Deze, die, dit, dat

Posted on 10. Nov, 2008 by in Dutch Language

As I was browsing – again- on the internet, I noticed a little problem some people have with the Dutch language.

I’m talking about the pronouns dit/deze and die/dat. I think in English both pair of pronouns would be this/that. Of course, in Dutch we have common gender words and neuter gender words that’s why we have these two pairs of pronouns.

Dit/deze are words to describe items or circumstances which are close by. Die/dat are words to describe items or circumstances further away.

To make things a bit more confusing… dit/dat are the words used for neuter gender words (het) and deze/die are used for common gender words (de).

A few examples to make things a little more clear:

* Dit boek is nieuw en dat boek is oud.

This book is new and that book is old.

- ‘Boek’ uses the article ‘het’ because it’s a neuter gender word, hence ‘dit/dat’ -

* Deze man is jong en die man is oud.

This man is young en that man is old.

- ‘Man’ uses the article ‘de’ because it’s a common gender word, hence ‘deze/die’-

* Deze man woont in dat huis.

This man lives in that house.

-‘Man’ uses the article ‘de’, hence ‘deze’, house uses the article ‘het’ hence ‘dat’-

* Dit huis is van die man.

This house belongs to that man.

-‘House’ uses the article ‘de’, hence ‘dit’, ‘man’ uses the article ‘de’ hence ‘die’-

As you can see, deze/dit both mean ‘this’ and die/dat both mean ‘that’.

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4 Responses to “Deze, die, dit, dat”

  1. tom 19 March 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    Dank u man ik wist da nie THANKS.

  2. Sharry 28 May 2009 at 11:35 am #

    Hallo! Heel erg bedankt voor deze uitleg! Het helpt me alles beter te begrijpen en het zo aan mijn vrienden die Nederlands leren uit te leggen.

  3. Twisss 6 January 2010 at 12:16 am #

    You made a mistake in the last example: House uses the article ‘het’ not ‘de’. That’s why it uses ‘dit’.


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