10 Tips for Learning Dutch Posted by heather on Dec 27, 2012 in Dutch Grammar, Dutch Language
It is almost the start of a new year and for many people, learning a foreign language (or improving the one they are working on) will feature somewhere on the New Year’s resolution list.
If that foreign language is Dutch, here are ten mini-tips about the language to get you started.
1. Dutch nouns have a gender. They are either common or neuter. The article de goes with common nouns and het goes with neuter nouns. It is important that the article “the” (de or het) agrees with the noun that it is going with.
Example: de kip – het huis
2. The word for a/an is een.
3. The word een actually has two meanings – a/an or one. The pronunciation makes all the difference, which is why you will usually find the number version written this way: één
Example: een huis – één, twee, drie
4. Diminutives are often used in Dutch, expressing smallness, endearment or even contempt. To form a diminutive, you usually add –je or –tje to the end of the noun but –etje, -pje, and –kje can also be found.
Example: het meisje – het boompje
5. Diminutives are always neuter nouns.
6. There are three ways to form the plural of nouns:
- adding en
- Example: bloem/bloemen
- adding s
- Example: tafel/tafels
- adding eren
- Example: ei/eieren
7. When making words plural, there are often some spelling changes that occur.
Example: maan/manen – bel/bellen – huis/huizen
8. Demonstratives (this/that/these/those) depend on the gender of the noun.
|de kip||deze kip||die kip||deze kippen||die kippen|
|het huis||dit huis||dat huis||deze huizen||die huizen|
9. Adjectives are placed before the noun.
Example: de kleine tuin – het kleine huis – een klein huis
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