Dutch Language Course

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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:49 am
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
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Dutch Language Course

Post by Fiskje88 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:02 am

Dear all,

my name is Marco and I used to be a member of this forum. (I think my name was "marco88"?) I haven't been here in a long, long time but I have never lost interest in teaching other people the Dutch language. As a result, over the last couple of months I have been creating a Dutch course for those interested in learning. I have to say that in the last couple of weeks I really have not done that much, but I was hoping to get some feedback on the lessons that I have made so far. To cut a long story short: I will now post the first couple of lessons to see what you think of it. Problems is that I had also uploaded audio files on a website, but that website seems to delete links after a certain amount of time. However, I still have them saved on my computer, so if any of you are interested I could send them to you via PM/e-mail.

Let me know what you think and have fun!


Les één: Een inleiding in de Nederlandse taal

1.1 – Lesson overview

Before we can start with all the fun, which is the actual Dutch language of course, this lesson will serve as a short introduction to the Dutch language. It will focus mainly on its place in the Indo-European language group, its prevalence, and three of its characteristics (stress, word order, devoicing). At the end of the chapter, the alphabet and a couple of tips for pronunciation will be given.

1.2 – The Dutch language within the Indo-European languages

As most native languages in Europe – bar Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Basque, and Turkish – Dutch is part of the Indo-European languages. This means it shares characteristics with most other European languages. On a more detailed scale, Dutch is part of the subset of Germanic languages, as is English. In fact, Dutch is the closest relative of English apart from Frisian (a minority language spoken in the north of The Netherlands).
Many foreign people consider Dutch to be a German dialect, but this is not true. German is a Saxon language, while Dutch is a Franconian language. These terms reflect the regions where the languages came into existence. Other people consider Dutch to be a merger of German and English. In a sense, this is true. Dutch mostly uses Germanic words, just like German. However, German grammar is much more complicated. As is the case with English, Dutch has greatly simplified its grammatical system. It also does not have case inflections, for instance.
Dutch is the mother tongue of most people in The Netherlands (about 15 million) and of the majority in Belgium, who speak the Flemish dialect (about 6-7 million). Finally, Dutch is also spoken in some former colonies of The Netherlands, called the Dutch Antilles / Caribbeans and Suriname. Afrikaans, which is considered a direct descendant of Dutch, is a different language, but the two of them are mutually intelligible.

1.3 – A few characteristics of the Dutch language

As said before, Dutch has simplified grammar but uses mainly Germanic words. This poses difficulties for native speakers of English, since they are not familiar with these words. English has been heavily influenced by the Scandinavian languages and by French due to the subsequent invasions by the Normans and by William the Conqueror. Then, in the Renaissance, English also started to borrow words from Latin and Greek. The Dutch language has undergone a similar history, but its lexicon hasn’t been altered as heavily. We, too, have many loans from Latin and Greek (Renaissance), but only a few from French (Napoleon era). The latest trend is to borrow lots of English words (mainly in The Netherlands, not as much in Flanders). English is easily accessible in The Netherlands: television series are not dubbed but subtitled and slogans and billboards are usually in English. This recent popular trend is frustrating for elderly people, who are not as proficient in English as most younger people tend to think they themselves are.

1.3.1 – Word stress

As in English, usually the first or second syllable is stressed in Dutch. This has to do with the history of our languages. We always told the important part of our message first, and this was reflected in our words: since the first part of the word was most important, this part would usually carry stress. In monosyllabic words (words consisting of just one syllable), word stress is easily detected: kat, paard, hond. In disyllabic words (two syllables) stress is usually on the first syllable: eten, drinken, heelal. In polysyllabic words (more than two syllables), word stress is most often on either the first or second syllable. Stress is usually on the second syllable if the first syllable is a prefix (ge-, ver-, be-): geweten, verkiezing, rekening. If this seems difficult to you... don’t worry, practice makes perfect in the end.

1.3.2 – Word order

Probably the largest difference between English and Dutch is word order, because Dutch is not as focussed on it as English. Still, there are a couple of rules to go by.

1. In main clauses, such as “I am here”, word order in Dutch is SVO: subject – verb – object. I am here translates to ‘ik ben hier’ in Dutch. In English, the word order does not change if you add another adverb to the sentence: ‘I am here today’. This also goes for Dutch: ‘ik ben hier vandaag’ or ‘ik ben vandaag hier’. (We don’t have the place – time rule) In English you can also put the adverb of time at the beginning of the sentence: ‘Today I am here’. Where English still has an unchanged word order, this changes in Dutch on the contrary. If you begin your main clause with an adverb in Dutch, subject and verb swap places. In other words, ‘Today I am here’ translates to ‘Vandaag ben ik hier’, where ‘ik’ and ‘ben’ have switched places.

So, in short:
I am here - ik ben hier [no changes]
I am here today - ik ben hier vandaag / ik ben vandaag hier [no place – time rule]
Today I am here - Vandaag ben ik hier [pay attention, subject and verb switch places due to the adverb at the beginning of the sentence!]

2. The large difference between English and Dutch is seen in subordinate clauses, such as ‘I am here today [because I want to see you]. The part in brackets is the subordinate clause. As you can see, in English this part carries the same word order as in a main clause: SVO or subject – verb – object. Dutch, however, has the following word order in subordinate clauses: SOV or subject – object – verb. ‘because I want to see you’ is therefore ‘omdat ik je zien wil’ in Dutch, where ‘wil’ corresponds to English ‘want’. In practice, this means that the inflected verb always comes last in a subordinate clause, which might be a useful mnemonic.

So, in short:
[ B]ecause I want to see you [SVO] - [O]mdat ik je zien wil [SOV]

1.3.3 – Devoicing

Another difference between Dutch and English is so-called devoicing. In English, the d and the b are so-called voiced consonants: if you touch your larynx while uttering these sounds, you will notice that your vocal chords vibrate. This is also apparent at the end of words: bed, web. In Dutch, words can also end in d or b: bed and web are also native Dutch words. However, Dutch people devoice d and b at the end of a word. This means that your vocal chords no longer vibrate. As a consequence, d and b turn into their corresponding t and p counterparts: bed is pronounced like bet, and web is pronounced like wep.

1.4 – The alphabet and its pronunciation

The Dutch alphabet contains 27 letters: it has all the English letters plus the additional IJ / ij. In the dictionary, you find this letter between the i and the j, so i – ij – j. The q, x, and y you mostly find in loanwords such as quiz, xylofoon, and yoghurt.
Since many Dutch and English consonants are similar in pronunciation, I will only discuss those consonants that are different from each other. After that, I will treat each vowel individually. My main goal is to also accompany sound items with the explanation, but I’m not sure if my laptop will allow me to. It’s something I’ll research in the future.

Medeklinkers – Consonants:
c – if followed by e, i, or y  s-sound: centrum, civiel, Cyprus. If followed by a, o, or u  k-sound: cactus, compositie, cursus.
ch – comparable to the Scottish ch in Loch Ness or the Spanish j in Juan. It is voiceless, so your vocal chords do not vibrate. You produce it by raising your tongue base towards your palate / uvula, but not letting it touch. Enough air should be able to pass through. lach, pech, chloor.
g – the same sound as ch, but then its voiced counterpart. In other words, in this case your vocal chords vibrate. gek, grap, leeg.
j – like the English y vowel in you or yacht. jas, jacht, jong.
r – probably the most challenging sound. Contrary to English, in Dutch the r is always pronounced, but there are many different options. For now, let’s stick to the version in which you quickly tap the tip of your tongue on your hard palate (the part of your palate just behind your front teeth). It definitely shouldn’t be as the English r in which you raise your lower jaw. It should sound like the beginning of a rrrrrrrolling r, but not more than that. Remember, in Dutch you pronounce the r in every situation: raam, veer, bord.
sch – since you now know how to pronounce Dutch ch, sch is a combination of s + Dutch ch: schip, schoon, schaar. At the end of a word, -sch is pronounced as s.
w – it isn’t as distinct as the English w, in which you round your lips. It comes quite close to Dutch and English v, but not entirely. It’s a matter of letting your lower lip slightly and shortly touch your upper lip: wie, wat, waar. In Flemish, the w is produced by also raising your jaw.

Klinkers – Vowels:

Short vowels:
a – people often think it’s the same as in ‘car’, but it has more in common with the sound in ‘duck’. Actually, a combination of English a in car and u in duck would come really close: it’s the position of a but with the explosion of u. kat, dak, man.
e – comes close to English e in bed. bed, web, mens
silent e – like English e in the; it is the universal sound for unstressed syllables. In Dutch we reflect this with the e. Two exceptions are the words de and een, which are always unstressed and thus have the silent e sound. No examples, since it goes for all unstressed syllables.
eu – this is a sound that does not exist in English. It is the sound you use for pronouncing German writer Goethe. It is also apparent in many other European languages, such as in French or Turkish. When followed by an l or r, the sound changes into a prolonged version of Dutch u [explained below]. neus, geur, jeuk.
i – as in English i in pit: pit, mist, vis.
ie – as in English ee in deep, but slightly less long: vies, riet, bier.
o – comes close to English o in pot, but it is somewhat less rounded: pot, kop, bom.
oe – as in English oo in do or you, but much less long: boek, koe, soep.
u – difficult sound, since it bears no resemblance to English u. It sounds an awful lot like the silent e, except here you lower your jaw somewhat. put, zus, bus.

Long vowels:
aa – a sound unknown in English, but compared it to the ‘ah!’ sound you produce when you’re frightened: you lower your jaw quickly and quite a bit: kaas, baard, paard.
ee – like English ai in wait, but not with the need to go towards the i sound. You stick to the first part of the ai-sound, as it were. When followed by l and r, ee turns into a prolonged version of the Dutch i: been, veel, peer.
oo – like American (not British!) ‘oh!’. When followed by l or r, it sounds more like a prolonged version of Dutch o: boot, kool, hoop.
uu – another sound unknown in English, but easily produced. Pronounce English ee, but now round your lips. There you go, that’s your Dutch uu! uur, vuur, truc [loanword from French].

A diphthongs is a vowel sound that consists of a shift from the first vowel sound to the second vowel sound. For instance, in English you have the ‘ai’ sound in ‘wait’, which is a combination of e and i. First pronounce e and i separately, now try and link them into one sound and you’ll same what I mean by diphthong.

au / ou: much like English ‘ow’ in cow: koud, fout, rauw.
ei / ij: ah, the famous Dutch ij! This sound is pronounced by starting off with an e and ending with a Dutch i or j. It’s not that different from English ai in wait, except that you start by lowering your jaw a bit more. It’s more of an upward-going direction. ei, ijs, pijn.
ui – a completely unknown sound in English, but it’s the exact same as French oeui in oeuil. You start with Dutch u and you end with i. huis, puist, kuip.

There are a couple of more vowel sounds, but they’re pretty straightforward: aai and ooi, for instance, are aa and oo + i, respectively. Consequently, this concludes our first chapter, which was an introduction to the Dutch language. Below, you will find a comprehensive word list and some first introductory (and easy!) exercises to this amateur language course. Enjoy!


Tip: if you really feel like learning Dutch, I suggest you take over the words of this list alphabetically, so that you can keep track of your own word file. In future lessons, I will make use of words used before without giving their translation again and again.

het woord – word
het – the [explanation in lesson 2]
de lijst – list
de – the [explanation in lesson 2]
de woordenlijst – vocabulary list
de les - lesson
één - one
de cursus – course
Nederlands – Dutch
een - a / an [explanation in lesson 2]
de inleiding - introduction
in - in [preposition, so sometimes translated differently]
de taal - language
de kat - cat
het paard - horse
de hond - dog
eten - to eat
drinken - to drink
het heelal - universe
het geweten - conscience
de verkiezing - election
de rekening - bill, check
ik - I
zijn - to be
hier - here
vandaag - today
omdat - because, since
je / jou - you [object form]
zien - to see
willen - to want
het bed - bed
het web - spider’s web,
de quiz - quiz
de xylofoon - xylophone
de yoghurt - yoghurt
de medeklinker - consonant
het centrum - centre
civiel - civil
Cyprus - Cyprus
de cactus - cactus
de compositie - composition
de lach - smile [noun]
de pech - bad luck
het chloor - chloride
gek - crazy
de grap - joke
leeg - empty
de jas - coat
het jacht - yacht
jong - young
het raam - window
de veer - feather
het bord - plate
het schip - ship
schoon - clean
de schaar - scissors
wie? - who?
wat? - what?
waar? - where?
het dak - roof(top)
de man - man
de mens - human (being)
de neus - nose
de geur - smell
de jeuk - itch
de pit - pit
de mist - mist
de vis - fish
vies - dirty, disgusting
het riet - reed
het bier - beer
de pot - pot
de kop - cup
de bom - bomb
het boek - book
de koe - cow
de soep - soup
de put - (water) well
de zus - sister
de bus - bus
de kaas - cheese
de baard - beard
het been - leg
veel - many, much, a lot
de peer - pear
de boot - boat
de kool - cabbage
de hoop - hope
het uur - hour
het vuur - fire
de truc - trick
koud - cold
fout - wrong
de fout - mistake
rauw - raw
het ei - egg
het ijs - ice
de pijn - pain
het huis - house
de puist - pimple
de kuip - tub
de oefening - exercise
het voorbeeld - example
de kastanje - chestnut


Oefeningen les één

A. Choose the correct alternative.
1. Ben ik vandaag hier.
2. Hier ik ben vandaag.
3. Vandaag ik hier ben.
4. Hier ben ik vandaag.

B. Again, choose the correct alternative.
1. Omdat ik zien je wil.
2. Omdat ik wil zien je.
3. Omdat ik je zien wil.
4. Omdat je ik zien wil.

C. Indicate word stress in the following words.
Voorbeeld: voorbeeld - voorbeeld
1. medeklinker -
2. yoghurt -
3. heelal -
4. kastanje -
5. oefening -

D. Fill in the missing words / complete the translations.
bom - ...
riet - ...
willen - ...
hond - ...
les - ...
... - ship
... - ice
... - fire
... - scissors
... - bill, check

E. How do you pronounce the z in the Dutch word quiz?
Overduidelijk misschien.

User avatar
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:49 am
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English (Great Britain)
Third language: French
Fourth language: Turkish
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: German, Italian, Spanish.
Gender: Male
Location: Tolkamer, NL

Re: Dutch Language Course

Post by Fiskje88 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:24 am

Les twee – Dit zijn Marco en Ceylan

2.1 – Introduction

In this lesson, you will find your first Dutch text! The main order of the next lessons will be as following: a small text – a word list – a translation to English – explanation of grammatical aspects – a word list needed for the exercises – exercises.
In this lesson, two Dutch demonstrative pronouns (dit & dat) are addressed, along with the personal pronouns, the verb ‘zijn’ (to be) in the present tense, an explanation of the terms ‘er is’ and ‘er zijn’, and the different articles in Dutch. At the end of this lesson you will be able to produce your first sentences in Dutch!

2.2 – Leestekst

Dit zijn Marco en Ceylan

We zijn in een dorp in Nederland. Dat dorp is Tolkamer. Het dorp is niet zo groot, het is erg klein. Marco en Ceylan zijn ook hier. Marco is Nederlander. Zijn Nederlands is goed. Ceylan is Turkse. Haar Nederlands is nog niet zo goed. Ze zijn nu in hun huis.

Ceylan: Marco, wat is dat?
Marco: Dat is een tafel.
Ceylan: Oké, en wat is dit?
Marco: Dit is een stoel.
Ceylan: Is dit de keuken?
Marco: Ja, dit is de keuken.
Ceylan: En is dat de woonkamer?
Marco: Nee, dat is niet de woonkamer. Dat is het toilet.
Ceylan: Ben jij een jongen?
Marco: Ja, ik ben een jongen.
Ceylan: Ben ik ook een jongen?
Marco: Nee. Jij bent geen jongen, maar een meisje.

Even later zijn Marco en Ceylan buiten. Er zijn twee mensen.
Ceylan: Wie zijn jullie?
Marco: Hij is Stefan en zij is Nina.
Ceylan: Hallo, ik ben Ceylan.
Marco: Ze is nieuw hier.
Stefan en Nina: Hallo, Ceylan!
Ceylan: Is dit een haven?
Nina: Ja, dit is een haven.
Ceylan: Zijn er veel boten?
Nina: Ja, er zijn veel boten.
Ceylan: Is er hier ook een vliegveld?
Stefan: Nee, er is hier geen vliegveld. Er is ook geen treinstation.
Marco: Er is hier wel een bushalte.

Marco en Ceylan zijn weer thuis.
Ceylan: Het is leuk hier! Stefan en Nina zijn aardig.
Marco: Ja, het is hier leuk. Stefan en Nina zijn erg aardig.

twee - two
dit - this
en - and
de tekst - text
de leestekst - reading text
wij / we - we
het dorp - village
Nederland - The Netherlands
niet - not
zo - so
groot - big
het - it
erg - very
klein - small, little
ook - too, also, as well
Nederlander - Dutchman
zijn - his
goed - good, well
Turk - Turk
haar - her
nog - still, yet
nog niet - not yet
nu - now, at the moment
hun - their
dat - that [demonstrative pronoun]
de tafel - table
oké - okay
de stoel - chair
de keuken - kitchen
ja - yes
de kamer - room
de woonkamer - livingroom
nee - no
het toilet - toilet, wc
jij / je - you [subject form]
de jongen - boy
geen (= niet + een) - not a(n) / no
maar - but
het meisje - girl
even - a bit, a little, somewhat
later - later
buiten - outside
er - here, there
er zijn - there are
jullie - you [plural, “y’all”]
hij - he
zij / ze - she
hallo - hello
nieuw - new
de haven - harbour
er is - there is
het veld - field
het vliegveld - airport
de trein - train
het station - station
het treinstation - train station
wel - not really translated, to stress that something IS the case. Opposite of ‘niet’.
de halte - stop
de bushalte - bus stop
weer - again
thuis - at home
leuk - nice
aardig - kind, gentle, friendly
de vertaling - translation


Here are Marco and Cevdet

We are in a village in The Netherlands. That village is Tolkamer. The village is not so big, it is very small. Marco and Ceylan are also here. Marco is a Dutchman. His Dutch is good. Ceylan is a Turk. Her Dutch is not so good yet. They are in their house now.

Ceylan: Marco, what is that?
Marco: That is a table.
Ceylan: Okay, and what is this?
Marco: This is a chair.
Ceylan: Is this the kitchen?
Marco: Yes, this is the kitchen.
Ceylan: And is that the livingroom?
Marco: No, that is not the livingroom. That is the toilet.
Ceylan: Are you a boy?
Marco: Yes, I am a boy.
Ceylan: Am I a boy too?
Marco: No, you are not a boy, but a girl.

A little later Marco and Ceylan are outside. There are two people.
Ceylan: Who are you?
Marco: He is Stefan and she is Nina.
Ceylan: Hello, I am Ceylan.
Marco: She is new (around) here.
Stefan and Nina: Hello, Ceylan!
Ceylan: Is this a harbour?
Nina: Yes, this is a harbour.
Ceylan: Are there many boats?
Nina: Yes, there are many boats.
Ceylan: Is there an airport here as well?
Stefan: No, there is not an airport here. There is not a train station either.
Marco: But there is a bus stop around here.

Marco and Ceylan are home again.
Ceylan: It is nice around here. Stefan and Nina are kind.
Marco: Yes, it is nice around here. Stefan and Nina are very kind.


2.3 – The articles in the Dutch language.
In English there are three articles: two indefinite articles (a / an), and one definite article (the). In
Dutch, this is the other way around. We have one indefinite article and two definite articles.

2.3.1 – The indefinite article “een”
In front of any noun (in theory...) you can put the indefinite article “een”. You use it if something
hasn’t been mentioned before. Marco says ‘dat is een tafel’ because Ceylan hadn’t mentioned the
table yet. As you can see, the usage of the indefinite article matches its usage in English. English has
two indefinite articles, which has to do with the sound that follows up on ‘a’ or ‘an’. Dutch does not
have this distinction.

2.3.2 – The definite articles “de” and “het”
Dutch, on the other hand, does have a distintion in definite articles. This has to do with the gender of the noun. In Dutch, there are three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Masculine and feminine words take the ‘de’ article, while neuter takes ‘het’. In practice this means that about 70% of words are ‘de’-words, and 30% are ‘het’-words. When it comes to ‘de’-words, Dutch people no longer know if a word is masculine or feminine (Flemish people have much better knowledge of this) and so they mostly refer to ‘de’-words with ‘hij’, except if a ‘de’-word is obviously feminine. Then it is referred to with ‘zij’. As you’ve noticed, we do not refer with the word ‘het’ (it).

Dat is een man. Hij is erg aardig.
Dat is een vrouw. Zij is erg knap.
Dat is een televisie. Hij is erg groot.

As for choosing between de or het, the safest option is to go for ‘de’. Luckily there are a couple of rules to guide you:
• the plural always takes ‘de’: ‘het huis’, but ‘de huizen’ (don’t worry about the s/z change, that will be covered in the future).
• words ending in –je (diminutives) always take ‘het’: het meisje (even though obviously feminine, it is a diminutive thus a het-word), het huisje, het jongetje.
• words ending in –heid, -teit, and –ing are always de-words: de vrijheid, de identiteit, de verspilling.
As you can see in the vocabulary list, I’ve provided each noun with its corresponding definite article. I suggest you learn the nouns together with the article, since you will need to know the gender of a word when we’re discussing adjectives.

2.4 – The demonstrative pronouns ‘dit’ and ‘dat’
As you might have gathered from the reading text, the demonstrative pronoun ‘dit’ means ‘this’ and the demonstrative pronoun ‘dat’ means ‘that’. Dit, thus, refers to something which is close by. Dat, consequently, refers to something which is further away. One difference between Dutch and English is that, when used independently, dit and dat are also used for the plural. In English, you would translate this with ‘these,’ ‘those’, or even ‘they’:
Dit is een jongen. Dat zijn twee meisjes.
Dat is een meisje. Dit zijn twee jongens.

2.5 – The personal pronouns in Dutch
In Dutch, personal pronouns are slightly more complicated than in English. Take a look at the following table, in which the personal pronouns are in their subject forms:
ik - I
jij / je - you
u - you [formal]
hij - he
zij / ze - she
het - it
wij / we - we
jullie - you [plural]
zij / ze - they

There are a couple of things to notice.
- First, ‘ik’ is not written with a capital letter as in English, except if it’s at the beginning of a sentence.
- Second, we have three forms for you: a singular form, a plural form, and a polite form. Singular ‘jij’ is what you use when you talk to someone from your family, a friend, a peer, or someone who is younger. Plural ‘jullie’ is what you use when you talk to a group of people. The last form, the polite form ‘u’, is trickier. As you can see, I have not incorporated it in the reading text at all. In Dutch (but definitely not in Flemish, cultural difference!), this polite form is gradually starting to disappear. It used to be used to show respect towards older or important people, but people don’t consider themselves old anymore. My grandmother, for instance, would be abhorred in anyone spoke to her using ‘u’. Also, ‘u’ creates distance between speaker and listener and this is not appreciated. Finally, nowadays you can show respect by using ‘jij’ as well. It all depends on intonation. In written, formal letters – for instance from a courtroom – ‘u’ would still be used.
- Third, we have stressed (jij, zij, wij, zij) and unstressed (je, ze, we, ze) forms of certain personal pronouns. This has to do with the focus of the sentence. Compare the following examples:

Ceylan is er niet. Waar is ze?!
Marco is hier wel, maar Ceylan niet. Waar is zij?!

In the first example, focus is on ‘where’. It’s important to know WHERE she is, not where SHE is. In the second example, the opposite is the case. Since one is here and the other is not, you want to stress the different states of being between the two: HE is here, but SHE is not, so where is SHE?! Most of the time, personal pronouns take their unstressed form. You’ll gradually familiarise yourself with the difference between the two options. Once again, practice makes perfect...

2.6 – The verb ‘zijn’
Probably the most commonly used verb in Dutch is ‘zijn’, ‘to be’. As in English, ‘zijn’ is the most irregular verb in Dutch. Important to note is that verb forms always need to have a clearly referred to subject. In other words, if there is no clear subject in the sentence (a name, an object), a personal pronoun needs to be present: ‘ben’ is not enough, you need to have ‘ik ben’ at the least.
The present tense of ‘zijn’ is as follows:
zijn - to be
ik ben - I am
jij / u bent - you are
hij / zij / het is - he / she / it is
wij zijn - we are
jullie zijn - you are
zij zijn - they are

Useful to note is that the plural forms (wij, jullie, zij) always take the infinitive form of the verb as their inflected form. In other words, no need to think! As soon as you know the infinitive of a verb, you can already produce the we, you, and they forms. Also, please note that we do not have abbreviated forms such as ‘you’re’ or ‘it’s’. We write down everything.
When making questions, you simply reverse word order, as in English: ‘ik ben’ becomes ‘ben ik?’ One exception to the rule is ‘jij’: whenever you want to form a question with ‘jij’, ‘jij’ takes the I-form of the verb: ‘jij bent’, but ‘ben jij?’ U does not follow this rule: ‘u bent’, and also ‘bent u?’
For the negative form of the verb, simply add the word ‘niet’ to the construction: ik ben + niet = ik ben niet. In English, you can mostly abbreviate these forms, but in Dutch this is, again, not possible. If ‘niet’ is followed by the indefinite article ‘een’, niet + een becomes ‘geen’: ‘ik ben niet’ + ‘een meisje’ = ik ben geen meisje.

2.7 – ‘Er is’ and ‘er zijn’
English knows the terms ‘there is’ and ‘there are’. Dutch also has this: ‘er is’ for singular, and ‘er zijn’ for plural. ‘Er is’ and ‘er zijn’ cannot be followed by the definite articles ‘de’ or ‘het’. ‘Een’, on the other hand, is possible. In plural, thus, ‘er zijn’ is directly followed by the noun (except when adverbs intervene, but let’s focus on the basis first). Both ‘er is’ and ‘er zijn’ can be followed by ‘geen’. In this case, ‘geen’ is translated with ‘no’.

Er is een jongen, maar er is geen meisje.
Er zijn jongens, maar er zijn geen meisjes.


Woordenlijst bij de oefeningen
bij - at [here: accompanying]
de vrouw - woman
knap - handsome, pretty
de televisie - television
de vrijheid - freedom
de identiteit - identity
de verspilling - waste [of time, energy, etc.]
u - you [formal]
oud - old
de leraar - teacher
want - because, since
vier - four
de slaapkamer - bedroom
de vriend - friend
meer - more
niet ... meer - not ... anymore / no longer
bijna - almost
trouwens - by the way
lief - sweet, kind
de appel - apple
de toerist - tourist
of - or
lelijk - ugly
intelligent - intelligent
vaak - often
verlegen - shy
nooit - never
stout - naughty
altijd - always
blond - blond
de computer - computer
wanneer? - when?
mooi - beautiful

Oefeningen les twee

A. Fill in the missing words. Choose from: ‘Turkse’, ‘oud’, ‘huis’, ‘leraar’ and ‘meisje’.
Ceylan is een ..(1)... Ze is ..(2)... Ze is nu in een dorp in Nederland. Dat dorp is Tolkamer. Haar ..(3).. is groot, want er zijn vier slaapkamers. Marco is haar vriend. Ze zijn niet erg jong meer, maar ook nog niet erg ..(4)... Marco is 24 – maar bijna 25! - en Ceylan is 29. Marco is haar ..(5).. Nederlands. Thuis is er trouwens ook een hond. De hond is erg lief.

B. Choose the correct alternative.
1. Thuis zijn er de appels en de peren.
2. Is dit geen hond?
3. Er is veel toeristen in Tolkamer.
4. Ben u een man of een vrouw?

C. Put the sentence in the corresponding plural or singular form.
Voorbeeld: ik ben lelijk – wij zijn lelijk.

1. Zij is niet meer lief.
2. Jullie zijn erg aardig.
3. U bent intelligent.
4. Zijn ze vaak verlegen?
5. We zijn nooit stout!
6. Ben jij in de woonkamer?

D. Turn these confirmative sentences into questions or negative sentences.
Voorbeeld: ik ben lelijk [-] – ik ben niet lelijk
Ik ben lelijk [?] – ben ik lelijk?

1. Marco en Ceylan zijn altijd thuis. [?]
2. Jij bent nog jong. [?]
3. Er zijn jongens hier. [-]
4. Nina is blond. [?]
5. Stefan is een meisje. [-]

E. Translate into English.
1. Jij bent niet zo klein meer.
2. Een man is geen vrouw.
3. Ceylan is geen Nederlandse maar Turkse.
4. De hond is niet in het huis.
5. Is dit een televisie of een computer?

F. Translate to Dutch.
1. When are you here?
2. Where are Stefan and Nina at the moment?
3. They’re at home.
4. These are no apples but pears.
5. That word is beautiful.

G. Voluntary exercise for the advanced learners.
1. Indicate word stress in the following words: televisie, identiteit, verspilling, intelligent, verlegen, computer, Nederlander, vertaling.
2. In lesson one I discussed that in subordinate classes the inflected verb is always put at the end of the clause. Exercise A, however, shows that there is at least one exception to this rule. In combination with which adverb does this rule not apply?
Overduidelijk misschien.

User avatar
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:49 am
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English (Great Britain)
Third language: French
Fourth language: Turkish
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: German, Italian, Spanish.
Gender: Male
Location: Tolkamer, NL

Re: Dutch Language Course

Post by Fiskje88 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:34 am

Les drie – Marco en Ceylan hebben een mooi huis.

3.1 – Introduction
In lesson two you came across a couple of adjectives: ‘leuk’, ‘mooi’, and ‘aardig’ among others. In this lesson, you will learn what happens if you put them in front of nouns. Because we are dealing with that, we automatically have to touch upon the concept of open and closed syllables. This is essential in understanding Dutch spelling. We’ll come to talk about the other two demonstrative pronouns – then you’ll know all four – and we’ll also tackle another important verb: ‘hebben’ or ‘to have’.

3.2 – Leestekst

Marco en Ceylan hebben een mooi huis.

Daar zijn Marco en Ceylan weer. Ze zijn nog steeds in hun huis in Tolkamer. Dat huis is groot. Het heeft een hal, een woonkamer, een keuken, een toilet, een badkamer, vier slaapkamers, en een zolder. Marco en Ceylan zijn in de woonkamer.

Ceylan: Marco, wij hebben een mooi huis.
Marco: Ja, en ons mooie huis is groot.
Ceylan: Dit grote huis is fijn. Hebben jouw ouders ook een mooi huis?
Marco: Ja, dat hebben ze. Ik heb een mooi huis en zij ook.
Ceylan: Oké. Is deze stoel zwart?
Marco: Nee, deze stoel is wit. Die stoel daar is wel zwart.
Ceylan: Heb je ook een bank?
Marco: Ja, die heb ik ook. Ik heb een grijze bank.
Ceylan: Je kamer is erg schoon.
Marco: Ja, ik heb een schone kamer.

Een uur later zijn Marco en Ceylan bij Stefan en Nina. Zij hebben geen huis, maar een klein appartement.
Ceylan: Waarom hebben jullie geen huis?
Nina: Een huis is vaak groot, en een appartement niet.
Ceylan: Oké, en waarom hebben jullie dit appartement?
Nina: Het is niet duur. Is jullie huis ook goedkoop?
Marco: Ja, wij hebben een goedkoop huis.
Stefan: Maar dat huis is wel heel groot! Je hebt veel geluk, Marco!
Marco: Dat heb ik zeker.

Een paar uur later zijn Marco en Ceylan weer thuis. Het is nu avond. Er is een leuk programma op de televisie. Ze hebben een fijne dag samen.

drie - three
hebben - to have, have got
daar - there
steeds - all the time, again and again
nog steeds - still
de hal - hall, hallway
het bad - bath
de badkamer - bathroom
de zolder - attic, loft
ons / onze - our
fijn - nice, good
jouw / je - your [sg]
de ouders - parents
deze - this
zwart - black
wit - white
die - that [dem.str.]
de bank - couch, sofa
grijs - grey
schoon - clean
het appartement - flat
waarom? - why?
duur - expensive
jullie - your [pl]
goedkoop - cheap
heel - very
het geluk - luck
geluk hebben - to be lucky
zeker - definitely, certainly
het paar - pair
een paar - a couple of, some
de avond - evening
het programma - programme
op - on
de dag - day
samen - together


Marco and Ceylan have a nice house.

Here we have Marco and Ceylan again. They’re still in their house in Tolkamer. That house is big. It has a hall, a living room, a kitchen, a toilet, a bathroom, four bedrooms, and a loft. Marco and Ceylan are in the living room.

Ceylan: Marco, we’ve got a nice house.
Marco: Yes, and our nice house is big.
Ceylan: This big house is nice. Have your parents also got a nice house?
Marco: Yes, they have. I’ve got a nice house and so have they.
Ceylan: Okay. Is this chair black?
Marco: Nee, this chair is white. That chair over there is black, though.
Ceylan: Have you got a sofa as well?
Marco: Yes, I have. I’ve got a grey sofa.
Ceylan: Your room is very clean.
Marco: Yes, I’ve got a clean room.

An hour later Marco and Ceylan are at Stefan and Nina’s. They haven’t got a house, but a small flat.
Ceylan: Why haven’t you got a house?
Nina: A house is often big, and a flat is not.
Ceylan: Okay, and why have you got this flat?
Nina: It is not expensive. Is your house also cheap?
Marco: Yes, we have a cheap house.
Stefan: But that house is very big! You’re very lucky, Marco!
Marco: I certainly am.

A couple of hours later Marco and Ceylan are home again. It is evening now. There is a nice programme on the television. They’re having a nice day together.


3.3 – Open and closed syllables [part I]

One of the more challenging aspects of Dutch to grasp is the concept of open and closed syllables. You could consider syllables to be some sort of bricks of a word; together, they form it. Syllables are a combined unit of sounds that are pronounced in one go. For instance, the word ‘kidney’ consists of two syllables: ‘kid’ and ‘ney’.
Just like in English, a Dutch syllable requires a minimum of one vowel sound. Actually, there are Dutch words that consist of just one vowel sound: ‘u’, ‘ui’, and ‘ei’, among others. Syllables could be expanded by adding consonants, but as soon as you come across a new vowel or diphthong, you know that you’re dealing with a new syllable. A word like ‘even’ consists of two syllables: ‘e’ and ‘ven’.
The challenging part of Dutch is that the spelling of a word might be altered if a word is expanded. This is what you’ll come across in the section about adjectives, but for now let’s focus on open and closed syllables.
The Dutch consider a syllable to be closed if it ends in a consonant: kat, been, slim, boom, vuur.
The Dutch consider a syllable to be open if it ends in a vowel: sla, thee, vlo, u.
The difficult part for non-native speakers of Dutch is that these open syllables all end in an open vowel, even though this is not reflected in spelling. This is due to the fact that the Dutch language doesn’t want open syllables to end in two of the same vowels. Exception to this rule is ‘ee’ at the end of words to set it apart from the silent e: ‘ze’ (she) is not the same as ‘zee’ (sea).
To sum up the above part, the rule is: if a syllable ends in a long vowel, one of its two vowels is dropped in spelling.

Let’s clarify what I’ve just explained with some examples:
- ‘bom’ and ‘vlo’ are both spelled with one ‘o’, but their pronunciation is different. ‘bom’ ends with a consonant, so the vowel in ‘bom’ is short. ‘vlo’ ends with a vowel, so this is a long vowel due to the open syllable rule. You actually say ‘vloo’, but the open syllable rule turns its spelling from ‘vloo’ to ‘vlo’. The pronunciation of its ‘o’ corresponds with the double ‘oo’ in ‘boom’.
- Let’s see how this works in longer words such as ‘verlegen’. Since you see three different vowel sounds, you now know that this is a trisyllabic word: ver – le – gen. Of these three syllables, the middle one is an open syllable. Its ‘e’ is therefore a long vowel: you would say ‘lee’. However, due to the open syllable rule ‘lee’ turns into ‘le’. (Remember, you will only have ‘ee’ at the end of words. In the middle or at the beginning, ‘ee’ is shortened to ‘e’ in open syllables.) Since the middle syllable is an open syllable, it has to be stressed. As a consequence, both of the other two syllables contain a silent e.
For those of you who wonder why it cannot be ‘ver – leg – en’: this is something I will address in another part of the open and closed syllables chapter. For now, let’s focus on open syllables. ;)
- Last example for now: overbodig. Four different vowel sounds means four syllables: o – ver – bo – dig. (Again, in another lesson I will explain why it’s not ‘ov – er – bod – ig’.) Applying the open syllable rule to this word, we can discover two open syllables: the first and the third one. In other words, we actually pronounce ‘oo – ver – boo – dig’. Since there are two open vowels already, the ‘e’ in ‘ver’ is silent.
Since this might be a challenging subject to graps, I will immediately provide you with an exercise. It is found underneath the small vocabulary list.

Woordenlijst bij oefening open klinkers:
de ui - onion
slim - smart, intelligent
de boom - tree
de sla - lettuce
de thee - tea
de vlo - flea
de zee - sea
overbodig - superfluous, redundant(, unnecessary)
open - open
de egel - hedgehog
de vakantie - vacation, holiday
het jubileum - anniversary, jubilee
de kanonskogel - cannonball
oranje - orange
comfortabel - comfortable
de afwasmachine - dishwasher
de generaal - general [army]
lucratief - lucrative (which means that you can make a (large) profit out of it)
het huwelijk - marriage
(Pronunciation tip: in all words ending in –lijk, the ij is pronounced as a silent e. Only exceptions: lijk (has to carry stress) and gelijk.)
het lijk - corpse, dead body
gelijk - right [as in: to be right]
gelijk - immediately

Oefening: divide the following words up into syllables and determine which syllables are open.
1. egel
2. vakantie
3. jubileum
4. kanonskogel
5. oranje
6. comfortabel
7. afwasmachine
8. generaal (ah, tricky one!)
9. lucratief
10. huwelijk

3.4 – Adjectives and their forms

In lesson 2, you already came across some adjectives: ‘leuk’, ‘mooi’, and ‘aardig’ are only a couple of them. Adjectives adds a certain quality to a noun, which is a word to indicate a person, a thing, or an idea: de man, het huis, het idee. Qualities can be either abstract or tangible: ‘groot’, ‘klein’ or ‘vaag’.
In lesson 2, I offered you the adjectives in combination with the verb ‘zijn’: ‘Het dorp is klein’, for instance. In combination with the verb ‘zijn, the adjectives follow the noun and the verb, similar to English. You can also put these adjectives in front of a noun, again similar to English. The adjective is placed in between the article and the noun: ‘de grote man’, ‘het kleine huis’, or ‘het vage idee’. As is evident from these examples, the base form of the adjective (groot, klein, vaag) is altered in order for it to fit in front of a noun.

The rule is: de/het – adjective+e – noun. The e that follows the adjective is always a silent e.

Let’s take a closer look at this with some examples:
de + zwart + stoel = de zwarte stoel
de + aardig + vrouw = de aardige vrouw
het + klein + kind = het kleine kind
het + goed + idee = het goede idee

The critical reader might have observed that it is not as straightforward as this. Take a look at the following examples:
het + groot + huis = het grote huis
het + duur + appartement = het dure appartement

What is important to consider in these examples is that the open syllable rule comes into action. When the silent e is added to the adjective, it adopts the preceding consonant into its syllable. This is because a silent e cannot form a syllable on its own. As a consequence, if an adjective normally ends in long vowel + consonant, the syllable of the base adjective suddenly ends in a long vowel: ‘duur’ becomes ‘duu – re’. As you have observed in paragraph 3.3, ‘duu’ then needs to be shortened to ‘du’.

The explanation doesn’t just stop here. I have, so far, treated de/het in combination with an adjective. Of course, the adjective could also be preceded by ‘een’. Just look at English: a black chair, a kind woman, a small child. In Dutch, there is a difference between ‘de’ and ‘het’ words in combination with the adjective.

The rule for de-words is: een – adjective+e – noun.
The rule for het-words is: een – adjective – noun.

Again, let’s clarify this with some examples:
een + zwart + stoel = een zwarte stoel
een + aardig + vrouw = een aardige vrouw
een + klein + kind = een klein kind

Please note that for de-words the open syllable rule is still in action, but not for het-words:
een + duur + villa = een dure villa
een + goedkoop + huis = een goedkoop huis

The stream of information to process that I have just given you might be a bit baffling. I will therefore provide you with a structured summary of the above. I will use the adjective ‘groot’ in all possibilities:

een + groot + man = een grote man
de + groot + man = de grote man

een + groot + huis = een groot huis
het + groot + huis = het grote huis

As you can see, the only instance in which the base adjective remains unaffected is the combination of a het-word in its een-form + adjective.

3.5 – The demonstrative pronouns
In lesson 2, you came across two Dutch demonstrative pronouns. I’ve explained to you that ‘dit’ refers to something close by, and ‘dat’ refers to something in the distance. In lesson 2, these two demonstrative pronouns were used largely independently: ‘dit is een man’, ‘dat is een huis’. As in English, you can also put demonstrative pronouns directly in front of a noun. In order to complete the chart in Dutch, we need two more demonstrative pronouns: ‘deze’ and ‘die’.
First, let’s turn to ‘dit’ and ‘dat’ again. You use these demonstrative pronouns in combination with a het-word:
Dit huis is mooi, maar dat huis is lelijk.

Consequently, you use ‘deze’ and ‘die’ for de-words. ‘Deze’ is used to refer to something close by, ‘die’ is for something further away:
Deze stoel is zwart en die stoel is wit.

3.6 – The verb ‘hebben’ (to have / have got)
The other important verb in Dutch, next to ‘zijn’, is ‘hebben’. It is much more regular than ‘zijn’, but not as regular yet as most Dutch verbs. Still, the inflection of the verb ‘hebben’ will set the tone for the regular verbs that we’ll come across in later lessons.

The verb ‘hebben’ in the present tense:
Ik heb
Jij hebt
Hij/zij/het heeft
Wij hebben
Jullie hebben
Zij hebben

As you can see, I have left ‘u’ out of the picture. This is because this is the only verb where ‘u’ can choose to go for either the ‘jij’ or the ‘hij/zij/het’ vorm, since this is one of the rare verbs in which there is a difference between the forms of ‘jij’ and ‘hij/zij/het’. In short, you can say either ‘u hebt’ or ‘u heeft’. Most people, including me, go for ‘u heeft’.
If you use the verb ‘hebben’ in questions, simply change word order. The verb now precedes the subject: ‘heb ik een huis?’ or ‘heeft hij een huis?’ This is where Dutch differs from English. We do not have a dummy-do verb in questions (do you swim? does he drink? etc). Also, remember that ‘jij hebt’ changes into ‘heb jij?’ in questions, since jij takes the ik-form in questions.
If you use the verb hebben in a negative sentence, simply add ‘niet’ at the back of the construction: ik heb geen huis (= ik heb niet een huis). Again, Dutch does not use a dummy-do construction (you don’t have etc).

Woordenlijst bij de oefeningen
het idee - idea
vaag - vague
het kind - child
de villa - villa
soms - sometimes
de stad - city
het stadje - small city
de winkel - shop

Oefeningen les 3

A. Translate into Dutch.
1. This child.
2. That apple.
3. That house.
4. This woman.
5. That harbour.
6. This airport.
7. This train.
8. That chair.
9. This table.
10. That appartment.

B. Translate into Dutch.
1. A beautiful man.
2. The ugly woman.
3. The small dog.
4. A big horse.
5. A kind child.
6. The black table.
7. The expensive television.
8. A cheap village.
9. A nice day.
10. The nice evening.

C. Choose the correct alternative.
1. Die huis heeft een mooi keuken.
2. Dat huis heeft een mooi keuken.
3. Dat huis heeft een mooie keuken.
4. Die huis heeft een mooie keuken.

D. Fill in the missing words. Choose from: ‘hier’, ‘daar’, ‘winkels’, ‘klein’, ‘hebben’, and ‘grote’.
Marco en Ceylan ..(1).. een mooi huis in Tolkamer. Ze zijn vaak ..(2).., maar soms ook in Zevenaar. Zevenaar is een ..(3).. en leuk stadje. Er zijn veel ..(4)... Marco en Ceylan zijn in een winkel. ‘Dit is een ..(5).. winkel, Marco.’ ‘Ja, dat is het. Ze hebben ..(6).. veel. In Tolkamer hebben we dat niet.’

E. Translate into English.
1. Wij hebben thuis een hond en een kat.
2. Ja, dat ben ik.
3. Het huis heeft geen toilet, maar wel een badkamer.
4. Ik ben geen jongen meer, maar een man.
5. Zij is nog steeds een meisje.
6. Deze vrouw heeft dat appartement, en die vrouw heeft dit appartement.
7. Dat grote, dure huis is niet echt mooi.

F. Translate into Dutch.
1. Who is that big child?
2. Is there no city (around) here?
3. There are a computer and a television in the living room.
4. You have a very expensive television!
5. The kind girl isn’t lucky.
6. What an ugly boy!
7. Has she got a black table?
Overduidelijk misschien.

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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:49 am
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English (Great Britain)
Third language: French
Fourth language: Turkish
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: German, Italian, Spanish.
Gender: Male
Location: Tolkamer, NL

Re: Dutch Language Course

Post by Fiskje88 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:43 am

Les vier: Onze lieve vrienden hebben thee en koekjes

4.1 – Introduction

In the first lesson, the concept of ‘devoicing’ was introduced. In this lesson it resurfaces, since it plays an important role within adjectives. Continuing with these adjectives, it is also important to focus on open and closed syllables again, this time stressing closed syllables. After that, it is time to start forming the plural of nouns. Also, in previous lessons you have already come across all different possessive pronouns. In this lesson, they will be presented to you in a small overview. Finally, an aspect of word order is repeated in this lesson, since it often occurs in the following reading text.

4.2 – Leestekst

Onze lieve vrienden hebben thee en koekjes

We zijn nog steeds bij onze lieve vrienden Marco en Ceylan. Ze zijn in hun huis in Tolkamer. Daar zijn ze graag. Ceylan heeft vele vragen over dat huis. Ze is nu in de keuken.
Ceylan: Marco, is er koffie?
Marco: Nee, de koffie is op. Er is wel thee.
Ceylan: Heb je liever groene of Engelse thee?
Marco: Ik heb liever groene thee met suiker.
Ceylan: Waar is de suiker?
Marco: In het witte kastje.
Ceylan: Welk witte kastje? Ze zijn allemaal wit!
Marco: Oh, haha, het kastje boven de magnetron.
Ceylan: Oké, dank je wel.

Vijf minuten later zijn Marco en Ceylan aan tafel.
Marco: Mmm, de thee is lekker! Zijn er ook koekjes?
Ceylan: Ja, die zijn er. Ze zijn in de la.
Marco: In welke la? De smalle of de brede?
Ceylan: In de brede la.

’s Avonds zijn hun vrienden Stefan en Nina er ook.
Stefan: Marco, Ceylan is slim. Haar Nederlands is al goed. Hoe is jouw Turks?
Marco: Mijn Turks is nog niet zo goed. Het is erg moeilijk.
Ceylan: Nederlands is ook niet makkelijk.
Nina: Nee, talen zijn nooit makkelijk. Gelukkig zijn jullie slimme mensen.
Ceylan: Precies. Ik heb zeker geen domme vriend!
Marco: En ik heb een slimme, lieve vriendin.

het koekje - biscuit, cookie
graag - with pleasure, willingly
ergens graag zijn - love being somewhere
ergens - somewhere
de vraag - question
over - about
de koffie - coffee
op - used up
op zijn - to be / run out of something
liever - rather
liever hebben - prefer
groen - green
Engels - English
Engelse thee - black tea
met - with
de suiker - sugar
de kast - closet, large cupboard
het kastje - small cupboard [here: kitchen cupboard]
welk(e)? - which?
allemaal - all
boven - above
de magnetron - microwave
dank je wel - thank you
vijf - five
de minuut - minute
aan - at, by
lekker - delicious
de la - drawer
smal - narrow
breed - wide
’s avonds - in the evening
al - already
hoe? - how? what?
moeilijk - moeilijk
ook niet - not ... either, neither
makkelijk - easy
gelukkig - fortunately
precies - exactly
dom - stupid [unintelligent], dumb
de vriendin - female friend


Our dear friends have got tea and cookies

We’re still with our dear friends Marco and Ceylan. They’re in their house in Tolkamer. They love being there. Ceylan has got many questions about that house. She’s in the kitchen now.
Ceylan: Marco, have we got coffee? [Literally: is there coffee?]
Marco: No, we’re out of it. [The coffee is used up.] We do have tea. [There is tea, though.]
Ceylan: Do you prefer green or black tea?
Marco: I prefer green tea with sugar.
Ceylan: Where is the sugar?
Marco: In the white cupboard.
Ceylan: Which white cupboard? They’re all white!
Marco: Oh, haha, the cupboard above the microwave.
Ceylan: Okay, thank you.

Five minutes later Marco and Ceylan are at table.
Marco: Mmm, the tea is delicious! Are there any cookies as well?
Ceylan: Yes, there are. They’re in the drawer.
Marco: In which drawer? The narrow or the wide one?
Ceylan: In the wide drawer.

In the evening their friends Stefan and Nina are also there.
Stefan: Marco, Ceylan is smart. Her Dutch is already good. How is your Turkish?
Marco: My Turkish is not so good yet. It’s very difficult.
Ceylan: Dutch isn’t easy either.
Nina: No, languages are never easy. Fortunately you’re smart people!
Ceylan: Exactly. I certainly don’t have a stupid friend!
Marco: And I’ve got a smart and sweet friend.


4.3 – Devoicing in combination with adjectives

As said before, in the introductory lesson I touched upon the subject of devoicing: Dutch words that end in ‘b’ or ‘d’ in spelling are pronounced with a ‘p’ or ‘t’ respectively: the phrase ‘ik heb een bed’ has a b and a d in spelling, but not in pronunciation.
The close reader might have observed in a previous and in this lesson that I have given some adjectives that change in spelling when you place them in front of a noun. For instance, in the word list of lesson three you will find the word ‘grijs’, but it ended up as ‘een grijze bank’ in the reading text. In lesson four, we came across ‘ons’ and ‘lief’, which ended up as ‘onze lieve vrienden’. This has to do with devoicing.
There is a rule in the Dutch language that says that in Dutch, a word can never be spelt with a v or a z as its final letter. (Borrowed words such as ‘quiz’, ‘fez’ and ‘pilav’ do not follow these rules, but these are very rare exceptions and can be forgotten for now.)
Now let’s take a look again at the adjectives ‘lieve’ and ‘onze’: the extra –e at the end of these words show that they have been inflected in order to fit in front of noun. However, they also show that the base form of these adjectives is actually ‘liev’ and ‘onz’. Due to the ‘no v/z rule’, the spelling of the words has to be changed into ‘lief’ and ‘ons’ respectively. The rule is therefore:

A base word ending in ‘v’ takes an ‘f’ in spelling, and a base word ending in ‘z’ takes ‘s’ in spelling if these letters are not preceded by a short vowel.

The extra addition of ‘if they are not preceded by a short vowel’ is necessary and this will be covered in the section on open and closed syllables. What remains is that ‘v’ and ‘z’ turn into ‘f’ and ‘s’ if they are preceded by:
- A long vowel
- A diphthong
- Another consonant
- And one exception: the short vowel ‘ie’
In reality the Dutch vowel ‘ie’ is a short vowel, but many people think it is long due to it consisting of two written letters. That is why in spelling the ‘no v/z rule’ is also applicable to ie-words.

Some examples to showcase the v/z rule a bit more:
‘Een boos meisje’, but ‘een boze jongen’.
‘Een vies huis’, but ‘een vieze villa’.
‘Een half brood’ but ‘een halve dag’.

From the examples ‘boos’ and ‘boze’ it is to be noted that you should also pay attention to the open syllable rule: boos + e = booze. If you divide this up into syllables you get ‘boo’ – ‘ze’, which needs to be spelt as ‘bo’ – ‘ze’.
Tip: if you ever come across adjectives ending in –ve or –ze, you can always be sure that their base forms end in ‘f’ or ‘s’.
‘grove’ means it has a base form of ‘grof’.
‘dove’ comes from ‘doof’.
‘wijze’ comes from ‘wijs’.

4.4 – Open and closed syllables [part II]

In the previous lesson I first came to speak about open and closed syllables, and I ended up explaining open syllables: ‘groot’ turns into ‘grote’ due to the open syllable rule. In this lesson, I’d like to shift focus towards closed syllables. In these cases, there is a change in spelling as well, which is a similar rule to English monosyllabic verbs with a short vowel, such as ‘put’, requiring an extra consonant when inflected into their continuous forms: ‘put’ turns into ‘putting’ with a double t. Compare this to Dutch. In the reading text, we came across among others:
• ‘de domme vriend’, in which ‘domme’ stems from the base adjective ‘dom’
• ‘de slimme vriendin’, in which ‘slimme’ stems from the base adjective ‘slim’

As you might have deducted from this, in Dutch there is the following rule:

If in a closed syllable a short vowel is followed by just one consonant, in adjectives ending in –e this consonant needs to be doubled in order for the vowel to remain short.

That seems like a long and complex rule, but basically it means this:
You need to make ‘domme’ out of ‘dom’, since ‘dome’ (just adding an extra –e) would be pronounced like ‘do – me’ so ‘doo – me’. Now the spelling reads ‘dom – me’, with the o remaining short.
Please note that the short vowel ‘ie’ is the ultimate exception:
‘Een diep meer’ but ‘een diepe zee’.

The same goes for adjectives ending in –ig:
‘Een gelukkig meisje’ but ‘een gelukkige’ jongen.
The reason for this is that –ig doesn’t carry word stress.

And for adjectives with an end syllable with a silent –e in it:
‘Een ander huis’ but ‘het andere huis’.
Again, the reason for this is that a silent –e can never carry word stress.

An overview
Adjectives with a diphthong or multiple consonants at the end of the syllable: no change.
Een klein meisje, het kleine meisje.

Adjectives with a long vowel followed by one consonant: shorten the long vowel to one letter in spelling.
Een groot meisje, het grote meisje.

Adjectives with a short vowel followed by one consonant: double the consonant in spelling.
Een slim meisje, het slimme meisje.

Adjectives ending in –f or –s: change to –ve or –ze when not preceded by a short vowel, also pay attention to possible open syllables.
Een lief meisje, het lieve meisje.
Een boos meisje, het boze meisje.

Before we move on to the plural, I think it is wise to first practice devoicing, open and closed syllables in combination with adjectives in a small exercise. Good luck!

boos - angry, mad, upset
half - half
het brood - bread
grof - rude, crude, coarse
doof - deaf
wijs - wise, smart, intelligent
diep - deep
het meer - lake
gelukkig - happy [this is different from gelukkig – fortunately, which is an adverb]
ander - other
trots - proud
rood - red
fel - bright
het eten - food

Inflect these adjectives correctly and translate the sentences.
Voorbeeld: Dat is een (mooi) stoel = Dat is een mooie stoel.
1. Jij bent een (lief) meisje.
2. De (trots) man.
3. Het is het (rood) appartement.
4. Dat is een (wijs) vrouw.
5. Ik heb een (fel) lamp.
6. Wat een (leuk) idee!
7. Wij hebben nu een (ander) huis.
8. Hij is wel een erg (boos) jongen.
9. Het (lekker) eten.
10. Er is een (wit) tafel in de woonkamer.

4.5 – The plural (part I)

In Dutch, there are two ways to form the plural of noun. In this lesson we’ll tackle the most common one, which represents about 90-95% of the plurals in Dutch.
Take a look at the following examples:
Het boek – de boeken
De vrouw – de vrouwen
Het huis – de huizen
De boom – de bomen
De bom – de bommen
De raaf – de raven

Please note that the article in the plural is always ‘de’, also for het-words. As a consequence, adjectives behave according to the de-rules.

As observed from the examples, a noun takes +en in the plural. However, there are a few obstacles down the road to pay attention to.
• Open and closed syllables:
If a noun has a final syllable ending in long vowel + consonant, such as “boom”, then the open syllable rule pops up in the plural: ‘boom’ becomes ‘boo – men’, thus ‘bo – men’ in spelling. Likewise, if a noun has a final syllable ending in a short vowel + consonant, such as “bom”, then the closed syllable rule pops up in the plural: ‘bom’ becomes ‘bom’ + ‘en’ thus we are in need of an extra ‘m’ to retain the short vowel sound: ‘bom – men’. Compare this to ‘bo –men’, which has the long vowel sound and is therefore the plural of ‘boom’.
• The v/z rule:
Just like with adjectives, in Dutch nouns too the v/z rule is applicable in the plural. This only occurs when an ‘f’ or ‘s’ is in a syllable containing a long vowel sound or a diphthong in the singular, since short vowels have their consonants doubled. As you can see from the example ‘huis’, the plural becomes ‘huizen’. This is because the base form of the noun is actually ‘huiz’, but as you’ve learned it is not permitted to have a Dutch word end in a z or v. As a consequence, in spelling ‘huis’ is written with an s. However, in the plural the z resurfaces, since the word no longer ends with that sound. Comparably, the same phenomenon occurs in f/v: ‘raaf’ turns into ‘raven’, with the addition of the open syllable rule: ‘raaf’ = ‘raav’ = ‘raa – ven’ = ‘ra – ven’.
Please note that after a long vowel sound or diphtong singular –f always changes into plural –ven, but that this is not the case for all –s words; some turn into –sen, but this goes for the minority of them: ‘mens,’ but ‘mensen’.

Of course, nouns in the plural can also take demonstrative pronouns and adjectives. Since nouns in the plural are always ‘de’-words, the demonstrative pronouns and adjectives follow the rules for ‘de’-words:
• these books = deze boeken
• those shoes = die schoenen
• big airplanes = grote vliegtuigen
• the small chairs = de kleine stoelen

4.6 – The possessive pronouns

In previous lessons, you have already come across possessive pronouns. They identify the owner(s) of a certain noun: ‘your house’ means that the house belongs to you. Dutch thus has the same rules as in English, and differs from German, French, and Spanish, where attention must also be paid to the gender of the noun. In Dutch, this is not the case. The only exception is ons/onze due to the v/z rule.
A small overview of the possessive pronouns in Dutch:
my - mijn, m’n
your (sg) - jouw, je
his - zijn, z’n
her - haar, d’r
its - zijn
our - ons, onze
your (pl) - jullie, je
their - hun

As you might have observed, I have not included formal your, which is ‘uw’. It occurs less and less, execpt in formal letters and the like.

One second thing you might have seen is that here as well there are stressed and unstressed forms. The unstressed forms are m’n, z’n, d’r, and je. The ‘ is pronounced as a silent e.

There are two forms for ‘our’: ons and onze. Ons is used with het-words and onze with de-words:
• Dat is ons huis.
• Dat zijn onze huizen.

4.7 – Word order: starting with an adverb

In the very first lesson I taught you about Dutch word order. In main clauses this is SVO (subject – verb – object): ik heb een hond. I’ve got a dog. I also explained that if a main clause in Dutch starts with an adverb, word order immediately changes. Subject and verb switch places:
• Veel mensen hebben een hond in Nederland
• In Nederland hebben veel mensen een hond.

Note that I have often started sentences with an adverb / adverbial clause, also in lesson four:
• [Vijf minuten later] zijn Marco en Ceylan aan tafel.
• [’s Avonds] zijn hun vrienden Stefan en Nina er ook.
• [Gelukkig] zijn jullie slimme mensen.
As you can see, in these sentences subject and verb have changed places.


Woordenlijst bij de oefeningen
de raaf - raven
de schoen - shoe
het vliegtuig - airplane, aircraft
de bloem - flower
de lamp - lamp
de dief - thief
de kans - chance
de daad - deed, act, action
de spin - spider
het geheim - secret
de tuin - garden
blij - happy
lang - long
het verhaal - story
vb. - short for “voorbeeld”
de tijd - time
tijd hebben - be available [to do something]
alleen - alone
over - over, in, about [preposition, translation depends on context]
de mensen - here: people [it’s the plural of ‘mens’]
het geld - money
de oma - granny, grandma, grandmother
kwaad - angry, upset
kwaad zijn - be angry
echt - really
stom - stupid, silly
het glas - glass

Oefeningen bij les vier

A: Turn these singular nouns into their respective plural forms.
1. Bloem
2. Kast
3. Lamp
4. Vis
5. Boot
6. Huis
7. Dief
8. Kans
9. Daad
10. Spin

B: Translate to Dutch.
1. Your house (2 options, do both)
2. My secret
3. Our garden
4. Their child
5. Her shoes
6. His dogs

C: Choose the correct alternative.
1. A: ons blij kind
B: ons blije kind
C: onze blij kind
D: onze blije kind

2. A: mijn klein huis
B: jouw grote geheim
C: ons grote tuin
D: hun lang verhaal

3. The rule I’ve deduced from the first two questions is:
A: if there’s an adjective between possessive pronoun and noun it is always the base form.
B: if there’s an adjective between possessive pronoun and noun, it takes base form in front of de-words and base form +e (such as “kleine”) in front of het-words.
C: if there’s an adjective between possessive pronoun and noun, it takes base form +e (such as “kleine”) in front of de-words and base form in front of het-words.
D: if there’s an adjective between possessive pronoun and noun it is always base form +e.

D: Rewrite the sentences by starting with the adverb in brackets. Then, translate them to English.
Vb.: Ik ben niet [thuis].  Thuis ben ik niet. = I am not at home.
1. Hij heeft [soms] tijd.
2. Zij is [vaak] alleen.
3. Zij zijn er [over vijf minuten].
4. Die mensen hebben [altijd] geld.
5. Mijn oma is [nooit] kwaad.

E: Translate to Dutch.
1. Why is it difficult?
2. I am often happy.
3. The green drawer is ugly.
4. Those houses have got a lot of gardens.
5. These dogs are still young, but those cats are very old.

F: Translate to English.
1. Mark is echt niet dom, maar dat is een stomme daad.
2. Ik heb geen suiker meer.
3. Het brood is ook op.
4. In de la is er koffie en thee.
5. En in het kastje zijn er borden en glazen.
Overduidelijk misschien.

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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:49 am
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English (Great Britain)
Third language: French
Fourth language: Turkish
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: German, Italian, Spanish.
Gender: Male
Location: Tolkamer, NL

Re: Dutch Language Course

Post by Fiskje88 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:51 am

The next lesson, lesson 5, is still under construction. I will therefore post what I have so far.


Les vijf: Wentelteefjes

5.1 – Introduction
So far, we have “only” dealt with the real basics of the Dutch language: personal & possessive pronouns, nouns & adjectives, and the verbs to be & have got. Now, the time has come to take it to the next level: other verbs! We’ll come to talk about the imperative form of the verb. We will take a closer look at the Dutch verb “gaan”. As a consequence, our first Dutch tense can be introduced: “o.t.t.” or “onvoltooid tegenwoordige tijd”. After that, we’ll come to talk about the object forms of the personal pronouns. Lastly, a new diacritic is introduced: the diaresis. Its usage will be explained.

5.2 – Leestekst


Een paar weken later zijn we terug bij Marco en Ceylan. Ze zijn nu thuis, maar ze vertrekken zometeen allebei. Marco gaat boodschappen doen en Ceylan gaat naar school. Haar Nederlands is nu veel beter.
Marco: Ceylan, ik ga boodschappen doen. Waar ligt het geld?
Ceylan: Dat ligt in de la, zoals altijd.
Marco: Oh ja, ik zie het. Dank je wel. Wat ga jij doen?
Ceylan: Ik ga naar school. Ik heb Nederlandse les.
Marco: Oké, cool. Wanneer ben je weer thuis?
Ceylan: Vanavond, over een paar uurtjes.
Marco: Dat is gelukkig niet zo laat. Tot vanavond!
Ceylan: Tot dan!

Even later gaat Marco naar de supermarkt. Hij heeft ingrediënten nodig voor het avondeten. In de supermarkt vindt hij bijna alles, behalve melk en eieren. Hij vraagt om hulp.
Marco: Het spijt me, mevrouw, ik zoek de melk. Waar staat die?
Mevrouw: De melk staat bij de boter. Kijk maar.
Marco: Ah, ja, ik zie ze al. En de eieren? Waar liggen die?
Mevrouw: De eieren liggen bij de koekjes. Dat is bij de kassa.
Marco: Oké, dan weet ik genoeg. Dank u wel voor uw hulp.
Mevrouw: Graag gedaan.

’s Avonds kookt Marco. Ceylan komt bijna thuis. Marco kijkt naar het recept.
Marco: “Meng de melk met de eieren. Voeg twee eetlepels kaneel bij de mix. Snijd de sneetjes brood in tweeën. Leg ze in de mix. Pak een koekenpan en verhit olie of boter. Bak de sneetjes bruin. Bestrooi ze met suiker. Eet smakelijk!”
Marco gaat aan de slag. Hij maakt het eten. Ceylan komt binnen.
Ceylan: Hmm, dat ruikt lekker! Wat zijn dat?
Marco: Wentelteefjes.
Ceylan: Wentelteefjes?
Marco: Ja, wentelteefjes. Geloof me, ze zijn erg lekker.
Ceylan: Oké. Ik ben benieuwd.
Marco: Ga maar alvast aan tafel zitten. Ik ben bijna klaar.

Ceylan gaat aan tafel zitten. Marco geeft haar de wentelteefjes. Ceylan proeft ze. Ze zijn inderdaad erg lekker. Ceylan eet ze allemaal.

wentelteefjes - French toast
de week - week
terug - back
bij - with, at
vertrekken - leave
zometeen - in a minute, shortly, in a short while
allebei - both
gaan - go
boodschappen doen - do the groceries
doen - do, make
naar - to [preposition, indicates movement]
de school - school
beter - beter
liggen - lie // here: be
zoals - like, as
zien - see
dank je (wel) - thank you
de les - classes
cool - cool
vanavond - tonight, this evening
over - in, about, around
het uurtje - diminutive of “uur”
tot - until, till
dan - then
de supermarkt - supermarket
het ingrediënt - ingredient
nodig - necessary
nodig hebben - need
voor - for, in front of [preposition, difficult to translate]
het avondeten - supper, dinner, tea
vinden - find
alles - everything
behalve - except (for)
de melk - milk
de eieren - plural of “ei”
vragen - ask
om - for, about, around [preposition, difficult...]
de hulp - help
om hulp vragen - ask for help
het spijt me - I’m sorry, excuse me
mevrouw - madam
zoeken - look for
staan - stand // here: be
bij - at, near, on, in, with [preposition, you get it...]
de boter - butter
kijken - look
de kassa - till
weten - know
genoeg - enough
graag gedaan - you’re welcome
koken - cook, make dinner
komen - come
thuis komen - come home
kijken naar - look at
het recept - recipe
mengen - mix
met - with
voegen - add
de eetlepel - spoon
de kaneel - cinnamon
de mix - mixture
snijden - cut
in tweeën snijden - cut in half
het sneetje - slice
leggen - put, place
pakken - take, grab
de koekenpan - frying pan
verhitten - heat
de olie - oil
bakken - bake, fry
bruin - brown
bestrooien met - sprinkle with
eet smakelijk! - enjoy your dinner! have a nice meal!
eten - eat
aan de slag gaan - go to work
maken - make, do
binnen - in, inside
binnen komen - enter
ruiken - smell
lekker - delicious
geloven - believe, trust
benieuwd - curious
benieuwd zijn - be curious
zitten - sit
gaan zitten - have a seat, take a seat
alvast - already
klaar - done, ready, finished
klaar zijn - finish, be ready
geven - give
proeven - taste
inderdaad - indeed


French toast

A couple of weeks later we’re back with Marco and Ceylan. They’re at home now, but they will both leave in a short while. Marco is going to do the groceries and Ceylan is going to school. Her Dutch is much better now.
Marco: Ceylan, I’m going to do the groceries. Where’s the money? [Where does the money lie?]
Ceylan: It’s in the drawer, as always.
Marco: Ah yes, I can see it. Thank you. What are you going to do?
Ceylan: I’m going to school. I’ve got Dutch classes.
Marco: Right, cool. When will you be home again?
Ceylan: Tonight, in a couple of hours.
Marco: That won’t be very late, fortunately. See you tonight!
Ceylan: Till then!

A few moments later Marco is going to the supermarket. He needs ingredients for dinner. He finds almost everything in the supermarket, except for milk and eggs. He asks for help.
Marco: Excuse me, Madam, I’m looking for the milk. Where is it? [Where does that stand?]
Woman: The milk is near the butter. See, there they are. [Just have a look.]
Marco: Ah, yes, I can see them already. And the eggs? Where are those? [Where do those lie?]
Woman: The eggs are near the cookies. That’s near the till.
Marco: Okay, then I know enough. Thank you for your help.
Woman: You’re welcome.

In the evening Marco is cooking dinner. Ceylan will almost be home. Marco is looking at the recipe.
Marco: “Mix the milk with the eggs. Add two spoonfuls of cinnamon to the mixture. Cut the slices of bread in half. Put them in the mixture. Take a frying pan and heat oil or butter. Fry the slices of bread until they turn brown. Sprinkle them with sugar. Enjoy your meal!”
Marco goes to work. He is making dinner. Ceylan enters.
Ceylan: Hmm, that smells delicious! What is it? [What are those?]
Marco: French toast.
Ceylan: French toast?
Marco: Yes, French toast. Trust me, it is [they are] very delicious.
Ceylan: Okay. I’m curious.
Marco: Take a seat [at the table] already. I have almost finished.

Ceylan takes a seat [at the table]. Marco gives her the French toast. Ceylan tastes it [them]. It is [They are] very delicious indeed! Ceylan eats all of them.


5.3 – Consolation

If you are flabbergasted by the level of this lesson – don’t worry. No, you have not missed any lessons, there is simply a huge gap between lessons 4 and 5 because of the introduction of verbs. If you feel that you will still not grasp this lesson once you will have finished it – again, do not worry. Give yourself some time to get used to the Dutch verb inflection. In a couple of weeks you will suddenly realise that you will have successfully mastered this piece of the puzzle too.

5.4 – Verbs in Dutch

Right. There we go, finally. We’re entering a new chapter within our Dutch course: verbs! Just like in English, in Dutch a verb denotes a certain action: do, make, puzzle, run, swim etc.
First, in Dutch a verb almost always ends in –en: eten, vertrekken, maken, ruiken etc. Notable exceptions are: zijn, doen (oe is one sound), gaan, slaan and staan.
The forms of the verbs as they are presented over here are called “base form” or “infinitive”. This will serve its purpose later on in this lesson.
The stem of the verb is formed by taking off –en from the verb. As a consequence, the stems of the verbs eten, vertrekken, maken, and ruiken are “et, vertrekk, mak, and ruik”. The stem of the verb serves as the basis for the imperative form.

5.5 – Forming the imperative

In essence, the imperative of a verb is made in the same way as you deduce its stem, but you have to take open and closed syllable into account, as goes for final devoicing (v turns into f, z into s).

In essence, the imperative of a verb is formed by taking off –en from its base form.
Examples of this rule can be found in the text:
Mengen becomes meng.
Voegen becomes voeg.
Snijden becomes snijd.
Bestrooien becomes bestrooi.

However, life is sometimes not that easy. In the same bit – the recipe – we also see the following imperatives: leg, pak, and bak. Their base forms are leggen, pakken, and bakken. Something must have happened, apparently. Remember that in Dutch spelling a word cannot end with two of the same consonants. In other words, if you have the stems legg, pakk, and bakk, you need to take off the last consonant to form its imperative forms: legg becomes leg, pakk becomes pak, and bakk becomes bak.

Secondly, also remember that in Dutch spelling a word cannot end with two of the same vowels, except for ‘ee’. In other words, if you’ve got the verbs gaan and staan, its stems are ‘gaa’ and ‘staa’ respectively. In order to turn them into imperative, take off the final vowel. ‘gaa’ becomes ‘ga’ and ‘staa’ becomes ‘sta’.

Then you’ve got verbs like ‘doen’, where you’ve got the two different vowels directly in front of the final –n. Just take off the –n and there you have both the stem of the verb and its imperative form: ‘doe’.

The most challenging part is if there is a combination of factors. ‘Maken’, ‘geven’, and ‘geloven’ would be examples of such combinations.
- Maken consists of two syllables: ma – ken. As a result, you now know that the ‘a’ in maken is actually a long vowel: ‘aa’. You know that the stem is ‘mak’, thus pronounced with a long ‘aa’. To reflect this in spelling, simply add another a: the imperative is spelled as ‘maak’.
- The same goes for ‘geven’ and ‘geloven’: ge – ven and ge – lo – ven. You pronounce them as ‘gee – ven’ and ‘ge – loo – ven’. In other words, you’d have ‘geev’ and ‘geloov’ as imperatives. Since a Dutch word in spelling cannot end in v or z, change them to f and s respectively. Thus, ‘geev’ becomes ‘geef’ and ‘geloov’ becomes ‘geloof’.

In short, examples of all possibilities:
• zoeken - zoek!
• vertrekken - vertrek!
• gaan - ga!
• koken - kook!
• proeven - proef!
• kiezen - kies!
• geven - geef!
• blazen - blaas!
In the text you have seen that the imperative can be followed by the word “maar”. This word ‘maar’ softens the command: “ga maar” is much friendlier than “ga!” Same goes for “kijk maar” instead of “kijk”. Dutch people use this ‘maar’ a lot. In the course of time you will learn more of these nuances.

In all honesty there is another imperative, the imperative of the plural. This would be imperative +t: geeft, vertrekt, etc. However, this plural is a rarity so forget all about it. Dutch people would only use the “normal” imperative.

Knowing how to form the imperative is crucial, since the same form of the verb is used to form the first person singular in the o.t.t.: ik zoek, ik vertrek, ik ga, ik kook etc. More about this will follow soon.

Finally, the exception of all exceptions: the imperative of “zijn” (to be) is ‘wees’. Wees blij, wees gelukkig, wees stil, etc.

slaan - hit
kiezen - choose
blazen - blow
wees! - be!

5.6 – The verb “gaan”

As an introduction to the o.v.t. or onvoltooid tegenwoordige tijd, the Dutch equivalent of the present simple, I would like to start by discussing the verb “gaan”.

Gaan is comparable to the English verb, as it carries the same functions:
• if ‘gaan’ is followed by the preposition ‘naar’, it means you go somewhere. You translate this with “to be going + to [noun]” most of the time and sometimes with “go + to [noun]”:
- ik ga naar de supermarkt, jij gaat naar school, wij gaan naar bed.

• if ‘gaan’ is followed by an infinitive, so another verb, it means you are about to do something. In other words, it tells something about the immediate future. This construction is used a lot in Dutch. You always translate this with “to be going to + verb”:
- ik ga koken, jij gaat proeven, wij gaan slapen.

As you can see, a huge difference between Dutch and English is that Dutch uses the simple form (= verb) most of the time where English would take the continuous form (to be + verb + ing). You will see this difference coming back in the explanation of the o.v.t.
Let’s have a look at the inflection of the verb “gaan”. If you understand this part, you will also understand how the o.v.t. of other verbs is formed, as this is the same construction.
As I’ve said before, the ik-form of the verb is the same as its imperative. For gaan, this is the same.
For jij, hij, zij (singular), and het you always have ik-form +t. Keep long vowels in mind!
Wij, jullie, and zij (plural) take the base form of the verb. This corresponds to the English formation of the present simple.

In other words:
ik ga
jij gaat
hij gaat
zij gaat
het gaat
wij gaan
jullie gaan
zij gaan

As you can see, with jij, hij, zij, and het there are two as. This is because the extra a is needed to reflect the long aa sound in spelling. Remember that ‘gat’ would be pronounced differently.

Finally, I’ll give you a few more examples to familiarise yourself with the verb ‘gaan’:
Marco gaat boodschappen doen.
Ceylan gaat naar huis.
Jullie gaan eten.
Marco en Ceylan gaan nooit naar de kerk.
Het gaat regenen.
Ik ga naar binnen.
Jij gaat naar Engeland.
Wij gaan wandelen

de kerk - church
regenen - rain [verb]
Engeland - England
wandelen - walk [verb]
Overduidelijk misschien.

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Re: Dutch Language Course

Post by Bert » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:28 pm

Welk wit kastje?, volgens mij.

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Re: Dutch Language Course

Post by Shazzy » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:58 am

Hi I would love to give it a try when time allows but I am busy with my Dutch course now and have a deadline to complete by 15th May. Do we get a key to the answers and yes I would love the audio files I will send you a private message with my email address.


Shazzy x

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Re: Dutch Language Course

Post by sqjoy » Sun May 10, 2015 4:25 pm

Dank u wel!

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