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A Useful List of 150+ Advanced Dutch Words

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Have you been studying Dutch for a while and feel confident in your ability to conquer more advanced Dutch words? It sure takes a lot of dedication and brainpower to master these words, but once you pull it off, you’ll find that there’s nothing as rewarding as having fluent conversations with your Dutch-speaking friends, colleagues, or classmates. 

In this article, we’ll list a wide variety of advanced Dutch vocabulary words. This includes everything from general advanced words to more nuanced terms for the academic, business, medical, and legal spheres. In addition, we’ll introduce you to more sophisticated alternatives to common words that will help you ace your Dutch language exam. 

With this advanced Dutch wordlist, you’ll be able to express yourself better, understand more advanced conversations, and slowly but surely perfect your Dutch.

A Kid Wearing Glasses and a Graduation Cap

Let’s refine your Dutch vocabulary!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. General Advanced Dutch Words
  2. Academic Words
  3. Advanced Business Words
  4. Advanced Medical Words
  5. Advanced Legal Words
  6. Alternative Words for Acing a Dutch Language Exam
  7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. General Advanced Dutch Words

These are advanced verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and linking words that you could use in a variety of situations. They allow you to express yourself in a sophisticated manner and relay your ideas with greater clarity.

1  – Verbs

ArgumenterenDe leerlingen argumenteren tegen elkaar in het debat.
To argueThe students argue against each other in the debate.

BestedenIk besteed een groot deel van mijn budget aan marketing.
To spend / To payI spend a lot of my budget on marketing.

BevattenSinaasappelen bevatten veel vitamine C.
To contain / To haveOranges contain lots of vitamin C.

DiscussiërenWe zouden hier de hele dag over kunnen discussiëren.
To debateWe could debate this all day.

FluisterenHij fluisterde in mijn oor.
To whisperHe whispered in my ear.

Leiden totDe crisis in de huizenmarkt leidde tot vele problemen.
To lead toThe crisis in the housing market led to many problems.

Verantwoordelijkheid nemenIk neem verantwoordelijkheid voor de risico´s van deze missie.
To take responsibilityI take responsibility for the risks of this mission.

VerkrijgenIk moet een visum verkrijgen om naar Rusland te reizen.
To obtain / To acquireI need to obtain a visa to travel to Russia.

VerzamelenWij zijn data aan het verzamelen.
To collect / To gatherWe are collecting data.

2 – Adjectives

FeilloosHaar kleding is altijd feilloos gestyled.
FlawlessHer clothes are always flawlessly styled.

GedetailleerdHij schreef een gedetailleerd rapport.
DetailedHe wrote a detailed report.

GeschiktWe zoeken een geschikte oplossing.
Suitable / AdequateWe’re looking for an adequate solution.

OnaanvaardbaarDeze resultaten zijn onaanvaardbaar!
UnacceptableThese results are unacceptable!

OnwaarschijnlijkDit lijkt erg onwaarschijnlijk.
UnlikelyThis seems very unlikely.

RaadselachtigDe film is erg raadselachtig.
Puzzling / MysteriousThis movie is very puzzling.

RedelijkDit is een redelijke oplossing.
ReasonableThis is a reasonable solution.

SubtielEen subtiele mix van knoflook en basilicum
SubtleA subtle blend of garlic and basil

VoortreffelijkHet eten was voortreffelijk!
Excellent / OutstandingThe food was excellent!

WillekeurigEr is een willekeurige selectie gemaakt.
RandomA random selection has been made.

3 – Adverbs

AbsoluutHet heeft absoluut geen zin.
AbsolutelyIt is absolutely pointless.

AbruptWe zijn abrupt weg gegaan.
AbruptlyWe left abruptly.

BriljantHij sloeg die bal briljant weg.
BrilliantlyHe hit that ball brilliantly.

GematigdHij praat altijd erg gematigd over dat onderwerp.
ModeratelyHe always talks very moderately about that subject.

LetterlijkHij heeft dat letterlijk gezegd.
LiterallyHe said that literally.

NatuurlijkHet winnen van de wedstrijd maakte me natuurlijk blij.
NaturallyWinning the game naturally made me happy.

PreciesHet is precies andersom.
PreciselyIt is precisely the other way around.

ZekerZe is zeker erg populair.
Certainly / DefinitelyShe’s certainly very popular.

4 – Linking Words

HoewelHoewel mijn oma oud is, is ze nog steeds erg actief.
AlthoughAlthough my grandma is old, she is still very active.

DesondanksHet regende, maar desondanks gingen we wandelen.
NeverthelessIt was raining, but nevertheless, we went for a walk.

NietteminHet is moeilijk, maar niettemin moeten we het proberen.
Nevertheless / NonethelessIt is difficult, but we must try nonetheless.

OndanksOndanks haar vermoeidheid, is ze toch maar gaan fietsen.
DespiteDespite her fatigue, she went cycling anyway.

OngeachtOngeacht wat u ook doet, u zult tot de juiste beslissing komen.
Whatever / No matter whatWhatever you do, you’ll come to the right decision.

TenzijLaten we beginnen, tenzij je wilt wachten.
UnlessLet’s start, unless you want to wait.

TerwijlDe prijzen stijgen terwijl de kwaliteit daalt.
While / AsPrices are increasing while the quality is going down.

Wat betreftWat uw rol betreft, we praten er morgen over.
As forAs for your role, we’ll talk about it tomorrow.

ZodraZodra u klaar bent, kunnen we beginnen.
As soon asAs soon as you’re ready, we can start.

A Woman in a Yellow Sweater Thinking about Something

How about these general advanced Dutch words? Did you already know some of them?

2. Academic Words

The next set of advanced Dutch vocabulary we’ll cover consists of words you would hear, read, or use in an academic setting. You’ll find these words especially useful if you plan to study in the Netherlands! 

Aanleiding Haar slechte prestatie was de aanleiding voor haar ontslag.
Reason / CauseHer poor performance was the reason for her dismissal.

AbstractDe ideeën van de professor waren tamelijk abstract.
AbstractThe professor’s ideas were quite abstract.

AnalyserenAls je wilt weten wat de kenmerken van een verhaal zijn, moet je het eerst analyseren.
To analyzeIf you want to know the characteristics of a story, you have to analyze it first.

ChronologischIk heb het verhaal in chronologische volgorde verteld.
Chronological I have told the story in chronological order.

CiterenHij citeert enkele beroemde filosofen in zijn essay.
To quote / To citeHe quotes some famous philosophers in his essay.

ConsequentBij het opvoeden van kinderen moet je consequent zijn.
ConsistentYou have to be consistent when raising children.

CorrelatieEr bestaat een duidelijke correlatie tussen deze twee factoren.
CorrelationThere is a clear correlation between these two factors.

CyclusDeze cyclus herhaalt zich elk jaar.
CycleThis cycle repeats itself every year.

DilemmaEuropa staat duidelijk voor een dilemma.
DilemmaEurope clearly faces a dilemma.

DiversiteitIn Nederland is er een grote diversiteit aan vogels.
DiversityThere is a great diversity of birds in the Netherlands.

EficiëntAls je efficiënt wilt studeren, moet je je leren focussen.
EfficientlyIf you want to study efficiently, you have to learn to focus.

EmpathieHij is erg egoïstisch en voelt weinig empathie voor anderen.
EmpathyHe is very selfish and has little empathy for others.

FacultatiefDe deelname aan de cursus Spaans voor beginners is facultatief.
OptionalParticipation in the Spanish for Beginners course is optional.

FenomeenHet toenemende gebruik van smartphones is een universeel fenomeen.
PhenomenonThe increasing use of smartphones is a universal phenomenon.

FictiefDit is een fictief verhaal, het is niet echt gebeurd.
FictionalThis is a fictional story; it didn’t actually happen.

GeneraliserenHij generaliseert veel als hij over zijn studenten praat.
GeneralizeHe generalizes a lot when he talks about his students.

HiërarchieIn dit bedrijf is er nog veel hiërarchie.
HierarchyThere is still a lot of hierarchy in this company.

HypotheseVolgens onze hypothese heeft dit fenomeen verregaande gevolgen.
HypothesisAccording to our hypothesis, this phenomenon has far-reaching consequences.

InterpreterenDe opmerking kon op verschillende manieren geïnterpreteerd worden.
InterpretThe remark could be interpreted in different ways.

NuancerenKun je die vraag nog wat nuanceren?
To nuanceCan you nuance that question a bit?

ObjectiefDe beslissing van de minister was gebaseerd op objectieve criteria.
ObjectiveThe minister’s decision was based on objective criteria.

PragmatischDe doorgewinterde politicus neemt altijd erg pragmatische beslissingen.
PragmaticThe seasoned politician always makes very pragmatic decisions.

SynoniemIk ken geen synoniem voor dat woord.
SynonymI don’t know a synonym for that word.

UrgentieGezien de urgentie van het probleem moeten we direct handelen.
UrgencyGiven the urgency of the problem, we must act immediately.

VariërenOm de kinderen geïnteresseerd te houden, moet u uw lesmethoden variëren.
To varyTo keep the children interested, you have to vary your teaching methods.

A Woman in a Graduation Cap and Gown, Holding a Diploma

Are you ready to master these academic Dutch words?

3. Advanced Business Words

As you approach the advanced level in Dutch, you might be considering a job or career in the Netherlands. The following words will give you a leg up in the Dutch business world, whatever direction your dreams take you. 

WinstgevendMijn bedrijf is niet meer winstgevend.
ProfitableMy company is not profitable anymore.

AfdelingIk werk op de marketingafdeling.
Department / DivisionI work in the marketing division.

HoofdkantoorDit is het hoofdkantoor van Heineken.
Head officeThis is the Heineken head office.

UitbestedingDoor uitbesteding kunnen we kosten besparen.
OutsourcingOutsourcing allows us to cut costs.

OntslagOntslag werd overwogen.
Dismissal / ResignationDismissal was considered.

ActivaZe hebben activa om met hun schulden te dealen.
AssetsThey have assets to deal with their debts.

AandelenDe gepresenteerde aandelen worden beoordeeld.
StocksThe submitted stocks will be evaluated.

AandeelhouderIk ben de enige aandeelhouder van mijn eigen bedrijf.
ShareholderI’m the only shareholder of my own company.

RentetariefDe rentetarieven dalen elk jaar.
Interest rateInterest rates are decreasing every year.

PersoneelszakenPersoneelszaken zorgt voor uw contract.
Human resourcesHuman resources are taking care of your contract.

OmzetDe omzet is gestaag gestegen.
Turnover / RevenueRevenues have steadily increased.

FondsenWe moeten fondsen vrijmaken.
FundsWe have to release funds.

DochterondernemingWij zijn een dochteronderneming van dat bedrijf.
SubsidiaryWe are a subsidiary of that company.

TariefU vindt mijn tarief op mijn website.
RateYou’ll find my rate on my website.

LoonstrookIk heb mijn loonstrook nog niet ontvangen.
PayslipI haven’t received my payslip yet.

SamenwerkingsverbandZe heeft net een samenwerkingsverband getekend met ons bedrijf.
PartnershipShe’s just signed a partnership with our company.

ArbeidsmarktVrouwen worden vaak gediscrimineerd op de arbeidsmarkt.
Labor marketWomen are often discriminated against in the labor market.

VergoedenDeze opdracht wordt goed vergoed.
To compensate / To payThis assignment is well compensated.

SolliciterenIk solliciteer voor een nieuwe baan.
To applyI’m applying for a new job.

FiliaalWe hebben een filiaal in Rotterdam.
BranchWe have a branch in Rotterdam.

BoekhoudingIk ben voor een vereenvoudigde boekhouding.
AccountingI vote for simplified accounting.

Failliet gaanMijn bedrijf is failliet gegaan.
To go bankruptMy company has gone bankrupt.

ZakenreisZe gaat op zakenreis.
Business tripShe’s leaving for a business trip.

Vast contract
Permanent contract

Tijdelijk contract
Temporary contract

A Businesswoman Surrounded by Sketches of Lightbulbs

Let’s master the Dutch business world with these advanced Dutch words.


4. Advanced Medical Words

Whether you’re studying medicine in the Netherlands, pursuing a job in the medical field, or sitting in the ER, these advanced Dutch words will help you out in a pinch. 

BehandelingIk probeer een experimentele behandeling.
TreatmentI’m trying an experimental treatment.

GoedaardigDit syndroom is goedaardig.
BenignThis syndrome is benign.

DesinfecterenJe moet de wond desinfecteren.
To disinfectYou have to disinfect the wound.

BesmettelijkDit virus is zeer besmettelijk.
ContagiousThis virus is highly contagious.

ImmuunIk ben niet immuun voor die ziekte.
ImmuneI am not immune to that disease.

AllergieAllergie voor dit product is zeer ongebruikelijk.
AllergyAllergy to this product is very unusual.

BloeddrukHij zal uw bloeddruk meten.
Blood pressureHe will measure your blood pressure.

BreukIk heb een dubbele heupbreuk.
FractureI have a double hip fracture.

RöntgenfotoJe hebt een röntgenfoto nodig.
X-rayYou’re going to need an X-ray.

GipsIk draag sinds januari gips.
CastI’ve been wearing a cast since January.

HartaanvalHij stierf na een hartaanval.
Heart attackHe died after suffering a heart attack.

ImmuunsysteemMijn immuunsysteem was verzwakt.
Immune systemMy immune system was weakened.

BloedingWe moeten de bloeding stoppen.
BleedingWe have to stop the bleeding.

VaccinerenZe willen de hele bevolking vaccineren.
To vaccinateThey want to vaccinate the whole population.

ReceptU kunt dit medicijn niet zonder recept kopen.
PrescriptionYou can’t buy this medication without a prescription.

BijwerkingEr is geen bijwerking bekend.
Side effectThere is no known side effect.

BloedonderzoekU moet een bloedonderzoek ondergaan.
Blood testYou have to do a blood test.

GriepIk kreeg vorig jaar griep.
FluI got the flu last year.

JeukIk begin jeuk te krijgen.
ItchI’m starting to feel an itch.

MenstruatieDit is een middel tegen pijnlijke menstruatie.
MenstruationThis is a remedy for painful menstruation.

NekHet slachtoffer heeft een gebroken nek.
NeckThe victim has a broken neck.

BuikIk heb buikpijn.
StomachI have a stomachache.

WervelkolomDe wervelkolom is delicaat.
SpineThe spine is delicate.

RibbenMijn ribben doen pijn.
RibsMy ribs hurt.

LongenHij ademt slecht want hij heeft last van zijn longen.
LungsHe’s breathing badly because he has lung problems.

A Doctor, a Nurse, a Receptionist, and a Woman Waiting in the Waiting Room

These advanced Dutch medical words will help you feel more comfortable when going to the doctor in the Netherlands.


5. Advanced Legal Words

Learning these advanced legal words will aid your law studies, allow you to engage in more complex conversations, or maybe even help you work out an unfortunate misunderstanding. 

ConformHet bedrijf handelt conform de wetgeving.
In accordance withThe company acts in accordance with the law.

ErkendeIk ben een erkende vertegenwoordiger van de regering.
Authorized / AccreditedI’m an accredited representative of the government.

StrafbladIk heb geen strafblad.
Criminal recordI don’t have a criminal record.

Hoger beroepDe beslissing werd door de rechter in hoger beroep genomen.
AppealThe decision was made by the judge on appeal.

Juridisch adviesWe hebben juridisch advies nodig.
Legal counselWe need legal counsel.

GerechtelijkDit is een gerechtelijke zaak.
JudicialThis is a judicial case.

Schriftelijk bewijsSchriftelijk bewijs van adres
Written proofWritten proof of address

DagvaardenZe dagvaardde de getuige.
To summonShe summoned the witness.

Wettelijke vertegenwoordigerIk ben de wettelijke vertegenwoordiger van dit bedrijf.
Legal representativeI’m the legal representative of this company.

Aangetekende briefIk heb het document per aangetekende brief verzonden.
Registered letterI have sent the document in a registered letter.

GeschilU heeft twee dagen de tijd om een geschil te openen.
Dispute / LitigationYou have two days to open a dispute.

HuiszoekingsbevelIk kom terug met een huiszoekingsbevel.
Search warrantI will come back with a search warrant.

VertegenwoordigerWe zullen een vertegenwoordiger aanwijzen.
RepresentativeWe will appoint a representative.

NotarisHet document is gecertificeerd door een notaris.
NotaryThe document is certified by a notary.

ParaferenJe moet dit contract paraferen.
To initial (a document)I need you to initial this contract.

ClausuleHij heeft alle clausules van het contract gelezen.
ClauseHe read all the clauses of the contract.

RechtszaakEr is een rechtszaak aangespannen tegen het bedrijf.
LawsuitA lawsuit was filed against the company.

Officier van justitieDe officier van justitie wil met u praten.
Public prosecutorThe prosecutor wants to talk to you.

EisenIk eis het recht om deze beslissing te nemen.
To claimI claim the right to make this decision.

OnwettigDeze handel is in dat land volledig onwettig.
IllegitimateThis trade is completely illegitimate in that country.

IllegaalDe goederen die hij in bezit heeft gekregen, zijn illegaal.
IllegalThe goods he came into possession of are illegal.

AanvallerZijn aanvaller was lang en blond.
AssailantHis assailant was tall and blond.

CorruptieCorruptie is een misdaad.
CorruptionCorruption is a crime.

InbraakDe inbraak vond plaats in de nacht van 17 op 18 juni.
BurglaryThe burglary took place on the night of June 17 to June 18.

ChanterenZe hebben me gechanteerd voor vertrouwelijke informatie.
To blackmailThey blackmailed me for confidential information.

A Gavel on Top of a Book

Which advanced Dutch legal words are most useful to you?

6. Alternative Words for Acing a Dutch Language Exam

Do you want to take a Dutch language proficiency test? In the Netherlands, there are two official language proficiency tests: the NT2 Dutch as a Second Language State Exam (Staatsexamen NT2) and the Dutch as a Foreign Language Certificate (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal, CNaVT). 

    → Are you interested in taking the NT2 Dutch State Exam? Then have a look at our guide with useful information, tips, and tricks. It will definitely help you prepare for this common Dutch language exam.

One way to do well on a Dutch language proficiency test is to show that you have a diverse vocabulary. It also helps to prove that you’re able to express yourself with subtlety instead of relying on the same (simple) terms.

In the final leg of this advanced Dutch word list, you’ll find simple verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, followed by their more sophisticated alternatives and an example sentence. The first column is the simple word, and the second is the alternative you might want to use.

1 – Alternative Verbs

BeginnenAanvangenVoordat de werkzaamheden kunnen aanvangen, moet dit eerst in orde worden gemaakt.
To startTo commenceBefore the work can start, this must be arranged first.

Doorgaan (met)HervattenWe kunnen de vergadering hervatten.
To continueTo resumeWe can resume the meeting.

Laten zienTonenIn deze nieuwe campagne toont het bedrijf de nieuwe modellen.
To showTo showIn this new campaign, the company is showing the new models.

KopenAanschaffenWe willen graag een nieuwe auto aanschaffen.
To buyTo acquireWe would like to buy a new car.

HebbenBezittenIk bezit een huis in Amsterdam en een huis in Frankrijk.
To haveTo ownI own a house in Amsterdam and a house in France.

ZeggenBewerenZe beweert dat ze niets weet.
To sayTo claimShe claims she doesn’t know anything.

2 – Alternative Adjectives

EssentieelNoodzakelijkHet is noodzakelijk om nu te investeren.
EssentialEssentialIt is essential to invest right now.

HandigGunstigHet nieuwe systeem is erg gunstig.
ConvenientConvenientThe new system is very convenient.

VerschillendDiversDe oceaan kent een rijk en divers ecosysteem.
DifferentDiverseThe ocean has a rich and diverse ecosystem.

MakkelijkEenvoudigJe zult zien dat het erg eenvoudig is.
EasyEasy / SimpleYou’ll see that it’s very easy.

3 – Alternative Adverbs

EchtWerkelijkWat zij beweert is werkelijk niet waar.
ReallyReallyWhat she claims is really not true.

Zonder problemenProbleemloosHet evenement verliep probleemloos.
EasilySmoothlyThe event went smoothly.

NuOnmiddellijkKom onmiddellijk naar mijn kantoor!
NowImmediatelyCome to my office immediately!

Vanaf nuVoortaanIk wil dat jij mij voortaan altijd op de hoogte stelt van nieuwe aankopen.
From now onFrom now onFrom now on, I want you to always keep me informed of new purchases.

VoorVoorafgaandVoorafgaand aan het tekenen van het contract, wil ik het huis nog een keer zien.
BeforePriorPrior to signing the contract, I want to see the house again.

VroegerVoorheenVoorheen was het product niet in winkels verkrijgbaar.
BeforePreviouslyPreviously, the product was not available in stores.

Students Writing an Essay in a Classroom

Which alternative Dutch word will you use on your language exam?

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you have seen over 150 of the most useful advanced Dutch words in a range of categories. You’ve even been able to discover some alternative Dutch words that will help you ace your Dutch language exam. You might already have known some of them, but now you have them all conveniently gathered in this advanced Dutch wordlist.

Are there any advanced words or categories you think we should’ve included? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll gladly get back to you. 

Ready to start using these 150+ advanced Dutch words? DutchPod101.com hosts a range of vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other free resources to boost your studies.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you master everything on this Dutch advanced wordlist, and then some. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch

Intermediate Dutch Student Guide with 300+ Useful Words

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Have you reached the intermediate level of Dutch and can no longer be called a beginner? 

Congratulations! This is an amazing achievement. You’ve found the energy and a successful learning routine to master the beginner level.

However, this is also when your Dutch language learning journey gets more difficult. As you begin learning the intermediate Dutch words and phrases, your progress will slow down and become less linear than it was at the beginning. You’ve got a good basic vocabulary and a decent bit of grammar knowledge, but how do you go from basic to advanced?

In this article, we’ll list the most common intermediate Dutch words you should learn to slowly improve your Dutch and reach the next level. From pronouns and numbers to prepositions, this guide will give you the boost you need to reach—and master—the intermediate level in Dutch!

A Woman Studying on Her Cell Phone

Let’s master the intermediate Dutch level!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Pronouns
  2. Verbs
  3. Numbers
  4. Nouns
  5. Conjunctions
  6. Adjectives
  7. Adverbs
  8. Prepositions
  9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Pronouns

You probably already manage various Dutch pronouns at this point, such as the personal subject pronouns (ik, zij, jij, wij), the impersonal pronoun (het – “it”), and even the demonstrative, interrogative, and indefinite pronouns.

Now it’s time to move on to some intermediate Dutch grammar stuff with these next-level pronouns.

1 – Possessive Pronouns

A possessive pronoun indicates ownership:

  • Dat is mijn boek. (“That’s my book.”)

However, it does not always mean that someone owns something in a literal sense, as you can see in the next examples:

  • Haar vliegtuig heeft vertraging. (“Her plane is delayed.”)
  • Hij is mijn vriend. (“He is my boyfriend.”)

Let’s have a look at the Dutch possessive pronouns:

DutchEnglish
Singular
Mijn“My”
Jouw (casual with emphasis)
Je (casual without emphasis)
Uw (formal)
“Your”
ZijnHaar“His”
“Her”
Plural
Ons (het-nouns)
Onze (de-nouns and plural nouns)
“Our”
Jullie (casual)
Uw (formal)
“Your”
Hun“Their”

2 – Objective Personal Pronouns

Objective personal pronouns take the place of the sentence’s object, rather than its subject:

  • Zij kent mij. (“She knows me.”)
  • Daan praatte met hem. (“Daan spoke with him.”)

In these sentences, mij and hem are the objective personal pronouns. Let’s have a look at the rest:

DutchEnglish
Singular
Me
Mij
“Me”
Jou (casual with emphasis)
Je (casual without emphasis)
U (formal)
“You”
Hem
Haar
“Him”
“Her”
Plural
Ons“Us”
Jullie (casual)
U (formal)
“You”
Hun
Hen
“Them”

3 – Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns replace the objective personal pronoun when someone is doing something to themselves:

  • Ik was me. (“I wash myself.”)
  • Ze schamen zich. (“They are ashamed of themselves.”)

DutchEnglish
Singular
Me“Myself”
Je (casual)
U (formal)
Zich (formal)
“Yourself”
Zich (singular)“Himself”
“Herself”
“Itself”
Plural
Ons“Ourselves”
Je (casual)
U (formal)
“Yourselves”
Zich (plural)“Themselves”

4 – Reciprocal Pronouns

The Dutch word elkaar (“each other”) is a reciprocal pronoun. It can only be used for plural subjects that are doing something to each other:

  • Wij kennen elkaar. (“We know each other.”)
  • Zij praatten met elkaar. (“They talked to each other.”)
  • Zij gaven elkaar de hand. (“They shook each other’s hands.”)

A Woman Waving to Someone

This is another example of where you could use the reciprocal pronoun elkaar. Do you know how?

    → Would you like to learn the pronunciation of these (and other) Dutch pronouns? Then have a look at our Most Useful Pronouns vocabulary list with audio recordings.

2. Verbs

You must already know the most common Dutch verbs for beginners, such as zijn (“to be”) and hebben (“to have”). Now it’s time to expand your vocabulary with some key intermediate Dutch verbs.

    → For more detailed information on the topic, be sure to have a look at our full article on Dutch verbs.

Serveren“To serve”
Verlaten“To leave”
Laten“To allow” / “To let”
Verzenden“To send”
Ontvangen“To receive”
Leven“To live”
Bellen“To call”
Terugbellen“To call back”
Presenteren“To present”
Voorstellen“To introduce” / “To propose”
Accepteren“To accept”
Weigeren“To refuse”
Acteren“To act”
Spelen“To play”
Herkennen“To recognize”
Erkennen“To acknowledge”
Kiezen“To choose” / “To select”
Selecteren“To select”
Aanraken“To touch”
Opstaan“To stand up” / “To get out of bed”
Winnen“To win”
Verdienen“To earn”
Verliezen“To lose”
Bestaan“To exist”
Slagen“To succeed”
Veranderen“To change”
Werken“To work”
Lopen“To walk”
Proberen“To try” / “To attempt”
Voorkomen“To prevent”
Stoppen“To stop”
Hervatten“To resume”
Terugnemen“To take back”
Koken“To cook”
Behoren“To belong”
Riskeren“To risk”
Ontmoeten“To meet”
Creëren“To create”
Krijgen“To get”
Binnengaan“To enter”
Verlaten“To exit” / “To go out” / “To leave”
Aanbieden“To offer”
Brengen“To bring”
Gebruiken“To use”
Bereiken“To reach” / “To achieve”
Bereiden“To make” / “To prepare”
Voorbereiden“To prepare”
Toevoegen“To add”
Betalen“To pay”
Overwegen“To consider”
Bestuderen“To study”
Kopen“To buy”
Kopen“To buy”
Duwen“To push”
Trekken“To pull”
Vertrekken“To leave” / “To depart”
Reizen“To travel”

Six English Verbs in Colored Bubbles

What other intermediate Dutch verbs would you like to know?

3. Numbers

You already know the basic numbers and can count from 1 to 10 in Dutch like a local. Now it’s time to go a step further and add larger numbers to your intermediate Dutch vocabulary. Learning higher numbers will allow you to handle higher prices, years, or ages. 

Let’s have a look.

1 – From 10 to 20


10Tien
11Elf
12Twaalf
13Dertien
14Veertien
15Vijftien
16Zestien
17Zeventien
18Achttien
19Negentien
20Twintig

2 – Counting Up to 100


30Dertig
40Veertig
50Vijftig
60Zestig
70Zeventig
80Tachtig
90Negentig
100Honderd

3 – To 1000 and Beyond


200Tweehonderd
300Driehonderd
400Vierhonderd
500Vijfhonderd
600Zeshonderd
700Zevenhonderd
800Achthonderd
900Negenhonderd

And from there, the sky’s the limit!

1,000Duizend
10,000Tienduizend
100,000Honderdduizend
1,000,000 (106)Eén miljoen

Would you like to see some other examples of Dutch numbers and to hear their pronunciation? Then have a look at our Dutch Numbers vocabulary list.

4. Nouns 

The more nouns you know, the greater diversity of conversations you’ll be able to have! Below we’ve included some useful nouns in different categories for the intermediate Dutch level. 

1 – Time


Toekomst“Future”
Seizoen“Season”
Lente“Spring”
Zomer“Summer”
Winter“Winter”
Herfst“Autumn”
Eeuw“Century”
Trimester“Trimester” / “Quarter”
Semester“Semester”

2 – Places


Regio“Region”
Provincie“Province”
The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces.
Dorp“Village”
Stad“City”
Park“Park”
Bank“Bank”
Apotheek“Pharmacy”
Ziekenhuis“Hospital”
Bakkerij“Bakery”
Supermarkt“Supermarket”
Drogist“Drugstore”
Vlakte“Plain”
Klif“Cliff”
Strand“Beach”
Eiland“Island”
Heuvel“Hill”

3 – Technology


Toetsenbord“Keyboard”
A lot of Dutch people also use the English word “keyboard.”
Muis“Mouse”
Just like in English, muis is also the word for the cute furry animal.
Tablet“Tablet”
Televisie“Television”
Oplader“Charger”
Website“Website”
Account“Account”
Wachtwoord“Password”
Bestand“File”
Map“Folder”
Software“Software”

Someone Texting on Their Phone while Sitting in Front of a Laptop

Are you ready to bring these intermediate Dutch nouns into practice?

4 – Home


Kamer“Room”
Verdieping“Floor” / “Story”
Woonkamer“Living room”
Badkamer“Bathroom”
Koelkast“Fridge”
Kast“Cabinet” / “Wardrobe” /
“Cupboard” / “Closet”

5 – City & Transportation


Buitenwijk“Suburb”
Buurt“Neighborhood” / “Area”
Snelweg“Highway”
Steeg“Alley”
Rotonde“Roundabout”
Kruispunt“Crossroad” / “Intersection” / “Junction”

6 – People


Oom“Uncle”
Tante“Aunt”
Kleinzoon“Grandson”
Kleindochter“Granddaughter”
Baby“Baby”
Grootvader“Grandfather”
Grootmoeder“Grandmother”

7 – Body Parts


Vinger“Finger”
Rug“Back”
Buik“Belly”
Borst“Breast”
Schouder“Shoulder”
Been“Leg”
Dij“Thigh”
Bil“Butt cheek”
Voet“Foot”
Wang“Cheek”
Kin“Chin”
Voorhoofd“Forehead”

8 – Food


Mes“Knife”
Vork“Fork”
Lepel“Spoon”
Gerecht“Dish”
Voorgerecht“Starter”
Hoofdgerecht“Main dish” / “Main course”
Nagerecht“Dessert”
Drankje“Drink”
Wijn“Wine”

9 – Work & Studies


Verpleegkundige“Nurse”
Politieagent“Police officer”
Advocaat“Lawyer”
Ober“Waiter”
Universiteit“University”

10 – Clothes


Broek“Pants” / “Trousers”
Trui“Sweater”
T-shirt“T-shirt”
Overhemd“Shirt”
Jas“Coat” / “Jacket”
Sok“Sock”
Schoen“Shoe”
Jurk“Dress”
Hoed“Hat”

Two Women Looking at Clothes

Can you already talk about clothes in Dutch?

5. Conjunctions 

Let’s have a look at the more complex conjunctions and see how they work in real-life sentences: 

Noch (“Nor”)

  • Ik drink noch bier noch wijn. (“I drink neither beer nor wine.”)

Dus (“Then” / “So”)

  • Ik heb geen dorst, dus ik drink niet. (“I’m not thirsty, so I don’t drink.”)

Anders (“Otherwise”)

  • Ik drink niet, anders kan ik niet rijden. (“I’m not drinking; otherwise, I could not drive.”)

Aangezien (“Since” / “As”)

  • Aangezien je hier nu bent, wil je binnenkomen? (“Since you’re here now, do you want to come in?”)

Als (“When”)

  • Als ik moe ben, dan gaap ik. (“When I’m tired, I yawn.”)

Daarom (“Therefore” / “Thus”)

  • Ik heb niks gegeten en daarom heb ik honger. (“I have not eaten anything, and therefore I am hungry.”)

6. Adjectives

Although not as essential for beginners who just want to express basic ideas, adjectives are a great way for intermediate Dutch students to make their sentences more meaningful and give them more flavor.

Geweldig“Great” / “Awesome” / “Amazing”
Fantastisch“Fantastic” / “Great”
Verschrikkelijk“Horrible”
Raar“Weird” / “Strange”
Bizar“Bizarre”
Ingewikkeld“Complicated”
Dichtbij“Near”
Ver“Far”
Smal“Narrow”
Wijd“Wide”
Zacht“Soft”
Hard“Hard”
Vol“Full”
Leeg“Empty”
Licht“Light”
Zwaar“Heavy”
Uniek“Unique”
Speciaal“Special”
Bijzonder“Particular” / “Special”
Nieuw“New”
Arm“Poor”
Rijk“Rich” / “Wealthy”
Schoon“Clean”
Vies“Dirty”
Zwak“Weak”
Slank“Slim”
Schattig“Cute”
Gemeen“Mean”
Grappig“Funny”
Leuk“Nice” / “Fun”
Gelukkig“Happy” / “Fortunate”
Verdrietig“Sad”
Rustig“Quiet” / “Calm”
Enthousiast“Excited”
Gevaarlijk“Dangerous”
Saai“Boring”
Vettig“Greasy” / “Fatty”
Pittig“Spicy”
Tweede“Second”
Volgende“Next”
Vorige“Previous”
Eén na laatste“Penultimate” / “Second-to-last”
Oranje“Orange”
Roze“Pink”
Grijs“Gray”
Paars“Purple”
Magenta“Magenta”
Turquoise“Turquoise”

    → Would you like to learn more adjectives? Have a look at our Most Common Adjectives vocabulary list with useful audio recordings to practice your pronunciation.

A Man Flirting with a Woman through a Window

What Dutch adjective would you use to give someone a compliment?

7. Adverbs

Like with adjectives, you could get away with very few adverbs as a beginner—but you’ll need to learn more as you approach the intermediate Dutch level. Using adverbs will not only improve your writing style and skills, but also help you explain yourself more clearly. 

1 – When


Al“Already”
Lang geleden“A long time ago”
Nu“Now”
Weer“Again”
Eindelijk“At last” / “Finally”
Toen“Then”

2 – How Often


Soms“Sometimes”
Zelden“Rarely”
Meestal“Usually”
Doorgaans“Generally” / “Usually”
Voortdurend“Constantly”

3 – Where


An Old Woman Staring and Smiling Down at Her Phone while Outside

Use these Dutch adverbs when you’re looking for something.

Ergens anders“Somewhere else”
Boven“Above”
Onder“Below”
Over“Over”
Op“On”
Naast“Beside”
Om“Around”

4 – How


Zacht(jes)“Softly”
Stil(letjes)“Quietly”
Langzaam“Slowly”
Snel“Fast” / “Quickly” / “Shortly”
Rustig“Calmly” / “Quietly”
Gemakkelijk“Easily”
Gelukkig“Luckily”
Gewoon“Simply” / “Just”

5 – How Much


Eerder“Rather”
Genoeg“Enough”
Voornamelijk“Especially”
Bijna“Almost”
Hoeveel“How much” / “How many”
Zoveel“So much” / “So many”
Ongeveer“About” / “Approximately”


8. Prepositions

Prepositions are vital for helping us structure our sentences, as they mark the relationships and links between people, objects, places, and moments. You don’t need many of them, but as an intermediate Dutch learner, it’s crucial to know at least a few of these prepositions.

1 – Time


Voor“Before”
Na“After”
Tijdens“During”

2 – Space


Tegen“Against”
Naar rechts“To the right”
Naar links“To the left”
Bij“At”
Voor“In front of” / “Ahead”
Achter“Behind”
Naar beneden“Down”
Naar boven“Up”
Op“On”

3 – Other


Tussen“Between” / “Among”
Dankzij“Thanks to”
Ondanks“Despite”
Zonder“Without”

9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

A Guy Having a Lightbulb Moment while Studying

Let DutchPod101 help you master the intermediate Dutch level.

In this guide, you’ve seen over 300 of the most useful intermediate Dutch words and phrases in a number of different word categories. You might have already known several of them, but now you have them all conveniently gathered in one place.

Are there any intermediate Dutch words you think we missed? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible! 

You can begin practicing and reviewing these 300+ intermediate Dutch words with the help of DutchPod101’s vocabulary lists with audio recordings and our other free resources designed to boost your studies.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you master the intermediate Dutch level through personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

Interested in some other intermediate Dutch lessons? Then we recommend checking out our Intermediate lesson series, which contains 25 lessons that focus on natural dialogue and strive to help you improve your language skills in all key areas: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch

Dutch Animal Names: The Ultimate List for Language Learners

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How many Dutch animal names do you know? Although it may not be the first thing you want to study when you start learning Dutch, knowing how to talk about animals is important in any language. After all, our furry friends play a central role in our lives! 

There are many Dutch animal words for you to discover, ranging from the names of pets to the most common bugs and reptiles. Some of this new vocabulary may be difficult to memorize, but there are plenty of words that may be easier than you’re expecting. Take, for example:

  • Rat (“Rat”) 
  • Kat (“Cat”)
  • Schaap (“Sheep”)
  • Beer (“Bear”)
  • Vis (“Fish”)

Are you ready to discover the Dutch animal world with DutchPod101? 

In this article, you’ll learn the must-know Dutch animal names, animal body parts, verbs related to animals, and even some funny animal sounds in Dutch.

Several Different Pet Animals

Learn some Dutch animal names with DutchPod101!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Pets
  2. Farm Animals
  3. Wild Animals
  4. Sea Animals
  5. Bugs and Insects
  6. Birds
  7. Reptiles & Amphibians
  8. Animal Body Parts
  9. Animal Verbs
  10. Animal Sounds in Dutch
  11. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Pets

The Dutch are pet-loving people! A 2016 survey found that over half of Dutch households have at least one pet. 

So, what are the most common Dutch pets? The most popular pet choices are dogs and cats; a 2019 survey showed that 18% of Dutch households owned a dog, while 23% owned a cat. Besides these more obvious furry friends, many Dutch households also have fish, a tame bird, or some small rodents (mice, rats, rabbits, or guinea pigs). 

Check out this Dutch animals list to learn the names of common pets (and a few fun expressions that mention them):

Kat“Cat”
Dutch expression: Een kat in de zak kopen

Literally: “To buy a cat in the bag”
Meaning: To make a bad purchase

Hond“Dog”
Dutch expression: De hond in de pot vinden

Literally: “To find the dog in the pot”
Meaning: To arrive just too late for supper

Konijn“Rabbit”

Muis“Mouse”
Dutch expression: Als de kat van huis is, dansen de muizen op tafel

Literally: “When the cat’s away from home, the mice dance on the table.” 
Meaning: If there’s no supervision, people do what they want.

Hamster“Hamster”
Dutch expression: Hamsteren 

Literally: “To hamster”
Meaning: To hoard

Rat“Rat”

Cavia“Guinea pig”

Goudvis“Goldfish”

Kanarie“Canary”

A Kitten Mewling

The Dutch word kat is very similar to the English “cat.”

    → Are you an animal lover? Then visit our World Animal Day vocabulary list and get ready to celebrate!

2. Farm Animals

Dutch farm animals are quite similar to those in many other countries: the same-old cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and goats. The most typical Dutch farm animal is probably the black-and-white Dutch cow, as they’re so representative of scenic landscapes in the Netherlands. 

Here are the names of common farm animals in Dutch:

Koe“Cow”
Dutch expression: Dat is een waarheid als een koe.

Literally: “That’s as true as a cow.”
Meaning: Sometimes, the truth is so obvious you can’t miss it.

Varken“Pig”
Dutch expression: Dat slaat als een tang op een varken.

Literally: “That hits like pliers on a pig.”
Meaning: That makes absolutely no sense.

Schaap“Sheep”
Dutch expression: Als één schaap over de dam is, volgen er meer.

Literally: “When one sheep crosses the dam, more will follow.”
Meaning: If one person starts, more will follow.

Geit“Goat”

Paard“Horse”

Ezel“Donkey”
Dutch expression: Zo koppig als een ezel

Literally: “As stubborn as a donkey”
Meaning: Being very stubborn

Two Donkeys

Are you as stubborn as a donkey?

Kip“Chicken”

Haan“Rooster”

3. Wild Animals

The Netherlands is a small country with relatively little nature, but don’t let that fool you into thinking there are no wild animals here. The Dutch forests, plains, and bodies of water host a variety of wild animals, such as foxes, wolves, deer, and badgers.

In this section, we’ll teach you the Dutch animal names for some of the most common wild animals you’ll find in the Netherlands. We’ll also provide the names of other wild animals, so you can talk about them when you visit the zoo! 

Beer“Bear”

Wolf“Wolf”

Hert“Deer”

Vos“Fox”
Dutch expression: Een vos verliest wel zijn haren maar niet zijn streken.

Literally: A fox loses its hair but not its tricks.
Meaning: People rarely really change.

Das“Badger”

Leeuw“Lion”

Tijger“Tiger”

Panter“Panther”

Olifant“Elephant”
Dutch expression: Als een olifant in de porseleinkast

Literally: “Like an elephant in the china shop” 
Meaning: Being extremely careless or tactless

Giraf“Giraffe”

Aap“Monkey”
Dutch expression: Nu komt de aap uit de mouw.

Literally: “Now comes the monkey out of the sleeve.”
Meaning: Now the truth (or someone’s real character) is being revealed.

Nijlpaard“Hippopotamus”

Pinguïn “Penguin”

IJsbeer“Polar bear”
Dutch expression: IJsberen

Literally: “To polar bear”
Meaning: To pace

A Polar Bear in the Snow

When you’re pacing, the Dutch say that you’re walking around like a polar bear.

4. Sea Animals

The Dutch are surrounded by water: 17% of the total surface of the country consists of water, and the Netherlands has a coastline of 230 kilometers. This is quite long, if you take the size of the country into account. 

So what kind of sea animals might you find here? There are several types of Dutch sea animals dwelling in the waters: fish, lobsters, mussels, and—the favorite Dutch sea animal—seals.

Here’s a brief list of sea animals in Dutch:

Vis“Fish”
Dutch expression: Als een vis op het droge

Literally: “Like a fish out of water”
Meaning: Refers to someone who cannot find his or her place, or who does not belong

Haai“Shark”
Dutch expression: Naar de haaien gaan 

Literally: “Going to the sharks”
Meaning: “To go down” or “to encounter very big problems that threaten someone’s or something’s existence”

Dolfijn“Dolphin”
Zeehond“Seal”
Walvis“Whale”
Zeeleeuw“Sealion”
Kwal“Jellyfish”
Octopus“Octopus”
Kreeft“Lobster”
Zeester“Starfish”
Mossel“Mussel”

Mussels

Mussels are a popular seafood in the Netherlands; have you ever tried them?


5. Bugs and Insects

Fortunately, the Netherlands is not home to a lot of scary or dangerous insects. While there are many bugs and insects present in the Netherlands, most are not very big and you’ll probably have seen them before. 

Here’s a Dutch animal list of the most common insects and bugs:

Bij“Bee”

Wesp“Wasp”

Mug“Mosquito”
Dutch expression: Van een mug een olifant maken 

Literally: “To make an elephant out of a mosquito”
Meaning: To make something big out of a small problem, or to blow something out of proportion

Vlieg“Fly”

Spin“Spider”

Sprinkhaan“Grasshopper”

Vlinder“Butterfly”
Dutch expression: Vlinders in je buik hebben 

Literally: “To have butterflies in your stomach”
Meaning: To be in love

Mier“Ant”
Mot“Moth”
Slak“Snail”
Worm“Worm”
Kever“Beetle”
Lieveheersbeestje“Ladybird” / “Ladybug”

Two Butterflies against a White Background

As is the case in many other countries, we refer to butterflies in the stomach when someone is in love.

6. Birds

The Netherlands has quite a lot to offer bird lovers, as the country has around 300 regular migrant and resident birds and a total of 534 bird species. The most common Dutch birds are seagulls, pigeons, crows, and sparrows. But the Netherlands also has a number of waterbirds, such as swans, ducks, and geese.

Did you know that in a city like Amsterdam, you can watch a lot of birds? And not only city birds like pigeons! Because of the canals and the bodies of water that surround Amsterdam, there are many waterbirds to watch as well. 

Learn the Dutch names for these birds so that you can point them out every time you spot one!

Duif“Pigeon”
Zeemeeuw“Seagull”
Kraai“Crow”
Adelaar“Eagle”
Uil“Owl”
Ekster“Magpie”
Mus“Sparrow”

Zwaluw“Swallow”
Dutch expression: Een zwaluw maakt de lente niet.

Literally: “A swallow does not make spring.”
Meaning: A circumstance does not lead to a final conclusion.

Pauw“Peacock”
Dutch expression: Trots als een pauw

Literally: “To be proud as a peacock”
Meaning: To be very proud

Gans“Goose”

Zwaan“Swan”

Eend“Duck”

A Duck with Its Ducklings

You’ll be able to see a lot of ducks in Dutch ponds.

7. Reptiles & Amphibians

The Netherlands is not home to many scary reptiles or amphibians, though you may be able to see several frogs and toads in nearby ponds. You may even be able to find a snake in the Netherlands, as the country has three snake species (only one of which is venomous). But don’t worry! It’s not that common to encounter a snake when exploring the natural surroundings here. 

Kikker“Frog”

Pad“Toad”

Slang“Snake”

Krokodil“Crocodile”
Dutch expression: Krokodillentranen huilen

Literally: “To cry crocodile tears”
Meaning: To feign your grief

A Crocodile

Have you ever seen a crocodile tear?

Hagedis“Lizard”
Kameleon“Chameleon”
Schildpad“Turtle”
Zeeschildpad“Sea turtle”

    → Would you like to learn more Dutch animal names and listen to their pronunciation? Then have a look at this Animal Names vocabulary list.

8. Animal Body Parts

Now that you know several Dutch animal names, it’s time to learn some words that will help you describe them! Memorizing the animal body parts in Dutch will allow you to tell your new friends about the time you saved a bird with a broken wing, or the time your dog got its fur all dirty. Take a look:

Staart“Tail”
Vleugel“Wing”
Haar“Hair”
Vacht“Fur”
Veer“Feather”
Tand“Tooth”
Hoektand“Fang”
Klauw“Claw”
Hoorn“Horn”
Hoef“Hoof”
Bek“Mouth”
Snavel“Beak”
Vin“Fin”
Tentakel“Tentacle”
Maan“Mane”
Slurf“Trunk”
Antenne“Antenna”
Poot“Leg”
Schub“Scale”

9. Animal Verbs

You can now name a variety of animals in Dutch and list their unique body parts…just one more thing is missing. Below, you’ll find several verbs related to animals that you can use in your next conversation!

Miauwen“To meow”
Blaffen“To bark”
Brullen“To roar”
Zoemen“To buzz”
Grommen“To growl”
Spinnen“To purr”
Galoperen“To gallop”
Bijten“To bite”
Steken“To sting”
Krabben“To scratch”
Likken“To lick”
Aaien“To pet”
Temmen“To tame” / “To train”
Voeden“To feed”
Vaccineren“To vaccinate”


10. Animal Sounds in Dutch

The onomatopoeia used for animal sounds varies greatly from one country to another, often resulting in hilarious situations when comparing animal sounds. Let’s take the rooster, for example: 

  • English: cock-a-doodle-doo
  • Swedish: kuckeliku
  • Spanish: qui-qui-ri-qui

For your entertainment, here are the most popular animal sounds in Dutch.

A Friendly Dog Looking at the Camera

How does barking sound in Dutch? Woef!

Miauw(Cat)
Woef(Dog)
Boe(Cow)
Bêêê(Sheep)
Roekoe(Pigeon)
Kukeleku(Rooster)
Kwak(Duck)
Grrr(Growling sound)
Oe oe(Owl)
Kwaak(Frog)
Knor knor(Pig)

    → Would you like to learn more animal sounds in Dutch? Then have a look at our Sounds That Animals Make vocabulary list, and don’t forget to listen to the recorded examples of these Dutch animal sounds.

11. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you’ve learned many Dutch animal names for pets, farm animals, insects, and much more. Now you’ll be able to talk with your Dutch friends about their pets or ask them about their favorite animals.

Did we forget any other important animals? Or would you like to know other animal sounds in Dutch? Please share with us in the comments below!

Make sure to explore DutchPod101.com, as we have plenty of free resources to help you practice your grammar and many useful vocabulary lists with audio recordings to help you learn new words.

Remember that Premium PLUS members can also take advantage of our MyTeacher service for 1-on-1 coaching. This way, you can practice your Dutch speaking skills with your own private teacher through interactive exercises and personalized feedback.

Happy learning!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch

Learn Dutch Phone Call Phrases and Other Useful Words

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Does the thought of having a telephone conversation in Dutch make you feel nervous? It’s normal to feel this way about making or receiving a phone call in another language. There are even people who suffer from “phone anxiety” or “phone phobia.” These people already feel nervous about making a phone call in their own language, let alone in another language.

One way you can get rid of those nerves is to pick up some Dutch phone call phrases. At the very least, this will help you feel more in control of the situation and allow you to navigate those inevitable phone calls during your stay in the Netherlands. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to answer the phone in Dutch and carry a basic phone conversation. We’ll be covering everything from key vocabulary terms to the different parts of a phone call—greetings and introductions, giving the reason for your call, transferring the line, leaving a message, handling connection issues, and ending the conversation.

Once you’re done reading this article, you’ll be able to make that Dutch phone call with confidence!

Someone Holding Their Cell Phone; Sketches of Musical Notes in the Background

Let’s make that Dutch phone call with confidence!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Phone Vocabulary
  2. Greeting
  3. Checking
  4. Transferring
  5. Stating Your Reason for the Call
  6. Experiencing Phone Call Problems
  7. Leaving a Message
  8. Ending
  9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Better Dutch

1. Phone Vocabulary

Before we look at specific phrases for a telephone conversation in Dutch, let’s first go over some phone-related vocabulary. Learning these useful words will help you feel more comfortable when talking on the phone or when discussing phone calls in general.

This short vocabulary list includes everything you need, from hardware terms to related verbs.

TelefoonPhone
Mobiele telefoon
Mobieltje
Mobile phone
BatterijBattery
OpladerCharger
SMS
SMS-bericht
Text message
SchermScreen
OproepCall
Telefoonnummer
Nummer
Phone number
BellenTo call
TerugbellenTo call back
Nummer intoetsenTo dial
You could also say nummer draaien, literally meaning “spin the number.” This term dates back to the old rotary phones.
OpnemenTo pick up
OphangenTo hang up
Bericht achterlatenTo leave a message
OpladenTo charge


2. Greeting

Every phone call starts with a greeting of some sort; it’s just basic phone etiquette. However, the greeting used may differ between the caller and the receiver. 

Another factor that could influence the greeting is the expected formality level. You would respond to a professional phone call more formally than you would a phone call with friends. 

Let’s have a look.

A Woman in a White Tank Top Waving to Someone

Which Dutch greetings do you already know?

1 – Calling

Hallo.Hello.
Hallo is the most common way to start a Dutch phone conversation, perfect for both casual and more formal situations. 
Hoi.Hi.
Hoi is another great phone call greeting, though it’s a bit more casual. So you can definitely use it with friends and family members, but watch out at work. Saying this to close colleagues shouldn’t be an issue, but choose one of the other greetings if you’re going for a more formal and professional vibe.
Goedemorgen.
Goedemiddag.
Goedenavond.
Good morning.
Good afternoon.
Good evening.
Want to go formal? Then these greetings are perfect for you. You say goedemorgen until 12 p.m., goedemiddag until 5 p.m., and goedenavond until 12 a.m.

Do you want to use this greeting in a more casual setting? Then you can greet the receiver with goedemorgen when calling in the morning, as this one is commonly used in both formal and casual Dutch conversations.

If you’re the one calling and would like to introduce yourself directly after the greeting, then you can use one of these phrases:

  • Hallo, u spreekt met David de Vries. (“Hello, you are speaking to David de Vries.”) [More formal]
  • Hoi, met David. (“Hi, with David.”) [More casual]
    • You can also just say Met David, without the greeting.

Would you like to introduce yourself further? Then have a look at these 10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself.

2 – Answering

Hallo?Hello?
The interrogative Hallo? is a very typical way to pick up the phone in Dutch. 
Hoi?Hi?
Like when calling, you can answer with a simple Hoi? in more casual settings.
Ja?Yes?

Should you say your name when you answer the phone? This is up to you! However, it’s common in the Netherlands to say your name when picking up a landline telephone, or when you receive a call from an unknown number on your mobile phone. If you like to introduce yourself when answering your phone, you can use the same introduction phrases as when you’re calling.

    → There are many different ways to greet someone on the phone in Dutch. You’ll find lots of ideas on our list titled Common Ways to Say Hello.

3. Checking

When making a call or answering the phone in Dutch, you might need to ensure you’re speaking to the right person or inquire about who’s calling. Below are phrases you can use for these situations, respectively. 

1 – Calling

Imagine you’ve called someone and they’ve greeted you, but they have not yet introduced themselves. Now, you have to check to see if you’ve reached the right person or office. 

One simple way to do this is to use the person’s name:

  • David? [Casual, only using their first name]
  • Meneer De Vries? (“Mr. de Vries?) [Formal, only using their last name – Male]
  • Mevrouw De Vries? (“Ms. de Vries?”) [Formal, only using their last name – Female]

Want to go a bit further? Here are a couple of other options:

Spreek ik met David?Am I speaking with David?
Is dit het kantoor van meneer De Vries?Is this the office of Mr. de Vries?

Once you know you’re at the right place, you should introduce yourself (assuming you haven’t done so already). You can use one of the introduction phrases mentioned earlier.

2 – Answering

If you don’t know who’s calling you and they haven’t introduced themselves yet, you’ll probably want to inquire about that:

Met wie spreek ik? [Formal]Who am I speaking to?
Wie heb ik aan de lijn? [Casual]Who is calling?
It literally means, “Who do I have on the line?”

4. Transferring

Some People Working in a Call Center

Learn how to transfer that Dutch phone call like a pro.

1 – Calling

If you’ve reached the secretary or main desk of a company, the next step is for you to be transferred to the right person or service. Below, you’ll find a variety of useful Dutch phone phrases for both formal and informal situations. 

Kan ik Cathy spreken? [Casual]Can I talk to Cathy?
Ik zou graag met Cathy willen spreken. [Formal]I would like to speak to Cathy.
Ik ben op zoek naar mevrouw De Vries. [Formal]I’m trying to reach Ms. de Vries.
Ik probeer David te pakken te krijgen. [Casual]I’m trying to reach David.
Kunt u mij doorverbinden met de klantenservice?Could you transfer me to customer service?

2 – Answering

Met wie spreek ik?Whom am I speaking to?
This phrase can be used for answering your phone, though it’s also typically used to ask on behalf of the person to whom you’ll transfer the caller.
Blijf aan de lijn, alstublieft.Hold the line, please.
Een momentje, alstublieft. 
Een moment geduld, alstublieft.
One moment, please.
One moment of patience, please.
Ik verbind u/je nu door.I am putting you through now.
Hij/Zij is nu niet beschikbaar.He/She is not available right now.
Kan ik een bericht aannemen?Can I take a message?
Ik zal vragen of hij/zij u/jou terug kan bellen.I can ask him/her to call you back.
Mag ik uw/jouw naam en telefoonnummer noteren?Can I take your name and number?

5. Stating Your Reason for the Call

You could be calling for any number of reasons, whether you just want a casual Dutch phone conversation with a friend or need to make a more professional call. Whatever it may be, we’ll cover a few different reasons you can give during your next telephone conversation in Dutch.

Ik bel je om te horen hoe het met je gaat.I’m calling to check on you.
U/Je had me gebeld. You called.
Ik bel u/je terug naar aanleiding van uw/je voicemail bericht.I’m calling you back in response to your voicemail message.
Ik zou graag een afspraak willen maken.I would like to make an appointment.
    → After you’ve stated your reason(s) for the call, would you like to make some small talk? Then have a look at our Using Small Talk Phrases vocabulary list.

6. Experiencing Phone Call Problems

A Woman Who Is Stressed Out while Talking on the Phone

What should you do when you experience problems during your Dutch phone conversation?

Even though we use smartphones nowadays and making phone calls is easier than ever before, we still experience issues from time to time: bad connections, dialing the wrong number, running out of battery…

Here are some Dutch phone phrases to help you handle these kinds of situations:

Ik begrijp je niet. [Casual]
Ik begrijp u niet goed. [Formal]
I don’t understand you.
I don’t understand you very well.
Ik versta u/je niet.I can’t hear you.
De verbinding is slecht.The connection is bad.
Kun je dat nog een keer zeggen? [Casual]
Kunt u dat herhalen? [Formal]
Can you say that again?
Could you repeat that?
De verbinding werd verbroken.The line got cut off.
Mijn batterij is bijna op. My battery’s almost dead.
U heeft het verkeerde nummer gebeld.You’ve dialed the wrong number.
Sorry, verkeerd verbonden.I’m sorry, I’ve dialed the wrong number.

7. Leaving a Message

You’re trying to reach someone but keep getting their voicemail… What will you do? You could hang up or you could summon the courage to leave a message. So, how does one leave a good voicemail

First, here’s a taste of what you might hear upon reaching the voicemail: 

Hallo, dit is het antwoordapparaat van Bruno. Ik kan de telefoon nu niet opnemen, maar u kunt na de piep een bericht achterlaten.Hi, this is Bruno’s answering machine. I can’t answer the phone right now, but you can leave a message after the beep.

A way to respond to this might be:

Hoi Bruno, met Anna. Ik wil je even spreken. Kun je me terugbellen? Mijn nummer is 06-936 5657.Hi Bruno, this is Anna. I would like to talk to you. Could you call me back? My number is 06-936 5657.
    → Do you need to state your phone number in Dutch? Then have a look at our Numbers vocabulary list to get the right word and pronunciation of each number. Good luck!

8. Ending

A Guy Giving the Peace Sign with Both Hands

How do you say goodbye in Dutch on the phone?

Ending the call is probably the easiest part of a telephone conversation in Dutch, as you can use one of the goodbye phrases you already know. It’s just a quick formality that only gets a bit more complicated in professional contexts.

Dag. [Formal]Goodbye.
Doei! [Casual]Bye!
Tot ziens. [Formal]Goodbye.
Tot later. [Casual]See you later.
Fijne dag.Have a good day.
Bedankt voor het bellen.Thank you for calling.
Je bent erg behulpzaam geweest. Dank je.You’ve been very helpful. Thank you.

9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Better Dutch

In this guide, you’ve learned a variety of practical Dutch phone call phrases for both casual and professional contexts. You’re now better prepared to handle every component of a phone conversation, from the initial introductions to saying goodbye. 

Did we forget any important phrases you’d like to learn? 

DutchPod101 has much more to offer, such as our numerous vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other free resources. You’ll also enjoy a wealth of audio and video lessons hosted by native Dutch speakers; each lesson teaches practical language information and introduces you to Dutch culture. We make it fun and easy to boost your Dutch, whether you’re an absolute beginner or an advanced learner looking to take your skills up a notch.

Want more? DutchPod101 also has a special service for our Premium PLUS members: MyTeacher. Let your own private teacher help you practice Dutch grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation through personalized exercises, fun assignments, and useful recorded audio samples. With the help of an expert teacher, you’ll learn these Dutch phone call phrases—and countless other facets of the language—in no time!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch

Boost Your Dutch with These 200+ Dutch Words for Beginners

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As a new Dutch learner, you may be concerned about your lack of vocabulary. But we have good news: Having access to an extensive and complete list of Dutch words for beginners will surely help you master the Dutch language. 

It could be frustrating not being able to understand someone or explain yourself because you don’t know certain Dutch words. But the truth is, you don’t need an immense vocabulary to begin holding conversations. Once you learn the beginner words, you’ll already be able to manage yourself in everyday situations. Take it step by step, learn one beginner Dutch word each day, and you’ll soon have a solid base on which to build your Dutch skills. 

In this article, we’ll provide you with a list of over 200 beginner Dutch words that will allow you to communicate with native speakers. And rest assured we’ll be covering all the bases: pronouns, verbs, numbers, nouns, conjunctions, adjectives, and adverbs. 

Let’s get started!

A Woman Trying to Understand What a Man Is Saying

Start building your Dutch vocabulary with these 200+ Dutch words for beginners.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Pronouns
  2. Verbs
  3. Numbers
  4. Nouns
  5. Conjunctions
  6. Adjectives
  7. Adverbs
  8. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Pronouns

There are several pronoun categories in Dutch that you should become familiar with, though you should first focus on the personal subject pronouns (“I” / “you” / “she” / etc.). Let’s take a look at these crucial beginner Dutch words. 

Personal Subject Pronouns

Personal subject pronouns replace the subject of a sentence.

  • Kai spreekt Nederlands. (“Kai speaks Dutch.”)
  • Hij spreekt Nederlands. (“He speaks Dutch.”)

PersonDutch pronounEnglish
1st person sg.IkI
2nd person sg.Jij / UYou (casual / formal)
3rd person sg.Hij / ZijHe / She
1st person pl.WijWe
2nd person pl.Jullie / UYou (casual / formal)
3rd person pl.ZijThey

Impersonal Pronouns

When you’re not referring to a person, you can use an impersonal pronoun. Luckily, the Dutch language has only one of them:

Het (“It”)

  • Het doet pijn. (“It hurts.”)
  • Het is niet waar. (“It is not true.”)
  • Het is belangrijk. (“It is important.”)

However, there is one important difference between Dutch and English impersonal pronouns: In Dutch, you can use het for plural nouns, while you can’t do the same with “it” in English.

  • Het zijn goede buren. (“They are good neighbors.”)

Demonstrative Pronouns

The Dutch demonstrative pronouns are: 

  • Dit (“This”)
  • Deze (“This” / “These”)
  • Dat (“That”)
  • Die (“That” / “Those”)

To understand how to use the demonstrative pronouns, it’s important to remember that there are two types: dependent and independent: 

  • Die film is leuk. (“That movie is nice.”) – dependent
  • Dat is leuk. (“That’s nice.”) – independent

As you might have noticed, the dependent demonstrative pronoun precedes a specific person or thing: that movie, not the other one. However, the independent demonstrative pronoun can also stand alone, meaning it does not have to precede a noun.

Interrogative Pronouns

  • Wie? (“Who?”)
    Wie is daar? (“Who’s there?”)
  • Waar? (“Where?”)
    Waar ben je? (“Where are you?”)

  • Wanneer? (“When?”)
    Wanneer ben je geboren? (“When were you born?”)
  • Wat? (“What?”)
    Wat doen we vanavond? (“What are we doing tonight?”)
  • Waarom? (“Why?”)
    Waarom lach je? (“Why are you laughing?”)

Indefinite Pronouns

  • Alles (“Everything”)
  • Niets (“Nothing”)
  • Iets (“Something”)
  • Iedereen (“Everybody”)
  • Niemand (“Nobody”)
  • Iemand (“Somebody”)

2. Verbs

Common English Verbs in Colorful Bubbles

Do you know the Dutch translation of these common but crucial verbs?

Below, you’ll find a list of the 50 most useful Dutch verbs for beginners. Keep in mind that we have an entire article dedicated to verbs in Dutch, in case you want to dive deeper. 

ZijnTo be
HebbenTo have
GaanTo go
WillenTo want
KunnenTo be able to / Can
MoetenTo have to / Must
DoenTo do
ZeggenTo say
PratenTo talk / To speak
NemenTo take
GevenTo give
WetenTo know
HorenTo hear
ZienTo see
VragenTo ask / To request
AntwoordenTo answer / To reply
ZoekenTo look for / To search
VindenTo find / To discover
MakenTo make
KomenTo come
GelovenTo believe
DenkenTo think
BeginnenTo begin / To start
BegrijpenTo understand
BlijvenTo stay / To remain
WachtenTo wait
WeggaanTo leave
VolgenTo follow
TellenTo count
LezenTo read
SchrijvenTo write
StuderenTo study
BeslissenTo decide
HoudenTo hold
DragenTo carry / To wear
TekenenTo draw
VoelenTo feel
VertellenTo tell
SlapenTo sleep
StaanTo stand
HerinnerenTo remember
VasthoudenTo hold / To hold onto
Houden vanTo love
KennenTo know
Kijken naarTo watch
LachenTo laugh
OpenenTo open
LerenTo learn
HelpenTo help
UitleggenTo explain


3. Numbers

As a Dutch beginner, you probably won’t find yourself needing to manage a lot of numbers. In most situations, you’ll be able to get by with the numbers 1-10 (plus zero).

A Child Solving the Problem 1+1=2

Let’s learn how to count in Dutch.

  • 0       Nul
  • 1       Eén
  • 2       Twee
  • 3       Drie
  • 4       Vier
  • 5       Vijf
  • 6       Zes
  • 7       Zeven
  • 8       Acht
  • 9       Negen
  • 10      Tien

Would you like to learn some additional Dutch numbers and their pronunciation? Then have a look at this Dutch numbers vocabulary list.

4. Nouns

Nouns represent people, places, or things. Dutch nouns are used with an article, which may be either het or de. Masculine and feminine words generally get de, while all neuter words get het. Let’s have a look:

MasculineFeminineNeuter
Definite singularDe man 
The man”
De vrouw 
The woman”
Het huis 
The house”
Definite pluralDe mannen 
The men”
De vrouwen 
The women”
De huizen 
The houses”
Indefinite singularEen man 
A man”
Een vrouw 
A woman”
Een huis 
A house”

There’s not always a good explanation for why a Dutch word is assigned a specific gender—not to mention that Dutch words have no clear gender indication. It’s something you have to learn by heart or develop an intuition for. To help you start doing this, we’ll list each of the nouns below alongside their article. 

Time

Het uurThe hour
De minuutThe minute
De dagThe day
De maandThe month
Het jaarThe year
MaandagMonday
DinsdagTuesday
WoensdagWednesday
DonderdagThursday
VrijdagFriday
ZaterdagSaturday
ZondagSunday
De ochtendThe morning
De (na)middagThe afternoon
De avondThe evening
De nachtThe night

Places

De wereldThe world
Het landThe country
De plekThe place
De zeeThe sea
Het bosThe forest
De bergThe mountain
De winkelThe shop

Technology & Internet

De telefoonThe phone
Het schermThe screen
De computerThe computer
Het internetThe internet

Home

Het huisThe house
De deurThe door
Het raamThe window
De keukenThe kitchen
De slaapkamerThe bedroom
Het toiletThe toilet / The restroom

City & Transportation

A Map of the Netherlands Showing Amsterdam and Limburg

These nouns can definitely be helpful when you’re traveling through the Netherlands.

De autoThe car
De busThe bus
De treinThe train
Het vliegtuigThe plane
De taxiThe taxi / The cab
De fietsThe bicycle
De stadThe city
De straatThe street
De wegThe road

People

De moederThe mother
De vaderThe father
MamaMom
PapaDad
De vrouwThe woman / The wife
De manThe man / The husband
De echtgenootThe spouse (m.) / The husband 
De echtgenoteThe spouse (f.) / The wife
De broerThe brother
De zusThe sister
De familieThe family
De vriendThe friend / The boyfriend
De vriendinThe friend / The girlfriend
De zoonThe son
De dochterThe daughter

Body

Het hoofdThe head
Het oog / De ogenThe eye / The eyes
De mondThe mouth
De neusThe nose
Het oorThe ear
Het haarThe hair
De armThe arm
De handThe hand

Food

De tafelThe table
Het bordThe plate
Het glasThe glass
Het waterThe water
Het fruitThe fruit
De groenteThe vegetable
De koffieThe coffee
Het broodThe bread

Work & Studies

De studentThe student
De schoolThe school
De dokterThe doctor
De verkoperThe salesman
De docentThe teacher

5. Conjunctions

There’s a lot to say and explain about Dutch conjunctions, but you won’t need to use many of them when you first start learning Dutch. With just a few basic Dutch conjunctions, you’ll be able to manage yourself in a lot of different situations:

  • En (“And”)
    Een kat en een hond (“A cat and a dog”)

  • Of (“Or”)
    Wijn of water (“Wine or water”)

  • Als (“If”)
    Als je wilt komen (“If you want to come”)
  • Omdat (“Because”)
    Ik eet omdat ik honger heb. (“I eat because I’m hungry.”)
  • Maar (“But”)
    Een beetje, maar niet te veel (“A bit, but not too much”)

  • Door (“By” / “Through”)
    Ik ben geholpen door een expert. (“I’m helped by an expert.”)
    Ik ben door Breda en Roosendaal gereden. (“I traveled through Breda and Roosendaal.”)

6. Adjectives

Adjectives give additional information about a noun. They can describe objects, people, emotions, and even the weather. Once you learn the most common adjectives, you’ll be able to express yourself (feelings, opinions, states of mind) as well as the world around you. Their flexibility and utility make them a key set of basic Dutch words for beginners, so we’ve included the most useful ones below.

A Little Girl Making Faces and Gestures to Express Different Emotions

Do you already know how to express your emotions in Dutch?

GoedGood / Right / Correct
SlechtBad / Wrong / Incorrect
MakkelijkEasy
MoeilijkDifficult / Hard
NieuwNew
DuurExpensive
GrootLarge / Big / Tall / Great / Major
DikBig / Fat
KleinSmall / Little
LangLong / Tall
KortShort
SnelFast / Quick
LangzaamSlow
WarmWarm
KoudCold
EersteFirst
LaatsteLast / Final / Latest
AndersDifferent
AlleenOnly / Alone / Lonely
BeterBetter
SlechtstWorst
MooiHandsome / Beautiful / Nice / Good
LelijkUgly
SterkStrong
AardigNice / Kind
GekCrazy
BlijGlad / Happy
ZiekSick / Ill
BelangrijkImportant
ZwartBlack
WitWhite
BlauwBlue
RoodRed
ZoetSweet
ZoutSalty
LekkerDelicious / Tasty

Would you like to learn more about adjectives in Dutch? Then have a look at this video lesson that will show you how to use Dutch adjectives in just three minutes.

7. Adverbs

Adverbs give more information about the words they’re connected to (a verb, an adjective, or another adverb). They can change the meaning of the word or make the meaning more precise. Adverbs can also change the tone of the sentence completely or set another mood. 

Start incorporating these useful Dutch beginner words into your conversations, and you’ll be able to express yourself much better. 

    → If you need a reminder on what adverbs are, how they’re formed, and where to place them in a sentence, have a look at our extensive article on Dutch adverbs.

When

StraksLater
NuNow
SnelSoon
GisterenYesterday
VandaagToday
MorgenTomorrow
VanavondTonight
Volgende weekNext week

How Often

NooitNever
Te veelToo much
VaakOften
AltijdAlways
MisschienMaybe
OokAs well / Too / Also

Where

HierHere
DaarThere
OveralEverywhere
NergensNowhere
ErgensSomewhere

Four Friends Chatting with Coffee Drinks

So what will you say when someone asks “How are you?” in Dutch?

GoedWell
SlechtBadly / Poorly
SnelQuickly

How Much

EchtTruly / Really
Heel / Erg / ZeerVery
RedelijkQuite
VeelMany / Much / A lot
GenoegEnough
BeetjeLittle / Few
WatSome / Somewhat
MeerMore
MinderLess

8. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you’ve seen over 200 of the most useful Dutch words for beginners, from pronouns to adverbs. You might have already known several of them, but now you have them all conveniently gathered in one place.

Can you think of any more Dutch beginner words you might need to know as you start learning the language? Drop us a comment and we’ll be glad to get back to you! 

And we have plenty more free vocabulary lists with audio recordings where those came from! 

Boost your studies and start practicing these 200+ basic Dutch words for beginners with all of the free resources from DutchPod101. With us, you can keep your Dutch learning fun and diverse. 

    → If you’re still getting your foot in the door, make sure to check out our series of Dutch beginner lessons as well. 

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer the Premium PLUS service, MyTeacher, which gives you access to personal 1-on-1 coaching. Let your private teacher help you with Dutch adjectives and adverbs, nouns and verbs, pronunciation, and much more. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch

The 10 Most Common Dutch Filler Words

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Do you have a Dutch girlfriend or boyfriend, or has an attractive Dutchie caught your eye? Then learning how to express your feelings in the Dutch language is the first step you should take toward creating a new relationship or strengthening the bond between you and your lover.

Of course, there are the basics. For example…

How do you say “I love you,” in Dutch? That’s Ik hou van jou. And how about “my love”? That could be mijn lieverd or mijn liefje

The Dutch may not be the most expressive people when it comes to love, but they do have their own ways of confessing their feelings and revealing their love to someone. With the right words, you’ll come a long way in your relationship—but try not to be too dramatic or clingy. The Dutch are very down-to-earth, and they view excessive romanticism as a mark of desperation. 

Learn to talk about love in Dutch with this useful guide from DutchPod101.com. We’ve provided a variety of Dutch love phrases for every phase of your romantic relationship, from confessing your affection and falling in love all the way to getting married and starting a family. And if that’s still not enough, we’ll even introduce you to some Dutch endearment terms and must-know Dutch love quotes. 

Let’s get to it!

Two Hands Making a Heart Shape Toward the Sun

Impress your Dutch love with these Dutch romantic phrases.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. First Contact: Dutch Pick-up Lines and More
  2. Take it to the Next Level: How Do You Say “I Love You,” in Dutch?
  3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More
  4. Dutch Endearment Terms: “My Love” in Dutch and More
  5. Must-know Dutch Love Quotes
  6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. First Contact: Dutch Pick-up Lines and More

You’re in a bar and you spot some nice Dutchie you’d like to get to know…but how do you make first contact? While the Dutch value a direct approach in all things, it’s still important to know how to start the conversation. Have a look at these Dutch pick-up lines and other useful Dutch love phrases for when you’ve just met someone.

Kom je hier vaker?
Ik ken je ergens van.
“Do you come here often?”
“I think I’ve seen you before.”

Hoe heet je?“What’s your name?”


Wil je dansen?
Wil je met me dansen?
“Do you want to dance?”
“Do you want to dance with me?”

Wil je wat drinken?
Ik betaal dit rondje.
“Can I buy you a drink?”
“Let me get this round.”
In the Netherlands, it’s not customary that the man pays for everything. Rather, it’s quite common for couples to “go Dutch” and split the bill. However, when you meet someone new, offering a drink can be a good way to show your interest. While it’s less common for a girl to buy a guy a drink, this is definitely an option as well.

Heb je een vriend?
Heb je een vriendin?
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
The Dutch are direct, so they’re used to non-subtle ways of asking if someone is single. You could also ask: Ben je single? (“Are you single?”)

Het was leuk met jou.I
k zou het leuk vinden om je nog een keer te zien.
“I had a great time with you.”
“I’d like to see you again.”

Zullen we nog eens afspreken? 
Zullen we binnenkort wat drinken?
“Shall we meet another time?”
“Shall we have a drink soon?”
In the Netherlands, a common first date is to have drinks together at a bar at night. Going for dinner is far less common, as it can be viewed as awkward if you don’t know the other person very well.

A Man and a Woman Having Dinner Outside at a Nice Restaurant and Clinking Wine Glasses

Are you ready to invite someone on a date in Dutch?

Mag ik je telefoonnummer?
Mag ik je mijn telefoonnummer geven?
“Can I get your phone number?”
“Can I give you my number?”
It’s more common to ask for someone’s phone number than to ask if you may give your number to someone, and both men and women can do so. That said, giving your phone number to someone might be seen as more courteous. If your potential date is interested, they will either return the favor right away or call you later.


2. Take it to the Next Level: How Do You Say “I Love You,” in Dutch?

You went on that first date and many more. You’re in love and ready to take it to the next level. So, what’s “I love you,” in Dutch? And what else can you say to really win their affections? Here are several romantic Dutch phrases you can use to express your feelings.  

Ik vind je leuk.“I like you.”
As mentioned before, the Dutch are not very expressive about their love. Saying this phrase to someone you’ve only just met may be seen as too fast or forward. It’s more common to express this after you’ve seen the other person several times.

Ik mis je.“I miss you.”

Ik heb zin om je weer te zien.“I look forward to seeing you again.”

Ik denk aan jou.“I’m thinking about you.”

Ik ben gek op jou.“I’m crazy about you.”

Je bent zo mooi.“You’re so beautiful.”

Ik ben verliefd op jou.“I am in love with you.”

Wil je verkering met mij?
Wil je een relatie met mij?
Zullen we het officieel maken?
“Do you want to be in a relationship with me?”
“Do you want to be in a relationship with me?”
“Shall we make it official?”
Verkering is another word used to refer to a romantic relationship. Although it’s a common word, it might be perceived as a bit childish. If you’d prefer to stay on the safe side, use the word relatie (“relationship”). It has the same meaning, but it’s a more neutral word.

If you’ve been dating your Dutchie for a while but the relationship has not become “official” yet, then you might want to use the last option.

Ik houd van jou.
Ik houd zielsveel van jou.
“I love you.”
“I love you with heart and soul.”
Fun fact: Dutch people often use the phrase Ik hou van jou, with the d dropped from houd. Although the spelling is officially wrong, it’s a very common way to write the phrase. Where does this habit come from? The d might have been dropped simply because it’s not pronounced when the word is spoken.

A Woman Smiling as She Reads a Christmas Card

Ready to write some love letters in Dutch?


3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More

You’ve expressed your feelings successfully, it’s been reciprocated, and you’re officially in a happy relationship. Are you ready to take it one step further? Here are all the Dutch love phrases you need to steer your relationship toward the future you want. We’ve gathered key phrases for expressing true love in Dutch, meeting the parents, moving in together, getting married, and even having a baby. 

Wij zijn voor elkaar bestemd.
Jij bent de liefde van mijn leven.
Ik kan niet zonder jou.
“We are made for each other.”
“You are the love of my life.”
“I can’t live without you.”
These romantic Dutch phrases are not used very often, so make sure you only say them in the right setting and that they come from the heart. The Dutch don’t take words like these lightly.

Ik wil graag dat je mijn ouders ontmoet.“I would like for you to meet my parents.”
As the Dutch move out of their parents’ place at a relatively young age and often move to another city when going to study, meeting the parents is a big deal in Dutch culture.

Wil je met mij samenwonen?“Would you like to move in together?”

Wil je met me trouwen?“Do you want to marry me?”

A Man on One Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge

Pop the question in Dutch.

Ik wil graag een kindje met jou.“I would like to have a baby with you.”

4. Dutch Endearment Terms: “My Love” in Dutch and More

What’s next, then? You’ll need some Dutch endearment terms to express your love each and every day. In the Netherlands, it’s very common to use endearment terms when talking to the people you love, whether it be your partner or your friends and family.

Lieverd
Schatje
Liefje
Dropje
Lekker ding
Knapperd
“Dear”
“Cutie”
“Little dear”
“Sweetie”
“Delicious thing”
“Beautiful”
These are just some popular options, but there are many more! The same endearment terms also come in a lot of different forms and shapes, such as: lieffie, droppie, schatteke, knappie. It’s all a matter of preference, and many Dutch couples also use personal pet names.

A Man and Woman Embracing Each Other with an Arm Across Each Other’s Backs

What Dutch endearment term would you use?

5. Must-know Dutch Love Quotes

As you might have expected from the not-so-romantic Dutch, there is no overload of romantic love quotes in the Dutch language. And the quotes that do exist tend to have a down-to-earth undertone. That said, here are the most popular quotes about love in Dutch:

DutchDe liefde kan niet van één kant komen.
Literally“Love cannot come from one side.”
EquivalentIt takes two to tango.
This is one of the down-to-earth Dutch love quotes that’s quite popular in the Netherlands. It shows the Dutch attitude about love, which is that love should come from both sides: If you want to make it work, both parties will have to contribute.

DutchDe liefde van een man gaat door de maag.
Literally“A man’s love goes through the stomach.” 
This humorous Dutch love quote may also say something about their not-so-romantic nature. This is a very popular Dutch quote, and it even has its own song.

It can also be used for women, children, or even for animals. People may even say it about their own cat: De liefde van een kat gaat door de maag. (“The love of a cat goes through the stomach.”) 

DutchOngelukkig in het spel, gelukkig in de liefde. 
Literally“Unlucky in the game, happy in love.” 
EquivalentLucky at cards, unlucky in love.
This love quote in Dutch is nearly identical to its English counterpart. Those who always lose in gambling often have a happy love life, and vice-versa.  

What do you think about that? Is it true for you?

DutchOude liefde roest niet.
Literally“Old love does not rust.” 
This beautiful Dutch quote, with an identical English counterpart, also has its own song from the famous Dutch 80s band VOF De Kunst.

They sing: Oude liefde roest niet, maar verdwijnt net zoals jij. (“Old love does not rust, but disappears just like you.”) 

    → Find more love inspiration in our free vocabulary list of quotes on Love. Or go for those bittersweet Break-Up quotes.

6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

Two Red Heart-Shaped Balloons Floating against a Blue, Slightly Cloudy Sky

You’re ready to find some Dutch love!

In this article, you learned how to say “I love you,” in Dutch and many more useful Dutch love phrases. You’re now prepared to get your flirt on, express your love, and even take it a step further with a solid marriage proposal. You also know what endearment terms to use for your Dutch lieverd (“dear”) and have some old Dutch love quotes to fall back on when you want to spice things up. 

Did we forget any important Dutch love phrases you know? What’s your favorite romantic Dutch phrase or endearment term?

There’s still a lot more to learn, and nothing will make your Dutch lover swoon more than mastering their native tongue. Make sure to explore DutchPod101.com and take advantage of our numerous vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other useful free resources to boost your Dutch studies.

Would you like some 1-on-1 coaching? Then consider upgrading to a Premium PLUS subscription, which will give you access to our MyTeacher service. Here, you can learn more about Dutch love and life with your own private teacher and really master the Dutch language. Through personalized feedback and pronunciation advice, you’ll catch on in no time.  

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch

Dutch Love Phrases: How to Say “I Love You,” in Dutch

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Do you have a Dutch girlfriend or boyfriend, or has an attractive Dutchie caught your eye? Then learning how to express your feelings in the Dutch language is the first step you should take toward creating a new relationship or strengthening the bond between you and your lover.

Of course, there are the basics. For example…

How do you say “I love you,” in Dutch? That’s Ik hou van jou. And how about “my love”? That could be mijn lieverd or mijn liefje

The Dutch may not be the most expressive people when it comes to love, but they do have their own ways of confessing their feelings and revealing their love to someone. With the right words, you’ll come a long way in your relationship—but try not to be too dramatic or clingy. The Dutch are very down-to-earth, and they view excessive romanticism as a mark of desperation. 

Learn to talk about love in Dutch with this useful guide from DutchPod101.com. We’ve provided a variety of Dutch love phrases for every phase of your romantic relationship, from confessing your affection and falling in love all the way to getting married and starting a family. And if that’s still not enough, we’ll even introduce you to some Dutch endearment terms and must-know Dutch love quotes. 

Let’s get to it!

Two Hands Making a Heart Shape Toward the Sun

Impress your Dutch love with these Dutch romantic phrases.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. First Contact: Dutch Pick-up Lines and More
  2. Take it to the Next Level: How Do You Say “I Love You,” in Dutch?
  3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More
  4. Dutch Endearment Terms: “My Love” in Dutch and More
  5. Must-know Dutch Love Quotes
  6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. First Contact: Dutch Pick-up Lines and More

You’re in a bar and you spot some nice Dutchie you’d like to get to know…but how do you make first contact? While the Dutch value a direct approach in all things, it’s still important to know how to start the conversation. Have a look at these Dutch pick-up lines and other useful Dutch love phrases for when you’ve just met someone.

Kom je hier vaker?
Ik ken je ergens van.
“Do you come here often?”
“I think I’ve seen you before.”

Hoe heet je?“What’s your name?”


Wil je dansen?
Wil je met me dansen?
“Do you want to dance?”
“Do you want to dance with me?”

Wil je wat drinken?
Ik betaal dit rondje.
“Can I buy you a drink?”
“Let me get this round.”
In the Netherlands, it’s not customary that the man pays for everything. Rather, it’s quite common for couples to “go Dutch” and split the bill. However, when you meet someone new, offering a drink can be a good way to show your interest. While it’s less common for a girl to buy a guy a drink, this is definitely an option as well.

Heb je een vriend?
Heb je een vriendin?
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
The Dutch are direct, so they’re used to non-subtle ways of asking if someone is single. You could also ask: Ben je single? (“Are you single?”)

Het was leuk met jou.I
k zou het leuk vinden om je nog een keer te zien.
“I had a great time with you.”
“I’d like to see you again.”

Zullen we nog eens afspreken? 
Zullen we binnenkort wat drinken?
“Shall we meet another time?”
“Shall we have a drink soon?”
In the Netherlands, a common first date is to have drinks together at a bar at night. Going for dinner is far less common, as it can be viewed as awkward if you don’t know the other person very well.

A Man and a Woman Having Dinner Outside at a Nice Restaurant and Clinking Wine Glasses

Are you ready to invite someone on a date in Dutch?

Mag ik je telefoonnummer?
Mag ik je mijn telefoonnummer geven?
“Can I get your phone number?”
“Can I give you my number?”
It’s more common to ask for someone’s phone number than to ask if you may give your number to someone, and both men and women can do so. That said, giving your phone number to someone might be seen as more courteous. If your potential date is interested, they will either return the favor right away or call you later.


2. Take it to the Next Level: How Do You Say “I Love You,” in Dutch?

You went on that first date and many more. You’re in love and ready to take it to the next level. So, what’s “I love you,” in Dutch? And what else can you say to really win their affections? Here are several romantic Dutch phrases you can use to express your feelings.  

Ik vind je leuk.“I like you.”
As mentioned before, the Dutch are not very expressive about their love. Saying this phrase to someone you’ve only just met may be seen as too fast or forward. It’s more common to express this after you’ve seen the other person several times.

Ik mis je.“I miss you.”

Ik heb zin om je weer te zien.“I look forward to seeing you again.”

Ik denk aan jou.“I’m thinking about you.”

Ik ben gek op jou.“I’m crazy about you.”

Je bent zo mooi.“You’re so beautiful.”

Ik ben verliefd op jou.“I am in love with you.”

Wil je verkering met mij?
Wil je een relatie met mij?
Zullen we het officieel maken?
“Do you want to be in a relationship with me?”
“Do you want to be in a relationship with me?”
“Shall we make it official?”
Verkering is another word used to refer to a romantic relationship. Although it’s a common word, it might be perceived as a bit childish. If you’d prefer to stay on the safe side, use the word relatie (“relationship”). It has the same meaning, but it’s a more neutral word.

If you’ve been dating your Dutchie for a while but the relationship has not become “official” yet, then you might want to use the last option.

Ik houd van jou.
Ik houd zielsveel van jou.
“I love you.”
“I love you with heart and soul.”
Fun fact: Dutch people often use the phrase Ik hou van jou, with the d dropped from houd. Although the spelling is officially wrong, it’s a very common way to write the phrase. Where does this habit come from? The d might have been dropped simply because it’s not pronounced when the word is spoken.

A Woman Smiling as She Reads a Christmas Card

Ready to write some love letters in Dutch?


3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More

You’ve expressed your feelings successfully, it’s been reciprocated, and you’re officially in a happy relationship. Are you ready to take it one step further? Here are all the Dutch love phrases you need to steer your relationship toward the future you want. We’ve gathered key phrases for expressing true love in Dutch, meeting the parents, moving in together, getting married, and even having a baby. 

Wij zijn voor elkaar bestemd.
Jij bent de liefde van mijn leven.
Ik kan niet zonder jou.
“We are made for each other.”
“You are the love of my life.”
“I can’t live without you.”
These romantic Dutch phrases are not used very often, so make sure you only say them in the right setting and that they come from the heart. The Dutch don’t take words like these lightly.

Ik wil graag dat je mijn ouders ontmoet.“I would like for you to meet my parents.”
As the Dutch move out of their parents’ place at a relatively young age and often move to another city when going to study, meeting the parents is a big deal in Dutch culture.

Wil je met mij samenwonen?“Would you like to move in together?”

Wil je met me trouwen?“Do you want to marry me?”

A Man on One Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge

Pop the question in Dutch.

Ik wil graag een kindje met jou.“I would like to have a baby with you.”

4. Dutch Endearment Terms: “My Love” in Dutch and More

What’s next, then? You’ll need some Dutch endearment terms to express your love each and every day. In the Netherlands, it’s very common to use endearment terms when talking to the people you love, whether it be your partner or your friends and family.

Lieverd
Schatje
Liefje
Dropje
Lekker ding
Knapperd
“Dear”
“Cutie”
“Little dear”
“Sweetie”
“Delicious thing”
“Beautiful”
These are just some popular options, but there are many more! The same endearment terms also come in a lot of different forms and shapes, such as: lieffie, droppie, schatteke, knappie. It’s all a matter of preference, and many Dutch couples also use personal pet names.

A Man and Woman Embracing Each Other with an Arm Across Each Other’s Backs

What Dutch endearment term would you use?

5. Must-know Dutch Love Quotes

As you might have expected from the not-so-romantic Dutch, there is no overload of romantic love quotes in the Dutch language. And the quotes that do exist tend to have a down-to-earth undertone. That said, here are the most popular quotes about love in Dutch:

DutchDe liefde kan niet van één kant komen.
Literally“Love cannot come from one side.”
EquivalentIt takes two to tango.
This is one of the down-to-earth Dutch love quotes that’s quite popular in the Netherlands. It shows the Dutch attitude about love, which is that love should come from both sides: If you want to make it work, both parties will have to contribute.

DutchDe liefde van een man gaat door de maag.
Literally“A man’s love goes through the stomach.” 
This humorous Dutch love quote may also say something about their not-so-romantic nature. This is a very popular Dutch quote, and it even has its own song.

It can also be used for women, children, or even for animals. People may even say it about their own cat: De liefde van een kat gaat door de maag. (“The love of a cat goes through the stomach.”) 

DutchOngelukkig in het spel, gelukkig in de liefde. 
Literally“Unlucky in the game, happy in love.” 
EquivalentLucky at cards, unlucky in love.
This love quote in Dutch is nearly identical to its English counterpart. Those who always lose in gambling often have a happy love life, and vice-versa.  

What do you think about that? Is it true for you?

DutchOude liefde roest niet.
Literally“Old love does not rust.” 
This beautiful Dutch quote, with an identical English counterpart, also has its own song from the famous Dutch 80s band VOF De Kunst.

They sing: Oude liefde roest niet, maar verdwijnt net zoals jij. (“Old love does not rust, but disappears just like you.”) 

    → Find more love inspiration in our free vocabulary list of quotes on Love. Or go for those bittersweet Break-Up quotes.

6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

Two Red Heart-Shaped Balloons Floating against a Blue, Slightly Cloudy Sky

You’re ready to find some Dutch love!

In this article, you learned how to say “I love you,” in Dutch and many more useful Dutch love phrases. You’re now prepared to get your flirt on, express your love, and even take it a step further with a solid marriage proposal. You also know what endearment terms to use for your Dutch lieverd (“dear”) and have some old Dutch love quotes to fall back on when you want to spice things up. 

Did we forget any important Dutch love phrases you know? What’s your favorite romantic Dutch phrase or endearment term?

There’s still a lot more to learn, and nothing will make your Dutch lover swoon more than mastering their native tongue. Make sure to explore DutchPod101.com and take advantage of our numerous vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other useful free resources to boost your Dutch studies.

Would you like some 1-on-1 coaching? Then consider upgrading to a Premium PLUS subscription, which will give you access to our MyTeacher service. Here, you can learn more about Dutch love and life with your own private teacher and really master the Dutch language. Through personalized feedback and pronunciation advice, you’ll catch on in no time.  

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch

Dutch Negation Rules: How to Say No in Dutch

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The word nee (“no”) is crucial in any language. It allows you to express your desires, clarify things, and even talk about your experiences. Saying no may sometimes be viewed as rude, insensitive, or socially disruptive, but it’s simply a necessary part of life and of society. 

Luckily, the Dutch are quite direct and are not afraid of using some true Dutch negations. While we may sometimes sugarcoat things, honesty and the Dutch directness triumph over being vague or fake.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about negation in the Dutch language: 

  • The basic Dutch negation rules
  • Common negative words with lots of examples 
  • Negative questions and their matching negative answers

Ready? Let’s go!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. The Basics of Dutch Negation – Using Niet (“Not”)
  2. Some Important Negation Rules
  3. More Negative Words
  4. Negative Questions
  5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. The Basics of Dutch Negation – Using Niet (“Not”)

A Woman Holding Out Both Hands in Front of Her to Indicate No or Stop

How to say no in Dutch…

A. When to use niet

The most basic way to make a Dutch sentence negative is to simply add the word niet (“not”). For example:

  • Ik ben niet moe. (“I am not tired.”)
  • Hij woont niet hier. (“He doesn’t live here.”)
  • Wij werken niet. (“We don’t work.”)
  • Ik werk in Amsterdam, niet in Rotterdam. (“I work in Amsterdam, not in Rotterdam.”)

Because this word is so crucial to negation in Dutch grammar, it’s important that you know exactly when to use it. The Dutch use the word niet in the following cases:

  • To negate any element that is not a noun, such as verbs, adjectives, or thoughts.  
    • Verbs: Ik fiets niet. (“I don’t cycle.”)
    • Adjectives: Zij is niet oud. (“She is not old.”)
    • Thoughts: Ik denk niet dat ik mooi ben. (“I don’t think I am beautiful.”)
  • To negate nouns that are preceded by a definite article or a possessive pronoun.
    • Definite article: Zij is niet de burgemeester van Amsterdam. (“She is not the mayor of Amsterdam.”)
    • Possessive pronoun: Dat is niet mijn auto. (“That’s not my car.”) 

So you now know when to use niet, but where does it go in a sentence? 

B. How to use niet 

A Woman in a Yellow Long-sleeved Shirt Thinking

Do you know where to place the word niet?

The position of niet in a sentence depends on what you’re negating. 

In case of an adverb or adjective, niet is put right in front of it:

  • Adverb: Zijn auto is niet snel. (“His car isn’t fast.”) 
  • Adjective: Mijn kat is niet dik. (“My cat isn’t fat.”) 

In most other cases, the word niet comes after the middle part of the sentence, where you usually find the time, manner, and place:

  • Time: Zij was vorige week niet op werk. (“She was not at work last week.”)
  • Manner: Ik kon door het drukke verkeer niet op tijd op het werk komen. (“I could not get to work on time because of the busy traffic.”)

However, regarding the “place” of the sentence, the situation is a bit different. The word niet usually comes before it when the place indicates a direction:

  • Place [direction]: Wij gaan niet naar Breda. (“We are not going to Breda.”)

However, if you want to stress that something isn’t (or will not be done) a certain way, but rather another way, then you have to put niet in front of the time, manner, and place:

  • Ik rijd niet met jou naar huis vandaag, maar met hem. (“I’m not driving home with you today, but with him.”)

These cases also relate to the fact that the word niet always goes before a preposition:

  • Ik kom niet uit Frankrijk. (“I am not from France.”)
  • Zij woont niet in Rotterdam. (“She doesn’t live in Rotterdam.”)

2. Some Important Negation Rules

A Woman Holding Out a Palm to Say No or Stop

Learn how to say no in Dutch with these important Dutch negation rules.

A. Negation with the word geen (“none”)

Another common way to make a negative sentence in Dutch is to use the word geen (“none”). Here are a couple of situations where you would use this Dutch negation word:

  • When negating a noun that would have needed the word een (“a” / “an”) in a positive sentence. 
    • Zij heeft geen baan. (“She doesn’t have a job.”)
  • When negating plural and uncountable nouns that do not have an article in front of them.
    • Ik heb geen boeken bij me. (“I don’t have any books with me.”)

Geen is always connected to a noun. And as you can see, it always comes before the noun.


B. How to use the verbs “to be” and “to have” in negative forms

Two of the most essential verbs in Dutch are zijn (“to be”) and hebben (“to have”). Unfortunately, both of these verbs are irregular. This makes it imperative to learn not only their conjugations, but also how they work in the context of a negative sentence. 

Let’s have a look at them in the present simple tense:

SubjectHebben conjugation Dutch (“to have”)Zijn conjugation Dutch (“to be”)
Ik (“I”)heb (“have”)ben (“am”)
Jij, u (“You” casual, “you” formal)hebt (“have”)bent (“are”)
Hij, zij, het (“He,” “she,” “it”)heeft (“has”)is (“is”)
Wij (“We”)hebben (“have”)zijn (“are”)
Jullie (“You” plural)hebben (“have”)zijn (“are”)
Zij (“They”)hebben (“have”)zijn (“are”)

Let’s start with some examples of sentences using the verb hebben in negative form: 

  • Ik heb geen auto. (“I don’t have a car.”)
  • Wij hebben geen haast. (“We are not in a hurry.”) 
  • Zij heeft geen kwade bedoelingen. (“She has no bad intentions.”)

As you may have noticed, when using the verb hebben, we use the negation word geen. This is logical, as hebben is mostly used when talking about possessions (and therefore nouns).

Now have a look at some Dutch negations with the verb zijn

  • Ik ben niet moe. (“I am not tired.”)
  • Zij is niet jarig. (“It’s not her birthday.”)
  • Wij zijn niet naar Frankrijk op vakantie gegaan. (“We did not go on holiday to France.”)

As you can see, we use niet when negating this verb. This is because zijn is mostly used to describe something about one’s identity, feelings, or situation. Therefore, prepositions, adjectives, and adverbs are often used in these sentences.

C. Negative Dutch expressions

You now know the basic Dutch negation rules. Let’s now go over some essential negative statements that will come in handy when traveling in the Netherlands.

Nederlands (“Dutch”)Engels (“English”)
Ik heb geen tijd.“I don’t have time.”
Ik weet het niet.“I don’t know.”
Ik begrijp het/je niet.“I don’t understand it/you.”
Ik heb geen pen.“I don’t have a pen.”
Ik vind het niet leuk.“I don’t like it.”
Ik heb geen idee.“I have no idea.”
Ik heb geen zin.“I do not feel like it.”
Ik weet niet waar ik ben.“I don’t know where I am.”
Ik ben het niet met je eens.“I don’t agree with you.”
Geen probleem.“No problem.”
Het maakt niet uit.“It doesn’t matter.”


3. More Negative Words

Below is a table of the most useful words and phrases for performing negation in the Dutch language. For your convenience, we’ve provided a couple of examples for each word.

A Guy Flexing with One Strong Arm and One Weak Arm

Feel strong using these Dutch negation words.

Nooit (“Never”)
  • Jij bent nooit op tijd. (“You are never on time.”)
  • Ik heb jou nooit leuk gevonden. (“I have never liked you”)
Niemand (“Nobody”)
  • Niemand weet mijn geheim. (“Nobody knows my secret.”)
  • Hij heeft vandaag niemand gezien. (“He hasn’t seen anyone today.”)
Niets (“Nothing”)
  • Zij heeft niets gepland voor deze zomer. (“She has nothing planned for this summer.”)
  • Ik heb zondag helemaal niets gedaan. (“I have done nothing this Sunday.”)
Nog niet (“Not yet”)
  • Ik ben nog niet klaar. (“I am not ready yet.”)
  • Hij is nog niet afgestudeerd. (“He hasn’t graduated yet.”)

Nog niet is used to make a negative sentence nicer and not so abrupt.

For example, if someone asks: 

Is de bakkerij open?(“Is the bakery open?”)

You could say:

Nee, de bakkerij is niet open. (“No, the bakery isn’t open.”)

But that would be quite abrupt. It’s nicer to say: 

Nee, de bakkerij is nog niet open. (“No, the bakery isn’t open yet.”)
Nergens (“Nowhere”)
  • Ik kan nergens zo lekker eten als in dit restaurant. (“Nowhere can I eat better than in this restaurant.”)
  • Hij gaat nergens naartoe. (“He is going nowhere.”)
Niet meer (“Not anymore”)
  • Hij werkt niet meer bij mij op kantoor. (“He no longer works at my office.”)
  • Ik ben niet meer verliefd op jou. (“I am no longer in love with you.”)
Niet eens (“Not even”)
  • Hij komt niet eens naar mijn feestje! (“He doesn’t even come to my party!”)
  • Ik ben niet eens uit geweest zaterdagavond. (“I didn’t even go out on Saturday night.”)
Niet altijd (“Not always”)
  • Ik ben niet altijd aan het werken. (“I am not always working.”)
  • Onze kat is niet altijd even aardig. (“Our cat is not always that nice.”)
Noch … noch … (“Neither … nor …”)
  • Noch ik noch mijn vader houden van bier drinken. (“Neither I nor my dad like to drink beer.”)
  • Ik eet noch vlees noch vis. (“I don’t eat meat nor fish.”)


4. Negative Questions

Do you know how to make a question negative in Dutch? Below, you’ll find information on how to do this for both open-ended and closed-ended questions! 

A. Negative Open Questions

An open question starts with an interrogative word (who, what, where, how, etc.). These questions require at least a simple sentence as a reply; you can’t just answer with “yes” or “no.”

There’s a special structure used for questions like this. The question word comes first, the conjugated verb second, and the subject third: 

Question word + Verb + Subject + Niet

Let’s have a look at two simple examples:

  • Waarom lach je niet? (“Why don’t you laugh?”)
  • Wie gaat er niet? (“Who’s not going?”)

Got it? Then let’s move on to some more complex negative questions and their possible negative replies. 

Wat
(“What”)
Wat ga jij morgen niet doen? (“What aren’t you going to do tomorrow?”)Ik ga morgen niet bij mijn ouders op bezoek. (“I’m not going to visit my parents tomorrow.”)
Waarom
(“Why”)
Waarom is je vriendin niet bij jou? (“Why is your girlfriend not here?”)Mijn vriendin is niet hier want ze is op vakantie. (“My girlfriend is not here because she is on holiday.”)
Waar
(“Where”)
Waar ben jij nog nooit geweest? (“Where have you never been to?”)Ik ben nog nooit in Marokko geweest. (“I have never been to Morocco.”)
Wie
(“Who”)
Wie wil jij niet meer zien? (“Who don’t you want to see anymore?”)Ik wil mijn ex vriendje Pieter echt nooit meer zien. (“I never want to see my ex boyfriend Pieter again.”)

B. Negative Closed Questions

Another common type of question Dutch people use is the closed question; these are the questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Questions like these have a different word order, with the verb coming first:

Verb + Subject + Niet

For example:

  • Kom je niet? (“Aren’t you coming?”)
  • Werkt hij niet? (“Doesn’t he work?”)

As you can see here, the subject and verb are inverted to create yes-or-no questions. 

Remember that when jij or je (“you”) follows the verb, the -t at the end of the verb is dropped:

  • Ga je morgen niet naar school? (“Are you not going to school tomorrow?”)
    • Instead of: Je gaat morgen niet naar school. (“You are not going to school tomorrow.”)
  • Heb je vandaag niet met je oma gepraat? (“Didn’t you talk to your grandmother today?”)
    • Instead of: Je hebt vandaag niet met je oma gepraat. (“You didn’t talk with your grandmother today.”)

The answer for these questions is simple: Nee. (“No.”)


5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

A Woman Holding Out Her Palm, Which Has NO Written on It

You now know How to say no in Dutch.

In this guide, you’ve learned all about Dutch negations, from the basics of negation in Dutch to more advanced rules. You’ve also picked up a few useful words for negation and have a better idea of how to use them. 

Do you already have a favorite Dutch negation word or negative sentence? Or do you still feel like you need some help with the Dutch negation rules?

If you’re feeling stuck, remember that DutchPod101 also has tons of vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other free resources to help you master this and many other parts of the Dutch language.

Would you like to practice with your own private teacher? Then make use of Premium PLUS MyTeacher service and get personal one-on-one coaching. Through interactive exercises, pronunciation advice, and personalized feedback, you’ll really master those Dutch negative sentences and questions! 

Start saying no in Dutch like a native with DutchPod101!

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Why You Should Learn – Dutch

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Learning a foreign language comes with several added benefits, from new business opportunities to a healthier mind. 

But why learn Dutch, specifically? After all, there are plenty of other languages to choose from—some of which are in higher demand and more widely spoken. 

There are many reasons why you should learn Dutch, and DutchPod101 is here to break it all down for you and show you that Dutch isn’t such a hard language to learn. With a little help and guidance, you’ll be able to tackle this fun challenge and advance toward your goals! 

In this article, we’ll go over the 10 main reasons why you should start learning Dutch. We’ve included reasons related to: leisure (travel, friendship, love, culture); business (quality studies, work opportunities); and personal development (benefits of learning another language).

Let’s dive in.

A Guy Studying in a Library

So why should you learn Dutch?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Reasons Related to the Country and the Language
  2. Reasons Related to the Benefits of Learning a Language
  3. Reasons Related to Personal and Professional Aspects
  4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch

1. Reasons Related to the Country and the Language

Some of the best reasons to learn Dutch have to do with the properties of the language itself, as well as the countries in which it’s spoken. Let’s take a closer look. 

Reason 1: Learning Dutch is relatively easy.

So, why study Dutch? Because it’s quite easy, especially for English speakers. Here’s what we mean: 

  • Dutch is very similar to English and German.

    If you speak English or German, mastering Dutch will not be too difficult for you. Dutch is very similar to these languages, making it one of the easiest languages for native English or German speakers to learn. Speaking one of these languages—even if not natively—will give you a headstart in your Dutch learning!
  • Dutch people will appreciate your efforts.

    The Dutch are used to foreigners speaking in English with them. So when foreigners (try to) speak Dutch, native speakers are pleasantly surprised and are happy to help. They’ll appreciate your effort, try to speak extra-slow, and help you whenever you get stuck.

    You might need to make it clear first that you really prefer to speak Dutch, as they’ll switch to English out of habit if you don’t. But once that’s cleared up, their willingness to help will turn out to be one of the best things about learning the language.
  • Your pronunciation and grammar don’t have to be perfect.

    The Dutch aren’t too snobby or arrogant regarding their language. Mistakes are okay, and even Dutch natives can be quite sloppy with their own language. Grammar rules aren’t always taken into account, and even the pronunciation isn’t always perfect.

    The Netherlands may be a small country, but it has a lot of dialects and accents from region to region. That’s why there’s no such thing as perfect Dutch pronunciation. Take, for example, the hard g sound in the north and the soft g sound in the south. Of course, you should try to learn Dutch the best you can, but it’s simply okay to make mistakes.

If you’d like to learn more about why learning Dutch is easier than you might think, make sure to visit our full article Is Dutch Hard to Learn?

Reason 2: Dutch is spoken in more places than you might think.

Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands and Suriname, and it’s one of the official languages in Belgium, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. It’s spoken in most of the former Dutch colonies and in small emigrant communities all over the world. Dutch is also the parent language of Afrikaans, one of the 150 official languages of South Africa. (Before Afrikaans was officially recognized by linguists, Dutch itself was one of the official languages here.)

So, why learn Dutch? Because there are about 23 million people registered as native Dutch speakers all over the world and another 5 million speak Dutch as a secondary language.

Reason 3: You’ll get to know the rich Dutch culture and history.

When you learn a language, even if you’re just focusing on practical topics such as grammar and vocabulary, you’ll get to know more about the culture and the history of its native speakers.

As your thoughts are shaped by the language you speak, learning the Dutch language will give you some insight regarding how the Dutch think. Learning a language is like opening a window into the Dutch culture, history, and way of life. And if this is too philosophical for you, there’s also a more practical reason why learning Dutch will help you learn the country’s culture and history: It’s the perfect way to be able to connect with the locals. If you can’t have a conversation with the Dutch, how can you get to know their country? 

Yes, of course, many Dutchies speak English, but the culture and history of a country includes its language, sayings, humor, and even songs. So, while learning Dutch, you’ll be able to get to know all these different aspects of the Dutch culture.

Clogs with Tulips in Them, Representative of the Dutch Culture

How well do you know the Dutch history and culture?


Reason 4: Dutch is a funny language.

The Dutch language has a very funny pronunciation with a lot of tricky sounds. It may not be the smoothest or sexiest language in the world, but it has some funny sounds no other languages seem to have. 

Dutch has a lot of vowels, as it uses single vowels, double vowels, and diphthongs. A diphthong is a pair of vowels that, together, make a particular sound that no vowel on its own has. The Dutch alphabet has six vowels (a, e, i o, u, y) and nine diphthongs:

Letter(English) PronunciationExample
aiPronounced as [I] in “I am” in Englishmais (“corn”)
auPronounced like [ow] in the English word “now”auto (“car”)
eiPronounced as the [i] in the English word “find”ei (“egg”)
euThis sound doesn’t exist in English, but you may know it from the French word “beurre.”leuk (“fun”)
iePronounced like [ee] in the English word “bee”mier (“ant”)
ijPronounced exactly the same as the Dutch ei diphthongwijn (“wine”)
oePronounced like [oo] in the English word “pool”moe (“tired”)
ouThis diphthong has exactly the same sound as the Dutch au diphthong. koud (“cold”)
uiThis sound doesn’t exist in English, but it’s a combination of the [a] sound in “man” followed by a long Dutch u.muis (“mouse”)

But that’s not all. The Dutch language even has triple vowels:

Letter(English) PronunciationExample
aaiThis is a combination of the Dutch aa and ie.draaien (“to turn”)
oeiThis is a combination of the Dutch oe and ie.koeien (“cows”)
ooiThis is a combination of the Dutch oo and ie.nooit (“never”)
eeuThis combination will always be followed by the letter w and is a combination of ee and oe.sneeuw (“snow”)


Learning these tongue-twisters may be a challenge, but it will also be fun to master them.

Dutch also has a lot of funny words. They might be the most normal words for the Dutch, but when you translate them directly to English, you’ll notice how crazy these words are: 

  • Boterham literally translates to “butter ham,” but it actually means “sandwich” or “a slice of bread.”
  • Handschoenen literally translates to “hand shoes,” but it actually means “gloves.”
  • Toiletbril literally translates to “toilet glasses,” but it actually means “toilet seat.”

Getting to know these crazy and funny Dutch words will make learning the language even more fun.

A Woman Lying Down and Laughing with Her Hands over Her Eyes

Which of these words made you laugh the most?


2. Reasons Related to the Benefits of Learning a Language

Of course, learning any language can add value to your life. Here are just a few benefits you can expect to gain when you start learning Dutch. 

Reason 5: Learning another language will open up your mind.

Most people don’t give their native language much thought. It all comes naturally, so why think much about it? 

It’s learning another language that will make you start wondering about linguistics. Just like realizing how lovely home is when you’re away from it, you’ll realize how interesting your native language is when you’re learning another one. You’ll discover similarities and differences, and you might even develop a new appreciation for your own language.

So, learning another language will open up your mind to your own language and to the world around it. Especially if you’re a native English speaker (and you’re used to using your native language abroad), learning another language will be an enriching experience culturally, professionally, and personally.

Reason 6: Knowing Dutch will help you learn other European languages.

As we mentioned earlier, the Dutch language is quite similar to the English and German languages. But why is that? 

Dutch is part of the Indo-European family of languages and belongs to the Germanic branch, as do English and German. Dutch has the same Germanic core as the German language, but integrates more Romance loans than the German language does (and fewer than English does). As is the case with German, the vocabulary of Dutch also has strong similarities with the continental Scandinavian languages, but differs quite a lot in text and speech. 

So, knowing the Dutch language will help you learn quite a few other European languages, namely: English, German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish. These languages might be quite different (especially in pronunciation), but the similarities they share with the Dutch vocabulary and/or structure will give you a headstart when learning one of these other languages.

Reason 7: It will give your brain a boost.

Learning Dutch not only opens up your mind to your own language and helps you learn certain European languages, but it can also improve the overall health and functionality of your brain.

Learning a second language has many brain-boosting benefits: a better memory, greater multitasking skills, an improved ability to conceptualize, and faster, more decisive decision-making. Learning a new language can even help prevent dementia.

This boost can also help with learning other languages. If you already speak a foreign language, it will be easier to learn yet another language, as your brain is accustomed to the challenges of learning a foreign language. Therefore, bilinguals often find it easier to learn a third language.

A Sketch Drawing of a Brain with Sticky Notes Inside

Memorizing words gives your brain a boost.

3. Reasons Related to Personal and Professional Aspects

If you’re still wondering why to learn Dutch, have you yet considered the potential gains you could experience in your personal and professional life? Here are three more ways that learning Dutch can enhance your life: 

Reason 8: You’ll be able to enjoy studying in the Netherlands.

Speaking Dutch opens up lots of opportunities for education in the Netherlands. With some great universities as well as hogescholen (literally meaning “high schools,” but these are universities of applied sciences), the Netherlands has many study options to choose from. 

In the Netherlands, there’s WO (wetenschappelijk onderwijs, meaning “scientific education”) taught at universities and HBO (hoger beroepsonderwijs, meaning “higher professional education”) taught at hogescholen

The great thing about the Dutch universities is that they offer high-quality education at relatively low costs,  especially compared to the price of big universities in the U.S. and U.K.

Many of these schools have an international or multicultural environment with a wide range of courses in English. So you don’t have to manage Dutch at a high level to study in the country, though knowing the language will give you a richer study experience.

So why study Dutch? Because of the great study opportunities, of course! These are just two great facts about studying in the Netherlands, but there are many more reasons why you should study in the Netherlands


Reason 9: Learn Dutch to enjoy new business opportunities or career options.

The Netherlands has one of the richest and most stable economies in the European Union. There are many international companies located in the country and the Dutch government is very helpful to small businesses, having special measures to stimulate their development. So, there are many business opportunities and career options to enjoy in this small country.

But these many opportunities are not the only reasons to work in the Netherlands. Other great reasons are the high working standards (with a great work/life balance), a good healthcare system, and an excellent standard of living. 

As you can see, working in the Netherlands offers some great opportunities. Although not all companies or positions require a knowledge of the Dutch language, knowing Dutch will still help you find work here and have a better overall experience. 

Even if you don’t want to move to the Netherlands, knowing another language will be a positive selling point when you’re looking for a job in your own country. Learning Dutch will provide opportunities to work for companies that either have ties with the Netherlands or are in contact with Dutch groups.


Reason 10: Improve your relationships and communication with Dutch loved ones and their family.

Last but not least, a great reason to bother learning Dutch is to impress or win over a special someone in the Netherlands.

If you have a Dutch boyfriend or girlfriend, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to talk with him or her in their native language? It would definitely be a great way to impress them, and you’ll also get to know them better as you’ll start to understand their culture and way of thinking. You can start to declare your love to them with a beautiful ik hou van jou (“I love you”). Or give them a Dutch koosnaampje (“pet name”).

Learning the language would also mean that you could start communicating better with your lover’s family and friends. This way, the next time you go to a Dutch birthday party, you could talk with your Dutch in-laws about koetjes en kalfjes (translates literally to “talk about little cows and calves,” which refers to making small talk). This time, you’ll be the one participating in the conversations of your Dutch family, instead of them having to make the effort to speak English with you.

A Man Carrying His Girlfriend Near a Waterfall

Speak Dutch with your Dutch lover.

Even if you don’t have a Dutch lover, wouldn’t it be great to be able to speak in Dutch with your Dutch friends?


4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch

In this guide, you’ve learned the main reasons why you should learn Dutch. We’ve shown you many of the benefits of learning the Dutch language, from its practical applications in the business world to the sheer fact that it’s pretty funny at times. Learning any language, in fact, can improve the quality of your life: broader opportunities for study, enhanced brain function, and a more open mind are just a few examples.

Are you still thinking: Why should I learn Dutch? Or do you already know your answer? If so, do you feel ready to start learning Dutch or do you need some more guidance?

Make sure to explore DutchPod101.com, as we have plenty of free resources to help you practice your grammar and many useful vocabulary lists with audio recordings to learn new words.

Remember that you can also use our Premium PLUS MyTeacher service for personal one-on-one coaching. This way, you can practice your Dutch speaking skills with your own private teacher through interactive exercises and personalized feedback.

Happy learning!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch

Can You Learn Dutch Fast? Here’s How Long it Will Take.

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How long does it take to learn Dutch? 

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from aspiring Dutch learners, but it has no definite answer. It depends on many things, such as your native language, educational background, experience with languages, exposure, and motivation. It also depends on what “learning Dutch” means to you: Are you hoping to achieve a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level? These are all different goals with different timeframes. But whatever level you wish to achieve, there are some great tools you can use to learn Dutch faster.

In this article, you’ll learn how to realistically estimate how long it will take to learn Dutch, depending on your background and the proficiency level you have in mind. Then, we’ll give you some useful strategies you can employ to really master this language.

A Man in a Plaid Shirt Checking His Watch

How long does it take to learn Dutch?


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. The Many Factors Involved
  2. From Beginner to Advanced
  3. Dutch Learning Strategies to Help You Learn Faster
  4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch Faster

1. The Many Factors Involved


There are a few factors involved in determining how long it takes to learn the Dutch language. Because these things will impact your learning progress, you should take them into consideration as you plan your course of study. 

Your Native Language vs. Dutch

Knowing a language with similar roots as Dutch will make it easier and quicker for you to learn this language. If you’re reading this article, it means your English level is already really strong, and this is great news for your Dutch learning! 

Dutch is very similar to English and German, as these three languages are all part of the Indo-European family of languages and belong to the Germanic branch. This makes it much easier for English- and German-speakers to pick up the language, compared to speakers of other languages. (And lucky for you, Dutch won’t make you put up with difficult grammar like that found in German!)

So if you speak one of these languages, even if it’s not your native language, it will give you a headstart in your Dutch learning process. 

Your Language Learning Experience 

Have you ever learned another language before? If you already speak a foreign language, this knowledge and experience will help you a lot when learning a third language. 

Your brain is accustomed to the challenges of language learning and you already know how to study a language. You’re familiar with the best ways to memorize vocabulary, practice your conversation skills, and understand those tricky tenses. Languages have a certain logic to them, and the more languages you learn, the more you start to understand how their grammar and structure work in general. 

For these reasons, bilinguals often find it easier to learn a third language. If this is the case for you, you’ll probably save yourself quite a lot of time when learning Dutch.

Your Motivation

Why do you want to learn Dutch? 

Do you just want to learn another language? Are you going to work in the Netherlands? Are you planning to study in this country? Or are you dating a nice Dutchie?

Whatever your reason may be, this motivation will impact your level of commitment and the amount of time you’re willing to invest in learning Dutch. Your motivation will also help you continue your studies and convince you not to stop, even when things get difficult. If you have a strong motivation, you’ll have a strong will to work hard and learn fast.

A Female Fitness Instructor with a Megaphone

Have you already found your motivation to learn Dutch?

Your Approach

Your learning method plays a key role in how fast you’ll make progress. For a good learning method, it’s often advisable to combine different learning techniques, such as taking online Dutch lessons, finding a language exchange partner to help you practice your conversation skills, and listening to Dutch music or movies to train your listening skills. And of course, how successful your learning method is also depends on how much time you’re willing to invest in your studies.

Don’t worry about this yet, though. We’ll discuss some useful Dutch learning strategies in a few moments!

2. From Beginner to Advanced

Now, for the main topic at hand: How long does it take to learn Dutch as an English speaker?

According to FSI (Foreign Service Institute), an American government institution in charge of foreign language teaching to American diplomats and officials, it takes English speakers around 24 weeks of intensive classroom study to reach a general professional proficiency in Dutch. 

However, be aware that this is based on the FSI approach. This is a very intensive study routine where students are taught in small classes of around 6 students, spend 6 hours daily with a teacher, and do 2 hours of self-study each day. In other words, it takes around 600 classroom hours for a student to be able to work professionally with the language.

Let’s see what this means for the different Dutch proficiency levels. 

We’ll use the CEFR system (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). This classification shows one’s proficiency level in a foreign language on a six-point scale, from A1 for beginners to C2 for those who have mastered a language. In this article, we’ll focus only on the A1 / B1 / C1 levels (not the second level for each), as these are a good reflection of what it takes to achieve the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. 

    → Speaking of which, if you’re interested in doing a Dutch language exam, we have a complete guide to help you successfully pass these tests.

1 – Beginner Level

A Woman with Thought Bubbles Above Her Head, Two with an Exclamation Mark and One with a Question Mark

Do you want to reach the Dutch beginner level?

Let’s start with the beginner level, A1.

    ★ How long does it take to reach A1? Around 80-100 hours.

At this level, you can:
  • Understand and use everyday expressions as well as simple statements about practical needs.
  • Introduce yourself and others.
  • Ask and answer questions about personal matters.
  • Use the present tense and the right word order in simple affirmative sentences and questions.
  • Have basic conversations if the other person is talking slowly and articulates clearly.

To be able to do this, you need to build a foundation to start understanding how the language works. This means studying things like:

  • Word order
  • Present tense
  • Basic conjugation

Vocabulary is also important, but in this beginning phase, your focus will be on building lots of different sentences using few words. Don’t clutter your brain yet with too much vocabulary. With some basic nouns, verbs, and adjectives, you’ll be able to have basic conversations. 

Try to practice your pronunciation from the beginning, as this will prevent you from making the same mistakes when you’re improving your Dutch in the next stages. Listen to a lot of Dutch music to become familiar with the pronunciation, practice your speaking skills with others, and record yourself so you can listen to your own pronunciation and find things to improve.

At the beginner level, flashcards will come in handy. You can use them to remember words, simple phrases, useful questions, or conjugated verbs—basically anything you want or need. 

    → Also have a look at the DutchPod101 Absolute Beginner lesson pathway. This is the perfect pathway for learning the Dutch basics, containing 25 lessons (about 5.5 hours of material) that cover topics ranging from self-introductions to writing a postcard.

2 – Intermediate Level

B1 is the intermediate level.

    ★ How long does it take to reach B1? Around 350 to 400 hours.

At this level, you can:
  • Understand and communicate in common everyday situations, such as at work or school.
  • Handle most daily interactions when traveling in the Netherlands or through Flanders.
  • Write simple Dutch texts about familiar topics or subjects you’re interested in.
  • Talk about events, experiences, dreams, expectations, and desires. You’re also able to express your opinions, reasons, and plans.

To reach B1, you have to pass through the beginner level (A1) and the lower-intermediate level (A2). So there’s quite some ground to cover! 

As you progress toward this stage, you’ll be learning more about Dutch-language patterns, structures, and vocabulary. This is also the level where you’ll start learning new tenses and new types of words, such as adverbs. You’ll start to understand the pronouns better, which will allow you to make smoother sentences. Using all of this new knowledge, you’ll be able to get into more details when speaking or writing Dutch. 

If you’re not studying Dutch at school or university, this would be a good time to start some lessons with a teacher at a language school. Alternatively, you could try to find some affordable online coaching to make sure you’re on the right track.

    → Have a look at the DutchPod101 Lower Intermediate lessons to break out of the beginner level and pass through to the intermediate level. In only 25 lessons (around 4.5 hours), you’ll notice some improvement.

3 – Advanced Level

So, how long does it take to learn Dutch fluently? C1 is the advanced level.

A Little Kid with Glasses and a Graduation Cap

Ready to achieve the advanced level?

    ★ How long does it take to reach C1? Around 850 to 900 hours.

At this level, you can:
  • Understand long texts and their implicit meaning, humor, and wit.
  • Speak spontaneously and fluently without searching for your words too much.
  • Use the language flexibly and efficiently at home, work, or school.
  • Express your opinion on complex topics in a clear and structured manner.
  • Write clear, well-structured, and detailed texts about complex subjects.

Now you know how long it takes to learn Dutch fluently. You have to pass through the A1, A2, B1, and B2 levels. It’s double the time and effort of the intermediate level, but it’s worth it!

When you reach this stage, you’ll have expanded your vocabulary greatly, you understand the tenses, and you’re able to write and speak Dutch at a high level. You feel confident as you (almost) fully understand the language and you can discuss the most complex topics in Dutch.

To reach such a level of proficiency, you can, of course, use language classes or online teachers. However, try to really immerse yourself in the language as well. Read Dutch books, watch Dutch TV or movies, listen to music in Dutch, and try to find a native speaker you can talk with on a regular basis. 

This all helps, but at the end of the day, the best way to improve your Dutch to an advanced level is to live in the country or to spend a few months there.

    → Have a look at our official curated pathway for Level 5, the best tool to help you become an advanced Dutch learner. These 50 lessons (around 2 hours) will help you go from fully intermediate to an advanced learner.

3. Dutch Learning Strategies to Help You Learn Faster

As we mentioned before, how long it takes to learn Dutch fluently depends on your exposure to the language, how much time and effort you put into it, and the strategies you use.

With the right strategies, you’ll be able to learn Dutch faster and more effectively! 

1 – Make Use of Online Classes

Wondering how to learn Dutch online? We hear you! 

With online classes, you can learn Dutch anywhere and anytime you want. There are online classes for every level and they’re more affordable than private lessons or language schools. They’re also the most flexible option, as you can adapt them to your schedule. 

There are many websites you can choose from. Some are entirely free, while others have a mixture of free resources and paid resources with advanced services. Try to choose a website where you can track your progress and work over time; this way, you can really be aware of your improvement.

A Woman Reading a Book on a Bus

Be efficient and learn where and when you can.

    → Check out DutchPod101 to see what online lessons we offer. Even without a paid subscription, you can access a lot of free content, including vocabulary lists, a YouTube channel, and countless lessons for students at every level.

2 – Make Learning Dutch Fun

Try to make learning Dutch as enjoyable as possible—learning a new language shouldn’t be boring.

Of course there are some boring parts, such as grammar rules or those endless lists of verb conjugations, but try to mix it up with some entertaining learning tools. For example, you might enjoy watching a Dutch TV show with subtitles, or listening to Dutch music and trying to translate or understand the lyrics. Studying this way will make you more inclined to continue your Dutch studies! 


3 – Practice is Key

To really learn a language, you have to practice it a lot. So try speaking, reading, writing, and listening in Dutch as much as you can. It’s okay to make mistakes, and you don’t even need that many words or an extensive knowledge of complicated grammar rules to express yourself.

Try to put everything you learn into practice, as this is truly the only way to improve your Dutch. Really immerse yourself in the language through TV series, books, music, or even podcasts. Start writing Dutch stories and talk to every Dutch person you meet. You can do it!

4 – Use Word Lists to Build Up a Solid Vocabulary

Are you struggling to practice the language because you feel like you don’t have a solid vocabulary yet? Then use vocabulary word lists to expand your personal word bank. You can choose a topic you find interesting and learn words related to that topic. DutchPod101 has vocabulary lists on many topics, such as love, family, animals, work, and more.

You may even want to set yourself some vocabulary learning goals. For example, to memorize one or two vocabulary lists a week, or one new word a day. 

5 – Create a Study Schedule and Set Some Goals

When learning a new language, structure is key. Language learning is a big task, and there’s so much to learn. Therefore, it’s very important that you create a clear study schedule and set some goals. This will give you the motivation to continue and not give up. With every goal you achieve, you know you’re improving and you’ll be motivated to continue with your other goals. A study schedule gives you the consistency needed to achieve them.

How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch Faster

In this guide, you learned that the time it takes to learn Dutch depends on certain factors, such as the level of proficiency you want to reach and the Dutch learning strategies you employ. We also gave you pointers on how to learn Dutch effectively at each stage. 

Did we forget any important language learning tips? Do you already feel motivated to start learning Dutch? 

Make sure to explore DutchPod101.com, as we have plenty of free resources to help you learn Dutch quickly and efficiently. Our vocabulary lists are another great way to improve your knowledge of Dutch words and their pronunciation. 

Remember that you can also use our Premium PLUS service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching with a private teacher who will help you master the Dutch language even faster. He or she will give you interesting exercises, useful recorded audio samples, and personalized feedback so that you can become fluent in Dutch before you know it.

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

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