Dutch Courses Ľ Beginnerís Course Ľ Part 2


Dutch Beginnerís Course Part 2


Verb Tenses

This chapter is about how to use verbs. Read about spelling details in the document Verb Conjugation. In this chapter, easy examples are found.

The verb list shows Dutch verbs, one table per verb.

Content of Verbs Tenses

Introduction to Verbs
Tenses
Simple Present
Simple Past
Present Perfect
Imperative
Spelling Summary

Introduction to Verbs

A verb often specifies a action.

werken - to work
lopen - to walk
rennen - to run

Other verbs talk about a situation, like hebben (to have).

Ik heb een jas. - I have a coat.
Ik heb de schroevendraaier. - I have the screwdriver.

Most verbs in Dutch have an en ending. The dictionary will show verbs like:

voelen - to feel
werken - to work
hebben - to have
komen - to come
opbellen - to call (by telephone)
zeggen - to say

Many other verbs have an n ending.

zijn - to be
staan - to stand
gaan - to go
opstaan - to rise
overslaan - to skip

Words like staan, werken, and hebben we call infinitives of a verb.

Tenses

Without a verb, a sentence is not complete. A verb informs you about something that happens now, in the past, or in the future. The verb also shows if the action is completed or not.

In the next table, six ways in which a verb is used are shown. Each of this applications is called a tense. When we talk about now, we use the present tense. When we talk about the past, we use the past tense.

Six tenses of the verb to walk are shown here.

 action goes onaction completed
nowI walkI have walked
pastI walkedI had walked
It will happen in the futureI will walkI will have walked

This time, the names of the tenses are placed in the six records.

 action goes onaction completed
nowsimple presentpresent perfect
pastsimple pastpast perfect
It will happen in the futuresimple futurefuture perfect


Simple Present

The simple present of a verb talks about now.

Je bent de eerste. - You are the first.
Ja, ik werk zonder zaag. - Yes, I work without a saw.
We hebben een boot. - We have a boat.

If you have something now, use the present tense of hebben. If you work now, use the present tense of werken.

The verb voelen (to feel) is shown in the table below. The appearance of the verb changes in six ways. It depends on the person we talk about.
You can see that voel is used everywhere. The word voel is the base word to add letters to. We call it the stem of the verb. In the present tense, you can add t or en to the stem, or nothing at all. Not every verb is made so easily, because the stem of some verbs must be adapted a little before use.

singularplural
ik voelI feelwe voelenwe feel
je voeltyou feeljullie voelenyou feel
hij voelthe feelsze voelenthey feel

Word order matters

When je (or jij) is the subject, the word order influences the spelling of the verb. The letter t of voelt is dropped, when voel precedes je. Then we get ďvoel jeĒ. Otherwise we get ďje voeltĒ. This can only happen in the present tense. In occurs in every regular verb.
je voelt - you feel
voel je - you feel
voel je - do you feel

Examples:
Je voelt de wind waaien. - You feel the wind is blowing.
Voel je de wind waaien? - Do you feel the wind is blowing?
Als je hier staat, dan voel je de wind waaien. - If you stand over here, then you feel the wind is blowing.

But for the other persons (ik, hij, we, etc.) the word order doesnít matter. The word u means you and is formal.

Examples:
Hij voelt de wind waaien. - He feels the wind is blowing.
Voelt hij de wind ook waaien? - Does he also feel the wind is blowing?
U voelt de wind waaien. - You feel the wind is blowing.
Meneer, voelt u de wind waaien? - Sir, do you feel the wind is blowing?

Conclusion: the word order only influences the spelling of a verb when je or jij is involved. It is very important to remember, because this inversion (the change of the word order) occurs in questions, and many questions have je (or jij) as a subject. This change only takes place in the present tense.
Ben je wakker? - Are you awake?
Je bent wakker. - You are awake.
Heb jij geld? - Do you have money?
Jij hebt geld. - You have money.

Adding more persons to the table

We have talked about the personal pronouns ik, je, hij, we, jullie, and ze. But there are more personal pronouns.

  • the word hij (he) can be replaced by ze (she) or het (it). Donít forget these words do not mean the same, although they share a record in the table.
  • the word je (you) can be replaced by u (you), a formal word.
  • The pronunciation of e in the words je, we and ze, is like u in ďhurtleĒ. Replace them by jij (you), wij (we) and zij (she, they) if you want to stress the word.
  • you can say u to a group of people. Then u is the formal way to say jullie.

    These persons are shown in the table below.

    voelen (to feel) - simple present
    singular
    ik voelI feel
    je voelt
    jij voelt
    u voelt
    you feel
    you feel
    you feel
    hij voelt
    ze voelt
    zij voelt
    het voelt
    he feels
    she feels
    she feels
    it feels
    plural
    we voelen
    wij voelen
    we feel
    we feel
    jullie voelen
    u voelt
    you feel
    you feel
    ze voelen
    zij voelen
    they feel
    they feel

    Examples:
    Zij voelt de grip van het stuur. - She feels the grip of the steering wheel.
    Jullie voelen de warmte. - You feel the warmth.

    We just talked about a regular verb, which means it behaves predictable. The verb in the next example is also regular.

    Examples:
    Zij bedoelt de grip van het stuur. - She means the grip of the steering wheel.
    Jullie bedoelen de warmte. - You mean the warmth.

    Zijn (to be) is an irregular verb. It is not an example on how to make verbs, but the verb is important enough to show here.

    zijn (to be) - simple present
    singularplural
    ik benI am we zijnwe are
    je bentyou arejullie zijnyou are
    hij ishe isze zijnthey are

    Information about ďben jeĒ is left out, because it can be concluded from what is shown.

    Examples:
    Ik ben hier - I am here.
    Ben je hier? - Are you here?
    Je bent hier. - You are here.
    De tafel is groen. - The table is green.

    The verb hebben (to have) is an irregular verb. It is not an example on how to make verbs, but the verb is important enough to show here anyway.

    hebben (to have) - simple present
    singularplural
    ik hebI have we hebbenwe have
    je hebtyou havejullie hebbenyou have
    hij heefthe hasze hebbenthey have

    Examples:
    Ik heb groene laarzen. - I have green boots.
    Heeft hij een rijbewijs? - Does he have a driving license?

    Strong verbs look like weak verbs in the present tense. There is no visible difference here.
    Hij zingt. - He sings.
    Zing jij? - Do you sing?
    Je zingt. - You sing.

    Simple Past

    Use the past tense of a verb to talk about the past. Many novels are written in the past tense, but childrenís books are often written in the present tense. In conversation, the simple past is used less often than the present perfect.

    In the next sentence, te is added to wacht to make the simple past.

    Ik wachtte. Het werd donker. - I waited. It got dark.

    In the present tense this would be:

    Ik wacht. Het wordt donker. - Iím waiting. It is getting dark.

    The table of wachten is shown right here. Look at the syllables that are added to wacht. These syllables are te and ten.

    wachten (to wait) - simple past
    singularplural
    ik wachtteI waitedwe wachttenwe waited
    je wachtteyou waitedjullie wachttenyou waited
    hij wachttehe waitedze wachttenthey waited

    Letís look at the past tense of the verb voelen (to feel). This is a regular verb too. We make the stem voel by removing en. We add de or den to the stem voel. The table is shown here.

    voelen (to feel) - simple past
    singularplural
    ik voeldeI feltwe voeldenwe felt
    je voeldeyou feltjullie voeldenyou felt
    hij voeldehe feltze voeldenthey felt

    hebben is an irregular verb. We get in the past tense:

    hebben (to have) - simple past
    singularplural
    ik hadI had we haddenwe had
    je hadyou hadjullie haddenyou had
    hij hadhe hadze haddenthey had

    zijn is an irregular verb. In the past tense, it looks a little like the English verb to be.

    zijn (to be) - simple past
    singularplural
    ik wasI was we warenwe were
    je wasyou wasjullie warenyou were
    hij washe wasze warenthey were


    The verb zingen (to sing) is strong. It has a regular strong pattern. In the plural en is added to zong, not to zing. In the singular nothing is added.

    zingen (to sing) - simple past
    singularplural
    ik zongI sangwe zongenwe sang
    je zongyou sangjullie zongenyou sang
    hij zonghe sangze zongenthey sang

    Present Perfect

    The present perfect is important in Dutch. The English simple past is very often translated to the Dutch present perfect. In other words: The Dutch people use the present perfect very often.

    The verb to have means to have, but not always. The verb can be used quite differently. It can be used as an auxiliary verb. Auxiliary verbs are only there to help the verb they must help. In this example wachten is accompanied by the word heb (have) from the verb hebben (to have).

    Examples:
    wachten - to wait
    Ik heb gewacht. - I have waited.
    Ik heb een kwartier gewacht. - I have waited for a quarter of an hour.
    Ik heb op de bus gewacht. - I have waited for the bus.
    Ik heb een kwartier op de bus gewacht. - I have waited for the bus for a quarter of an hour.

    Notice that the word heb in ďIk heb gewachtĒ does not mean at all that I possess (have) something. This is also true in English.

    Letís compare the new tense (the present perfect) with the other tenses we talked about earlier.

    present
    Ik wacht. Kom naar buiten. - Iím waiting. Come outside.
    past
    Ik wachtte. Ondertussen werd het donker. - I waited. In the meantime it got dark.
    present perfect
    Ik heb gewacht, maar je kwam niet. Ik ben toen naar huis gegaan. - I have waited, but you didnít come. Then I went home.
    Jij hebt gewacht, maar ik ook. - You have waited, but I did too.
    Heb jij ook gewacht? Waar? - Have you waited too? Where?

    The table of wachten in the present perfect is shown below. It is based on the table of the simple present of hebben. The only difference is, that the word gewacht (waited) is added everywhere. Every verb has just one past participle, and the past participle of wachten is gewacht.

    wachten (to wait) - present perfect
    singularplural
    ik heb gewachtI have waitedwe hebben gewachtwe have waited
    je hebt gewachtyou have waitedjullie hebben gewachtyou have waited
    hij heeft gewachthe has waitedze hebben gewachtthey have waited

    Note: ze (she) and het (it) are done exactly like hij (he).

    Imperative

    The imperative is used to give an order. Sometimes it looks like a question, because the sentence starts with a verb. You can see that is not true, because there is no question mark in imperative sentences.

    The imperative is written as if the word ik (I), precedes the verb. But the subject (when not mentioned) is always you.
    Ga naar binnen. - Go inside.
    Blijf binnen. - Stay inside.
    Ga naar huis. Ik ga ook naar huis - Go home. I will go home too.

    These examples can be made more polite by adding a softening word like maar, a word that normally means but.
    Ga maar naar binnen. - I suggest you go inside.
    Blijf maar binnen. - I suggest you stay inside.
    Ga maar naar huis. Ik ga ook naar huis - I suggest you to go home. I will go home too.

    But when time is short, short sentences are polite enough.
    Kijk, een wespennest. - Look, a waspsí nest.
    Loop door. Kijk uit. - Walk on. Watch out.
    Pas op. - Be alert. (Watch out.)
    Struikel niet over die steen. - Donít stumble over that brick.

    You can add alsjeblieft (please) if you like (or alstublieft, which is a formal word).
    Ga mee, alsjeblieft. - Come with me, please.
    Ga mee, alstublieft. - Come with me, please.

    Most of the time questions are better than imperative remarks. These four questions are alternatives to the imperative.
    Wil je met me meegaan, alsjeblieft? - Do you want to come with me, please?
    Wilt u de deur dicht doen? - Do you want to close the door?
    Zou je met me mee willen gaan, alsjeblieft? - Would you come with me, please?
    Zou u met me mee willen gaan, alstublieft? - Would you come with me, please?

    The formal way to use the imperative is shown below. The subject is u (you, formal). These sentences look like questions very much, but they are not.
    Gaat u zitten, mevrouw. - Sit down, madam.
    Gaat u zitten, alstublieft. - Sit down, please.

    The next sentence is in the imperative. The sentence after that is a question. They look alike very much. The pitch of the speakerís voice or a question mark shows the difference.
    Gaat u zitten, meneer. Ik kom zo terug. - (Please) sit down, sir. Iíll be back in a moment.
    Gaat u zitten, meneer? Waarom? - Are you sitting down, sir? Why?

    In the following sentences maar is used to soften the tone of the order that is given. It shows some indifference in a small or large degree.
    Gaat u maar zitten, mevrouw. - (I suggest you) sit down, madam.
    Ga maar naar binnen. - (I suggest you) go inside.
    Neem maar een andere pen. - (I suggest you) take another pen.
    Kom maar wanneer u dat het beste uitkomt. - Just come when it suits you best.

    The infinitive of a verb is the verb as you can find it in the dictionary. You can use it as an imperative. This can be useful sometimes.
    Doorlopen. We staan in de weg. - Walk on. We are in the way.
    Lopen. - Walk.
    Rennen. - Run.
    Uitkijken. De weg is glad. - Watch out. The road is icy.
    Opletten. - Watch out. (or: Attention, in a classroom)
    Volhouden. Je bent er bijna. - Hold on. Youíre almost there.

    A we-imperative also occurs.
    Laten we opschieten. - Letís hurry.
    Laten we gaan. - Letís go.
    Laten we gaan voetballen. - Letís play soccer.



    Spelling Summary

    Simple Present Tense - weak and strong verbs

    To make the present tense conjugation for ik (I, the first person)

  • remove en of the infinitive. The crude stem is the result. We will start to work with that.
  • Rule 1. If the crude stem ends with a z, remove z and add s.
  • Rule 2. If the crude stem ends with a v, remove v and add f.
  • Rule 3. If the last two letters of the crude stem are two identical consonants (tt, kk, etc.), remove one of the two.
  • Rule 4. When the last syllable of the crude stem is closed (a consonant at the end), and the corresponding vowel of the infinitive is part of an open syllable (when the vowel is at the end of a syllable there), we have caused an unwanted pronunciation change. We can only solve this by making an extra adaptation to the crude stem. We must change the vowel of the crude stem. This can only be from a to aa, e to ee, o to oo, and from u to uu.
    Example: The crude stem of lopen is lop. The vowel in lop does not sound the same as the corresponding vowel in lopen. Therefore the crude stem lop is changed to loop to solve this.
  • The final result of applying these rules is the conjugation for ik (I). We call this result the stem.
    kiezen - ik kies - we kiezen - to choose - I choose - we choose
    leven - ik leef - hij leeft - we leven - to live - I live - he lives - we live
    bakken - ik bak - we bakken - to bake - I bake - we bake
    lopen - ik loop - we lopen - to walk - I walk - we walk
    voelen - ik voel - ze voelt - we voelen - to feel - she feels - we feel

    To make the present tense conjugation for the other persons in the singular:

  • Take the stem.
  • Add t, except when the verb precedes je or jij

    To make the present tense conjugation for the plural:

  • Take the infinitive and use it.

    Simple Past Tense - weak verbs

    For weak verbs, take the same stem you have made when you worked on the 1st person present tense. Some extra letters are added to this stem to make the past tense of weak verbs. When the sound of the last letter of the crude stem is f, ch, s, t, k, or p, we add te in the singular and ten in the plural. In all the other cases we add de in the singular and den in the plural.
    voelen - we voelden - to feel - we felt
    bakken - hij bakte - to bake - we baked

    You can remember the six sounds by for instance memorising the phrase:

    ďFour Chinese speakers train kind peopleĒ

    Spelling adaptations apply to the singular and the plural.

    Weak Past Participles

    When you know a verb is weak, you can find out what the past participle is.

  • make the crude stem of the verb by removing en.
  • Look at the last letter of the crude stem.
  • Six sounds take t-suffixes: f, ch, s, t, k, and p.
  • If the last letter of the crude stem is one of them, it must be a T-verb. The past participle will be: ge + stem + t.
  • Otherwise, it is a D-verb. Then the past participle will be: ge + stem + d.
  • If a double t ending occurs, remove one t.
    voelen - ik heb gevoeld - to feel - I have felt
    wachten - ik heb gewacht - to wait - I have waited

    You can remember the six sounds by for instance memorising the phrase:

    ďFour Chinese speakers train kind peopleĒ





    Pronouns

    A pronoun can replace a noun. In the following example, we replace ďThe bakerĒ by he and ďthe customerĒ by her.

    De bakker legde de klant alles uit. - The baker explained everything to the customer.
    Hij legde haar alles uit. - He explained everything to her.

    When we replace nouns by personal pronouns, we need two lists.
    The word hij (he) is part of the subjective personal pronouns list. The word haar (her) is part of the objective personal pronouns list.
    We will talk about the subjective personal pronouns first, in the next paragraph.

    Subjective Personal Pronouns

    Subjective personal pronouns are always the subject of the sentence.

    Examples:
    Hij kookt. - He cooks.
    Jij bent belangrijk. - You are important.
    Zij zijn ook belangrijk. - They are important too.

    The word u is the formal alternative to je and jij (both singular) and jullie (plural). The word u is used less in the plural than in the singular. The word jullie is preferred in many cases.

    Subjective Personal Pronouns
    singular
    ikI
    je
    jij
    u
    you
    you
    you
    hijhe
    ze
    zij
    she
    hij
    het
    it
    hetit
    plural
    wij
    we
    we
    jullie
    u
    you
    you
    ze
    zij
    they

    Examples:
    singular
    Ik ben er. - Iím here.
    Je bent vroeg. - Youíre early.
    Ze is er ook. - Sheís here too.
    Hij praat snel. - He is talking fast. (literally: He talks fast.)
    Hij start niet. Het is mijn auto. - He doesnít start. Itís my car.
    Het komt wel goed. - It will be okay.
    plural
    We zijn kort. - We are short.
    Jullie gaan vaak samen tennissen. - You often play tennis together.
    Ze zijn er niet. Ze lopen in het park. - They are not here. They are walking in the park.

    The next two sentences show that you need a verb to distinguish between she and they in Dutch.
    Wie heeft je geholpen? Zij heeft me geholpen. - Who helped you? She helped me.
    Wie heeft je geholpen? Zij hebben me geholpen. - Who helped you? They helped me.

    Objective Personal Pronouns

    Objective personal pronouns are not the subject of the sentence. In the next sentence, hem is the objective personal pronoun.
    Ik ken hem. - I know him.

    The words mij (me) and ons (us) are objective pronouns and therefore they are never the subject of a sentence.
    Peter zag mij. - Peter saw me.
    Hij zag mij. - He saw me.
    Het is ons overkomen. - It happened to us.

    The word u is the formal alternative to jou (singular), je (singular), and jullie (plural). Use je instead of jou if you donít want to stress the word.

    Objective Personal Pronouns
    singular
    me
    mij
    me
    jou
    je
    u
    you
    you
    you
    hemhim
    haarher
    plural
    onsus
    jullie
    u
    you
    you
    hen
    hun
    them

    Examples:
    singular
    De bakker vertelde het aan me. - The baker told me.
    De bakker vertelde het aan mij. - The baker told me.
    De bakker vertelde het aan jou. - The baker told you.
    De bakker vertelde het aan je. - The baker told you.
    De bakker vertelde het aan u. - The baker told you.
    De bakker vertelde het aan hem. - The baker told him.
    De bakker vertelde het aan haar. - The baker told her.
    plural
    De bakker vertelde het aan ons. - The baker told us.
    De bakker vertelde het aan jullie. - The baker told you.
    De bakker vertelde het aan u. - The baker told you.
    De bakker vertelde het aan hen. - The baker told them.
    De bakker vertelde het hun. - The baker told them.

    To show how to use hun (them), the last sentence had to loose the word aan (to), because it is a preposition. The word hun cannot follow a preposition, when it means them.

    Other examples:
    singular
    Doe het voor mij. - Do it for me.
    Ik denk aan jou. - I think about you.
    Dat is vriendelijk van u, mevrouw. - That is kind of you, madam.
    Zeg het tegen hem. - Say it to him.
    Het boek is door haar geschreven. - The book is written by her.
    plural
    Wie herkent ons in dit dorp? - Who will recognize us in this village?
    Wat er in die doos zit is voor jullie allemaal. - What is in that box is for you all.
    Meneer en mevrouw Kuiper, die stoelen zijn voor u. - Mr. and Mrs. Kuiper, those chairs are for you.
    Ik ben door hen uitgenodigd. - I am invited by them.
    De bakker gaf hun de broden. - The baker gave the loaves to them.

    Possessive Pronouns

    A possessive pronoun indicates that someone owns something. You can say that you own a certain suitcase using the word mijn (my):
    Dat is mijn koffer. - That is my suitcase.

    This does not mean ownership in a literally sense. In the next sentence, you do not really say you possess the bus.
    Mijn bus komt vijf minuten later aan. - My bus will arrive five minutes later.

    Other examples:
    Dat is uw stoel. - That is your chair.
    Hij kamt zijn haar. - He combs his hair.

    The word uw is the formal alternative to jouw, je, and jullie. Use je instead of jouw if you donít want to stress the possessive pronoun.

    Possessive Pronouns
    singular
    mijnmy
    jouw
    je
    uw
    your
    your
    your
    zijn
    haar
    his
    her
    plural
    ons
    onze
    our
    our
    jullie
    uw
    your
    your
    huntheir

    The word ons is used for het-nouns
    Neem het boek mee. Het is ons boek. - Take the book with you. Itís our book.

    The word onze is used for de-nouns
    De tafel is bezet. Is dat onze tafel? - The table is occupied. Is that our table?

    The word onze is used for plural nouns too.
    Neem de boeken mee. Het zijn onze boeken. - Take the books with you. Theyíre our books.
    De tafels zijn allemaal bezet. Waar zijn onze tafels? - All tables are occupied. Where are our tables?

    Look for ons and onze in the examples.

    Examples (singular nouns)

    Mijn boek ligt op tafel. - My book is at the table.
    Jouw boek ligt op tafel. - Your book is at the table.
    Uw boek ligt op tafel. - Uw book is at the table.
    Zijn boek ligt op tafel. - His book is at the table.
    Haar boek ligt op tafel. - Her book is at the table.
    Ons boek ligt op tafel. - Our book is at the table.
    Jullie boek ligt op tafel. - Your book is at the table.
    Uw boek ligt op tafel. - Your book is at the table.
    Hun boek ligt op tafel. - Their book is at the table.

    mijn tafel - my table
    jouw tafel - your table
    uw tafel - your table
    zijn tafel - his table
    haar tafel - her table
    onze tafel - our table
    jullie tafel - your table
    uw tafel - your table
    hun tafel - their table

    Examples (plural nouns)

    Mijn boeken liggen op tafel. - My books are at the table.
    Jouw boeken liggen op tafel. - Your books are at the table.
    Uw boeken liggen op tafel. - Uw books are at the table.
    Zijn boeken liggen op tafel. - His books are at the table.
    Haar boeken liggen op tafel. - Her books are at the table.
    Onze boeken liggen op tafel. - Our books are at the table.
    Jullie boeken liggen op tafel. - Your books are at the table.
    Uw boeken liggen op tafel. - Your books are at the table.
    Hun boeken liggen op tafel. - Their books are at the table.

    mijn tafels - my tables
    jouw tafels - your tables
    uw tafels - your tables
    zijn tafels - his tables
    haar tafels - her tables
    onze tafels - our tables
    jullie tafels - your tables
    uw tafels - your tables
    hun tafels - their tables

    Translating English Possessive Pronouns

    The Dutch language does not have words like mine and yours. They tell about somebody who possesses something in English. When you want to translate them to Dutch, use the word van (of) plus one of the Dutch pronouns that is listed in this paragraph.

    Example:
    Dit huis is van mij. - This house is mine.

    We can replace a noun by a possesive pronoun. In this next sentence the noun ďPeterĒ occurs. We can replace this noun by hem. The word van appears in both sentences, because it is needed.

    Example:
    Deze computer is van Peter. - This computer is Peterís.
    Deze computer is van hem. - This computer is his.

    The word van is essential in the following table.

    singular
    van mijmine
    van jou
    van u
    yours
    yours
    van hem
    van haar
    his
    hers
    plural
    van onsours
    van jullie
    van u
    yours
    yours
    van hentheirs

    Examples:
    singular
    Het boek is van mij. - The book is mine.
    Het boek is van jou. - The book is yours.
    Het boek is van u. - The book is yours.
    Het boek is van hem. - The book is his.
    Het boek is van haar. - The book is hers.
    plural
    Het boek is van ons. - The book is ours.
    Het boek is van jullie. - The book is yours. (plural)
    Het boek is van u. - The book is yours. (plural)
    Het boek is van hen. - The book is theirs.

    The translation of van mij is only mine when we talk about possessions. The word van (of, from, about) is used in other ways too.

    Demonstrative Pronouns

    Demonstrative pronouns (dit and dat) refer to persons, objects, and abstract things. Imagine you point at something (or somebody) while you speak.

    Examples:
    singular
    dit is de man - this is the man
    dat is de man - that is the man
    dit is de vrouw - this is the woman
    dat is de vrouw - that is the woman
    dit is de straat - this is the street
    dat is de straat - that is the street
    dit is het huis - this is the house
    dat is het huis - thatís the house
    plural
    dit zijn de vrouwen - these are the women
    dat zijn de vrouwen - those are the women
    dit zijn de mannen - these are the men
    dat zijn de mannen - those are the men
    dit zijn de straten - these is the streets
    dat zijn de straten - those is the streets
    dit zijn de huizen - these is the houses
    dat zijn de huizen - those are the houses

    You can refer to an abstract concept like feeling.
    dat is het gevoel - that is the feeling

    There are more demonstrative pronouns: deze (these), die (those), zulke (such), dergelijke (such), zoiets (something like that), zoín (such a). And the almost obsolete gindse (yonder).

    Example sentences
    Dat is de straat waar Simon woont. - That is the street where Simon lives.
    Ik wil zoín vaas bestellen. - I want to order such a vase.
    Ik maak ook zulke schilderijen - I also make paintings like that.

    Demonstrative pronouns used like articles

    Demonstrative adjectives (dit, dat, deze, and die) can be used instead of the articles de and het. This is only done when you want to make clear a person or thing is close by, or further away.

    When something or somebody is close to you

  • use dit (this, these) to replace het.
  • use deze (this, these) to replace de.
    When something or somebody is seen from a distance
  • use dat (that, those) to replace het.
  • use die (that, those) to replace de.

    First we determine the article of a noun, which is de or het.
    het meisje - the girl
    de jongen - the boy
    de weg - the road
    het verkeersbord - the traffic sign
    de verkeersborden - the traffic signs

    Then, we write dit, dat, deze, or die instead.
    dit meisje - this girl
    dat meisje - that girl
    deze jongen - this boy
    die jongen - that boy
    deze weg - this road
    die weg - that road
    dit verkeersbord - this traffic sign
    dat verkeersbord - that traffic sign
    deze verkeersborden - these traffic signs
    die verkeersborden - those traffic signs

    More examples:
    deze man - this man
    die man - that man
    deze vrouw - this woman
    die vrouw - that woman
    deze straat - this street
    die straat - that street
    dit huis - this house
    dat huis - that house
    dit gevoel - this feeling
    dat gevoel - that feeling

    Use die and deze in the plural, but do not use dit and dat here.
    deze vrouwen - these women
    die vrouwen - those women
    deze mannen - these men
    die mannen - those men
    deze straten - these streets
    die straten - those streets
    deze huizen - these houses
    die huizen - those houses

    You can place an adjective in between. The letter e must be added to the adjective you choose. In this case the suffix e is added to lang to make lange.
    deze lange vrouw - this tall woman
    die lange man - that tall man
    dat lange meisje - that tall girl
    dit lange meisje - that tall girl

    You can leave out the noun sometimes. These are the sentences without the nouns. The pronouns act like the subject here.
    Deze is nog op slot. - This one is still locked.
    Die is open. - That one is open.
    And these are the sentences that include the nouns.
    Deze schuur is nog op slot. - This shed is still locked.
    Die doos is open. - That box is open.

    Note: As you read Dutch texts, you will notice that dat (that) is used more often than dit (this). When you translate the English word this think about it.

    Relative Pronouns

    A relative pronoun is used in a clause. A clause is a subsentence of the sentence. English relative pronouns like that and who are often left out. In the English translations in this paragraph, they are included on purpose.

  • When de is the definite article of a noun, we use die (that).
  • When het is the definite article of a noun, we use dat (that).
  • When the subject is hard to define, we use wat (that).
  • When the subject is a person, we use wie (who) after a preposition.
  • When the subject is a person, we use wie (who) if the preposition aan could be added.

    The following two sentences start the same. The second has a clause, beginning with die.
    Ik ken alle boeken. - I know all books.
    Ik ken alle boeken die jij me gegeven hebt. - I know all books that you gave me.

    Examples:
    De tafel die je ziet, wordt verkocht. - The table that you see, will be sold.
    Het boek dat ik lees, gaat over Nederland. - The book that I read, is about the Netherlands.
    Bedankt voor alles wat je voor me gedaan hebt. - Thanks for everything that you did for me.
    De vrouw voor wie ik boodschappen doe, woont hier. - The woman for whom I do the shopping, lives here.
    De koffer die je hebt gekocht, is niet zwaar. - The suitcase that you bought, is not heavy.
    Het bedrijf dat jij noemt, ken ik niet. - The company that you mention, I donít know.
    Dat is iemand die je kunt vertrouwen. - Thatís someone who you can trust.
    Dat is het laatste wat ik vandaag doe. - Thatís the last thing that Iíll do today.
    Dat is iets wat ik niet kan. - Thatís something that I cannot do.
    Mijn zus, die ik gebeld heb, is het ermee eens. - My sister, whom I called, agrees.
    Dat is haar tante, (aan) wie ze alles heeft verteld. - That is her aunt, (to) whom she told everything.

    Interrogative Pronouns

    And a question can start with an interrogative pronoun. The word u is the formal alternative to je and jij.

    Examples:
    Wie ben ik? - Who am I?
    Wie ben je? - Who are you?
    Wie ben jij? - Who are you?
    Wie bent u? - Who are you?
    Wie is dat? - Whoís that?
    Wie zijn dat? - Who are they?
    Wat is dat? - What is that?
    Wat is er kapot? - What is broken?
    Welk perron hebt u genoemd? - Which platform did you mention?
    Welke trein hebt u genoemd? - Which train did you mention?
    Wat voor een apparaat is dat? - What kind of machine is that?
    Wie zijn apparaat is dat? - Whose machine is that?

    You can read more about this subject in the chapter about Questions.

    Indefinite Pronouns

    Indefinite pronouns do not mention a specific person, nor a specific group, nor a specific thing. They are the most vague pronouns a language has.
    Iemand doet het. - Somebody does it.
    Er ging iets mis. - Something went wrong.
    Niemand doet het. - Nobody does it.

    A pronoun can be replaced by a noun or a noun phrase. A noun is a word. A noun phrase has one or more words. In the following examples, iemand (somebody) is replaced.
    Iemand doet het. - Somebody does it.
    Mijn moeder doet het. - My mother does it.
    De vrouw die daar staat doet het. - The woman who stands over there does it.

    The word je is very often used as an indefinite pronoun. Normally, it means you. The word je can be used as an indefinite pronoun in formal conversation as well, because of the specific meaning of such a pronoun.
    Hoe doe je dat? - How is this done?
    Je maakt het beslag in een kom. - You make (one makes) the batter in a bowl.

    The indefinite pronoun men is rarely used.
    Men maakt het beslag in een kom. - One makes the batter in a bowl.

    The pronouns sommige and andere are used for things. The pronouns are in bold font. The other words (like adjectives) are not.
    Sommige dingen zijn duur. Andere niet. - Some things are expensive. Others are not.
    Sommige zijn duur. Andere niet. - Some are expensive. Others are not.
    Sommige dingen zijn duur. Andere dingen niet. - Some things are expensive. Other things are not.

    The pronouns sommigen and anderen are used for people. The pronouns are in bold font. The other words are not.
    Sommige mensen doen dat graag. Anderen niet. - Some people like to do it. Others donít.
    Sommigen doen dat graag. Anderen niet. - Some like to do it. Others donít.
    Sommige mensen doen dat graag. Andere mensen niet. - Some people like to do it. Other people donít.

    The follow sentences are less formal.
    Een of andere voorbijganger heeft hem beschadigd. - Some person passing by has damaged it.
    Heeft hij die en die gebeld? - Did he call so-and-so?


    Adverbs

    Adverbs do not say something about nouns (for example, book and table are nouns), but about other elements of the sentence.

    In this example, the adverb morgen (tomorrow) says something about the verb komen (to come).
    Ik kom morgen - I will come tomorrow.

    In this example, the adverb heel (very) says something about the adjective lang (tall).
    Het heel lange gras. - The very tall grass.

    In this example, the adverb heel (very) says something about the adverb vaak (often).
    Ik reis heel vaak naar BelgiŽ. - I travel to Belgium very often.

    The next examples show more adverbs. They are always spelled the same. So never add letters to a word that is used as an adverb.

    Examples:
    Time Adverbs
    Ik ga morgen naar huis. - I go home tomorrow.
    Ik zag jou gisteren. - I saw you yesterday.
    Ik kook vandaag. - Iíll do the cooking today.
    Ik kook soms. - Iím used to do the cooking sometimes.
    Ik kook vaak. - I often do the cooking.
    Ik kook altijd. - I always do the cooking.
    Ik nies steeds. - Iím sneezing continually.
    Dan ben ik jarig. - Then itís my birthday.
    Hij is net aangekomen. - He just arrived.
    Ik heb het pas gehoord. - Iíve heard it recently.
    Location Adverbs
    Ik ben hier. - I am here.
    Ik ga ergens heen. - I will go somewhere.
    Other Adverbs
    Ik kom niet. - I will not come.
    Ik kom misschien. - Maybe, Iíll come.
    Het is helaas te koud vandaag. - Unfortunately it is too cold today.
    Ik wil graag een ticket van u. - I would like to receive a ticket from you.
    Het ging bijna mis. - It almost went wrong.
    Eigenlijk is deze tas te zwaar. - Properly speaking, this bag is too heavy.
    Er zijn nog twee koffers. - There are two more suitcases.

    Because er is an important adverb, it has a paragraph of its own.

    The adverb er

    The Dutch word er is used in many ways. It is often translated by there. It appears in sentences where it seems to have no meaning at all, and often, that is true.

    When we talk about a location, er means there.
    Er zijn drie schoenwinkels in deze straat. - There are three shoe stores in this street.

    If you donít know the subject of the sentence, er helps to construct the sentence. You can also use er, when you donít want to mention the subject.
    Er wordt aangebeld. - Somebody is calling at the door.
    Er wordt niets aan gedaan. - Nothing is done about it.
    Er is een kraan gerepareerd. - A tap was repaired.

    Use er to introduce a person or thing.
    Er is iemand binnengekomen. - Somebody entered.
    Er kwam iemand langs met een kinderwagen. - Somebody came by with a perambulator.
    Er is een klant. - A customer has arrived. (literally: There is a customer.)
    Er is thee. - Thereís tea available.

    The word er can be used as a part of a preposition.
    Nu giet ik de olie erin. - Now Iím pouring the oil into it.
    Ik weet er alles van. - I know all about it.
    Ik ben ervan geschrokken. - I was startled by it.
    Ik heb er veel aan. - I can benefit from this (thing).
    Jullie mogen ermee rijden. - You are allowed to drive it.

    When you mention number and leave out the object, er is needed.
    Ik heb vier winterbanden gekocht. - I bought four winter tyres.
    Ik heb er vier gekocht. - I bought four of them.
    Ik heb een jas gekocht. - I bought a coat.
    Ik heb er ťťn gekocht. - I bought one.

    This example shows that er does not always mean there.
    Er is iets gebeurd. - Something happened.
    Wat is er gebeurd? - What happened?
    Wie gaat er mee? - Who will come along?
    Er zijn honderd exemplaren verkocht. - One hundred copies are sold.

    But when you need the word there, use daar.
    Daar is het gebeurd. - It happened over there.
    Wat is daar gebeurd? - What happened there?

    When you need the word here, use hier.
    De schuurmachine staat hier. - The sander is here.

    The next expression is very common. If you move een muis to the front and leave er out, it sounds uncommon.
    Er zit een muis in de kast. - Thereís a mouse in the cupboard.
    But if you know the mouse, it is different. Donít use er and de muis in one expression.
    De muis zit in de kast. - The mouse is in the cupboard.

    Two Kinds of Adverbs

    Some words can only be used as an adverb. Examples are: vaak (often) and gisteren (yesterday).
    Ik reis vaak naar BelgiŽ. - I often travel to Belgium.

    But many words are used as adverbs and adjectives, like groen (green) and snel (fast). It is an adjective when you say:
    Een snel schip. - A fast ship.

    It is an adverb when you say:
    Het schip roest snel. - The ship rusts quickly.
    You do not mean that the ship is quick, but you mean this:
    Dat is een snel roestend schip. - That is a quickly rusting ship.

    Itís the rusting that is quickly. Quickly says something about the verb to rust. When snel is used this way, it is an adverb.

    More examples of adverbs:
    The colors are not good, the matching is good:
    De kleuren passen goed bij elkaar. - The colors match well.
    The train might be slow, but that isnít said. The acceleration is slow.
    De trein versnelt langzaam. - The train accelerates slowly.
    The boy might be fast if he wants to. The walking is slow here.
    De jongen loopt langzaam. - The boy walks slowly.

    In English adverbs often end in ly, for example quickly. Dutch adverbs doesnít have a suffix that helps you to recognize them.

    Important: A Dutch adverb is always spelled the same. Dutch adjectives are not always spelled the same. Therefore adjectives are more difficult to learn than adverbs.

    Adverbs in English

    In English, adverbs often end with ly:
    Kom snel. - Come quickly.
    een snel paard - a quick horse



    Prepositions

    Prepositions can tell you something about the location of a person or thing. English has prepositions like: on, under, in front of, over, and behind. A preposition can also have an abstract meaning.

    The prepositions in the following sentences have a literal meaning. You can use them when you talk about tangible things, like boxes, houses, and tables.
    Hij ligt weer in het water. - Heís in the water again.
    Kijk door het raam. - Look through the window.
    Haal het uit de doos. - Take it out of the box.
    Ik ga naar huis. - I go home. (literally: I go to house.)
    Ik parkeerde voor de winkel. - I parked in front of the shop.
    Ze zijn voor ons aangekomen. - They have arrived before us.
    Zet de kast achter of voor de tafel. - Place the cupboard behind or in front of the table.
    De pan staat op tafel. - The pan is on the table.
    Ze heeft op die ladder gestaan. - She was standing on that ladder.
    Dat is de brug over de rivier. - Thatís the bridge over the river.
    Hij zit naast de burgemeester. - He is sitting next to the mayor.
    Hij woont in Antwerpen. - He lives in Antwerp.

    Because af does not precede de trap (the stairs), we call it a postposition.
    Ik ging de trap af. - I went downstairs.
    Ik fietste de heuvel af. - I cycled down the hill.

    The following expressions are more abstract. The prepositions do not have a literal meaning here.
    Ze praat over jou. - Sheís talking about you.
    Dit hoofdstuk gaat over voorzetsels. - This chapter is about prepositions.
    Kan ik iets voor je doen? - Can I do something for you?
    Ben jij er ook tegen? - Are you against it too?
    Ben jij er ook voor? - Are you in favor too?
    Dat komt door de caravan. - It is caused by the caravan.
    Ze heeft op een tennisclub gezeten. - She has been a member of a tennis club.
    Ze heeft het tegen jou. - Sheís talking to you.
    Ze praat tegen jou. - Sheís talking to you.
    Ze praat met jou. - She has a conversation with you.

    Some archaic prepositions are still in use
    Auto te water! - Car in the water!
    ter plaatse - at the spot

    In formal letters and contracts you can still read phrases like:
    te Amsterdam - in Amsterdam
    ter inzage - for you to read (literally: for you to view)
    ter kennisgeving - for you to know




    Conjunctions

    Conjunctions can join two sentences together.

    Coordinating Conjunctions

    The most simple way to join two sentences, is using a coordinating conjunction, because the word order will not change then. For example, place en (and) between the sentences.

    Imagine the following situation, first described in two short sentences, and then described in a long one:
    Hij wil naar huis. - He wants to go home.
    Hij heeft geen geld. - He has no money.
    Hij wil naar huis en hij heeft geen geld. - He wants to go home and he has no money.

    You can replace the word en by other coordinating conjunctions: maar (but), want (because), dus (so the conclusion is), and of (or). Donít forget to add a comma where it is needed.
    Hij wil naar huis en hij heeft geen geld. - He wants to go home and he has no money.
    Hij wil naar huis, maar hij heeft geen geld. - He wants to go home, but he has no money.
    Hij wil naar huis, want hij heeft geen geld. - He wants to go home, because he has no money.
    Hij wil naar huis, dus hij heeft geen geld. - He wants to go home, so he has no money.
    Hij wil naar huis of hij heeft geen geld. - He wants to go home or he has no money.

    The word maar in two additional examples. Note the word order, which is normal.
    Ik heb de moersleutel nodig. - I need the spanner.
    Die is kwijt. - It is lost.
    Ik heb de moersleutel nodig, maar die is kwijt. - I need the spanner, but it is lost.

    Ik kom deze week. - Iíll come this week.
    Ik kom vandaag niet. - I wonít come today.
    Ik kom deze week, maar ik kom vandaag niet. - Iíll come this week, but I wonít come today.

    Subordinating Conjunctions

    Subordinating conjunctions change the word order of the second short sentence, that is used to compound the long sentence.

    The word omdat means because. Use want (because) if you donít want the word order to change.
    You can see below that the word order of the second sentence is changed, when it is joined to the first by omdat.
    The verb heeft (has) moves to the last position of the sentence. This does not happen in English.
    Hij wil naar huis. - He wants to go home.
    Hij heeft geen geld. - He has no money.
    Hij wil naar huis, omdat hij geen geld heeft. - He wants to go home, because he has no money.

    You can replace omdat by aangezien. Both mean because. Aangezien is used less frequent.
    Hij wil naar huis, aangezien hij geen geld heeft. - He wants to go home, because he ran out of money.

    Hoewel means although. It is used to mention an argument that is ignored.
    We join the next two sentences:
    Ik ga niet surfen. - Iím not going to surf.
    Het is zondag. - It is Sunday.
    Ik ga niet surfen, hoewel het zondag is. - Iím not going to surf, although it is Sunday.

    The word als (if) is used to mention a condition that must be met.
    We join the next two sentences:
    Ik ga niet surfen. - Iím not going to surf.
    Het is windstil. - There is no wind.
    Ik ga niet surfen, als het windstil is. - Iím not going to surf, when there is no wind.

    The word tenzij (unless) is the opposite of als. If we take the previous sentence and adapt it, we must leave out the word niet (not) to get a logical sentence.
    Ik ga surfen, tenzij het windstil is. - Iím going to surf, unless there is no wind.

    behalve als means unless. It is an alternative to tenzij.
    Ik ga surfen, behalve als het windstil is. - Iím going to surf, unless there is no wind.
    An alternative translation using the English word except is:
    Ik ga surfen, behalve als het windstil is. - Iím going to surf, except when there is no wind.

    toen means when.
    Ik ging naar huis toen ik honger kreeg. - I went home when I got hungry.

    You can start a sentence with toen. This kind of sentences is discussed later. More interesting is that although can be avoided. Look at the complicated word order of the hoewel-sentence.
    Ik ga niet surfen, hoewel het zondag is. - Iím not going to surf, although it is Sunday.
    And compare this to the easy maar-sentence, which means about the same.
    Het is zondag, maar ik ga niet surfen. - It is Sunday, but Iím not going to surf.

    Time Conjunctions

    Time conjunctions are subordinating conjunctions.

    voordat means before.
    Ik ging surfen. - I went surfing.
    Ik had gegeten. - I had had a meal.
    Ik ging surfen voordat ik had gegeten. - I went surfing before I had a meal.
    Ik ging surfen voordat ik gegeten had. - I went surfing before I had a meal.

    nadat means after.
    Ik ging surfen nadat ik had gegeten. - I went surfing after I had a meal.
    Ik ging surfen nadat ik gegeten had. - I went surfing after I had a meal.

    na means after. If we use it instead of nadat we must change the sentence a little.
    het eten (the meal) is informal for de maaltijd.
    Ik ging surfen na het eten. - I went surfing, after the meal.

    voor means before. The sentence has the same structure as a sentence with na.
    Ik ging surfen voor het eten. - I went surfing before the meal.

    Moving Subordinating Conjunctions to the Front

    You can move a subordinating conjunction to the front. The second subsentence, that belongs to it of course, moves to the front also. The word order is quite different from what we have seen. Just look at the pattern to get used to it. If you make sentences yourself, you can probably avoid complexity like this.

    Omdat hij geen geld heeft, wil hij naar huis. - Because he ran out of money, he wants to go home.
    Aangezien hij geen geld heeft, wil hij naar huis. - Because he ran out of money, he wants to go home.
    Hoewel het zondag is, ga ik niet surfen. - Although it is Sunday, Iím not going to surf.
    Als het windstil is, ga ik niet surfen. - When there is no wind, Iím not going to surf.
    Als het windstil is, dan ga ik niet surfen. - When there is no wind, then Iím not going to surf.
    Tenzij het windstil is, ga ik surfen. - Unless there is no wind, Iím going to surf.
    Behalve als het windstil is, ga ik surfen. - Unless there is no wind, Iím going to surf.

    You can start a sentence with a time conjunction.
    Voordat ik gegeten had, ging ik surfen. - Before I had a meal, I went surfing.
    Nadat ik gegeten had, ging ik surfen. - After I had a meal, I went surfing.
    Na het eten ging ik surfen. - After the meal, I went surfing.
    Voor het eten ging ik surfen. - Before the meal I went surfing.
    Toen ik honger kreeg, ging ik naar huis. - When I got hungry, I went home.

    Coordinating Conjunctions are Easy Conjunctions

    Conjunctions that do not disturb the word order are:
    en - and
    maar - but
    want - because
    dus - so
    of - or

    Just link two normal sentences by a conjunction like this (coordinating conjunctions). Then you will have a correct sentence without word order problems.

    Sometimes it will also work if the second sentence is a question.
    Hij is rijk. - He is rich.
    Is hij intelligent? - Is he intelligent?
    Hij is rijk, maar is hij intelligent? - He is rich, but is he intelligent?

    A two questions example:
    Is hij lang? - Is he tall?
    Is hij kort? - Is he short?
    Is hij lang of is hij kort? - Is he tall or is he short?
    The previous sentence can be abbreviated this way:
    Is hij lang of kort? - Is he tall or short?



    Other Words

    Interjections do not contribute to the structure of a sentence. All other parts of speech do.

    Ja

    The word ja means yes. You can affirm what is said or answer a question positively.
    Ga je mee? - Will you come along?
    Ja, ik ga mee. - Yes, Iíll come along.

    When someone pronounces the word slowly, he is just thinking. The context must make clear if thatís the case.
    Ga je mee? - Will you come along?
    Ja, dat weet ik eigenlijk nog niet. - Well, I donít know yet.

    Double ja can show unbelief about what is said.
    Daar kan je je voorruit mee schoonmaken. - You can clean your windscreen with this.
    Ja ja. Dat geloof ik niet. - Hm, I donít believe that.

    jawel gives a strong (somewhat informal) stress to the word.
    Je hebt de voordeur niet dichtgedaan. - You did not close the front door.
    Jawel. Ik weet het zeker. - Oh yes, Iím sure.

    Nee

    The word nee means no. You can reject what is said or answer a question negatively.
    Ga je mee? - Will you come along?
    Nee, ik ga niet mee. - No, I wonít come along.

    It depends highly on the person how words like zeg (say), ja or nee are used in different situations.
    O nee! Mijn fototoestel is gestolen. - O, no! My camera is stolen.
    Nee zeg! Een vlek op mijn jas . - O, no! A stain on my coat.
    Nee, meneer. U mag die lift niet gebruiken. - No, sir. You are not allowed to use that elevator.

    Greetings and Wishes in Spoken Language

    Here are some ways to say hallo or good bye. Some words come and go. Others last for centuries. You will find some verbs and adverbs in this list, although they are not interjections.

    Goedemorgen, meneer. - Good morning, sir.
    Goedemiddag, meneer. - Good afternoon, sir.
    Goedenavond, mevrouw. - Good night, madam.
    Hallo. - Hello.
    Hoi. - Hi.
    Hi. - Hi.
    Dag. - Bye.
    Dag, John. - Hi, John.
    Doei. - Bye bye.
    Tot ziens. - See you.
    Tot morgen. - See you tomorrow.
    Tot volgende week. - Till next week.
    Prettig weekend. - Have a nice weekend.
    Eet smakelijk. - Have a nice meal.
    Welterusten. - Good night.
    Gefeliciteerd. - Congratulations.



    Continue to part 3