Dutch Language Blog

10 Tips for Learning Dutch Posted by 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 kiphet 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 huiséén, 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 meisjehet 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/manenbel/bellenhuis/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 tuinhet kleine huiseen klein huis

10. You should learn this list of pronouns, these question words and the verb to be, as well as the verb to have.

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  1. Abby:

    Hmmm… thanks for the info.
    But I wonder how would the rule explain, DE auto? Since it is of neuter gender.

    • heather:

      @Abby Hi Abby,

      My understanding is that the word auto in Dutch is masculine not neuter. Masculine and feminine nouns are also known as common nouns.

      Hope that helps.


  2. Gia Haasbroek:

    This was so helpful! Thank you very much 😀