Dutch Language Blog

Dutch New Year’s Resolutions Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

Image by FaceMePLS found in Flickr.com

Image by FaceMePLS found in Flickr.com

2015 has begun and I am happy for all the opportunities it will bring. I am not the type to make too many resolutions, but considering this will be the year to culminate my Dutch language learning process (at least school wise), I need to set up a plan. By the end of this year, I will have finished the Dutch courses offered and I hope to take the Staatsexamen NT2, therefore I need to prepare. Some of my Dutch language resolutions will be:


Those of you that live in the Netherlands will probably understand when I say that practicing Dutch isn’t always easy. Why? Because Dutch people speak English and they don’t seem to mind speaking it to foreigners. It is easy to sit back and continue speaking in English because you can get by, but 2015 will be the year of pushing myself to practice Dutch a lot more. I will speak more Dutch and I will write in my journal in Dutch so that I can continue practicing and at the end of the year I can evaluate my improvement.

2. Onregelmatige werkwoorden

I have to admit that I never really did memorize all the irregular verbs in imperfectum and perfectum. I cannot say I am proud of this and this is why 2015 will be the year to work on this. Although I know that memorizing isn’t always the best way to learn words, I think I will have to repeat them every morning.

lezen            las, lazen                  gelezen
schrijven    schreef, schreven    geschreven
kopen         kocht, kochten         gekocht
lopen          liep, liepen               gelopen 

3. To use or not to use passive voice

One of the most important tips for writing that has stuck with me has been to avoid using the passive voice. Even in English, I try very hard to avoid it. When I was an English teacher, my students and I often struggled with passive voice because the rules were complicated, and it just made a lot more sense to write using the active voice. Regardless of my personal objections to the passive voice, I will push myself to fully learn the rules in Dutch and use it, even if sporadically, when writing Dutch.

De kat at de muis.
De muis wordt gedood door de kat. 

What will your Dutch resolutions be? Any language goals you want to accomplish in 2015?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


  1. Peter Simon:

    Dear Karoly,

    Good resolutions there! But I don’t agree with you on passives: very often, this has something very different from the meaning of active sentences. In Dutch, passives are not as often used (very probably not in the last sentence), but your last sentence is wrong anyway: it is in general present, but in singular. General present refers to general tendencies, so when one cat is involved in the demise of one mouse, it can’t be used. However, because of the previous sentence (in the past), I guess you wanted to use past tense in the passive too. So it should be ‘De muis werdt gedood door de kat’, of ‘De muis is gedood door de kat’. The difficult thing is to grasp any difference between these two, as practically there’s no difference, but the second is disturbing for English speaker as ‘is’ is very rarely used in passive E sentences, we instinctively think about continuous actions. But most passive sentences in the past in Dutch contains it (Ze is geboren in 1965, Hij is gestroven in 2002, Dit gebouw is in 1766 gebouwd enz.). Examples like ‘Het was gebouwd …’ refers to past perfect passives, which are quite rare in Dutch anyway.

    Hope I’ve been of help.Kindest regards for the new year!

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Peter Simon Thank you Peter! I will hopefully improve with the passive with practice 🙂 Your explanation has been very helpful!

  2. Shannon:

    just found you yesterday! So happy I did. I lived in NL for a year,decades ago but want to relearn/ refresh my Dutch now. You are ahead of me, certainly. I’m thrilled tho with your resolutions bc they mirror mine. Like you, I can speak a few other languages. Although I have no Italian, I do know some German and Japanese. I look forward to your posts this coming year!

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Shannon Shannon, welcome to this wonderful language community for this blog 🙂