as in thing // : th as in that. /g/ : g as in good (!!) // : sh as in ship (!!) Please avoid these sounds when speaking Dutch.

The g, ch and sch problem

The spelling sch- can be rather confusing for people familiar with some German. In German it is used to write the // sound, where English uses sh-. In Dutch the sch- combination also occurs quite frequently but is pronounced rather differently. In most cases it presents a combination of s+ch where the latter is the voiceless velar fricative /x/ as heard in German Bach or Scottish loch. schip : /sxp/ In older versions of the orthography (prior to 1947) the combination -sch represented a simple /s/ sound in final position. The guttural ch at the end had gone mute. (Originally it represented a k- sound as it still does in some dialects and in Frisian). The final -sch spelling is still used for one rather common ending: -isch and also in numerous geographical names as they have never been altered in spelling: chaotisch: /xa'otis/ (not: /xa'oti/ 's-Hertogenbosch : /srton'bs/ , (not: /r'tognbo/ ) In principle Dutch has both a voiceless and a voiced velar fricative and the letter 'g' represents the voiced one and the combination 'ch' the voiceless one. However, the number of words where this creates a phonemic distinction is very small: logen /'lon/ contrasts with: loochen /'loxn/

Dutch/Alfabet It depends on the region whether this distinction is actually made in the spoken language. Around Amsterdam it would not be, further south the phoneme 'g' is often pronounced as a voiced palatal fricative, so that the difference becomes more pronounced. Worldwide, the voiced // sound is pretty rare. It only occurs in a few languages like Arabic and Gaelic. As many native speakers do not use it either, it is recommended not to bother about it and use the voiceless /x/ for both, unless your mother tongue happens to have the difference.


The Dutch "r"

Another, similar, problem for English-speaking learners is the Dutch "r". Essentially there are two, both of which were historically trilled. The first, alveaolar [r], is the trilled "r" also used in Spanish, produced with the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge. This sound was standard only a few decades ago and is still used by some speakers. However it is gradually replaced by a voiced velar or uvular trill [R], which is also used in many dialects of German; it is also similar to the French "r", but is voiced and articulated somewhat further forward (it is less "throaty"). Starting from the Dutch "g" (//) described above - a voiced velar fricative, the tongue is lowered and relaxed, thereby allowing the back of the tongue to trill against the soft palate (the velum) or of the uvula against the back of the tongue. Both the alveolar and the uvular /r/ sounds are often not trilled when spoken by native speakers; the alveolar [r] is more often a light tap, while the uvular [R] can turn into a fricative or approximant. This also presents a considerable challenge for those unaccustomed to the sound when they are confronted with words like groot ("big"). The first two sounds tend to blend to one lengthy velar/uvular /x:ot/ or /:ot/, which may cause confusion with words like rood (red) and goot (gutter). A third type of /r/ currently making inroads into Dutch is Gooise R, named after the Gooi area in the Netherlands, where Dutch television is produced (Hilversum) and this speech feature is popularly thought to have originated. This concerns an approximant sound, not unlike American /r/ in words such as bar, without trilling or friction.

Voiceless consonants
p represents /p/, but unlike in English it is never aspirated. poot /pot/, kaap /kap/ f represents /f/ as in English fuut /fyt/, schaaf /sxaf/ t represents /t/ a true dental. Unlike UK-English it is not aspirated and unlike US-English it does not become a /d/ in the middle of a word. toe /tu/, beter /'betr/ s represents /s/, in few case it can be a /z/ sound but much less frequently so than in German: samen: /'samn/ but: organisatie: /rani'zatsi/ The latter word also contains an exception on the rule that t represents /t/. In the ending -tie (corresponding to -tion) it is pronounced as a quick /ts/ combination. k represents /k/. again it is never aspirated as often happens in English or German. kop /kp/ , kraak /krak/ In contrast to English it is not silent in combinations like kn-: knie' /kni/ ch represents /x/ as discussed above, except in recent English loans. This phoneme is quite common.

Dutch/Alfabet schraag /sxrax/, schichtig /sxxtx/


Devoicing and assimilation

As in German, but unlike English all consonants at the ends of words are devoiced ( the ents off worts are devoist...). You may hear that phenomenon when people speak English with a strong Dutch accent. zaad: /zat/ Assimilation with the previous word often devoices the consonant in initial position as well: het zaad: /tsat/ The neutral article het is often reduced to a prefixed t-sound in the spoken language and occasionally rendered as such in the written language as: 't. Het zaad -> 't zaad. Notice however that both the /z/ and the /d/ reappear in the plural: de zaden: /d 'zadn/ Contrary to d, the letters v and z are not used in the final position in such cases: de vaas - de vazen: /d vas - d 'vazn/ de graaf - de graven /d raf - d 'ravn/

Voiced consonants
Apart from the devoicing effects Dutch has the following voiced consonants: b represents /b/ as in English baas /bas/ v represents /v/ as in English, although its voicing is less emphatic bevel /b'vl/ d represents /d/ as in English dader /'dadr/ z represents /z/ as in English ziezo! /'zizo/ g represents // not /g/ as in English (see above) gegraven /ravn/, gracht /rxt/ Around Amsterdam the tendency to devoice is so strong that /v/ // and /z/ are seldom heard. People use /f/, /x/ and /s/ instead.

Liquids, nasals etc.

m represents /m/ as in English mooi /moi/ w represents // much like in German, it is a labiodental approximant, not a bilabial one. Bring your upper teeth close to your lower lip and produce sound without breath. Put otherwise: produce a v-sound without breath. Speakers from e.g. Surinam often do use the bilabial version. water /atr/ In initial wr- (wraak /vrak/ or /rak/) w tends to sound more like /v/. It is not silent as in English. In erwt /rt/ (pea) the w is silent for most speakers n represents /n/ as in English

Dutch/Alfabet nonnetje /'nntj/ (/'nnc/) Many plurals (including the plural forms of the verb) have an ending -en. For many speakers this is pronounced as /-/ and the final n is dropped, but this is not true for all. It depends strongly on the region of the speech area you are in. Around Amsterdam it is certainly /-/, but in Groningen or in West-Flanders it is a syllabic /-n/ instead. ng // as in English sing, never /g/ as in finger (the latter uses a /g/ that Dutch does not have). It does not occur in initial position, much like in English. vinger /vr/ Even in loans the /g/ tends to be avoided: tango : /'tno/ or /'to/ nk /k/ as in English sink (This involves a /k/ sound that Dutch does have) j represents a /j/ sound, which in English usually written as y. The English j as in Jack is virtually unknown. jacht: /jxt/, borrowed into English as: yacht. In combination with i it forms a diphthong: ij. Although this is a two letter combination, both letters get capitalized at the beginning of a sentence: ijs -> IJs (ice). /is/. The suffix -je that forms the rather ubiquitous diminutives tends to palatellize the previous consonants or even fuse to a palatal stop all together in rapid speech. blaadje /'blatj/ (/'blac/ y is not a native Dutch letter but it occurs in loans where it is pronounced /i/ or /j/. l represents an /l/ that is neither velarized (dark) as most English l's are, nor is it the slender variety as in German, French (or Irish). It is neutral and in between. lila /'lila/ r can represent a variety of sounds. A rolled 'r' /r/ was more or less the norm, but is heard less and less. A variety of uvular forms is taking its place. Retroflex ones (as in US English) sound distinctly foreign. h represents // a voiced version of the h-sound commonly heard in English and German. It only occurs in initial position of a syllable. behang /b'/, herfst /rfst/ the glottal stop ` is not rendered in the ortography, unless by a trema, e.g. in napen /na`apn/. It is much less used than in German, e.g. theater: /te'jatr/ rather than /te`atr/.


Syllable Stress
Stress is not represented in the spelling as such but often an educated guess can be made. Dutch is like English and German (and unlike French) a typical stress language. One syllable tends to get all the attention. It is at the same time loud, long and high in pitch and it never has a schwa . Instead it has a full vowel or a diphthong. Unstressed syllables tend to be short, low, soft and usually have a schwa, although there are exceptions. Because the schwa is written as a e in the orthography it is often quite clear where the stress falls in a word: verlaten : /vr'latn/ has only one non-schwa syllable la and sure enough that is where the stress goes. Unfortunately for the non-native speaker the letter e is also used for other purposes. verleden : /vr'ledn/ And, to make it any more difficult for the non-native speaker: december : /de'smbr/ It's a word which has three e's, all different pronounced. The middle -e represent a full /e/ sound (as the ai in bait), but that is only clear for a native speaker. But with a bit of knowledge of grammar it will be clear that /led/ is the root of a verb (lijden actually) and that ver- is a prefix and -en the suffix. In general, the root of a verb (or noun) will get the stress in Dutch.

Dutch/Alfabet Of course there are exceptions, a good example are the separable and non-separable verbs. Some words and names can have rather surprising stress patterns: Veluwe is /'vely/ for example.


The rules for capitalization in Dutch are similar to the ones in English. Capitalization occurs at the beginning of a sentence. Eigennamen (names of persons, institutions, countries etc.) are capitalized, soortnamen (names of species) are not. As mentioned above, when a word beginning with ij has to be capitalized, both letters become capitals, e.g. IJsselmeer.
<< Contents Page

Dutch/Appendix 2
Translation Hello I am [...] What is your name? Where is... My name is [...] What time is it? I want that, please Phrase Hoi / Hallo Ik ben [...] Hoe heet je? / Hoe heet u? Waar is... Ik heet [...]/ Mijn naam is[...] Hoe laat is het? Ik wil dat, alstublieft

How are you? (To someone you do not know) Hoe gaat het met u? How are you? (To someone you know) Good morning Good day Good evening Good night Good-bye Please You are welcome Thank you That How much? Yes No Where is the toilet? Generic toast Do you speak English? I don't understand I don't speak Dutch Hoe gaat het met je? Goedemorgen Goedendag Goedenavond Goedenacht Dag / Tot ziens Alstublieft Graag gedaan Dank u wel Dat Hoeveel? Ja / Jawel Nee / Neen Waar is het toilet? Proost Spreekt u Engels? Dat begrijp ik niet Ik spreek geen Nederlands

Dutch/Appendix 2

I'm sorry Pardon me I don't know Best regards Het spijt me Neem me niet kwalijk Dat weet ik niet Met vriendelijke groet

Translation Dutch hello Good morning Good afternoon Good evening good-bye please thank you I'm sorry I dont understand

Phrase Nederlands hallo goedemorgen goedemiddag goedenavond tot ziens alstublieft dank u wel het spijt me ik begrijp het niet

IPA /'nedrlns/ /h'lo/ /'udmrn/ /udmdx/ /udnnt/ /tt 'zins/ /lsty'blift/ /dky'l/

pronunciation (NAY-der-lahnds) (hah-LO)


/k b'rip t nit/ (Ick beyGRAYP hett neat)

that one how much? English do you speak English?

die hoeveel? Engels spreek je Engels?

/di/ /hu'vel/ /'ls/ /sprek j 'ls/

(dee) (who-VEIL) (ENGels) (Spray-k ya ENGels)

yes no I dont know

ja nee ik weet het niet

/ja/ /ne/ /k et t nit/

(ya) (nei) (Ick WAY-T hett neat)

Where is the bathroom? waar is het toilet? I don't feel well That's okay generic toast ik voel me niet lekker dat is goed proost /prost/ (proh-st)

Dutch/Appendix 3


Dutch/Appendix 3
^ Les 1 ^

Appendix 3 - Voornaamwoorden ~ pronouns

Like English, Dutch has pronouns. These can mark number, case, gender,politeness and emphasis. Pronouns can function either as substantives (nouns) or as adjectives. There is also a number of related adverbs that will be treated here. Adverbs are typically not considered pronouns in grammatical analysis, but they deserve mention when discussing the Dutch language because pronouns are often replaced by pronominal adverbs.

Persoonlijke voornaamwoorden ~ Personal pronouns

In this table personal pronouns are given in nominative, accusative and dative case. These cases signify the role the pronouns have in the sentence. For example: In "I am hitting you", "I" is nominative (subject) and "you" is accusative (object). Also words with a preposition are in accusative case ("you" in "I am looking at you"). Dative case is special and tells us something is indirect object, as "me" in "He gave me that" or "He built me a snowman" or, with a preposition, "He gave it to me".
number person nom. Dutch singular 1st 2nd fam. ik jij/je acc./dat. English Dutch I you you you he she it mij/me jou/je u u hem haar het ons jullie u u English me you you you him her it us you you you

polite u South gij 3rd m f n plural 1st 2nd fam. hij zij/ze het

wij/we we jullie you you you they

polite u South gij 3rd zij/ze

hen/hun* them ze

Remarks: Sometimes there are two forms (jij/je etc.), which can be interchanged most of the time. (See 5) Officially the plural 3rd person accusative form is hen. Hun is (officially) only used as a dative without preposition: "We hebben het hun verteld" ("We told them about it"). After a preposition hen should be used. This refers almost entirely to the written standard language and was artificially constructed by the grammarians of the past. In the spoken language hen is seldom heard. Even hun is increasingly replaced by ze as people tire of being told their use of hun is wrong by the schoolmasters. In the inanimate case the use of preposition+pronoun is rare, replacement by a pronominal adverb being preferred (See 8). For inanimate objects personal and possesive pronouns are often replaced by demonstrative pronouns. In the South -mostly Flanders- the gij-form is in regular use for the second person. It has its own verb endings. It adds a -t both in the present and the past: komen - gij komt - gij kwaamt. In the North its use is limited to Biblical

Dutch/Appendix 3 quotes like: gij zult niet stelen - thou shalt not steal. Notice that u is used as object, without implying politeness. Bezittelijke voornaamwoorden ~ Possessive pronouns Pssessive pronouns are essentially the adjectival forms of the personal pronouns.
number person singular 1st 2nd fam. Dutch mijn jouw/je English my your your his her its


polite uw 3rd m f n plural 1st 2nd fam. zijn*3 haar*3 (zijn)*3

onze/ons our jullie your your their

polite uw 3rd hun

Remarks: 1. The difference between jouw and je is matter of emphasis or the lack thereof: "Dat is jouw huis." vs. "Dat is je huis." 2. Ons has an inflected form onze as most adjectives do (See ../Lesson 2). Other possessives are seldom inflected in the modern language: Mijne Heren!: Gentlemen!, Hare Hoogheid: Her Highness. More regularly inflected forms are used when the pronoun is used as an independent noun: Met welke auto gaan we? De mijne of de jouwe?. Jullie is never inflected, instead die van jullie is used. 3. The neuter possessive pronoun zijn is very rare as Dutch usually opts for a construction involving a pronominal adverb like ervan. (see 8). The masculine and feminine forms are increasingly reserved for natural gender (persons, as in English) in other cases pronominal replacement is more and more the norm. Personal Adverb - er Dutch has a somewhat curious personal locative adverb er that replaces het and ze particularly in inanimate cases (i.e. for things more so than for persons). It occurs as the locative part of many pronominal adverbs, such as :erin, erdoor, ervan etc. but it can also be used independently: er is koffie - there is coffee. er zijn mensen die dat lusten - there are people that like that Notice that er is not considered the subject of these sentences (koffie and mensen are the subject resp.)

Dutch/Appendix 3


Aanwijzende voornaamwoorden -- Demonstrative pronouns

location neuter sg. close far dit dat all other deze die English this, these that,those

1. Notice that the distinction dit-deze does not correspond to the distinction this-these. Deze is used in the plural but it also used in the singular for m/f words. (It replaces de.) Demonstrative pronouns are typically used as adjectives: Dit huis Deze auto they can also be used independently: dit is een huis Zijn auto? Die heb ik gezien They are more and more used to replace inanimate personal pronouns. Aanwijzende bijwoorden - demonstrative adverbs temporal Dutch has three demonstrative adverbs of time: 1. past: toen -then hij heeft toen een huis gekocht - he bought a house then 2. present: nu - now nu woont hij er - now he lves there 3. future/conditional: dan - then hij het dan verkopen - then he'll sell it modal One modal demonstrative adverb is common: zo - so Occasionally a more proximate one zus is used for contrast Dat doe je zus en zo - You do that this way and that. locative Two locative adverbs are in common use: 1. close by: hier - here 2. far off: daar - there Both of them are used as the locative part of demonstrative pronominal adverbs like: hierdoor, daarvan etc. A third adverb is less common: 1. remote: ginds, ginder, daarginds -yonder

Dutch/Appendix 3


Betrekkelijke voornaamwoorden -- Relative pronouns

Zelfstandig- substantive
antecedent neuter sg. after included dat wat all other die wie English that/who the one that/who whoever/that which

Without antecedent: Dit is het huis dat ik koop -this is the house that I buy Dit is de auto die ik koop - this is the car that I buy Dit is de vrouw die ik lief heb - the is the woman whom I love With inclusion of antecedent. Wie mij steunt zal ik belonen - whoever supports me I shall reward Ik verkocht wat ik eerder gekocht had - I sold that which I had bought earlier. There are a number of archaic forms that can be used with prepostitions: neuter:hetwelk, hetgeen, hetgene, datgene : that which other: dewelke persons degene die: he who, diegenen die: those who As in English the genitives wiens and wier (whose) can be used in relative clauses referring to persons: ik ontmoette de man wiens vrouw voor ons werkt - I met the man whose wife works for us.
case masc sg. fem sg./plur wier English whose

genitive wiens

In inanimate cases the relative pronominal adverb waarvan is virtually mandatory. Bijvoeglijk - adjective
neuter sg. welk all other welke English which

ik weet welk boek hij gebruikt - I know which book he uses ik weet niet in welke steden trams rijden - I do not know in which cities streetcars are operated Bijwoordelijk - adverbial locative waar - where Waar can be used to initiate a dependent clause: dit is de stad waar ik geboren ben - this is the town where I was born Waar is also used to form the relative pronominal adverbs like waarvan, waarvoor etc. that frequently replace relative pronouns.



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Dutch/What time is it?

Hoe laat is het? Saying what time it is is quite different from in English. You do not use the same rules for saying 8:10 and 8:50, for example. In the following examples, we use times from 8 to 9 o'clock.

__:00 / __:15 / __:30 / __:45

Examples: 8:00 8:15 8:30 8:45 8 uur kwart over 8 half 9 kwart voor 9

__:01 to __:19
Examples: 8:01 - 1 over 8 8:02 - 2 over 8 ... 8:19 - 19 over 8

Dutch/What time is it?


Example: 8:20 - 20 over 8 (not used everywhere), or 10 voor half 9

__:21 to __:29
Examples: 8:21 - 9 voor half 9 8:22 - 8 voor half 9 ... 8:29 - 1 voor half 9

Example: 8:30 - half 9

__:31 to __:39
Examples: 8:31 - 1 over half 9 8:32 - 2 over half 9 ... 8:39 - 9 over half 9

Example: 8:40 - 10 over half 9

__:41 to __:59
Examples: 8:41 - 19 voor 9 8:42 - 18 voor 9 ... 8:59 - 1 voor 9

Example: 9:00 - 9 uur

Dutch/The numbers


Dutch/The numbers
Counting is often the first thing one wants to learn when visiting another country.

0 to 10
0. nul 1. n 2. twee 3. drie 4. vier 5. vijf 6. zes 7. zeven 8. acht 9. negen 10. tien Notice that the cardinal 1 (one) is usually written using stress marks as n to distinguish it from the unstressed indefinite article een (English a or an). However stress marking is an optional thing in Dutch and the marks are not always written. Zeven is sometimes pronounced as "zeuven" [zv(n)] to distinguish it better from "negen".

11 to 20
As in English the first two are irregular; they betray an ancient suffix -lif as in English. 11. elf 12. twaalf The rest has -tien as a suffix with a few irregularities 13. dertien 14. veertien 15. vijftien 16. zestien 17. zeventien 18. achttien 19. negentien

Dutch/The numbers


20 to 100
The equivalent of -ty in English is -tig. 20. twintig 30. dertig 40. veertig 50. vijftig 60. zestig 70. zeventig 80. tachtig 90. negentig The "z" of zestig and zeventig are usually pronounced as [s], not [z].

21, 66 etc.
In contrast to English the units come first 21 eenentwintig ("oneandtwenty") If the unit ends in a vowel and this collides with the vowel of "en" a diaeresis (trema) is used: 22 tweentwintig

100, 200
In contrast to English, Dutch just uses "hundred", not "one hunderd" 100. honderd 101. honderd-en-n 200. tweehonderd 201. tweehonderd-en-n 300. driehonderd 400. vierhonderd 500. vijfhonderd 600. zeshonderd 700. zevenhonderd 800. achthonderd 900. negenhonderd

Dutch/The numbers


1000 to 100,000
This basically goes the same. Notice that Dutch uses periods as separators for factors of one thousand rather than commas. This notation is the reverse of the English one. Dutch has a decimal comma, not a decimal point. 1000. duizend 1001. duizend-en-n 2000. tweeduizend 5000. vijfduizend 10.000. tienduizend 20.000. twintigduizend 50.000. vijftigduizend 100.000. honderdduizend For years the 'honderd' is often dropped, similar to English: In 1355: in dertien vijfenvijftig.

Large numbers
1.000.000. n miljoen 1.500.000. n miljoen vijfhonderdduizend 2.000.000. twee miljoen For larger numbers Dutch uses the long scale rather than the short scale, which is currently used in all English-speaking countries. There are two suffixes -joen and -jard that alternate. miljard biljoen biljard triljoen triljard

Remember that Dutch uses a decimal comma rather than a decimal point. 6,7%: zes komma zeven procent. Dutch/The numbers/Hover test

Article Sources and Contributors


Article Sources and Contributors

Dutch/Cover Source: Contributors: CommonsDelinker, Dallas1278, Datch, Derbeth, German Men92, Guaka, Jcwf, Jguk, Krun, Martin Kraus, Mike.lifeguard, Mkn, Mtcv, Orange, Orion Blastar, Patrick Star, Quatt, Robert Horning, Runningfridgesrule, Swift, Tomakkermans, Tralala, Wknight8111, Youssefsan, 14 anonymous edits Dutch/Introduction Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Buncic, Guaka, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, Marshman, Mtcv, Nick Jones, Quink, SPQRobin, Stenographer, Webkid, Yarnover, Ylem, 58 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 1 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Bastique, EquationDoc, Gandalf1491, Guaka, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, Jomegat, Kevin de Vries, Lde, Mazeppa, Mtcv, Nathan niels, Patrick Star, Quatt, Rhdinah, ThePCKid, Thepeckhambassplayer, Webkid, 157 anonymous edits Dutch/Example 1 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Gandalf1491, Guanaco, Jcwf, Jguk, 21 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 1A Source: Contributors: Jcwf, Jguk, Missionary, 18 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 2 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Guaka, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, Kevin de Vries, Marshman, Mtcv, Oreo Priest, Rhdinah, 109 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 3 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Guaka, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, Mainvoid, Marshman, Missionary, ModsRule, Mtcv, Oreo Priest, Recent Runes, Repsah, Zwart, 112 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 4 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Guaka, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, ModsRule, Mtcv, Oreo Priest, Repsah, 109 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 5 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Jcwf, Jguk, ModsRule, 66 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 6 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Alsocal, Derbeth, Guaka, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, ModsRule, Oreo Priest, RubySS, Yktoo, 81 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 7 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, Marshman, Yktoo, 63 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 8 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Az1568, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, Yktoo, 106 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 9 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Boemanneke, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, Thenub314, 36 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 10 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Jcwf, Jguk, 30 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 11 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Albertde, Iarlagab, Jamesjiao, Jcwf, Jguk, 18 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 12 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Az1568, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, Velocitas, 30 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 13 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Boemanneke, George W Bush, Hagindaz, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Jguk, 27 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 14 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Iarlagab, Jcwf, Missionary, 31 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 15 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Duplode, Iarlagab, Jitse Niesen, 12 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 16 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Iarlagab, Jcwf, 34 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 17 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Iarlagab, Jcwf, RubySS, 24 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 18 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Iarlagab, Jcwf, SPQRobin Dutch/Lesson Afrikaans Source: Contributors: AGrobler, Adrignola, Cherylpok, Orange, QuiteUnusual, Totorotroll, 44 anonymous edits Dutch/Lesson 2A Source: Contributors: Jcwf, Thenub314 Dutch/Alfabet Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Guaka, Iarlagab, Jguk, Mtcv, Whiteknight, Ylem, Zwart, 73 anonymous edits Dutch/Appendix 2 Source: Contributors: Arsenalfan, Derbeth, Iarlagab, Jguk, Mike.lifeguard, Wietsezuyderwijk, 11 anonymous edits Dutch/Appendix 3 Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Iarlagab, Jguk, Mtcv, 19 anonymous edits Dutch/Websites Source: Contributors: David hoepelman, Hagindaz, Jguk, 13 anonymous edits Dutch/What time is it? Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Oreo Priest, Youssefsan, 8 anonymous edits Dutch/The numbers Source: Contributors: Adrignola, Jcwf, Oreo Priest, Youssefsan, 1 anonymous edits

Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors


Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

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