Deze, die, dit, dat Posted by Transparent Language on Nov 10, 2008 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’.