Here, you can introduce yourself. What is your reason to learn Dutch? Work or study? A Dutch-speaking loved one? Sheer curiosity? Share it with us!
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Marxist Kittem
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:52 am
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Mother tongue: English
Gender: Male


Post by Marxist Kittem » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:02 am

Hi lasses and lads,

My name is Luke and I'm an an English speaker trying to learn Dutch so that I can talk to my partner's family (they speak very good English but it's darned rude to turn up and expect folk to speak a different language in their own home).

I'm a bit slow with this all, so please bear with me; though I have been able to make up daft football chants about the cat in Dutch, for whatever that's worth.


Posts: 1334
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:15 am
Country of residence: United States
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English
Third language: German
Fourth language: French
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: Russisch, Xhosa

Re: Hoi!

Post by ngonyama » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:14 am

Hartelijk welkom! En veel succes.

Ieder woord is er één!

de kat -- the cat
het voetbal - the game of football/soccer
de voetbal - the actual ball it is played with


Marxist Kittem
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:52 am
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Mother tongue: English
Gender: Male

Re: Hoi!

Post by Marxist Kittem » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:33 am

Dank u wel!

The variations with the definite article is definitely one of the problems I have. Outside of diminutives, there seems to be no rule!

Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:17 am
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Dutch (Flanders)
Second language: Serbo-Croatian
Third language: French
Fourth language: English

Re: Hoi!

Post by Teodor » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:38 pm

There are actually a number of other rules, but the problem is that they certainly don't cover all substantives.

Feminine words -> de
- words ending with-heid, -nis, -de, -te, -ij, -erij, -enij, -arij, -ie, -tie
- words of foreign extraction ending with: -logie, -sofie, -agogie, -ica, -iek (if it's a loanword), -theek, -teit, -iteit, -tuur, -suur, -ade, -ide, -ode, -ude, -age, ine, -se, -sis, -xis, -tis
- if derived from a verb, words ending with-ing and -st
- some words ending with -schap (e.g. beterschap)
- and, of course, words naturally denoting females, such as 'moeder' or 'lerares' (with the notable exception of 'meisje' or some derogatory terms like 'wijf', which are neuter)

Masculine words -> de
- words with the suffix -aard, -aar, -er, -erd
- words with the suffix -er (with exceptions such as 'baker', feminine)
- some words with -dom, such as rijkdom (most are neuter)
- parts of the day: ochtend, avond, and the word 'dag' itself
- almost all names of trees, except 'linde' and 'tamarinde'

other de-words
- adjectives used as a substantive: 'de zieke'

Neuter words -> het
- diminutives, as you said
- names of countries and cities, in the exceptional cases when one needs an article: "Het Brussel van mijn jeugd", "Het wulpse Frankrijk",... (note: before independence, it was common to speak of "de Oekraïne")
- words derived from verbs, beginning with 'be-' or 'ge-' but not ending with -ing: 'het bevel', 'het gedoe'
- verbs when used as a substantive: 'het lachen', 'het zingen' (compage the English 'the laughing', 'the singing')
- names of companies, in the same exceptional cases as with names of countries and cities
- words ending with -isme
- most words ending with -dom, -schap'

But, as I said, in most cases, it's, unfortunately, something that one has to learn by heart.

Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:21 pm
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: English
Second language: Dutch
Gender: Male

Re: Hoi!

Post by Jaymsg » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:29 pm

I found it helpful to try and group things by type.

Most clothing is de (except shirt), Many common places are het (staion, plein, hotel, house), A lot of old sounding words are het (boek, water, woord)

Something like 80% of words are de words so when in doubt guess de. All plurals are de by default.

There is a website where you can sign up for a daily practice quiz... welklidwoord.nl

I do it everyday.

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