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Dutch Word Order Guide: Master the Dutch Sentence Structure

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Do you ever struggle with the formulation of Dutch sentences? You have all the tools you need to form a sentence: You know what you want to say, and you know the words to use. However, at the moment of truth, you just can’t find a way to fit them all together.

This can be very frustrating. You’ve made some great progress learning Dutch vocabulary. You’re also starting to understand Dutch verbs and tenses more and more. But in Dutch grammar, word order is essential in putting this knowledge into practice. So, how do you form a Dutch sentence?

Help is near. Master this skill with this Dutch word order guide from DutchPod101.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Subject + Verb
  2. Adding an Object
  3. Adding a Complement
  4. Adding a Verb at the End of a Sentence
  5. Another Conjugation: The Imperative
  6. Making Questions
  7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Subject + Verb

Improve Pronunciation

In this guide, we’ll mostly talk about the most common type of sentence: declaratives. You make a declarative sentence when you make a statement. It’s not used to give orders or to ask questions (however, we will discuss interrogative sentences later on in this guide). 

Let’s start with the most basic sentence in Dutch, consisting of only a subject and a verb:

Subject + Verb

  • Ik praat. (“I talk.”)
  • De jongen verft. (“The boy paints.”)

Contrary to languages like Spanish or Italian, the subject is almost never dropped in Dutch. A Dutch sentence structure is not complete without the subject.

2. Adding an Object

Improve Listening

The (direct) object in Dutch is called lijdend voorwerp, which translates to “leading entity/object.” In Dutch language word order, it normally comes right after the verb.

Subject + Verb + (Direct) Object

  • Ik praat met mijn vader. (“I talk to my father.”)
  • De jongen verft de deur. (“The boy paints the door.”)

The object can be direct or indirect. In the above examples, the object is direct. However, you can also add an indirect object after the direct object.

Subject + Verb + Direct object + Indirect object 

  • Ik praat met mijn vader over ons huis. (“I talk to my father about our home.”)
  • De jongen verft de deur met verf. (“The boy paints the door with paint.”)

A direct object is a noun or pronoun that’s directly affected by the actions of the subject. An indirect object is a person or thing that’s involved in the actions in some way.

3. Adding a Complement

Okay, let’s make it a bit more complicated. Let’s advance and add a complement to the sentence. A complement can be, for example, an adjective or an adverb.

Your Brain Notices That It’s Getting More Difficult

1- Adding Adjectives

Adjectives describe nouns, giving extra information about them. They provide details and make the noun more interesting. So where should you place them in a sentence?

Most Dutch adjectives go BEFORE the noun they describe.

  • Mijn lieve vader (“My sweet father”)
  • De gele deur (“The yellow door”)

So when we add the adjective to the sentence, it looks like this:

Subject + Verb + Adjective + Direct object + Adjective + Indirect object 

  • Ik praat met mijn lieve vader over ons mooie huis. (“I talk to my sweet father about our beautiful home.”)
  • De jongen verft de gele deur met zwarte verf. (“The boy paints the yellow door with black paint.”)

As you can see, the adjectives are placed right before the nouns they describe. 

2- Adding Adverbs

Adverbs modify the meaning of verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, or make their meaning more precise. Thus, they describe verbs, adjectives, or adverbs.

In Dutch word order, adverbs that modify a verb usually come AFTER that verb:

Subject + Verb + Adverb

  • Ik praat veel. (“I talk a lot.”)

If the adverb influences another adverb, the sentence would be: 

Subject + Verb + Adverb + Adverb

  • Ik praat altijd veel. (“I always talk a lot.”)

And if the adverb modifies an adjective, the Dutch sentence structure would be:

Subject + Verb + Adverb + Adjective + Direct object

  • Ik praat met mijn zeer lieve vader. (“I talk to my very sweet father.”)

So, as you can see, if the adverb modifies an adverb or adjective, it usually comes AFTER the verb and BEFORE the adverb or adjective.


There are different kinds of adverbs, from adverbs describing time, frequency, place, manner, or degree, to those that help you connect your thoughts

Do you want to use more than one adverb in a sentence? Then the following Dutch adverb placement is common:

Time-Manner-Place

Let’s have a look at these three specific types of adverbs, and place them in the sentences we’ve been using:

  • Ik praat vandaag rustig in de tuin. (“I talk today quietly in the garden.”)
  • De jongen verft al uren aandachtig thuis. (“The boy has been painting at home carefully for hours.”)

Let’s make it even more complicated:

Subject + Verb + Adverb of time + Adverb of manner + Adverb of place + Adjective + Direct object + Adjective + Indirect object 

  • Ik praat vandaag rustig in de tuin met mijn lieve vader over ons mooie huis. (“I talk today quietly in the garden with my dear father about our beautiful house.”)
  • De jongen verft al uren aandachtig thuis de gele deur met zwarte verf. (“The boy has been carefully painting the yellow door with black paint for hours at home.”)
    → Do you see how the Dutch sentence order differs from that in English? Have a look at the previous examples and compare the different structures. This will make a great addition to your Dutch word order exercises!

However, it’s also possible to place the time and place adverbs at the beginning of the sentence. This is generally done to put emphasis on these adverbs:

  • Vandaag praat ik rustig in de tuin met mijn lieve vader over ons mooie huis. (“Today, I talk today quietly in the garden with my dear father about our beautiful house.”)
  • In het huis verft de jongen al uren aandachtig de gele deur met zwarte verf. (“In the house, the boy has been painting the yellow door carefully with black paint for hours.”)

Did you notice that, in this case, the verb comes BEFORE the subject? Be sure to make a note of this difference for your future reference. 

Okay, these sentences are getting a bit crazy with all the adverbs, adjectives, and objects. Luckily, sentences don’t have to be this complicated. You can just use a subject, verb, object, and maybe one adjective or adverb to get into more detail. It’s better to keep it simple when you start learning a language.

4. Adding a Verb at the End of a Sentence

A Girl Studying and Laughing

Regarding the conjugation of verbs, Dutch is quite a strange language. Did you know it’s possible to add a verb at the end of a sentence? You can’t do this with all Dutch conjugations, but in the present perfect, past perfect, future simple, future perfect, conditional, and conditional perfect, verbs may be added to the end of a sentence.

Let’s have a look at the eight Dutch tenses:

The eight tenses of the regular verb praten (“to talk”)
1. Onvoltooid tegenwoordige tijd (“Present Simple”)Describes something that is happening nowIk praat“I talk”
2. Onvoltooid verleden tijd (“Past Simple”)Describes a situation that happened in the pastIk praatte“I talked”
3. Voltooid tegenwoordige tijd (“Present Perfect”)Describes something that happened in the past and has already endedIk heb gepraat“I have talked”
4. Voltooid verleden tijd (“Past Perfect”)Describes an action or event that happened in the past and ended in the pastIk had gepraat“I had talked”
5. Onvoltooid tegenwoordige toekomende tijd (“Future Simple”)Talks about something that will happen in the futureIk zal praten“I will talk”
6. Voltooid tegenwoordige toekomende tijd (“Future Perfect”)Describes an action that will have been completed before another action in the futureIk zal hebben gepraat“I will have talked”
7. Onvoltooid verleden toekomende tijd (“Conditional”)Used in a “what if” scenario, used to speculate about somethingIk zou praten“I would talk”
8. Voltooid verleden toekomende tijd (“Conditional Perfect”)Describes a future hypothetical situation in the pastIk zou hebben gepraat“I would have talked”

So how does it work with the other components of the Dutch sentence structure?

Here’s an example for all six of the Dutch tenses that can make sentences end with a verb:

  • Present perfect: De jongen heeft in het huis de gele deur met zwarte verf geverfd. (“The boy has painted the yellow door in the house with black paint.”)
  • Past perfect: De jongen had in het huis de gele deur met zwarte verf geverfd. (“The boy had painted the yellow door in the house with black paint.”)
  • Future simple: De jongen zal in het huis de gele deur met zwarte verf verven. (“The boy will paint the yellow door in the house with black paint.”)
  • Future perfect: De jongen zal in het huis de gele deur met zwarte verf hebben geverfd. (“The boy will have painted the yellow door in the house with black paint.”)
  • Conditional: De jongen zou in het huis de gele deur met zwarte verf verven. (“The boy would paint the yellow door in the house with black paint.”)
  • Conditional perfect: De jongen zou in het huis de gele deur met zwarte verf hebben geverfd. (“The boy would have painted the yellow door in the house with black paint.”)

As you can see, the Dutch sentence structure for these tenses will be:

Subject + Working verb + Adverb + Adjective + Direct object + Adjective + Indirect object + Other verb

Do you think this Dutch sentence word order is very complicated? Then make sentences with less components. For example:

  • De jongen heeft urenlang de deur geverfd. (“The boy has painted the door for hours.”)
  • Ik zou rustig in de tuin met mijn vader hebben gepraat. (“I would have talked quietly with my father in the garden.”) 
    → Try to think of easy sentences like this that you can use. 
    → Do you want to make a negative sentence that ends with a verb? The word niet (“not”) comes AFTER the working verb.

5. Another Conjugation: The Imperative

The imperative (in Dutch: de gebiedende wijs) is used for commands, orders, and suggestions. Similar to English, there’s no subject in this conjugation, and the sentences usually start with the verb.

A Woman Ordering Her Colleague To Do Something

For example:

  • Verf de deur groen. (“Paint the door green.”)
  • Praat rustig met je vader. (“Talk quietly with your father.”) 

Let’s have a look at the imperative word order in Dutch. These examples show two different word orders:

Verb + Direct object + Adverb

Or

Verb + Adverb + Direct object

These different word orders are caused by the fact that the first adverb is connected to the object (de deur, meaning “the door”), while the second adverb is related to the verb (praten, meaning “to talk”).

As you can notice, these sentences are often shorter than descriptive sentences. But of course, you can also add several adverbs, adjectives, or an indirect object.

Verb + Adverb + (Adjective) + Direct object + (Adverb) + (Indirect object)

For example:

  • Verf nu die lelijke deur groen. (“Now paint this ugly door green.”)
  • Praat rustig met je vader door de telefoon. (“Talk quietly with your father on the phone.”) 
  • In the imperative mode, the word niet (“not”) also comes AFTER the verb when making negative sentences.

6. Making Questions

To make a question, turn the verb and subject of a statement around. 

Verb + Subject + Adverb + (Adjective) + Direct object + (Adjective) + (Indirect object)

For example: 

  • Verf je morgen die lelijke deur groen? (“Will you paint that ugly door green tomorrow?”)
  • Praat hij graag met zijn vader door de telefoon? (“Does he like to talk to his father on the phone?”) 
    → In questions, the word niet (“not”) comes AFTER the subject and verb. For example: Praat hij niet graag met zijn vader? (“Doesn’t he like to talk to his father?”)
    → Try to make your own questions as part of your Dutch word order exercises. What Dutch questions can you think of?
Different Question Words in English

Another way to make questions is through question words:

  • Wie (“Who”): Wie verft de deur? (“Who paints the door?”)
  • Waar (“Where”): Waar verf je de deur? (“Where do you paint the door?”)
  • Wanneer (“When”): Wanneer verf je de deur? (“When do you paint the door?”)
  • Hoe (“How”): Hoe verf je de deur? (“How do you paint the door?”)
  • Waarom (“Why”): Waarom verf je de deur? (“Why do you paint the door?”)
  • Wat (“What”): Wat doe je met de deur? (“What do you do with the door?”)

As you can see, the Dutch word order with question words is:

Query word Verb + Subject + Direct object

The wie (“who”) question word is an exception, as there’s no subject mentioned.

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you’ve learned the ins and outs of the word order in Dutch sentences. You now know all about the Dutch sentence structure.

Do you feel ready to put all of this knowledge into practice? Or would you like to do more Dutch word order exercises?

Make sure to discover everything that DutchPod101.com has to offer, such as the multiple vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other useful free resources. Learn some new words and put them into practice to form your own Dutch sentences.

Would you like a private teacher? DutchPod101 also has the MyTeacher Premium PLUS service. Here, you can get private one-on-one classes about Dutch word order and other crucial language features, with personalized feedback, interactive assignments, and professional advice. 

Let’s master the Dutch language!

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

Top Dutch Compliments Guide

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Everybody loves to receive compliments. Compliments make people feel special and, most importantly, good about themselves. And the Dutch are no exception. They might be more selective about giving compliments, but that just makes the compliments even more special. When you receive Dutch compliments, you know it’s really worth something.

Compliments are an indispensable part of any conversation—they’re the perfect way to connect with people. So if you’re in the Netherlands and you’d like to get to know someone, it would be great to learn how to give compliments in Dutch. It will make you come across as sympathetic and interested. Dutch people may be quite reserved at first, but compliments can be the perfect way to open them up. However, do it the Dutch way and go easy on the compliments: in the Netherlands, less is more.

Would you like to know how to compliment and flirt in Dutch? Then dive into this Dutch Compliments Guide with the top Dutch compliments and useful Dutch complimenting phrases.

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Table of Contents

  1. General Compliments
  2. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Looks
  3. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Work
  4. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Skills
  5. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Character
  6. What to Do After Receiving Compliments
  7. Tips & Tricks on How to Flirt in Dutch
  8. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. General Compliments

Compliments

Let’s start with the more general compliments. You can use these in a wide variety of situations: encouraging someone, flirting in Dutch, or complimenting a chef on his or her dish.

You get the idea. These general Dutch compliments are multifunctional:

  • Dat is leuk! (“That’s nice!”)
  • Dat is geweldig! (“That’s amazing!”)
  • Dat is super! (“That’s amazing!” – Literally, it means: “That’s super!”)
  • Super! (“Sweet!” – Literally, it means the same as in English: “Super!”)

2. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Looks

The Dutch people like to give and receive compliments on looks. This can be done in a more flirty setting, but it’s also very common between colleagues, friends, and family members. The level of flirtyness depends on the intensity of the compliment, and the setting.

Let’s get superficial and learn how to compliment someone on their good looks.

The first structure is: Je ziet er … uit (“You are looking …”). In the blank, you can add the adjective that you want to use. This sentence structure can be used negatively (Je ziet er slecht uit or “You are looking bad”), and positively:

  • Je ziet er goed uit. (“You are looking good.”)
  • Je ziet er mooi uit. (“You are looking beautiful.”)
  • Je ziet er prachtig uit. (“You are looking amazing.”)

The second structure for these compliments in Dutch is: Je bent … (“You are …”). This structure can also be used negatively (Je bent lelijk or “You are ugly”) as well as positively:

  • Je bent mooi. (“You are beautiful”)
  • Je bent knap. (“You are handsome.”)

Let’s have a look at some more-specific compliments in Dutch on someone’s look:

  • Je hebt een prachtige glimlach. (“You have a beautiful smile.”)
  • Je hebt mooie ogen. (“You have beautiful eyes.”)
  • Je hebt geweldig haar. (“You have great hair.”)
  • Je hebt mooie handen. (“You have nice hands.”)

As you can see, these compliments have the je hebt … (“you have …”) structure. You can add the adjective and noun that you would like to use.

Let’s get even more specific:

  • Die jas staat je goed. (“That jacket looks nice on you.”)
  • Wat een leuke schoenen. (“Great shoes.” – It literally means “What a great shoes.”)
  • Je hebt een goede smaak. (“You have good taste.”)
  • Ik vind je shirt leuk. (“I like your shirt.”)

As you can imagine, all of these nouns and adjectives can be changed depending on what you want to compliment.

3. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Work

Giving Compliments on Work

It’s very common in work settings in the Netherlands to give people praise when it’s deserved.

Let’s first have a look at the more general work compliments:

  • Prima prestatie! (“Good job!” – Literally, it means “Good achievement!”)
  • Goed gedaan! (“Well done!”)
  • Goed werk! (“Great work!”)
  • Goed bezig! (“Doing well!”)
  • Gefeliciteerd! (“Congratulations!”)

Let’s continue and have a look at some more-specific work compliments in Dutch:

  • Je cv is indrukwekkend. (“Your resume is impressive.”)
  • Ik weet dat het een lastig project was maar je optreden overtreft al mijn verwachtingen. (“I know that it was a tough project, but your performance exceeded my expectations.”)
  • Je presentatie was erg goed. (“Your presentation was very good.”)
  • De manier waarop je dat probleem aanpakte was geweldig. (“The way you approached that problem was amazing.”)

4. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Skills

A job well done can also be complimented in other (non-work) settings, like at home, in school, in art class, etc. In these settings, the general compliments we went over in the last section can also be used.

Would you like to learn how to compliment a specific skill in a social context? Then have a look at these Dutch compliments:

1- Cooking

  • Je bent een geweldige kok! (“You are a great cook!”)
  • Ik hou van je kookkunst. (“I love your cooking.”)

2- Photography

  • Je neemt geweldige foto’s! (“You take great shots!”)
  • Ik vind je foto’s erg mooi. (“I really like your pictures.”)

3- Language speaking

  • Je Dutch is erg goed. (“Your Dutch is very good.”)
  • Je spreekt perfect Dutch. (“You speak perfect Dutch.”)

Giving Compliments to a Friend

4- Sports

  • Je bent super goed in het spelen van [type of sport]! (“You are amazing at playing [type of sport]!”)
  • Weet je zeker dat je geen professionele [type of sport] speler bent? (“Are you sure you’re not a professional [type of sport] player?”)

5- Music

  • Je speelt heel goed gitaar. (“You play the guitar very well.”)
  • Je zingt erg goed. (“You sing very well.”)

5. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Character

Positive Feelings

Okay, so let’s end these top Dutch compliments with some depth: compliments on someone’s character.

Here are some examples:

  • Je bent slim. (“You are smart.”)
  • Je bent lief. (“You are sweet.”)
  • Je bent grappig. (“You are funny.”)
  • Je bent aardig. (“You are nice.”)
  • Je bent schattig. (“You are adorable.”)
  • Je hebt een geweldig gevoel voor humor. (“You have a great sense of humor.”)
  • Je bent een geweldige vriend. (“You are an awesome friend.”)

As you can see, a lot of the character compliments have the same structure: Je bent [adjective]. (“You are [adjective].”) Easy! This way, you can quickly use the right adjective to compliment someone’s character.

6. What to Do After Receiving Compliments

A Woman Expressing Gratitude

You’ve just received your first Dutch compliment. What to do? Let’s keep that flow going. Compliments are often a two-way street, and there are some social norms on how to respond to them. So what’s the most common way for Dutch people to respond to compliments?

1- Express Your Gratitude

The most common way to respond to a compliment in the Netherlands is to express your gratitude. Luckily, this is easy. Just smile, say “thank you,” and you’re good to go:

  • Bedankt! (“Thank you!”)
  • Heel erg bedankt! (“Thank you very much!”)
  • Dank je wel! (“Thank you!”)

But what if you are the person giving a compliment, and the other person is responding with a bedankt? You can respond with:

  • Graag gedaan! (“You’re welcome!” – Literally: “Pleased to do so!”)

2- Answer with Another Compliment

Would you like to keep this positive vibe and conversation going? Then answer the compliment with a “thank you” and another compliment. You can either give the same compliment back with a simple “you too,” or compliment them on something else.

For example:

  • Bedankt, jij ook! (“Thanks, you too!”)
  • Je hebt ook hele mooie ogen. (“You also have very beautiful eyes.”)
  • Dank je wel, ik vind je shirt echt geweldig! (“Thank you, I really love your T-shirt!”)

3- Share the Credit

Is your great work or achievement due to the help of colleagues, friends, your lover, or your family? Then give credit where it’s due:

  • Ik had het niet kunnen doen zonder de hulp van [person(s)]. (“None of this would have been possible without [person(s)].”)

7. Tips & Tricks on How to Flirt in Dutch

Flirting in a Club

You’ve learned some top Dutch compliments. Now, let’s see how compliments and flirting in Dutch go together. In this chapter, we’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to flirt in Dutch and make use of all this compliment knowledge.

1. Don’t go over the top.

Dutch people are very down-to-earth, and this applies to their flirting (and love lives). So, it’s easy to go over the top if you’re a foreigner with a more expressive culture in your homeland.

So flirt, but do this with some moderation. Give your crush some compliments, but stick to words like mooi (“pretty””, leuk (“nice”), and grappig (“funny”). Avoid more exaggerated words like fantastisch (“fantastic”) or geweldig (“amazing”).

2. Be original.

When flirting, try to give some original compliments. Don’t just go for the je bent mooi (“you are beautiful”) compliment. Try to find something special to point out. This way, you’ll show that you’re really paying attention to the other person.

This is especially important when flirting with Dutch women, as they receive quite a few compliments every day, including a lot of creepy ones from guys on the street. Therefore, compliments (especially when given by strangers) have somewhat of a bad reputation with Dutch women. Sometimes it’s better to play it safe and flirt by making (friendly) eye contact and smiling.

3. Be confident.

If you really want to use a Dutch pick-up line, the only way to do this is with confidence. Go over to your crush and impress them with your Dutch pick-up lines. Is it going terribly? Then just laugh about yourself. This way, you’ll show your Dutch crush that you don’t take yourself too seriously, and that’s also a sign of confidence.

4. Play the foreigner card.

You’re a foreigner giving your crush a compliment in Dutch, using Dutch pick-up lines. That itself is already quite impressive, and hopefully your Dutch crush will realize this as well. Just play the foreigner card and tell them that you’re practicing your Dutch. That way, you’ll at least have a conversation-starter.

8. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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In this guide, you’ve learned all about the top Dutch compliments and flirting. By now, you should have a better idea of how to say compliments in Dutch, and receive Dutch compliments yourself.

So are you ready to put this useful knowledge into action? Do you feel ready to start complimenting Dutch people using everything you’ve learned today?

Start using these compliments with the help of DutchPod101.com: boost your studies using our vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other free resources.

Would you like some private lessons? DutchPod101 also offers personal one-on-one coaching with our premium MyTeacher service. This feature allows you to really practice saying compliments in Dutch with your own private teacher, through interactive exercises, personalized feedback, and much more.

Master these Dutch compliments on DutchPod101.com!

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Tweede Pinksterdag: Whit Monday in the Netherlands

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Did you know that only about twenty percent of people in the Netherlands identify as Christian? The majority of the population is atheist or doesn’t identify with a single religion.

However, Whit Monday (though a Christian holiday), is a day that both Christians and the non-religious can enjoy. What is the meaning of Whit Monday, and what kind of traditions take place in the Netherlands?

In this article, you’ll learn about the meaning of Pentecost Monday, explore how the Dutch celebrate it, and pick up some new vocabulary!

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Whit Monday in the Netherlands?

Whit Monday (the first Monday after Pentecost) is a Christian holiday that commemorates the giving of the Heilige Geest (“Holy Spirit” ) to the apostles. Because Christians consider this event to be the beginning of Christianity, the Whit Monday holiday is often called the “birthday of the Christian church.” The Catholic Church celebrates this holiday as the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.

The name “Whit Monday” derives from Pentecost’s other name: Whit Sunday (or Whitsun). “Whit” is thought to refer to the white-colored garments that people wanting to be baptized would wear on Pentecost. However, some people speculate that it could also have roots with the Anglo-Saxon “wit,” referring to one’s understanding. After all, the Holy Spirit is thought to grant understanding and wisdom to Christians.

This holiday has varying status around the world. In the Netherlands, Whit Monday is a public holiday, meaning that most people have the day off from work and school.

    → See our vocabulary list on Religion to learn some useful Dutch words!

2. What Date is Whit Monday This Year?

Monday Shown on a Calendar

Whit Monday is a moveable holiday, meaning that its date changes each year according to the Christian calendar and the date of Pasen (“Easter” ). For your convenience, we’ve outlined this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

    2020: June 1
    2021: May 24
    2022: June 6
    2023: May 29
    2024: May 20
    2025: June 9
    2026: May 25
    2027: May 17
    2028: June 5
    2029: May 21

3. How is Whit Monday Celebrated?

A Music Festival

As we mentioned earlier, Whit Monday in the Netherlands is a public holiday, giving the majority of the population time off work and school. However, Pentecost Monday tends to have less of a religious connotation than Pentecost Sunday does, and many people use this holiday as an excuse to relax and engage in activities they enjoy.

In particular, the Dutch like doing outdoor activities with friends and family in the warmer weather. Popular activities include kamperen (“camping” ), zeilen (“sailing” ), and fietsen (“cycling” ). The Dutch love flowers, so if rainy weather strikes, many enjoy visiting a tuincentrum (“garden center” ). Of course, many people enjoy lighter activities around the home or simply taking a short nature walk.

Above all, this holiday is about having fun with those closest to you. It’s a time for family members to reconnect and for good friends to catch up.

4. Muziekfestival

In the Netherlands, Whit Monday is also the perfect time to attend a muziekfestival (“music festival” ). And attending one is no small matter! The Netherlands is renowned for its massive, elaborate, and exhilarating music festivals, which take place year-round.

Around the time of Whit Monday (late May to early June), there are two music festivals you won’t want to miss: The Holland Festival and Pinkpop. If you’re a music junkie or just looking for a new experience, the Netherlands is a great place to get your fill. 😉

Expatica has a full list of can’t-miss music festivals in the Netherlands—check it out!

5. Must-Know Whit Monday Vocabulary

A Group of People Cycling

Ready to review the most important words and phrases for Whit Monday? Here you go:

  • Maandag — “Monday” [n. masc]
  • Pasen — “Easter” [n. masc]
  • Heilige Geest — “Holy Spirit” [n. masc]
  • Kamperen — “Camping” [n.]
  • Muziekfestival — “Music festival” [n. neut]
  • Zeilen — “Sailing” [n. neut]
  • Fietsen — “Cycling” [n.]
  • Tuincentrum — “Garden center”
  • Vrije dag — “Holiday” [n. masc]
  • Tweede Pinksterdag — “Whit Monday”

If you want to hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase listed above, visit our Dutch Whit Monday vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Whit Monday in the Netherlands with us, and that you took away some valuable cultural information!

Do you celebrate Whit Monday in your country? If so, are traditions there similar or quite different from those in the Netherlands? We look forward to hearing your answers in the comments!

If you want to keep learning about the Netherlands and the Dutch language, DutchPod101.com has many free resources for you:

This only scratches the surface of everything that DutchPod101.com has to offer the aspiring Dutch-learner. To make the most of your study time, create your free lifetime account today; for access to exclusive content and lessons, upgrade to our Premium or Premium PLUS plans.

We want to help you reach your goals, and we’ll be here with you on every step of your language-learning journey!

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Getting Angry with the Dutch – Insults & Curse Words Guide

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Let’s be honest, the Dutch can sometimes be a bit annoying. We’re loud, direct, and don’t often shy away from confrontation. Foreigners who experience this typical Dutch directness may see it as offensive, especially when they’re not used to it.

Is that the case for you? Don’t take it personally, and keep your cool. We promise that you’ll get used to the Dutch directness, and you may even learn to appreciate the loose use of mild Dutch curse words.

However, did the Dutch cross a line? Are you ready to get angry? Then do it well and do it Dutch-style—direct and honest. Learn how to say “angry” in Dutch, and how to use various words and phrases to express your anger in the heat of the moment.

Keep in mind that the Dutch like to use curse words even when they’re not angry. It’s quite common to hear Dutch people use swear words in public places, with friends, around family, and even at work. However, for the sake of this article, we’ll focus on more family-friendly Dutch curse words and Dutch insults. This way, you learn Dutch swear words and phrases that you can use in all situations.

A DutchPod101 guide wouldn’t really be a guide without some tips and tricks on how to annoy the Dutch, and how to make them happy again. This information will give you the tools you need to manage a heated situation in the Netherlands.

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Annoy the Dutch
  2. Angry Orders
  3. Angry Questions
  4. Angry Blames
  5. Describing How You Feel
  6. What to Do When You Annoy the Dutch
  7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. How to Annoy the Dutch

1- Refer to the Netherlands as Holland

Did you know that Holland is not the same as the Netherlands? There’s an important difference: The Netherlands has twelve provinces and Holland makes up only two of those provinces (Zuid-Holland and Noord-Holland). Calling the Netherlands Holland in front of Dutch people from other provinces can get them a bit irritated.

2- Belittle the country

The Netherlands may be a small country, but for the Dutch, that doesn’t make it insignificant. Belittling their country—by not recognizing its value or by being ignorant about its history or culture—may annoy them.

And if you really want to get on their nerves, confuse the Netherlands with Germany. Trust me, you won’t be the first person to do this. The Dutch are often overshadowed by this neighbor, so you might strike a nerve when you confuse the two countries.

3- Talk badly about the (national) football team

The Dutch love football (soccer). It’s a true football nation. The country may not be very nationalistic, but during the European or World Cup, the whole country turns orange. We’re proud of our “Lions” (read here about what lions have to do with Dutch football), and saying something bad about the team is a very bad idea.

Orange Flags with Lion

4- Don’t respect the bike culture

The Dutch and their bikes are like two peas in a pod; they are inseparable. In the Netherlands, we learn how to bike from a young age, creating a bike culture full of (unwritten) rules and expected behavior.

Getting into dangerous situations because you’re an inexperienced cycler, or are walking on the cycling paths, are perfect ways to annoy the Dutch. You’ll definitely experience and learn Dutch swear words when doing this. Don’t mess up their cycling experience.

2. Angry Orders

To kick off our list of angry Dutch phrases, here are some angry orders. You’re a bit annoyed and you want the other person to stop doing whatever it is they’re doing. So you give them a first warning by saying:

  • Zo is het genoeg! (“That’s enough!” )

Does the other person not know how to stop? Are they taking it too far? Then indicate this with a clear but direct:

  • Je gaat te ver! (“You are taking it too far!” )

The verb gaan means “to go” and te ver means “too far.”

Do you want someone to be quiet? Then you can ask them firmly in Dutch to shut up:

  • Hou je mond! (“Shut up!” )
  • Hou je bek! (“Shut up!” )

The verb houden means “to keep” and mond means “mouth.” So it literally means “Keep your mouth.” Want to say it in a harsher way? Then you can use bek, which is a more profane way to refer to the mouth. It literally means “beak.”

If someone is being aggressive, offensive, or just simply going too far, try to make them stop by firmly saying:

  • Stop (ermee)! (“Stop it!” )
  • Hou op! (“Stop it!” )

Yes, the first of these two angry orders is the same as in English. It’s the Dutch imperative for the verb stoppen (“to stop” ). That makes it an easy tool for those heated moments with little time to think.

Hou op comes from the separable Dutch verb ophouden, which means “to stop” or “to cease.”

You want them to leave you alone? Sometimes the best thing in a fight is to get that annoying person out of your sight. Let’s give you some tools to achieve this:

  • Laat me met rust! (“Leave me alone!” )

This is a clear, but still quite correct, way to ask someone to leave you alone. Laten means “to leave” and met rust literally means “with peace/quiet.”

Maybe this isn’t the time to be polite and you really want this person out of your sight. You can use this harsher angry order:

  • Rot op! (“Get lost!” )

Oprotten is a Dutch separable verb that’s hard to translate, but means something like “to bugger off.”

3. Angry Questions

Complaints

Now for some questions that are perfect for getting across that you’re angry in Dutch.

First things first, these angry questions are ALL rhetorical questions and the Dutch know it (although some angry people may respond to the question with a heated answer).

When expressing their disbelief, Dutch people love to say (with some attitude bordering intimidation):

  • Wat?! (“What?!” )

Or, the also very effective:

  • Wat zeg je? (“What are you saying?” )

It’s simple and it may not sound very intimidating, but with the right tone and some emphasis on wat, whoever you’re talking to will know that you’re not fooling around. You mean serious business.

  • Dus?! (“So what?!” )

Also very effective with the right attitude.

  • Neem je me nu in de maling? (“Are you kidding me?” )

In de maling nemen is the Dutch verb for “to kid,” “to deceive,” or “to prank,” so it can also be used in a more playful way. However, the tone will indicate its seriousness.

  • Wat is er met jou aan de hand? (“What’s going on with you?” )

It’s difficult to translate aan de hand zijn. It literally means “to be on the hand,” but a better translation would be “Something is going on.”

  • Wat ben je in hemelsnaam aan het doen? (“What the hell are you doing?” )

The funny thing about this angry question is that in Dutch, instead of “hell,” they say “heaven’s sake,” or if you want to be more literal, “heaven’s name.” Therefore, it’s not really considered a Dutch profanity, and it can also be used as a joke with the right tone.

  • Waar kijk je naar? (“What are you looking at?” )

This is also a quite literal use of the English angry question. Kijken naar means “looking at.”

In the Netherlands, women usually make this remark. It’s a pretty snobby comment that can be made in heated settings, or when you (as a woman) feel uncomfortable because creepy guys are staring at you.

  • Dit meen je niet? (“Are you kidding me?” )

Menen means “to mean,” so it would translate to “Do you mean this?” But with a little attitude, it’s a perfect way to express your outrage about something someone says.

This is a soft way of saying “Are you kidding me?” but even softer versions are also available: Maak je een grapje? (“Are you making a joke?”).

With the right amount of attitude, these phrases can express incredulity.

4. Angry Blames

Woman Blaming Man

Genoeg is genoeg (“enough is enough”). The other person went too far. Your angry orders and questions couldn’t cool the heated moment and now it’s time to start with some mild Dutch swearing and angry blames. You’re officially angry, and you’ll let the whole world know.

  • Wie denk je wel niet dat je bent? (“Who do you think you are?” )

Yes, this is also an angry question, but as it’s more aggressive, it fits better in the angry blames category. You’re accusing the other person of believing that he/she is something that he/she is not.

  • Ben je gek geworden? (“Are you crazy?” )

Literally: “Did you become crazy?”

When you use this phrase, you’re blaming the other person for being or acting crazy.

  • Wat is er mis met jou? (“What’s wrong with you?” )

This quite literally means “What’s wrong with you?” because mis means “wrong” in Dutch in specific circumstances (such as this angry question). With this angry blame, you assume that something is wrong with the other person.

  • Je bent onmogelijk. (“You’re impossible.” )

Is it really impossible to work or live with this person? Then this phrase may come in handy.

  • Je luistert niet naar me. (“You’re not listening to me.” )

Luisteren means “to listen.”

  • Het is een schande. (“It’s a disgrace.” )
  • Dat gaat jou niets aan. (“It’s none of your business.” )

If you want to say this in a harsher way, you can use Het gaat jou geen reet aan. The added reet is a less-polite way to say “butt” in Dutch, similar to “ass.” However, with the right tone and in the right context, you could also say this to friends as a joke.

Do you want to make clear that the other person really has done something wrong? Then you can choose from one of the following phrases:

  • Het is jouw schuld. (“It’s your fault.” )

This is a perfect way to blame someone if whatever happened is their fault (at least from your perspective).

  • Je hebt het verpest. (“You ruined it.” )

The verb verpesten means “ruin,” and this phrase makes perfectly clear that it’s the other person’s fault.

5. Describing How You Feel

Negative Verbs

You’ve spread your rage. Now let’s start talking about our feelings. Learn how to say “angry” in Dutch and how to express other feelings. Are you mad? Are you sad? Are you sick and tired of fighting? Let’s express it in Dutch.

When describing emotions in Dutch, the verb zijn (“to be” ) is crucial. So just say ik ben … (“I am …” ) and add the right adjective:

  • Teleurgesteld (“disappointed” )
  • Boos (“angry” )
  • Verdrietig (“sad” )
  • Moe (“tired” )
  • Uitgeput (“exhausted” )
  • Bang (“frightened” )
  • Nerveus (“nervous” )
  • Geschokt (“shocked” )
  • Geïrriteerd (“annoyed” )
  • Chagrijnig (“cranky” )

Another way to express your emotions is by saying ik voel me … (“I feel …”):

  • Ik voel me gekwetst. (“I feel hurt.” )
  • Ik voel me eenzaam. (“I feel lonely.” )
  • Ik voel me gefrustreerd. (“I feel frustrated.” )
  • Ik voel me verdrietig. (“I feel sad.” )
  • Ik voel me ellendig. (“I feel miserable.” )
  • Ik voel me somber. (“I feel gloomy.” )
  • Ik voel me verward. (“I feel confused.” )
    → Make sure you can express your feelings the way you want to. Visit our Top 21 Words for Negative Emotions vocabulary list with useful audio recordings to practice your pronunciation.

You can also express that you’ve had enough of the fight:

  • Ik ben het zat! (“I’m fed up with it!” )

Do you really hate fighting with the other person? Then just say:

  • Ik haat het! (“I hate it!” )

Are you in a peacemaking mood? Or are you simply too tired to keep on fighting? Then just say this phrase:

  • Ik wil niet meer ruziën. (“I don’t want to fight anymore.” )

Woman Trying to Make Up

“Enough is enough” (genoeg is genoeg). Sometimes it just takes one person to reflect, relax, and bring a (little) peace offering.

6. What to Do When You Annoy the Dutch

1- Relax and improve your mood.

Releasing your anger on someone may feel good sometimes, but it’s not the most productive way of expressing your frustration. Would you like to calm down and not let the anger get the best of you?

There are several ways to do this. First of all, relax and let the tension go away by taking a deep breath. Distance yourself from the heated situation, literally or figuratively. Take a walk or go for a run. Listen to some (relaxing) music. Or write your feelings down.

By doing the things above, you can take some time to reframe your thinking. It may even change your point of view. With a bit of space between you and the situation, you may even laugh about the Dutch directness (and rudeness) you experienced.

2- Make the Dutch happy again.

Dutch Flag with a Heart

Okay, you’ve angered some Dutchies. Would you like to make up again?

Here the Dutch directness comes in handy, as the Dutch will appreciate you for being straight. Make the Dutch happy again by apologizing in an honest and direct way (without being rude).

Need to break the tension? Make a joke (preferably about yourself). The Dutch will appreciate this, and they can (hopefully) laugh at the situation as well.

Did you go too far and are now in need of a more convincing apology? The Dutch love to receive free food, drinks, or stuff. So buy them a beer, some chocolate, or even flowers. They’ll appreciate the gesture.

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you’ve learned how to say that you’re angry in the Dutch language and picked up some mild Dutch curse words, Dutch swear words, and Dutch insults. You now know the perfect angry orders, questions, and blames. You also know how to express your feelings. In sum, you’ve learned how to get angry with the Dutch and how to make up again.

What’s your favorite phrase from this list? Let us know in the comments!

Would you like to learn other lessons to boost your Dutch? Visit DutchPod101, as it has plenty of useful and free resources to practice your grammar. You can also learn new words and hear their pronunciation with our vocabulary lists.

Do you want more? DutchPod101 also offers a premium service with personal one-on-one coaching: MyTeacher. Practice your Dutch with your private teacher and receive personalized assignments, feedback, and advice.

Happy Dutch learning!

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Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Dutch

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What is the most defining moment you will face this year? From memories that you immortalize in a million photographs, to days you never wish to remember, one thing’s for certain: big life events change you. The great poet, Bukowski, said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us.” The older I get, the more I agree with him!

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in Netherlands for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

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Table of Contents

  1. Life Events
  2. Marriage Proposal Lines
  3. Talking About Age
  4. Conclusion

1. Life Events

Do you know how to say “Happy New Year” in Dutch? Well, the New Year is a pretty big deal that the whole world is in on! We celebrate until midnight, make mindful resolutions, and fill the night sky with the same happy words in hundreds of languages. No doubt, then, that you’ll want to know how to say it like a local!

Big life events are not all about fun times, though. Real life happens even when you’re traveling, and certain terminology will be very helpful to know. From talking about your new job to wishing your neighbors “Merry Christmas” in Dutch, here at DutchPod101, we’ve put together just the right vocabulary and phrases for you.

1- Birthday – verjaardag

If you’re like me, any excuse to bring out a pen and scribble a note is a good one. When there’s a birthday, even better: hello, handwriting!

Your Dutch friend will love hearing you wish them a “Happy birthday” in Dutch, but how much more will they appreciate a thoughtful written message? Whether you write it on their Facebook wall or buy a cute card, your effort in Dutch is sure to get them smiling! Write it like this:

Fijne verjaardag

Older Woman Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Surrounded by Friends.

Now that you know the words, I challenge you to put them to music and sing your own “Happy birthday” song in Dutch! It’s not impossible to figure out even more lyrics, once you start discovering the language from scratch.

2- Buy – kopen

If there’s a special occasion, you might want to buy somebody a gift. As long as you’ve checked out Dutch etiquette on gift-giving (do a Google search for this!), it will be a lovely gesture. If you’re not sure what to buy, how about the awesome and universally-appealing gift of language? That’s a gift that won’t stop giving!

Two Women at a Counter in a Bookstore, One Buying a Book

3- Retire – pensioneren

If you’re planning to expand your mind and retire in Netherlands, you can use this word to tell people why you seem to be on a perpetual vacation!

Retirement is also a great time to learn a new language, don’t you think? And you don’t have to do it alone! These days it’s possible to connect to a vibrant learning community at the click of a button. The added benefit of a Daily Dose of Language is that it keeps your brain cells alive and curious about the world. After all, it’s never too late to realize those long-ignored dreams of traveling the globe…

4- Graduation – afstuderen

When attending a graduation ceremony in Netherlands, be prepared for a lot of formal language! It will be a great opportunity to listen carefully and see if you can pick up differences from the everyday Dutch you hear.

Lecturer or University Dean Congratulating and Handing Over Graduation Certificate to a Young Man on Graduation Day.

5- Promotion – promotie

Next to vacation time, receiving a promotion is the one career highlight almost everyone looks forward to. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, it means more responsibility, but it also means more money and benefits and – the part I love most – a change of scenery! Even something as simple as looking out a new office window would boost my mood.

6- Anniversary – gedenkdag

Some anniversaries we anticipate with excitement, others with apprehension. They are days marking significant events in our lives that can be shared with just one person, or with a whole nation. Whether it’s a special day for you and a loved one, or for someone else you know, this word is crucial to know if you want to wish them a happy anniversary in Dutch.

7- Funeral – begrafenis

We tend to be uncomfortable talking about funerals in the west, but it’s an important conversation for families to have. Around the world, there are many different customs and rituals for saying goodbye to deceased loved ones – some vastly different to our own. When traveling in Netherlands, if you happen to find yourself the unwitting observer of a funeral, take a quiet moment to appreciate the cultural ethos; even this can be an enriching experience for you.

8- Travel – reizen

Travel – my favorite thing to do! Everything about the experience is thrilling and the best cure for boredom, depression, and uncertainty about your future. You will surely be forever changed, fellow traveler! But you already know this, don’t you? Well, now that you’re on the road to total Dutch immersion, I hope you’ve downloaded our IOS apps and have your Nook Book handy to keep yourself entertained on those long bus rides.

Young Female Tourist with a Backpack Taking a Photo of the Arc de Triomphe

9- Graduate – afstuderen

If you have yet to graduate from university, will you be job-hunting in Netherlands afterward? Forward-looking companies sometimes recruit talented students who are still in their final year. Of course, you could also do your final year abroad as an international student – an amazing experience if you’d love to be intellectually challenged and make a rainbow of foreign friends!

10- Wedding – trouwerij

One of the most-loved traditions that humans have thought up, which you’ll encounter anywhere in the world, is a wedding. With all that romance in the air and months spent on preparations, a wedding is typically a feel-good affair. Two people pledge their eternal love to each other, ladies cry, single men look around for potential partners, and everybody has a happy day of merrymaking.

Ah, but how diverse we are in our expression of love! You will find more wedding traditions around the world than you can possibly imagine. From reciting love quotes to marrying a tree, the options leave no excuse to be boring!

Married Couple During Reception, Sitting at Their Table While a Young Man Gives a Wedding Speech

11- Move – verhuizen

I love Netherlands, but I’m a nomad and tend to move around a lot, even within one country. What are the biggest emotions you typically feel when moving house? The experts say moving is a highly stressful event, but I think that depends on the circumstances. Transitional periods in our lives are physically and mentally demanding, but changing your environment is also an exciting adventure that promises new tomorrows!

12- Be born – geboren

I was not born in 1993, nor was I born in Asia. I was born in the same year as Aishwarya Rai, Akon, and Monica Lewinsky, and on the same continent as Freddy Mercury. When and where were you born? More importantly – can you say it in Dutch?

13- Get a job – een baan vinden

The thought of looking for a job in a new country can be daunting, but English speakers are in great demand in Netherlands – you just have to do some research, make a few friends and get out there! Also, arming yourself with a few Dutch introductions that you can both say and write will give you a confidence boost. For example, can you write your name in Dutch?

Group of People in Gear that Represent a Number of Occupations.

14- Die – sterven

Death is a universal experience and the final curtain on all other life events. How important is it, then, to fully live before we die? If all you have is a passport, a bucket list, and a willingness to learn some lingo, you can manifest those dreams!

15- Home – huis

If home is where the heart is, then my home is on a jungle island completely surrounded by the turquoise ocean. Right now, though, home is an isolation room with a view of half a dry palm tree and a tangle of telephone wires.

If you’re traveling to Netherlands for an extended stay, you’ll soon be moving into a new home quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – baan

What job do you do? Does it allow you much time for travel, or for working on this fascinating language that has (so rightfully) grabbed your attention? Whatever your job, you are no doubt contributing to society in a unique way. If you’re doing what you love, you’re already on the road to your dream. If not, just remember that every single task is one more skill to add to your arsenal. With that attitude, your dream job is coming!

17- Birth – geboorte

Random question: do you know the birth rate of Netherlands?

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to see a friend’s baby just after they are born, you’ll have all my respect and all my envy. There is nothing cuter! Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you may find yourself bearing witness to some pretty unexpected birth customs. Enjoy this privilege!

Crying Newborn Baby Held By a Doctor or Nurse in a Hospital Theatre

18- Engaged – verloven

EE Cummings said, “Lovers alone wear sunlight,” and I think that’s most true at the moment she says “yes.” Getting engaged is something young girls dream of with stars in their eyes, and it truly is a magical experience – from the proposal, to wearing an engagement ring, to the big reveal!

In the world of Instagram, there’s no end to the antics as imaginative couples try more and more outrageous ways to share their engagement with the world. I love an airport flashmob, myself, but I’d rather be proposed to on a secluded beach – salt, sand, and all!

Engagement customs around the world vary greatly, and Netherlands is no exception when it comes to interesting traditions. Learning their unique romantic ways will inspire you for when your turn comes.

Speaking of romance, do you know how to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in Dutch?

19- Marry – trouwen

The one you marry will be the gem on a shore full of pebbles. They will be the one who truly mirrors your affection, shares your visions for the future, and wants all of you – the good, the bad and the inexplicable.

From thinking up a one-of-a-kind wedding, to having children, to growing old together, finding a twin flame to share life with is quite an accomplishment! Speaking of which…

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

Ah, that heart-stopping moment when your true love gets down on one knee to ask for your hand in marriage, breathlessly hoping that you’ll say “Yes!” If you haven’t experienced that – well, it feels pretty darn good, is all I can say! If you’re the one doing the asking, though, you’ve probably had weeks of insomnia agonizing over the perfect time, location and words to use.

Man on His Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge.

How much more care should be taken if your love is from a different culture to yours? Well, by now you know her so well, that most of it should be easy to figure out. As long as you’ve considered her personal commitment to tradition, all you really need is a few words from the heart. Are you brave enough to say them in Dutch?

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

Part of the wonder of learning a new language is having the ability to strike up simple conversations with strangers. Asking about age in this context feels natural, as your intention is to practice friendly phrases – just be mindful of their point of view!

When I was 22, I loved being asked my age. Nowadays, if someone asks, I say, “Well, I’ve just started my fifth cat life.” Let them ponder that for a while.

In Netherlands, it’s generally not desirable to ask an older woman her age for no good reason, but chatting about age with your peers is perfectly normal. Besides, you have to mention your birthday if you want to be thrown a birthday party!

4. Conclusion

Well, there you have it! With so many great new Dutch phrases to wish people with, can you think of someone who has a big event coming up? If you want to get even more creative, DutchPod101 has much to inspire you with – come and check it out! Here’s just some of what we have on offer at DutchPod101:

  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Dutch with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account – for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Dutch dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about DutchPod101…!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. You can have your very own Dutch teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to – what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Dutch word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Dutch level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in DutchPod101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Dutch.

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Pasan: Celebrating Easter Monday in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Easter Monday is a public holiday, celebrated just as much as—if not more than—Easter Sunday. The Dutch celebrate this major religious holiday with a range of fun and adventurous traditions, some of which you may be familiar with!

In this article, you’ll learn about Easter in the Netherlands, how it’s celebrated, and gain some new vocabulary while you’re at it. Let’s get started.

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1. What is Easter Monday?

On Easter, Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus three days after his crucifixion. According to Christian belief, he died to take on the sins of the world and then resurrected to prove his triumph over death.

Easter Monday is the day following the actual Easter holiday. In the Netherlands, Easter Monday is a continued celebration of Easter Sunday, with lots of fun and unique traditions, beginning on Carnival Day, before Lent.

2. When is Easter Monday in the Netherlands?

A Calendar Marking Monday

The date of Easter Monday varies from year to year. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2020: April 13
  • 2021: April 5
  • 2022: April 18
  • 2023: April 10
  • 2024: April 1
  • 2025: April 21
  • 2026: April 6
  • 2027: March 29
  • 2028: April 17
  • 2029: April 2

3. Easter Celebrations in the Netherlands

Painted Easter Eggs with Spring Flowers

Aside from the holiday’s religious meaning, family (familie) is a major aspect of how people in the Netherlands celebrate Easter. Children enjoy going on an Easter egg (paasei) hunt, indulging in sweet treats, and painting their own Easter eggs, much like they do in the United States. On Easter Monday, children also participate in other egg-related games; one such game is an egg-cracking competition, also called an eiertikken contest.

Entire families or groups of friends may also have a good time going to the beach (strand) or out shopping (winkelen) for Easter deals. Easter markets in the Netherlands often sell chocolates, Easter eggs, and paint sets for children to use for egg decorating.

Dutch Easter traditions always involve a large lunch (lunchen) with friends and family. Easter food in the Netherlands is typically prepared on Easter Sunday, and leftovers are eaten on Easter Monday. Some of the most common foods include various types of bread and pastries, smoked fish, and certain breakfast items. The Dutch often grace the Easter brunch table with decorated willow branches.

Other popular Easter traditions in the Netherlands include burning bonfires, playing sports, going to amusement parks, riding bikes—basically anything that involves enjoying the great outdoors in early spring!

4. From Holland to Italy

Did you know that the Easter flowers in St. Peter’s Square in Rome are provided by Holland?

Each year at the end of his Easter speech, the Pope gives Holland a little extra attention for this reason. He says, “Thank you for the flowers,” in broken Dutch!

5. Essential Easter Monday Vocabulary

A Sandy Beach

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important vocabulary for Easter Monday!

  • Maandag (n) — “Monday”
  • Strand (n) — “Beach”
  • Pasen (n) — “Easter”
  • Druk (adj) — “Crowded”
  • Festival (n) — “Festival”
  • Familie (n) — “Family”
  • Winkelen (n) — “Shopping”
  • Amsterdam (pr. n) — “Amsterdam”
  • Lunchen (n) — “Lunch”
  • Paasei (n) — “Easter egg”
  • Vrije (adj) — “Free”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to visit our Dutch Easter Monday vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Easter Monday in Dutch culture with us, and that you were able to take away some valuable information.

Do you celebrate Easter in your country? If so, are traditions there similar or pretty different from those in the Netherlands? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

If you want to learn even more about Dutch culture and holidays, DutchPod101.com has you covered:

Whatever your reasons for wanting to learn the Dutch language or immerse yourself in the culture, know that DutchPod101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of fun and effective lessons for learners at every level, there’s something for everyone.

Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning with us. 🙂

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The Dutch Calendar: Talking About Dates in Dutch

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Did you know there are many different types of calendars?

As you probably know – a calendar is a system of organizing days in weeks and months for specific purposes, according to Wikipedia.

Worldwide, most countries use the Gregorian calendar. Some just work on the same framework, meaning that time is divided into units based on the earth’s movement around the sun – the “solar calendar”. Other calendars keep time by observing the moon’s movements, a combination of the moon and the sun’s movements, and seasons.

Through DutchPod101, you can learn all about this and so much more! Our themed, culturally relevant lessons are skillfully designed so you can do your planning perfectly for a holiday or a date.

Having a good plan for a visit or a trip is like studying well for an exam. You’re just so much better prepared! For that, you could well need specific phrases to plan around appointments and such, especially on business trips. Make sure to use the charts we provide here with the days of the week in Dutch, as well as the months in Dutch to navigate your way as you plan. Great resources!

Also – always remember to have fun!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Dutch?
  2. Talking About your Plans
  3. Can DutchPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

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1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Dutch?

Days of the Week

Well, that’s not a difficult question to answer. No matter why you’re travelling, it would be best to at least know the names of days and months in Dutch. You don’t want to miss your flight or an appointment because you confused “vrijdag” (Friday) with “zaterdag” (Saturday)! Or maybe you planned a holiday for “juli” (July), but you booked a flight for “juni” (June) by accident!

Avoid this confusion by learning the Dutch calendar before you leave.

Now, as promised, the 15 phrases to help you make and discuss plans.

2. Talking About your Plans

Months of the Year

Perhaps you’re working in Netherlands, or maybe you’re enjoying a prolonged holiday. Fabulous! Memorize these phrases so you can be sure to successfully negotiate meetings, appointments, dates, events, the list goes on!

1. Wat ga je dit weekend doen?

“What are you doing this weekend?”

This question is usually a preamble to inviting someone somewhere. Given that it’s over the weekend, it probably means a casual get-together or another social event. (But not necessarily! A manager or boss could also ask this for entirely different reasons.)

It’s a handy phrase to know when you’ve made Dutch or expat friends in the country. Or, be the one doing the inviting. Then train your ear to learn the following phrases so you can understand the response.

2. Ik ga dit weekend reis.

“I am traveling this weekend.”

This could be a reply if you’re not available because you’re doing other fun stuff.

No matter why you are visiting Netherlands, do take the time to explore the country! It’s beautiful and it has so many wonderful, interesting spots ready to be visited.

Couple at booking in Desk

3. Ik ben van plan om thuis te blijven.

“I am planning to stay at home.”

Maybe you feel unwell, but don’t want to give too much information? Or maybe you have work to do? Perhaps you just need some quiet gardening time…it doesn’t matter. This response is polite and honest without oversharing.

It could also be a slightly open-ended response, depending on how you deliver it. Because hey, being home could still mean your plans are flexible, right?

That said – depending on your relationship with the inviter, nuances like these will probably not be so apparent in a foreign culture. So, best to use this excuse for declining an invitation only if you are truly set on staying in.

Woman Doing Gardening

4. Dit weekend heb ik het druk.

“This week I am busy.”

Another polite phrase that gives a reason for declining an invitation but without oversharing details.

Don’t decline too many invitations, though! You don’t want people to think that you’re too busy to hang out with them. They will stop inviting you out, and you know how the saying goes – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…! Being social is good for the soul.

5. Ik ben morgen vrij.

“I am free tomorrow.”

Yay! Perhaps you were approached by that person and they asked about your availability for a date. This would be a fine reply. Not too eager, but still indicating that you’re interested.

Or maybe you’re just replying to a colleague or manager’s request for a meeting. Polite, honest and clear.

Alternatively, you’re just busy right now, and plans are not going the way they were…well, planned. Compromise is a lovely thing! And this phrase sounds just like that.

Use it to indicate that you want to accommodate an invitation or the inviter’s plans, despite your current unavailability. Only if you are really free, of course.

6. Kunnen we dit opnieuw plannen?

“Can we reschedule this?”

So, life happened and you are unable to meet obligations or attend a planned meeting. This is a suitable question to ask if you wish to indicate your willingness to still engage with whatever is on the table.

Obviously you should (ideally) not ask to reschedule a party or big meeting! (Unless you’re the boss or it’s your own party, of course.) But if there’s reasonable wiggle room regarding arrangements, then this one’s your question.

Business Man Sitting with Schedule

7. Aan het eind van de maand heb ik genoeg tijd.

“I will have enough time at the end of the month.”

A go-to phrase when events or activities are likely to take up a lot of your time, such as going away for a weekend, spending the day at a local market, or writing your manager’s quarterly report (with 20 flow-charts in Powerpoint) – anything that won’t only take an hour or two.

8. Welke tijd komt het beste bij je uit?

“When is the best time that suits you?”

Remember phrase #5? That was a possible reply to this question. Asked by your crush, very possibly! Or, it could be asked by any other person for any other reason, doesn’t matter.

If this is addressed to you, it usually means that the person respects your time and schedule, which is a good thing. It probably also means that their own schedule is flexible, another good thing.

This is also a polite question to ask when a manager or senior colleague wants to meet with you. Let them decide on the time, and be as accommodating as possible. This attitude shows respect for seniority – good for career building. (Within reason, of course. You don’t need to postpone your wedding or your paid-up holiday to Australia because your manager wants to see you.)

Screen Tablet Hotel

9. Is dit een goede datum voor je?

“Is this date OK with you?”

But – if the other party insists that you choose a time for a meeting, appointment, or date etc., then do so! Respond with this nice, somewhat casual question that leaves space for negotiation, but only needs a simple reply.

Suitable for friends, and casual acquaintances and colleagues.

10. Ben je op die dag beschikbaar?

“Are you available on that day?”

This is the a-bit-more-formal version of the previous question. Again, it has room for negotiation, but only needs a simple response – nice and neat!

Maybe this is the go-to question when you’re addressing your seniors at work, or a person much older than you.

11. Kunnen we het zo snel mogelijk doen?

“Can we do it as soon as possible?”

This question has an urgency to it that should preferably be responded to with the same. A simple reply will be good – yes or no. Less negotiable, this is still polite because it’s a question that gives you a choice.

But stand ready with one of the phrases in this article to help tie down a time and date!

Couple Getting Engaged on a Bridge

12. Ik ben elke avond beschikbaar.

“I’m available every evening”

If you’re going to reply with this phrase, context is everything.

– If it’s your manager asking you to put in a bit of overtime, and you are available to – great reply! When deadlines are tight and everybody is stressing, your willingness to go the extra mile can only improve your relationship with your boss.

(Still, no need to be a doormat! If you get asked to work overtime too often, or if everyone else is goofing around while you have to graft, then re-evaluate the situation. And if you feel you’re being exploited a bit, don’t stress! Equip yourself with the diplomatic, yet assertive responses right in this article.)

– If it’s an old friend or longtime significant other asking to hang out – good reply. You know one another and appearances don’t matter any longer.

– If it’s a new crush who just asked when you’d be available for a date – stop. Not such a great reply. Tone down a bit! “Interested but not overly eager” is what you’re going for here.

Refer back to response #5, or use a counter-question, such as #1. Whatever suits you.

But if they – or anyone else – invite you to scale the Himalayas with them, then the next phrase will probably be the only sane response!

Mountaineer in Snow

13. Ik moet dit ruim van tevoren plannen.

“I need to plan this well in advance.”

So, as said under #9, perhaps you’re invited to join someone conquer the Himalayas.

Or your company manager wants you to plan the Party that Tops All Year-End Parties Forever.

Simply – if you get asked to do something that you know will need a lot of thorough planning, this is a good phrase to respond with.

It’s an assertive phrase that demonstrates two things regarding your attitude:

a) That you know your own abilities, and respect your own schedule.
b) That your respect other people’s time and schedule too.

Then just be sure to actually do that planning well in advance!

14. We moeten een andere datum vinden

“We need to find another date.”

So, you’re in negotiations regarding a date.

This is an assertive statement that should probably not be used with a “My way or the highway” attitude.

That stuff only works in the movies – think sharp-tongued Samuel L. Jackson. Or fierce Kristen Stewart. Yea, they can be scary, so tone down that tone.

Also, be mindful that fickle people who change plans all the time don’t keep friends! Taking others’ needs into consideration, while simultaneously having your way is a delicate art that takes proper cultivation. Use this phrase sparingly – we have better ones here to negotiate with.

Rock Concert Hands in the Air

Of course, if your planned trip to the dentist falls on the same day as the only Billie Eilish concert close by…well, priorities are priorities. Feel free to call the dentist with this phrase. Or even better, use the next one.

15. Op die dag kan ik niet.

“I cannot do it on that day.”

This is the low-key-but-still-firm cousin of the previous phrase. You’re stating a personal fact, and depending on your tone, this can be as non-negotiable as you prefer.

Again, only use this when you really mean it, if you’re visiting Netherlands or any other foreign country.

So, that’s it, folks! Which phrase did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments!

3. Can DutchPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

Numbers

Well yes, of course!

We think you will find these phrases easy to use when talking about dates and months in Dutch. But knowing how to employ them properly could help you avoid sticky situations!

DutchPod101 is uniquely geared to help you with this and so much more.

This InnovativeLanguage.com initiative is one of many online language-learning courses. With us, you’ll find it easy and fun to learn a new language, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Immediately upon enrollment, you’ll receive hundreds of well-designed lessons to get you going.
  • Watch superb recordings of native Dutch speakers in cool slide-shows – the easy way to practice till you sound just like a native speaker yourself!
  • Also immediately upon enrollment, you’ll get access to a huge library of free resources! These include extensive, theme-based Vocabulary Lists and a Word of the Day List (For free, hot bargains!) These alone are sure to give your vocab-learning boxing gloves.
  • You’ll also immediately be able to use an excellent and free Dutch online dictionary. Necessary for quick, handy translations, no matter where you find yourself.
  • For the serious learner, there are numerous enrollment upgrades available, one of which offers you a personal, online Dutch host. Allow us to hold your hand and support you in your learning!

If you’re serious about mastering Dutch easily yet correctly, DutchPod101 is definitely one of, if not the best, online language learning platforms available. Talking about your plans or dates in Dutch need not ever spoil your stay.

So, hurry up—enroll today!

Learn How to Talk About Your Family in Dutch

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Did you know that only some reptiles and birds don’t parent their offspring? Except for crocodiles, all reptiles (and one family of bird species called megapodes) hatch from eggs and grow up alone, without any family.

The rest of us need family if we are to survive and thrive – humans and animals alike!

At DutchPod101, we know how important family is. Therefore, we take care to teach you all the important vocabulary and phrases pertaining to family.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Is It Important to Know Dutch Vocabulary about Family?
  2. Learn a New Culture? Learn its Family Vocab first
  3. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch Family Terms

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1. Why Is It Important to Know Dutch Vocabulary about Family?

Lioness with Cub

Well, if you’re serious about studying any new language, then learning about the most important social unit in Dutch culture would be a crucial part of your education.

What is family, though? Strictly speaking, it’s a group of people who live together and are supposed to take care of one another. Some of them are genetically linked.

Family isn’t just about who we’re related to by blood, of course. It’s also one of the main influences in shaping every child’s life.

Family is Important for Children’s Healthy Development

Phrases Parents Say

Family is the single most important influence in a child’s life. Children depend on parents and family to protect them and provide for their needs from the day they were born.

Primary caregivers, which usually comprise parents and family, form a child’s first relationships. They are a child’s first teachers and are role models that show kids how to act and experience the world around them.

By nurturing and teaching children during their early years, families play an important role in making sure children are ready to learn when they enter school.

Families Can Take All Shapes and Sizes

However, the way families are put together is by no means standard.

Mom and Daughter

Single-parent and same-gender households have become a new norm the past few decades, and there’s no shame in this. When there is love, connection and proper care, a child can thrive anywhere.

Everyone also knows that sometimes friends can become like family and remain with us for life, because it’s all about human connection.

After all, we share many commonalities simply because we’re human, and we are programmed to connect with one another and belong to a group. This is very important for our well-being and survival.

It’s All About Feeling Connected

As John Northman, a psychologist from Buffalo, NY, told WebMD – feeling connected to others contributes to mental as well as physical health.

He pointed out that when people feel connected, they feel better physically, and they’re also less likely to feel depressed.

Couples Chatting

Or, if they do feel depressed, they’d be in a better position to get out of it when they feel they are connecting with others. This is because they would be psychologically supported too, Northman said.

There has even been some links drawn between addiction and feeling disconnected from others. According to an article in Psychology Today, research indicates that addiction is not solely a substance disorder, but also affected by people feeling insecurely attached to others.

It showed that securely attached individuals tend to feel comfortable in and enjoy life, while insecurely attached people typically struggle to fit in and connect.

2. Learn a New Culture? Learn its Family Vocab first

So, it’s clear that for most of us, family is our entry point into connection and belonging. This is true of every culture, so in every country, family takes prominence.

For this reason, DutchPod101 offers culturally-relevant lessons that will equip you well to understand families in Netherlands.

Here are some of the most important Dutch vocabulary and quotes about family and parenting!

A) Dutch Family Vocabulary

Let’s start with the basic vocabulary. Without this collection of words, you’ll have a hard time describing any member of your family at all.

Family Terms
Family
familie
Great grandfather
overgrootvader
Mother
moeder
Grandmother
grootmoeder
Father
vader
Grandfather
grootvader
Wife
vrouw
Grandchild
kleinkind
Husband
echtgenoot
Granddaughter
kleindochter
Parent
ouder
Grandson
kleinzoon
Child
kind
Aunt
tante
Daughter
dochter
Uncle
oom
Sister
zus
Niece
nicht
Brother
broer
Nephew
neef
Younger sister
jongere zus
Younger brother
jongere broer
Older brother
oudere broer
Great grandmother
overgrootmoeder
Cousin
nicht
Mother-in-law
schoonmoeder
Father-in-law
schoonvader
Sister-in-law
schoonzuster
Brother-in-law
zwager
Partner
partner

Family of Three

B) Quotes About Family

Dutch Family Quotes

One of the ways to improve your Dutch language skills is by memorizing quotes from books, or poems.

Either source some from Dutch literature, or make use of ours!

Je kiest je gezin niet zelf. Ze zijn Gods geschenk aan jou, als wat jij voor hen bent.

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” – Desmond Tutu

Familie is niet een belangrijk ding. Het is alles.

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox

Familie betekent dat niemand wordt achtergelaten of vergeten.

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” – David Ogden Stiers

Mijn familie is mijn kracht en mijn zwakte.

“My family is my strength and my weakness.” – Aishwarya Rai

Het gezin is een van de meesterwerken van de natuur.

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” – George Santayana

Wanneer er problemen komen , is het je familie die je steunt.

“When trouble comes, it’s your family that supports you.” – Guy Lafleur

Het gezin is de eerste essentiële bouwsteen van de menselijke samenleving.

“The family is the first essential cell of human society.” – Pope John XXIII

Er bestaat niet zoiets als plezier voor het hele gezin.

“There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Je moet je eer verdedigen. En je familie.

“You have to defend your honor. And your family.” – Suzanne Vega

Alle gelukkige gezinnen lijken op elkaar; elk ongelukkig gezin is ongelukkig op zijn eigen manier.

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy

C) Test Your Knowledge!

Do you feel you have learned a lot in this blog? Let’s quickly test that!

In the table below, match the Dutch vocabulary on the left with the definition of the relative in the right column.

MY RELATIVES
Relative Name Definition
1. familie a. My male child
2. moeder b. My older male sibling
3. vader c. My female sibling
4. vrouw d. My child’s child
5. echtgenoot e. My child’s female child
6. ouder f. My female parent
7. kind g. My grandparent’s mother
8. dochter h. Mother to one of my parents
9. zoon i. Relatives
10. zus j. My female child
11. broer k. My younger male sibling
12. jongere zus l. Male spouse
13. jongere broer m. The father of one of my parents
14. oudere broer n. My child’s male child
15. overgrootmoeder o. My children’s father or mother
16. overgrootvader p. The sister of one of my parents
17. grootmoeder q. The brother of one of my parents
18. grootvader r. My male parent
19. kleinkind s. My sibling’s female child
20. kleindochter t. My sibling’s male child
21. kleinzoon u. My male sibling
22. tante v. My parents’ sibling’s child
23. oom w. Female spouse
24. nicht x. The grandfather of one of my parents
25. neef y. The person I am a parent to
26. nicht z. My younger female sibling

How did it go? Don’t worry if you had trouble with it – you’ll get there! With a bit of practice, and our help at DutchPod101, you’ll soon have these family terms under the belt.

Family Shopping

3. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch Family Terms

We hope that we helped you expand your family in Dutch vocabulary!

DutchPod101, with its innovative online learning system, stands out among online learning platforms to help you master Dutch easily.

Our lessons are tailored not only to increase your language skills, but to also inform you of Dutch culture, including the Dutch family structure.

When you sign up, you will get instant access to tools like:

1 – An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
2 – A new Dutch word to learn every day
3 – Quick access to the Dutch Key Phrase List
4 – A free Dutch online dictionary
5 – The excellent 100 Core Dutch Word List
6 – An almost limitless Lesson Library for learners of all levels

Further speed up your learning with the help of a personal tutor, who will first assess your current Dutch language abilities to personalize your training and tailor it to your needs.

Hard work always pays off, and to help you in this, DutchPod101 will be there every step of the way toward your Dutch mastery!

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Answers: 1.i. 2.f. 3.r. 4.w. 5.l. 6.o. 7.y. 8.j. 9.a. 10.c. 11.u. 12.z. 13.k. 14.b. 15.g 16.x. 17.h. 18.m. 19.d. 20.e. 21.n. 22.p. 23.q. 24.s. 25.t. 26.v.

Sinterklaas Arrives: St. Nicholas’ Eve in the Netherlands

Each year on his birthday, Sinterklaas arrives in the Netherlands with his helpers and gives out candies and gifts to children who have been good. Saint Nicholas Eve, the night before St. Nicholas Day, is also a time of gift-giving and pleasant surprises among adults, in honor of the real saint this holiday is based on.

In this article, you’ll learn about how the Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas and about the traditional Sinterklaas stories.

Ready? Let’s get started!

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1. What is St. Nicholas’ Eve?

St. Nicholas Eve is the night before Sinterklaas and the Saint’s birthday. On this night, Saint Nicholas arrives in the Netherlands with presents. Although most Dutch people have grown up with this celebration, for most non-Dutch people this holy man is an entirely unfamiliar phenomenon. So let’s get to know him!

The Saint and his helpers arrive in the Netherlands from Spain around mid-November. From then on, children get to place their shoes next to the hearth before they go to bed so that Saint Nicholas’ helpers (known as Black Peters) can put a small gift in them (for example, a chocolate letter).

Black Peter is Sinterklaas’ helper. Many children love the “Peters” because they like to be mischievous; they dance comically and throw candies around for the children to pick up. They climb on rooftops and come down the chimney at night to put a little gift in the children’s waiting shoes. Of course, this is only for children who have been good all year. Children who’ve been bad are put in the sack and taken back to Spain.

In Holland, the name of Sinterklaas’ horse is Amerigo. We also know him as a grey. But in Flanders, the name of Sinterklaas’ horse is Bad-Weather-Today!

2. When is St. Nicholas’ Eve?

December 5

Each year, the Dutch celebrate St. Nicholas’ Eve on December 5.

3. Saint Nicholas Eve Celebrations

Chocolate Letters

All the children sing special Sinterklaas songs for Saint Nicholas and his “Peters” as they put their shoes out. They also watch the Sinterklaas News daily on national television to stay informed about their activities.

Adults also celebrate by exchanging gifts on behalf of the Saint during Sinterklaas parties. These are usually accompanied by a special little Sinterklaas-themed rhyming poem—a kind of limerick—and are wrapped similarly to how Christmas gifts in the United States are. Family members and friends often draw names to know who to prepare a surprise for. The surprise element here is far more important than the actual gift-giving!

The Dutch also do plenty of feasting and drink lots of hot chocolate in celebration of the life of the real St. Nicholas, who was known for giving gifts to children.

4. Where was Sinterklaas Born?

Do you know where the good Saint originally came from, according to history books?

About 1700 years ago, Sinterklaas was born in the town of Patara (present-day Turkey), and not in Spain as most Dutch people think. The location of the Saint’s headquarters is top-secret, of course.

If you’ve been bad this year and he takes you back with him in the sack, the question is whether you’ll end up in Spain or in Turkey!

5. Essential St. Nicholas’ Eve Vocabulary

Saint Nicholas

Here’s some Dutch vocabulary for you to memorize before St. Nicholas’ Eve!

  • Wortel — “Carrot”
  • Maan — “Moon”
  • Schoorsteen — “Chimney”
  • Pepernoot — “Spice nut”
  • Speculaas — “Ginger cookie”
  • Chocoladeletter — “Chocolate letter”
  • Zwarte Piet — “Black Pete”
  • Sinterklaas — “Saint Nicholas”
  • Pakje — “Present”
  • Amerigo — “Amerigo”
  • Mijter — “Mitre”
  • Vijf december — “December 5”
  • Roe — “Birch rod”
  • Sinterklaasfeest — “Saint Nicholas Day”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, check out our Dutch St. Nicholas’ Eve vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the Dutch Sinterklaas celebrations? I think we can all agree that a holiday involving gifts, singing, and hot chocolate is a good one. 😉

This holiday doesn’t even scratch the surface of Dutch culture and traditions, though. If you want to learn even more about the Netherlands and the Dutch people, or perhaps some more vocabulary for the winter, DutchPod101.com has plenty of fun and informative sources for you to check out:

At DutchPod101.com, learning Dutch doesn’t have to be a boring or overwhelming process. We do everything we can to make it as painless and fun as possible!

If you’re serious about mastering the Dutch language, create your free lifetime account today!

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How To Post In Perfect Dutch on Social Media

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You’re learning to speak Dutch, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much so that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in Dutch.

At Learn Dutch, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your Dutch in the process.

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1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in Dutch

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in Dutch. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

Jan eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of the group, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down Jan’s post.

Uit eten met de mannen!
“Out for dinner with the guys!”

1- uit eten

First is an expression meaning “dining out.”
Thursdays and Fridays are especially popular to go out for dinner in the Netherlands. A word often related to food is “lekker,” which can be translated as “tasty” or “delicious.” In Dutch the verb “to eat” and the noun “food” are the same word: “eten”. It depends on the context and the sentence whether it is a verb or a noun.

2- met de mannen

Then comes the phrase – “with the guys.”
Note that this is only applicable to a group of guys. If you have a group of girls you would say “met de meiden,” which means “with the girls”. If the group is mixed you could say “met zijn allen,” which means “with all of us.”

COMMENTS

In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

1- Gezellig! Veel plezier!

His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Fun! Enjoy yourselves!”
Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted towards the poster and wish him well.

2- Niet te veel eten.

His girlfriend’s nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “Don’t eat too much.”
Use this expression to admonish the poster to not overeat. Could be meant in a joking, teasing way, or it could be meant seriously. However, unless you know the poster well and has a very comfortable relationship, it’s seldom a good idea to instruct people on social media like they’re your children or inferiors!

3- Dat wordt genieten!

His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “It will be delicious!”
Use this expression if you want to comment on what the food looks like to you.

4- Eet smakelijk!

His girlfriend, Sanne, uses an expression meaning – “Bon appetit!”
This is a French loan-expression that roughly means: “Eat well!”

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • mannen: “men”
  • gezellig: “fun (in social event)”
  • eten: “to eat”
  • genieten: “to enjoy”
  • smakelijk: “tasty”
  • plezier: “pleasure”
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a Dutch restaurant, and wow the staff with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in Dutch

    Another super topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, most everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping sprees! Share these Dutch phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    Sanne shop with her sister at the mall, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Wij zijn even winkelen.
    “We’re out (for) shopping.”

    1- wij zijn

    First is an expression meaning “we are.”
    Dutch people like shopping. This is done alone, with family or with friends. In the big cities, there are various shopping centers to go to. The local markets are also very popular, and you can find anything you want here: clothes, fish stands, groceries, sweets, etc. Dutch people also like to make a quick trip to Belgium or Germany for some shopping.

    2- winkelen

    Then comes the phrase – “go shopping.”
    In most of the bigger cities, you will find that shops are open during the week, including Sundays. In the smaller cities, shops are open only one Sunday per month. Most shops are open from 9am to 5pm or 6pm, and they are also open at least one evening per week. Of course, supermarkets are open longer.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Geld moet rollen!

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “Money must flow!”
    Use this expression to make a joking comment on the poster’s apparent riches.

    2- Laat zien wat je hebt gekocht!

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Show us what you bought!”
    Use this expression to show you curious about the poster’s purchases. A good conversation starter.

    3- Ik ben blij dat ik niet mee hoef.

    Her boyfriend, Jan, uses an expression meaning – “I’m glad I didn’t have to join”
    Use this expression when you’re not fond of shopping. Usually said in a joking, teasing manner.

    4- Wat leuk! Veel plezier, dames!

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “How nice! Have fun, ladies!”
    Use this expression to wish someone a good time shopping.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • winkelen: “to shop”
  • geld: “money”
  • zien: “to see”
  • blij: “happy”
  • leuk: “nice”
  • veel: “many”
  • dames: “ladies”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in Dutch

    Sports events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunity for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in Dutch.

    Jan plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of the team on the beach, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Wie gaat er mee volleyballen op het strand?
    “Who wants to go play volleyball on the beach?”

    1- wie gaat er mee volleyballen

    First is an expression meaning “who wants to go play volleyball.”
    Volleyball is a popular sport in the Netherlands. Everyone likes to play volleyball from time to time, both indoor and outdoor. Beach volleyball is played in the summertime on various beaches, and you can even join small tournaments with your friends.

    2- op het strand

    Then comes the phrase – “on the beach.”
    The Netherlands has lovely sandy beaches all along the west coast. They are far from tropical (no clear blue water), but the sand is nice. During the year there are a lot of surfers, and during the summer there are a lot of beach clubs along the water. Throughout the year it is nice to have a stroll down the beach, and in the summer, when the weather is nice, you can go swimming. Also, every night you can enjoy a beautiful sunset.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ik heb al genoeg gesport vandaag.

    His supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “I already worked out enough for today.”
    Use this expression to explain that you’ve done a lot of exercise already, which is why you cannot join the game.

    2- Volgende keer ben ik er weer bij.

    His college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “I’ll be there again next time.”
    Use this expression to state you intention to join in the teamsport next time.

    3- Ik wil mee!

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “I want to join!”
    Use this expression if you’re feeling eager to join the team.

    4- Het weer is geweldig!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “The weather is amazing!”
    Use this expression just to make conversation by adding a positive comment about the weather.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • strand: “beach”
  • genoeg: “enough”
  • volgende: “next”
  • keer: “time”
  • weer: “weather”
  • geweldig: “amazing”
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in Dutch

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    Sanne shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Leuk nummer dit! Gisteren gehoord op een feestje.
    “This is a great song! I heard it at a party yesterday.”

    1- Leuk nummer dit!

    First is an expression meaning “This is a great song!.”
    The Dutch word “nummer” can refer to a song, but it also means “number.”

    2- Gisteren gehoord op een feestje.

    Then comes the phrase – “I heard it at a party yesterday..”
    In the Netherlands, Thursdays are mostly student nights for partying or going out. Fridays are great for an after-work drink, followed by a party. Both Fridays and Saturdays are great for clubbing. In the summer there are a lot of outdoor festivals, both in Belgium and the Netherlands, even if the weather is not great.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Lekker dansnummertje.

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “Great song to dance to.”
    Use this expression to share your opinion that you consider the song great to dance to.

    2- Ik ken deze al 2 maanden.

    Her nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “I’ve known this already for two months.”
    Use this expression to brag a bit that the song is old news for you.

    3- Was het een leuk feestje?

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Was it a nice party?”
    Use this expression to show you are curious about the poster’s party, and want to know more.

    4- Super! Fijne beat.

    Her college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “Great! Nice beat.”
    Use this expression to agree with the poster, and think that the song has a good rhythm or percussion.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • nummer: “song”
  • goed: “good”
  • maand: “month”
  • feestje: “party”
  • dans: “dance”
  • Which song would you share? And what would you say to a friend who posted something about sharing music or videos?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. Dutch Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers in Dutch!

    Jan goes to a DJ concert, posts an image of of the DJ at work, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    De sfeer zit er goed in! Wat een artiest!
    “Amazing atmosphere! What an artist!”

    1- De sfeer zit er goed in!

    First is an expression meaning “Amazing atmosphere!.”
    You can use this sentence in all kinds of social contexts: parties, concerts, dinners, events, meetings. It is sometimes used sarcastically to mean that the atmosphere is not so great.

    2- Wat een artiest!

    Then comes the phrase – “What an artist!.”
    There are a lot of well known Dutch DJs, such as DJ Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Hardwell and Martin Garrix.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ik was daar ook! Heb je niet gezien.

    His college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “I was there too! I didn’t see you.”
    Use this expression to make conversation about a shared experience, or to joke a bit. Very often, these concerts are attended by thousands, so missing a person you know is easy.

    2- Kippenvel! Zo mooi!

    His girlfriend, Sanne, uses an expression meaning – “Goosebumps! Really beautiful!”
    Use this phrase to express how positively you experience the song.

    3- Wat bijzonder!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “How special!”
    Use this expression to agree with the poster that the song they posted is unique.

    4- Ik heb het album. Prachtige muziek.

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “I have the album. Beautiful music.”
    Use this expression to agree with the poster that the artist is good, cause you have the album.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • sfeer: “atmosphere”
  • daar: “there”
  • kippenvel: “goosebumps”
  • bijzonder: “special”
  • prachtig: “wonderful”
  • muziek: “music”
  • artiest: “artist”
  • If a friend posted something about a concert , which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in Dutch

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Use these Dutch phrases to start a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    Sanne accidentally breaks her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Ik ben even niet bereikbaar. Mijn telefoon is kapot!
    “I’m unreachable. My phone is broken!”

    1- Ik ben even niet bereikbaar

    First is an expression meaning “I’m not reachable..”
    You can also use this sentence for your voicemail or when you are on holiday and can’t be reached.

    ‘Bereikbaar’ means reachable or available. It can also be used for a location, as in: “This place is hard to reach.” In Dutch, “Deze plek is moeilijk bereikbaar”

    2- Mijn telefoon is kapot

    Then comes the phrase – “My phone is broken!.”
    If you have some issues with your mobile phone, you could take it to one of the many small mobile phone repair shops. To replace a screen or camera, get a new charger or to have your phone made sim-free, this is the place to go if you don’t want to wait a long time at a bigger shop, or spend a lot of money on repair costs.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Het komt goed.

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “It’ll be alright.”
    Use this expression if you want to be encouraging.

    2- Ik stuur wel een kaartje.

    Her nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “I’ll send a postcard instead.”
    Use this expression when you’re feeling humorous and want to joke with the poster about their status of unreachability.

    3- Wat een drama!

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “What a drama!”
    Use this expression to agree with the poster that losing a phone (or something else) is a big deal.

    4- Dat ziet er niet goed uit.

    Her college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “That doesn’t look good.”
    Use this expression to show the poster that losing something important isn’t good, almost the same as sympathizing with them.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • telefoon: “phone”
  • komen: “to come”
  • kaartje: “postcard, entrance ticket”
  • drama: “drama”
  • kapot: “broken”
  • bereikbaar: “reachable, available”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to discuss an accident in Dutch. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in Dutch

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with how life goes. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in Dutch!

    Jan gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Ik verveel me. Iemand nog tips?
    “I’m bored. Anyone have any tips?”

    1- Ik verveel me

    First is an expression meaning “I’m bored.”
    Fun fact: in Dutch “bored” is a verb. No need to add “I am (bored)”. Bored is considered a verb in itself.

    2- Iemand nog tips?

    Then comes the phrase – “Anyone have any tips?.”
    This sentence is great to ask for tips and advice on social media. You can use it for anything. Maybe you are planning a trip and you want tips, or you have a problem and you want some advice. Just state what you want tips about, for example, “Weekend trip to Amsterdam,” and then say ‘iemand nog tips?’

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Het huis schoonmaken misschien?

    His girlfriend, Sanne, uses an expression meaning – “Clean the house, maybe?”
    Use this expression as a suggestion to while away time, thus alleviating boredom. This is probably meant in a joking manner.

    2- Buiten een wandeling maken.

    His supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “Take a walk outside.”
    This is another suggestion to relieve boredom.

    3- Kom gezellig koffie drinken!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Come by for coffee!”
    This is an invitation for coffee; in this context, it is meant to alleviate boredom.

    4- Wil je voetballen?

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “Wanna play soccer?”
    Another invitation to help the poster deal with the extra time on hand.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • tips: “recommendation”
  • huis: “house”
  • wandelen: “to take a walk”
  • koffie: “coffee”
  • voetballen: “to play a soccer”
  • buiten: “outside”
  • iemand: “anyone”
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Still bored? Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in Dutch

    Sitting in public transport after work, feeling like chatting online? Well, converse in Dutch about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    Sanne feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Wat een dag! Ik kan wel een week slapen.
    “What a day! I can sleep for an entire week.”

    1- Wat een dag!

    First is an expression meaning “What a day!.”
    “wat een dag” – “what a day” you can use this sentence in all sorts of contexts, both positive and negative. Use it when you had a rough day, a great day, if something really particular happened, or when you are really tired.

    2- Ik kan wel een week slapen.

    Then comes the phrase – “I can sleep for an entire week..”
    Dutch and Belgian office hours usually run from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm with a 30 minute to 1 hour lunch break between 12:00 and 1pm.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ga lekker vroeg naar bed vanavond.

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Go to bed early tonight.”
    Use this phrase if you mean to give the poster advice about their sleeping habits.

    2- Morgen weer een nieuwe dag!

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “Tomorrow’s another day!”
    Use this expression if you want to be encouraging, reminding them, in a way, that their fatigue will pass.

    3- Zet hem op!

    Her boyfriend, Jan, uses an expression meaning – “You can do this!”
    Use this expression to be encouraging and positive.

    4- Het zijn drukke tijden.

    Her supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “These are busy times.”
    This is a somewhat laconic statement, employed to be part of the conversation by stating the obvious.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • dag: “day”
  • bed: “bed”
  • morgen: “tomorrow”
  • nieuw: “new”
  • druk: “busy”
  • week: “week”
  • slapen: “to sleep”
  • tijd: “time”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to say you’re exhausted in Dutch! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in Dutch

    So life happens, and you manage to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in Dutch.

    Jan suffers a painful knee injury, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Nou, even geen sport voor mij… Heb mijn knie verdraaid.
    “Well, no sports for me for now… Twisted my knee.”

    1- Nou, even geen sport voor mij…

    First is an expression meaning “Well, no sports for me for now….”
    “Nou” can’t be literally translated in English. It means something like “well” and is often used in a somewhat cynical context.

    2- Heb mijn knie verdraaid.

    Then comes the phrase – “Got my knee twisted..”
    On social media most posts are about yourself. So people often leave out the personal pronoun “I” = “ik”. Normally, you always need a personal pronoun before or after the verb in Dutch. But in written language, when a sentence is about yourself and the setting is informal like social media, you can start straight away with the verb, without the personal pronoun.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ik hoop dat het snel beter gaat.

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “I hope it will get better soon.”
    Use this expression to show that you are encouraging and wish the poster well.

    2- Wat is er gebeurd?

    His college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “What happened?”
    Ask this question if you are curious about the details regarding the injury. Questions are a great way to keep a conversation going.

    3- Beterschap.

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “Get well.”
    Use this short expression to demonstrate goodwill and wish the poster a speedy recovery.

    4- Dus je gaat niet mee zaterdag?

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “So you’re not coming Saturday?”
    This question is also asking for more details, as the poster’s injury clearly has implications.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • knie: “knee”
  • beter: “better”
  • wat: “what”
  • beterschap: “get well soon”
  • zaterdag: “Saturday”
  • even: “temporarily, for the time being”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in Dutch

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    Sanne feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Wat een rotweer!
    “Such horrible weather!”

    1- wat een

    First is an expression meaning “such a.”
    The weather is probably the most favorite subject of discussion for the Dutch. It is often raining and people love to complain about it. Also, when the weather is great, people will often use this as a casual conversation starter. There is always something to say about the weather.

    2- rotweer

    Then comes the phrase – “horrible weather.”
    Because there is so much rain in the Netherlands, people are used to it. They will still go out to ride their bikes, and there is plenty to do and see indoors, like visiting nice museums.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Goed weer om binnen te blijven.

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “Great weather to stay inside.”
    Use this expression to put a positive spin on the situation.

    2- Hier schijnt de zon.

    Her college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “Here, the sun is shining.”
    Use this expression to share information and make conversation.

    3- Morgen zou het beter worden.

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “It should be better tomorrow.”
    Use this expression if you want to be encouraging by pointing out the positive.

    4- Wil je naar de bios?

    Her boyfriend, Jan, uses an expression meaning – “Wanna go to the movies?”
    Use this question to make a suggestion that will distract the poster’s attention from the weather.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • weer: “weather”
  • binnen: “inside”
  • zon: “sun”
  • hier: “here”
  • bios: “cinema (slang)”
  • How would you comment in Dutch when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about a negative feeling, though! Why not talk about romance? That will lift anyone’s mood!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in Dutch

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    Jan changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of him and Sanne together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Heel blij met deze dame.
    “Very happy with this lady.”

    1- heel blij

    First is an expression meaning “very happy.”
    When making a happy announcement, like a promotion, engagement, marriage, or birthday, it is customary to congratulate someone by saying: ‘Gefeliciteerd!’ (English: “Congratulations!” )

    2- met deze dame

    Then comes the phrase – “with this lady.”
    You could also wish the couple well by saying: ‘Veel geluk samen!’, which is – “Much happiness together!”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Gefeliciteerd!

    His college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “Congratulations!”
    As said, this is the traditional way to congratulate anyone on positive news.

    2- Geweldig nieuws!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Great news!”
    Use this expression if you want to make it clear that you really good about the news.

    3- Veel geluk samen.

    His supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “Much happiness together!”
    As said, this is another traditional way to congratulate specifically a couple on their relationship.

    4- Ik wil haar graag ontmoeten.

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “I would love to meet her.”
    This phrase indicates that you have not met the poster’s belle yet, but feel positive about the prospect.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • dame: “lady”
  • gefeliciteerd: “congratulations”
  • nieuws: “news”
  • geluk: “luck”
  • ontmoeten: “to meet”
  • blij: “happy”
  • samen: “together”
  • haar: “her”
  • What would you say in Dutch when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news – don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in Dutch

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in Dutch.

    Sanne is getting married today, so she eaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Vandaag geef ik jou het ja-woord. Dit is de mooiste dag van mijn leven!
    “Today, I give you my vows. The most beautiful day of my life!”

    1- Vandaag geef ik jou het ja-woord

    First is an expression meaning “Today I give you my vows. .”
    Instead of just “I do” to confirm your wedding vows, the Dutch say “yes, I do”. Therefore, they say, “het ja-woord,” which literally means “the yes word.”

    2- De mooiste dag van mijn leven

    Then comes the phrase – “The most beautiful day of my life!.”
    Weddings in the Netherlands only last one day. It is usually a ceremony followed by a reception with a cake and some dancing. Sometimes, dinner is also offered, but this is usually only for a small group of close family and friends.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Jullie zijn een prachtig stel!

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “You’re a wonderful couple!”
    Use this expression when you feel really good about this match, and compliment the couple on it.

    2- Een prachtige dag voor een bruiloft. Gefeliciteerd!

    Her college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “A beautiful day for a wedding. Congrats! ”
    Use this expression when you feel the weather is playing with for a beautiful wedding. You also congratulate the couple.

    3- Je bent de mooiste bruid!

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “You’re the most beautiful bride!”
    Use this expression to compliment the bride on looking stunning.

    4- Gefeliciteerd. Veel geluk samen.

    Her supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “Congratulations. Much happiness together.”
    This is an old-fashioned or traditional congratulatory wish for newly-weds.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • vandaag: “today”
  • stel: “couple”
  • bruiloft: “wedding”
  • bruid: “bride”
  • feliciteren: “to congratulate”
  • mooi: “beautiful”
  • dag: “day”
  • How would you respond in Dutch to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in Dutch

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in Dutch.

    Jan finds out he and his wife are going to have a baby, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Het is officieel. We krijgen een kleine!
    “It’s official. We’re having a little one!”

    1- Het is officieel!

    First is an expression meaning “It’s official! .”
    You can use this expression for any big reveal: having a baby, announcing a new job, arranging travel plans, getting your diploma, etc.

    2- We krijgen een kleine!

    Then comes the phrase – “We are getting a little one!.”
    It is custom in the Netherlands for the name of the baby to be revealed only after the baby is born. After the baby’s arrival, all the friends and family receive a postcard with the name of the baby, the time it was born, and more info about if and when you can visit.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Gefeliciteerd!

    His college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “Congratulations!”
    This is the customary, traditional short way to congratulate anyone on a big, positive happening in their lives.

    2- Krijg ik een neefje of een nichtje?

    His nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “Will I get a nephew or a niece?”
    This questions shows that you are curious about the gender of the baby. Questions are good conversation starters.

    3- Gefeliciteerd! Wat een geweldig nieuws!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Congrats! What great news!”
    This is another positive and enthusiastic way to congratulate anyone on a happy announcement.

    4- Jullie eerste kindje! Gefeliciteerd!

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “Your first baby! Congratulations!”
    These phrases combine the traditional congratulations and an exclamation that states an obvious fact. Yet, the latter emphasizes obvious enthusiasm and happiness about the announcement.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • klein: “little”
  • krijgen: “to get”
  • neef: “nephew, cousin”
  • nicht: “niece, cousin”
  • kind: “child”
  • eerste: “first”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting Dutch Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in Dutch.

    Sanne plays with her baby, posts an image of the little one, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Wat een schatje! Net als haar vader.
    “What a sweetheart! Just like her father.”

    1- Wat een schatje!

    First is an expression meaning “What a sweetheart!.”
    “schatje”= sweetheart is an expression you would only use for your partner, your child or a person/child very close to you.

    2- Net als haar vader.

    Then comes the phrase – “Just like her father..”
    “net als” is used to compare one thing with another. In this example, Sanne thinks the baby is as cute as its father. Aside from using this expression with people, it can also be used for objects or places. For instance: “De zee is blauw hier, net als tuis”, which means: “The sea is blue here, just like at home”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ze groeit zo snel.

    Her college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “She is growing so quickly”
    This is a positive comment pertaining to the baby’s development, a pretty standard one in most languages. It’s a way to partake in the conversation.

    2- Net als haar moeder!

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Just like her mom!”
    Use this expression to compliment the mother.

    3- Ze lijkt meer op jou.

    Her nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “She looks more like you.”
    Use this expression if you want to emphasize the similarity between the poster and the baby.

    4- Zo lief! Ik kom snel weer langs.

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “So cute! I will pass by again soon.”
    These phrases expresses admiration for the baby, and announces that you will visit the family at home soon.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • schatje: “cutie”
  • snel: “quick”
  • moeder: “mother”
  • lijken: “to seem”
  • lief: “cute”
  • vader: “father”
  • If your friend is a mother or father showing off their cutie pie, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in Dutch! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. Dutch Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions – some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    Jan goes to a family gathering, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    De hele familie bij elkaar, gezellig!
    “The whole family together, fun!”

    1- de hele familie bij elkaar

    First is an expression meaning “the whole family together.”
    “fam” is short for “familie”. This includes your direct family (Mom, Dad, and siblings), as well as your aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, cousins and nephews.

    In Dutch there is no linguistic distinction between nephew and cousin, both mean ‘neef’. Same for niece and cousin; they both are called ‘nicht’ in Dutch.

    2- gezellig

    Then comes the phrase – “fun.”
    Family reunions in the Netherlands are very different depending on the family. In general, the most important family events of the year are birthday parties. These are celebrated with the whole family, as well as friends and neighbors. It doesn’t matter where you live in the Netherlands, if there is a birthday party, people will make an effort to enjoy the day with friends and family.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Wat een grote familie!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Such a big family!”
    Use this expression to comment on the size of the family. A good one to post if you’re not part of the poster’s family, or if you don’t know them well.

    2- Dit is zo saai.

    His nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “This is so boring.”
    This is a personal opinion about family gatherings, and not a positive one.

    3- Ziet er gezellig uit!

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “Looks very cozy!”
    Use this expression if you feel the family members look comfortable and relatively happy together.

    4- Het was een hele leuke dag. Bedankt allemaal!

    His wife, Sanne, uses an expression meaning – “It was a great day. Thanks, everyone!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling grateful for a day that went well. It can be used as is for any type of day, not only a family gathering.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • familie: “family”
  • groot: “big”
  • saai: “boring”
  • zien: “to see”
  • bedankt: “thanks”
  • allemaal: “everyone”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in Dutch

    So, the family are going on holiday. Do you know how to post and leave comments in Dutch about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    Sanne waits at the airport for her flight, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Ik kan niet wachten! Zon, zee, strand, ik kom eraan!
    “I can’t wait! Sun, sea, beach, here I come!”

    1- Ik kan niet wachten!

    First is an expression meaning “I can’t wait!”
    You can use this sentence for any situation you anticipate with a lot of excitement.

    2- Zon, zee, strand, ik kom eraan!

    Then comes the phrase – “Sun, sea, beach, here I come!”
    As the weather is usually not great in the Netherlands, people love to go on holidays to warmer places like the south of Europe, Turkey or Egypt.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Lekker! Geniet ervan!

    Her husband’s high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “Wonderful! Enjoy it!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling excited for the poster and wish them well.

    2- Fijne vakantie!

    Her supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “Happy holidays!”
    This phrase is an old-fashioned but often used to wish someone a good experience during the holidays.

    3- Niet te bruin worden hoor.

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “Don’t get tanned too much.”
    This is an admonition for the poster to not stay in the sun for too long. Everyone knows the perils of sunburn, so this is just a reminder.

    4- Goede vlucht!

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Nice flight!”
    Use this expression to wish the holiday-goers a pleasant flight to their destination.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • wachten: “to wait”
  • kunnen: “to be able”
  • vakantie: “holiday”
  • niet: “not”
  • goed: “good”
  • vlucht: “flight”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in Dutch!

    Hopefully the trip is great!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in Dutch

    So maybe you’re strolling around at the local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy Dutch phrases to use to share your experiences!

    Jan finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Wat een vondst! Misschien is het wel een miljoen waard!
    “Look what I found! Maybe it’s worth a million!”

    1- Wat een vondst!

    First is an expression meaning “Look what I found!.”
    “een vondst” is a find, a treasure. You can use it for an object but also for a place, like a really nice restaurant you found and want to share with your friends on social media. For this, you can use the sentence “wat een vondst!”

    2- Misschien is het wel een miljoen waard!

    Then comes the phrase – “Maybe it’s worth a million!.”
    In the Netherlands it is not common to haggle in shops. At local markets it is a bit more common, but for stalls selling vintage items it is usually acceptable. The rule-of-thumb is that when items have a label with a price on it, there is very little opportunity for haggling.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Heel bijzonder!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Very special!”
    Use this expression just to leave a comment and be part of the conversation. You agree with the poster that the find is unusual.

    2- Wat is het?

    His nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “What is it?”
    Ask this question to show you are interested in the topic, and would like to know more details.

    3- Misschien word je wel rijk!

    His college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “Maybe you’ll be rich!”
    Share this opinion if you think the find may be worth something.

    4- Waar was dit?

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “Where was this?”
    This is another question after more details, and a good way to oil the conversation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • misschien: “maybe”
  • bijzonder: “particular”
  • heel: “very”
  • rijk: “rich”
  • waar: “where”
  • dit: “this”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting find?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in Dutch

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in Dutch, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    Sanne visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Er gaat niks boven de Amsterdamse grachten!
    “Nothing beats the Amsterdam canals!”

    1- er gaat niks boven

    First is an expression meaning “nothing beats”.
    Literally translated this sentence means “there is nothing above”. You can use this when you really like or enjoy something: ‘Er gaat niks boven een koud biertje’, which means, “Nothing beats a cold beer”. Or: “Er gaat niks boven mama’s zelfgemaakte pannekoeken’, which means, “Nothing beats mom’s homemade pancakes”.

    2- de Amsterdamse grachten

    Then comes the phrase – “the Amsterdam canals.”
    Amsterdam has three major canals that form the historic centre. There are many other canals in the city, as well as two major rivers. One of those is Amsterdam’s access point to the North sea.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ik ken nog een leuk lunchtentje, zit daar om de hoek

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “I know a lovely place to have lunch, just around the corner from there.”
    This comment shares a personal detail, demonstrating knowledge of the topic of discussion, and is a good way to stay part of the conversation.

    2- Niet voor mij, veel te druk.

    Her nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “Not for me, way too busy.”
    Use this expression to share your opinion about a destination.

    3- Heerlijke stad!

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Wonderful city!”
    This expression is the opposite of the previous, negative one.

    4- Ik ga er binnenkort heen! Heb je nog tips?

    Her husband’s high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “I will go there soon! Any tips?”
    Use these phrases to indicate your intention to also visit the destination under discussion. You also ask for tips from friends about this destination.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • gracht: “canal”
  • hoek: “corner”
  • mij: “me”
  • stad: “city”
  • gaan: “to go”
  • hebben: “to have”
  • niks: “nothing”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in Dutch

    So you’re doing nothing, yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in Dutch!

    Jan enjoys himself at a beautiful place, posts an image of him relaxing, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Koud biertje erbij. Ik ga nergens heen.
    “Cold drink in my hand. I’m not going anywhere.”

    1- Koud biertje erbij.

    First is an expression meaning “Cold drink in my hand..”
    The Dutch word “erbij” is not directly translatable in English. It is more of an informal slang word. It could be used in the context of an object that you are holding, like food or drinks as in this example. But it can also be used in a question form to ask if someone wants this particular food/drink item. For instance: “Biertje erbij?”, meaning “Would you like a beer with that?”

    2- Ik ga nergens heen.

    Then comes the phrase – “I’m not going anywhere…”
    Literally translated, this means “I’m going nowhere.” You can use this when you really like a place or situation (like a holiday, party, event or festival) and you want to stay there.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ik kom eraan gast.

    His college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “I’m on my way, dude.”
    Use this expression to show you’re very keen to join the poster, wherever they are. This is meant to be a joke, unless you have an actual arrangement to meet, of course.

    2- Ziet er goed uit!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Looks great!”
    Use this expression to partake in the conversation by exclaiming that the poster looks really good.

    3- Waar is dit ook alweer?

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “Where is this again?”
    Use this question to find out more details about the poster’s destination.

    4- Hoor jij niet op het werk te zijn?

    His nephew, Bob, uses an expression meaning – “Shouldn’t you be at work?”
    This question is probably meant as a joke, just to be part of the discussion.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • bier: “beer”
  • nergens: “nowhere”
  • helemaal: “completely”
  • gast: “dude”
  • waar: “where”
  • werken: “to work”
  • ook alweer: “again”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in Dutch When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    Sanne returns home after a vacation, but posts an image of their holiday home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Ik mis dit nu al! Zullen we nog een weekje gaan?
    “I miss this already! Let’s go for another week, agree?”

    1- Ik mis dit nu al!

    First is an expression meaning “I miss this already!”
    You can use the phrase ‘Ik mis’, which means “I miss” for many things: a person, a situation, a job, the sun, etc. If you miss someone and you want to tell them you can say ‘Ik mis jou’ (“I miss you” ). “Ik mis” can be followed by any verb or article plus noun.

    2- Zullen we nog een weekje gaan?

    Then comes the phrase – “Let’s go for another week?”
    “Weekje” is the diminutive of “week,” which also means “week” in English. By placing “je” or “tje” behind a noun you turn a word into the diminutive form in Dutch. For example: ‘dagje’ (“little day” ) or ‘fototje’ (“little photo” ). It is a way of expressing positive feelings about the subject under discussion, and a typically Dutch way of talking.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ik wil foto’s zien!

    Her college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “I want to see the pictures!”
    Use this expression when you are keen to see the photos of the holiday.

    2- Ik kom morgen langs en wil al je verhalen horen.

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “I will come by tomorrow and listen to your stories.”
    Use this expression to invite yourself over for a catch-up with the family.

    3- Waar ben je geweest?

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Where have you been?”
    This is a question to ask for more details about the destination of the holiday.

    4- Ik ben blij dat je het leuk hebt gehad.

    Her supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”
    This is a friendly expression of gratitude for the family’s sake, and a positive way to add to the conversation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • terug: “back”
  • foto: “photo”
  • verhalen: “stories”
  • zijn: “to be”
  • blij: “happy”
  • langskomen: “to come by, to visit”
  • horen: “to hear”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What do you post on social media during a public commemoration day such as King’s Day?

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in Dutch

    It’s an historic day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    Jan plans to partake in a King’s Day festival or party, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Koningsdag! Dat wordt weer een mooi feestje!
    “King’s Day! That’s going to be a great party again!”

    1- Koningsdag!

    First is an expression meaning “King’s Day!.”
    Traditionally King’s Day (or Queen’s day) was a holiday in the Netherlands that celebrated the birthday of the king or queen. Nowadays the king’s birthday is still celebrated but the social element is more important.

    2- Dat wordt weer een mooi feestje!

    Then comes the phrase – “This will be a good party!.”
    On King’s Day, or in Dutch “Koningsdag”, there are big street parties and a lot of flea markets. People sell homemade foods or drinks in front of their houses. Everybody is dressed in orange, there are festivals going on everywhere, and in all the city centres there are fun activities. The atmosphere is always great.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ik ga naar de vrijmarkt.

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “I’m going to the flea market.”
    Use this expression to share your plans for the day.

    2- Mijn oranje pak ligt alweer klaar.

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “My orange outfit is ready for it.”
    Use this expression to share a personal detail about your traditional costume for King’s Day.

    3- Proost!

    His college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “Cheers!”
    This is an enthusiastic, positive interjection that expresses enjoyment and conveys the general mood of the day.

    4- Gefeliciteerd met onze koning!

    His supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “Happy birthday to our King!”
    This is an old-fashioned well wish of the monarch in the Netherlands on King’s Day.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • feestje: “party”
  • markt: “market”
  • oranje: “orange”
  • Proost: “Cheers”
  • Koning: “King”
  • onze: “our”
  • If a friend posted something about a holiday, which phrase would you use?

    The King’s Day and other public commemoration days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in Dutch

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday in an unexpected way. Be sure to share this on social media!

    Sanne goes to her birthday party, posts an image of the celebration, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Bedankt allemaal voor de cadeaus en de verjaardagswensen!
    “Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and gifts!”

    1- Bedankt allemaal

    First is an expression meaning “Thanks everyone.”
    Younger people will often blend Dutch with English vocabulary. It is not uncommon to replace the Dutch “bedankt” with “thanks”.

    2- voor de cadeaus en verjaardagswensen!

    Then comes the phrase – “for the birthday wishes and gifts!”
    In the Netherlands, when it’s your birthday you have to bring your own cake to your work or birthday party. Your friends, family and colleagues will bring you gifts for your birthday. This applies not only to children but to adults also.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Van harte!

    Her supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “Congratulations!”
    This is the traditional way to congratulate someone on their birthday.

    2- Gefeliciteerd! Ik hoop dat je een heerlijke dag hebt met je familie en vrienden.

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Congrats! I hope you have a wonderful day with your family and friends.”
    This is a casual but warm-hearted well-wish and birthday congratulation.

    3- Fijne verjaardag!

    Her husband’s high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “Happy birthday!”
    The traditional birthday wish.

    4- De taart was zo lekker! Ik wil meer!

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “The cake was delicious! I want more!”
    These phrases share personal details about the birthday party in a humorous manner.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • bedankt: “thanks”
  • verjaardag: “birthday”
  • vrienden: “friends”
  • fijn: “pleasant”
  • taart: “cake”
  • meer: “more”
  • cadeaus: “gifts”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in Dutch

    Impress your friends with your Dutch New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    Jan celebrates the New Year, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Gelukkig nieuwjaar iedereen! Proost!
    “Happy New Year, everyone! Cheers!”

    1- Gelukkig nieuwjaar iedereen

    First is an expression meaning “Happy New Year, everyone!”
    The words “new” and “year” have merged into one word when speaking of the new year that is about to start or has just started. Normally the words “new” and “year” are written separately. This is only relevant when you write it because in the pronunciation you don’t hear a difference.

    2- Proost!

    Then comes the phrase – “Cheers!”
    At midnight on New Year’s eve, people usually toast with champagne. A traditional snack that is only available around New Year’s is called “oliebol,” which can be translated as “oil ball,” a deep fried dough snack with raisins.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Happy New Year!”
    This is the standard response to the poster’s New Year’s wish.

    2- Proost, op een mooi jaar!

    His high school friend, Chantal, uses an expression meaning – “Cheers to a wonderful year!”
    Use this expression to toast the year to come, wishing everyone well.

    3- De beste wensen!

    His supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “Best wishes!”
    Use this expression for a short and traditional New Year’s wish.

    4- Jij ook gelukkig nieuwjaar!

    His college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “Happy New Year to you too!”
    Use this expression to wish the poster the same as he wishes you.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • nieuwjaar: “New Year”
  • gelukkig: “happy”
  • jaar: “year”
  • beste wensen: “best wishes”
  • ook: “also”
  • iedereen: “everybody”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    But before New Year’s Day comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in Dutch

    What will you say in Dutch about Christmas?

    Sanne celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of the group, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Sanne’s post.

    Kerst vieren met de familie. Veel te veel gegeten!
    “Celebrating Christmas with the family. I ate way too much!”

    1- Kerst vieren met de familie

    First is an expression meaning “Celebrating Christmas with the family. .”
    In the Netherlands, Christmas Eve is celebrated on the 24th of December. The first Christmas day is celebrated on the 25th of December. And the second Christmas Day is celebrated on the 26th of December. So there are two days of Christmas. Christmas dinner is usually celebrated with the family and extended family on either of the two Christmas days. On the first day of Christmas, everything is closed. However, on the 2nd day of Christmas, supermarkets sometimes open for limited hours.

    2- Ik heb veel te veel gegeten.

    Then comes the phrase – “I ate way too much!.”
    During Christmas there are so many homemade treats and family visits that people just eat all day long, and then there is also the Christmas dinner! So eating too much is a real thing.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Sanne’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Fijne kerstdagen!

    Her supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “Merry Christmas!”
    Use this expression as a traditional seasonal wish.

    2- Groetjes aan je ouders.

    Her neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Say hi to your parents.”
    Give this instruction when you know the family, in particular the poster’s parents, and are known by them.

    3- Geniet ervan.

    Her high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “Enjoy it.”
    This is a short and sweet well wish.

    4- Iedereen een fijne kerst!

    Her college friend, Erik, uses an expression meaning – “Merry Christmas to you all!”
    This is a jovial version of the traditional season wish.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • Kerst: “Christmas”
  • Fijne kerstdagen: “Merry Christmas”
  • ouders: “parents”
  • genieten: “to enjoy”
  • jullie: “you (plural)”
  • vieren: “to celebrate”
  • familie: “family”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in Dutch

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which Dutch phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    Jan celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of the two of them together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Jan’s post.

    Ik ben de gelukkigste man op aarde dat ik jou al 1 jaar mijn vrouw mag noemen!
    “I’m the happiest man on earth that I may call you my wife for 1 year already!”

    1- Ik ben de gelukkigste man op aarde

    First is an expression meaning “I’m the happiest man on earth.”
    ‘Gelukkigste’, which is “happiest”, is the superlative of “gelukkig/happy”. When you are happy, you say: “Ik ben gelukkig”.

    2- dat ik jou al 1 jaar mijn vrouw mag noemen!

    Then comes the phrase – “that I may call you my wife for 1 year already!.”
    In Dutch the word “vrouw’ means both woman and wife, depending on the context. The same goes for husband. So ‘vrouw’ is “wife” in this context. Another word for “wife” is “echtgenote”, but this is only used in formal settings. For husband it is “echtgenoot”. But you won’t use these on social media.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Jan’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Je bent de beste! Ik hou van jou.

    His wife, Sanne, uses an expression meaning – “You are the best! I love you.”
    Use these phrases to express your appreciation of the couple, and tell them of your affection for them.

    2- Gefeliciteerd lieverds!

    His wife’s high school friend, Stephanie, uses an expression meaning – “Congrats darlings!”
    This is an affectionate expression of congratulations. It could be used in settings other than this one, whenever you wish to casually congratulate more than one person.

    3- De tijd vliegt! Gefeliciteerd!

    His neighbor, Linda, uses an expression meaning – “Time flies! Congrats!”
    These phrases express an opinion about fleeting time, and congratulations.

    4- Nog vele jaren.

    His supervisor, Nico, uses an expression meaning – “For many years.”
    Use this expression to be old fashioned.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • jaar: “year”
  • Ik hou van jou: “I love you”
  • lieverd: “darling”
  • vliegen: “to fly”
  • veel: “many”
  • vrouw: “woman”
  • kwijt: “lost”
  • beste: “best”
  • If a friend posted something about Anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn Dutch! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

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