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30+ Useful Intermediate Dutch Phrases to Up Your Game


Are you having trouble making the leap from the beginner to the intermediate level? It can be challenging to go from using simple structures in the present tense to figuring out the more difficult structures you need for expressing complex ideas or subtle feelings. 

Don’t worry; help is near. Having access to an extensive set of intermediate Dutch phrases may be the final push that will help you make this leap. And once you’re on the other side, you’ll find a lot of satisfaction in improving your skills and tackling the more challenging aspects of the language. 

In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the most useful intermediate Dutch phrases and sentence structures. You’ll get practical phrases for a wide variety of situations: talking about past events, making plans for the future, explaining your reasons, and more. 

Let’s dive in.

A Woman Studying with a Textbook and Her Cell Phone Early in the Morning

Let’s master those intermediate Dutch phrases!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Talking About Past Events
  2. Making and Changing Plans
  3. Explaining Your Reasons
  4. Making Recommendations and Complaints
  5. Reaction Phrases for Everyday Conversations
  6. Dutch Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings
  7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Talking About Past Events

When you’re at a beginner level, chances are that you will only use the present tense. But as you bridge the gap toward becoming an intermediate Dutch student, you’ll need to learn how to use the Dutch past tense to talk about past events and share your experiences. Let’s have a look at some useful intermediate Dutch phrases for talking about things that happened in the past. 

We hebben een geweldige tijd gehad.
We had a great time.
Literally: We have had a great time.

We hebben genoten van het feest gisteravond. 
We enjoyed the party last night.

Dat was de ergste dag van mijn leven.
That was the worst day of my life.

Ik werk hier nu drie jaar.
I have been working here for three years now.
Literally: I work here three years now.
This Dutch sentence uses the present tense because we’re talking about something that is still ongoing.

Vorig jaar reisde ik naar Argentinië.
Last year, I traveled to Argentina.

Ik had vroeger een hond die Billie heette. 
I used to have a dog named Billie.

2. Making and Changing Plans

Now that we have a better grasp of the past, let’s go to the future. For this, you’ll need to be able to manage the Dutch future tense. As you will gather from the following Dutch phrases for the intermediate level, there are many different ways to use this tense, and they’re all quite simple—so give them a go! Usually, mentioning the date of the event will be enough for the other person to understand you’re talking about the future; from that point on, whether you use the present or future tense is a matter of preference.

Be aware: The Dutch love to plan, so you may have to make plans in advance and avoid canceling at the last minute (as this is viewed as rude).

A How-to Guide

How do you make and change plans in Dutch? Let’s have a look!

Ik ben volgende week beschikbaar.
I am available next week.

Heb je dit weekend tijd?
Do you have time this weekend?

Wil je vanavond pizza eten? 
Do you want to eat pizza tonight?

Mag ik mijn vriend/vriendin meenemen? 
Can I bring my boyfriend/girlfriend?

Kunnen we het naar volgende week verplaatsen?
Can we move it to next week?

Zouden we een nieuwe afspraak kunnen maken?
Could we make a new appointment?

We hebben het er later over in onze bespreking.
We will talk about it later in our meeting.

    ➜ Do you want to learn more useful phrases for talking about your plans? Then have a look at our free vocabulary list Talking About Your Plans, which comes with audio recordings so you can practice your pronunciation.

3. Explaining Your Reasons

Another essential set of Dutch phrases for the intermediate level consists of those for explaining the reasons behind your actions. Describing your reasons is quite straightforward in Dutch; it only takes a few key words and structures to start talking about causes and consequences. See what we mean by taking a look at the useful intermediate Dutch phrases we’ve listed below. 

Ik eet geen eieren of vis want ik ben allergisch.
I don’t eat eggs or fish because I’m allergic.

Ik hou van deze muziek omdat ik er graag op dans.
I like this music because I like to dance to it.

Ik ben een beetje dronken, dus ik loop terug naar huis. 
I am a bit drunk, so I’ll walk back home.

Omdat ik uitgeput was, sliep ik tot in de middag.
Because I was exhausted, I slept until noon.

Ik praat zachtjes want ik wil haar niet wakker maken.
I’m speaking softly because I don’t want to wake her up.

4. Making Recommendations and Complaints

One way to gain a deeper insight and understanding of people is to share our opinions and learn from each other’s experiences. Making recommendations or complaints is a great way to bond with people. Whether you want to recommend a great restaurant to your friends or discourage them from reading a boring book, the following intermediate Dutch phrases will help you get the message across. 

Je moet dit proberen. Het is de beste koffie die ik ooit heb gehad.
You should try this. It’s the best coffee I’ve ever had.

Dit is mijn favoriete restaurant.
This is my favorite restaurant.

Dit is de beste pizzeria van de stad.
This is the best pizza place in town.
Literally: This is the best pizza place of the city.

Ik heb echt genoten van deze film. Ik zou hem graag nog een keer zien. 
I really enjoyed this movie. I would like to see it again.

Ik zou dit boek niet aanraden, ik vond het erg saai.
I would not recommend this book; I found it very boring.

    ➜ Do you want to learn more? Have a look at our vocabulary list Making Complaints in Dutch, which comes with useful audio recordings for pronunciation practice.

5. Reaction Phrases for Everyday Conversations

A Man and a Woman Chatting Over Coffee

Get ready for everyday Dutch conversations by learning these useful intermediate Dutch phrases!

Are you interested in improving your Dutch conversation skills? In this section, we’ll teach you some short intermediate-level phrases for reacting to statements and expressing emotions like enthusiasm, curiosity, and disbelief. Being able to react fully (rather than just saying yes or no) is a great step forward in becoming more fluent in Dutch.

1 – Great!

Ik vind de serie die je me hebt aangeraden heel erg leuk.
“I really love the series you recommended to me.”

Wat leuk, ik ben blij dat je het leuk vindt!
“That’s great; I’m glad you like it!”

2 – Sorry.

Ik heb een notenallergie.
“I have a nut allergy.”

Oh, sorry, dat wist ik niet.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t know.”

3 – I can’t believe it.

Ik hou niet van kaas.
“I don’t like cheese.”

Echt waar?
“Really?” [Formal/Casual]

Meen je het?
“Are you serious?” [Formal/Casual]

Maak je een grapje?
“Are you making a joke?” [Casual]

4 – That’s a shame.

Ik kan vanavond niet komen.
“I can’t come tonight.”

Ah, dat is jammer.
“Oh, that’s a shame.” [Formal/Casual]

Ah, dat is balen!
“Ah, that sucks!” [Casual]

5 – Keep me posted!

Ik weet nog niet of ik vanavond kan komen.
“I don’t know if I can come tonight.”

Oké, hou me op de hoogte!
“Okay, keep me posted!”

6 – Thanks for coming!

We hebben genoten van het feest gisteravond.
“We enjoyed the party last night.”

Wat fijn, bedankt voor het komen!
“How nice, thanks for coming!”

6. Dutch Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings

A Man and Woman Shaking Hands in a Car Dealership

What Dutch etiquette rules do you already know?

Last but not least, to really become an intermediate-level Dutch speaker, you should also know some Dutch etiquette phrases for social and business settings. Even though the Dutch aren’t the most polite people in the world, there is more to Dutch courtesy than just saying alstublieft (“please”) and bedankt (“thank you”). We do appreciate some etiquette, especially in the Dutch business culture. So, let’s have a look at some useful Dutch phrases for intermediate-level students who want to make a great impression in social and business settings.

Doe alsof je thuis bent. 
Make yourself at home.
Literally: Do as if you are at home.

Laat het me weten als je vragen hebt. 
Laat het me weten als u vragen heeft. 
Please let me know if you have questions.

Goede reis!
Have a good trip!

Ik kijk er naar uit om van je te horen. 
Ik kijk er naar uit van u te horen. 
I look forward to hearing from you.

Leuk je te ontmoeten. 
Aangenaam kennis te maken. 
Nice to meet you.

Sorry dat ik je stoor. 
Sorry dat ik u stoor. 
I’m sorry to disturb you.
Literally: Sorry to disturb you.

Bless you.
Literally: Health.

This is used when someone sneezes. When someone sneezes three times, some people may add morgen mooi weer (“good weather tomorrow”), but it’s old-fashioned and mostly used as a joke.

    ➜ Would you like to learn more about Dutch etiquette? You’re in luck! We have a complete guide [link] on what’s polite and what’s not in the Netherlands. It’s available for free on

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you have learned more than thirty useful intermediate Dutch phrases covering different aspects of our daily lives. As a true intermediate Dutch speaker, you can now talk about past events, make and change plans, explain your reasons, make recommendations or complaints, react to everyday conversations, and even use those tricky Dutch etiquette phrases for social and business settings. 

Are there any other types of Dutch phrases for the intermediate level you would like to learn? Or some useful intermediate Dutch phrases on another topic? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!

Try to really practice all of the intermediate Dutch phrases from our list by following these steps:

  • Read the sentence carefully and see if you can understand it.
  • Try and translate it yourself with the words and grammar that you already know.
  • Compare your results to the given translation (and to its literal translation, when needed).
  • Once you understand the words and the grammatical structure, you can make some changes to the sentence to make it more personal or applicable to other situations.
  • Once you’re comfortable enough, you could even try to rephrase it completely or make it more complex.

A Woman Wearing a Graduation Cap and Gown

Yes, you are ready to master the Dutch intermediate level!

You can start mastering these Dutch phrases for intermediate learners with the help of We offer audio and video lessons, vocabulary lists with audio recordings, and other free resources to boost your studies. With DutchPod101, you can really keep your Dutch learning fun and diverse.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you with every aspect of the Dutch language, from the pronunciation of common phrases to the expansion of your intermediate Dutch vocabulary. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

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

Guide to the Best Podcasts for Learning Dutch


Effortlessly learning Dutch: It may sound too good to be true, but it is possible. 


The solution is really quite simple: Engage in some passive listening. 

Instead of cramming endless vocabulary words and grammar rules into your memory, you can just sit back and listen to something that interests you. As is the case with Dutch movies and series, you can use Dutch podcasts to efficiently practice your listening comprehension and improve your language skills. The key here is to listen to podcasts on a regular basis, as this will give you natural exposure to the language every day. 

Podcasts are very popular these days as they give you the opportunity to listen to something while doing simple daily tasks (cleaning, cooking, walking, commuting to work, etc.). This regular passive listening will help you learn new words and idioms, and it will help solidify the grammar structures you’ve already learned.

There are many different podcasts you could use to learn Dutch, and you can find them on a variety of platforms: Spotify, the internet, or even your phone’s podcast app. 

In this article, we’ll show you the benefits of using podcasts to learn Dutch, list seven of the best podcasts for doing so, and even give you some handy tricks and tips. 

Put on your headphones and get ready to improve your Dutch!

A Woman Using Her Laptop with Headphones On

Let’s start listening to podcasts and learn some Dutch along the way.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Dutch
  2. The Best Dutch Podcasts
  3. Tricks to Help You Learn Dutch More Effectively with Podcasts
  4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Dutch

  • Practice when it suits you.
  • Improve your listening skills.
  • Reinforce correct pronunciation.
  • Consolidate your understanding of grammar as you hear different structures in context.
  • Enrich your vocabulary on the topics of your choice.

There are many ways to learn Dutch: taking classes, downloading apps, going through long vocabulary lists, doing fill-in-the-blank exercises… These are all reasonable approaches to learning Dutch, but in this day and age, there is so much more you can take advantage of—such as podcasts!

So, what are the benefits of listening to podcasts in Dutch? How can it help you learn the language? Let’s see!

    → How do you motivate yourself when learning a language? If you’re having trouble keeping yourself motivated, have a look at this vocabulary list to find some useful tips.

1 – Optimize Your Time

Practice makes perfect, so it’s necessary to get some daily exposure to the Dutch language if you want to improve. In addition to the primary method or program you’re using to study, the simple habit of listening to Dutch every day in your car, on the bus, or while doing the dishes will contribute greatly to your learning progress.

Listening to podcasts in Dutch will allow you to study during those short gaps in your busy schedule. This could be when you’re on the metro, on your lunch break, or while exercising. As such, you’ll be able to study regularly and spread your Dutch learning throughout the day. 

A Man Walking Alongside Heavy Traffic while Listening to a Podcast

Listen to Dutch podcasts while commuting.

2 – Different Levels, Different Perks

Because there are so many Dutch podcasts out there, you’ll always be able to find podcasts suitable for your current level. 

As a beginner, you may want to stick to podcasts designed for Dutch learners, as other Dutch podcasts may be difficult for you to understand. Listening to podcasts early on gives you a good sense of how the language sounds and will help you with your pronunciation.

Intermediate learners can dip into Dutch podcasts that focus on subjects outside of language learning. They can use podcasts to enhance their grammar skills, learn new vocabulary, and get more comfortable with Dutch in general. 

Advanced students may benefit the most from podcasts, especially since they’ll be able to listen to the massive amount of content out there for native Dutch speakers. You’ll have many Dutch podcasts to choose from and can listen to those that cover the topics you most enjoy.

    → Do you like listening to Dutch podcasts but need to improve your Dutch listening skills for a better experience? Have a look at our vocabulary list How to Improve Your Listening Skills for some pointers.

2. The Best Dutch Podcasts

As mentioned, there are many Dutch podcasts you can choose from. Some of them are specifically designed with Dutch learners in mind, while others are geared toward native Dutch speakers and cover a variety of topics. 

So, what are the best podcasts for learning Dutch?

1 – One Minute Dutch

  • Level: (True) Beginner
  • Theme: Teaching Podcast
  • Free

The great thing about the One Minute Dutch podcast is that each episode is only a couple of minutes long and teaches very basic Dutch concepts. There are ten short episodes that cover things like numbers, greetings, and how to introduce yourself. It’s one of the best Dutch podcasts for beginners as it introduces listeners to all the basics they need to get started. 

2 – Zeg Het in Het Nederlands (“Say it in Dutch”)

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Theme: Teaching Podcast
  • Free

Zeg Het in Het Nederlands (“Say it in Dutch”) is an intermediate-level Dutch language learning podcast that will help you improve your Dutch listening and interpretation skills. In this podcast, the narrators speak Dutch at a slow pace, and there’s even a full PDF transcript so you can follow along with the dialogue. The podcast covers a range of topics, including politics, sports, and entertainment. The episodes aren’t that long (usually under 20 minutes), so you can easily combine them with your daily activities.

3 – SBS Dutch

  • Level: Advanced
  • Theme: News
  • Free

This Dutch news podcast is produced by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), an Australian multimedia network that has a Dutch radio and podcasting program. SBS Dutch gives listeners a range of Dutch content focusing on both international and local news. You’ll have access to interviews, features, community stories, and news stories in Dutch so that you can strengthen your listening skills, broaden your vocabulary, and improve your pronunciation. 

There are many episodes available, and SBS frequently uploads new ones so you’ll always have new content to listen to. As most episodes are relatively short (between 5 and 15 minutes long), it’s the perfect way to catch up with the latest news while improving your Dutch.

4 – DutchPod101

  • Level: Absolute Beginner to Advanced
  • Theme: Teaching Podcast
  • Free content + Premium and Premium PLUS subscriptions

DutchPod101 has a great collection of podcast episodes for learners at every level, from absolute beginners to intermediate and advanced students. There are lessons explaining basic Dutch-language concepts, depicting common daily situations, and teaching first-hand information about the country. At, you can also complement these podcasts with grammar points, exercises, quizzes, vocabulary lists, and even personal coaching. As there are podcast episodes for every level, you can make use of DutchPod101 throughout your entire Dutch language learning journey.

A DutchPod101 Image with a Woman Listening to Something with Headphones

Discover the benefits of DutchPod101!

5 – Man met de Microfoon (“Man with the Microphone”)

  • Level: Advanced
  • Theme: Stories
  • Free

This is a great podcast for more advanced Dutch learners. The man met de microfoon (“man with the microphone”) drives around Amsterdam by bus in search of exciting stories from strangers. No two stories will be quite the same, as they depend on the people he encounters on the streets. This show is hosted by Chris Bajema, and each episode is around 15 minutes long. 

6 – Echt Gebeurd (“True Story”)

  • Level: Advanced
  • Theme: Stories
  • Free

Echt Gebeurd (“True Story”) is a Dutch podcast hosted by comedians and writers. It focuses on people telling true stories that are a bit unbelievable. This podcast features a wide range of storytellers recounting funny, beautiful, surprising, and special events that have really happened to them. For advanced Dutch students, it’s a fun way to challenge their Dutch skills. There are many episodes to choose from, and new ones are uploaded weekly. The episodes are about 10 or 15 minutes long, so you can perfectly combine them with your daily activities.

7 – Vloeiend Vlaams (“Fluent Flemish”)

  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Theme: History and Stories
  • Free

Are you learning Dutch but plan to use these language skills in Belgium? This podcast offers you a way to improve your Flemish skills. The podcast is relatively new and doesn’t have a lot of episodes yet. However, it tells you stories about Flemish history, and you’ll be able to listen to correct Flemish accents, intonation, and vocabulary. It’s a great way to improve your Flemish listening, comprehension, and pronunciation skills. 

3. Tricks to Help You Learn Dutch More Effectively with Podcasts

A Yellow How To Book

How can you learn Dutch by listening to podcasts?

Now that you have a list of the best Dutch podcasts for learners, you’re ready to start listening. But how can you really take advantage of these podcasts to learn Dutch effectively? 

  1. Pick the right podcast for your level.
    Although it sounds very obvious, it’s important to choose the right podcast for your level so that you don’t get discouraged. It’s better to start off easy so that you can get motivated and ready for more. You can always move on to some more challenging content later.

  2. Select the right topic for you.
    If you find a Dutch podcast with a theme that you really enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it and come back for more. Of course, it’s mainly the advanced students who have the luxury of choice and can choose the topics they’re most passionate about. 
  1. Try out several podcasts.
    There are many podcasts out there, and it’s likely that you won’t find the perfect program from Day One. Try out different podcasts to see which one matches your level and tastes. This will also expose you to more than one voice and accent.

  2. Daily exposure is key.
    Try making your podcast listening part of your routine. For example, you could try always listening to them while commuting or washing the dishes. If you can find the time for a daily podcast session, you will get that necessary exposure to really improve your Dutch. You can combine your podcast listening with many activities, but try to avoid too much multitasking as your ears and brain should be fully available.

  3. Don’t forget to mix it up.
    Passive learning has many benefits, but you’ll benefit more if you combine it with other language learning methods. So mix it up and combine those Dutch podcasts with the classic grammar and vocabulary work. Use podcasts as a complementary activity and not as your main (or only) Dutch language learning tool.

4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

A Man Listening to Music with Headphones and Dancing Along

Let’s start learning Dutch while having fun!

In this guide, you’ve learned how to boost your studies by using podcasts to learn Dutch. We have shown you our picks for the best Dutch podcasts, and we have given you some tips and tricks to apply for the best experience. 

Are there any other amazing Dutch podcasts you’re following? What do you think is the best podcast for learning Dutch? 

Don’t forget to combine those Dutch podcasts with other language learning methods, such as our vocabulary lists with audio recordings (and other free resources). With DutchPod101, you can really keep your Dutch learning fun and diverse.

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you with Dutch grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and much more. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

Happy learning on!

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

80+ Basic Dutch Phrases for Beginners


How many Dutch phrases do you know? Does it ever feel like you don’t know enough Dutch to handle the different situations that pop up every day? 

It can be frustrating not being able to explain or express yourself due to having a limited vocabulary. But having access to an extensive set of basic Dutch phrases for beginners will surely help you feel more confident about using the Dutch language. 

Luckily, you don’t have to know everything. Learning even a few Dutch beginner phrases will be enough to help you manage yourself in everyday situations and speak with clarity. 

In this article, we’ll list essential Dutch phrases for beginners that will allow you to communicate in Dutch. We have included greetings, self-introductions, goodbyes, courtesy phrases, dining and shopping phrases, and phrases you can use to ask for help. By the time you reach the end, you’ll know the best Dutch beginner phrases for a wide variety of situations.

A Woman Sitting at a Laptop with Headphones On

Let’s master these Dutch beginner phrases!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Greetings, Self-introductions, and Goodbyes
  2. Courtesy Phrases
  3. Dining and Shopping Phrases
  4. Asking for Help
  5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Greetings, Self-introductions, and Goodbyes

First, to make a great first impression, it’s important to get your Dutch greetings right. There are different greetings for different situations, from formal gatherings to more casual social encounters. When in doubt, remember that Hallo (“Hello”) is always a great option as it works well in both formal and casual situations.

[Formal or casual]

[Formal or casual]
Good morning.

[Formal or casual]
Good evening.

Hallo meneer. 
Hello, sir.

Goedemorgen mevrouw. 
Good morning, madam.

Now that you have given your Dutch greeting, you may want to ask how they’re doing. Here are some basic Dutch phrases you could use:

Hoe gaat het met u? 
Alles goed? 
How are you?
Literally: How are you going?Literally: Everything fine?

Goed, dank u. 
Ja, alles prima. 
I am good, thank you.Yes, everything is fine.
Literally: Good, thank you.

Would you like to keep the conversation going? In case you don’t know the other person, you can use the following Dutch beginner phrases to begin introductions. 

Wat is uw naam? 
Hoe heet je? 
What’s your name?

Ik heet Mark. 
[Formal or casual]
My name is Mark.

Ik ben Kim. 
I am Kim.

Waar komt u vandaan? 
Waar kom je vandaan? 
Where are you from?

Waar woont u? 
Waar woon je? 
Where do you live?

Ik ben Duits.
I’m German.

Ik woon in Parijs.
I live in Paris.

Ik kom uit Argentinië.
I’m from Argentina.
    → Not sure what the Dutch name for your nationality or country is? You can find your nationality (along with its pronunciation) on this vocabulary list and the name of your country on this one.

Hoe oud bent u? 
Hoe oud ben je? 
How old are you?

Ik ben dertig jaar oud.
I’m thirty years old.

Aangenaam (kennis te maken). 
[Formal or casual]
Nice to meet you.
Literally: Nice to get to know you.

You can either say aangenaam by itself or use the whole phrase (aangenaam kennis te maken). Both versions are perfectly fine for formal situations; in more casual settings, it sounds better to just say aangenaam.

Leuk u te ontmoeten. 
Leuk je te ontmoeten. 
Nice to meet you.

Het was leuk u gesproken te hebben. 
Het was leuk je gesproken te hebben.
It was nice talking to you.

All good things must come to an end. Here are some beginner phrases in Dutch that are perfect for ending a conversation and saying goodbye.

A Woman Waving to Someone

How do you say goodbye in Dutch?

[Formal or casual]

Tot ziens. 
[Formal or casual]
Literally: Until seeing you.

Tot later! 
See you later!
Literally: Until later.

Tot morgen. 
See you tomorrow.
Literally: Until tomorrow.

[Formal or casual]
Good luck.

Veel plezier! 
Have fun!

2. Courtesy Phrases

The Dutch might not be the politest people in the world, but there are certain manners that the Dutch highly appreciate. To give you a leg up in social settings, we have included a list of useful Dutch phrases for beginners that are considered polite and courteous in the Netherlands. Make sure to use these courtesy phrases whenever appropriate to leave a good impression on others. 

Excuseer me. 
Excuse me.
This phrase is used to catch someone’s attention before asking for something, or to apologize in advance for an inconvenience.

For example: 
  • Excuseer me, weet u hoe laat het is? (“Excuse me, do you know the time?”) [Formal]
  • Sorry, weet je hoe laat het is? (“Sorry, do you know the time?”) [Casual]

Literally: If it pleases you.

[Formal or casual]
Thank you.

Dank u wel. 
Dank je wel. 
Thank you.

Graag gedaan. 
[Formal or casual]
You’re welcome.

(Dat is) geen probleem. 
That’s no problem.

If, despite your best efforts, you make a mistake and want to apologize for it, you can keep it simple:

[Formal or casual]

Het spijt me. 
[Formal or casual]
I’m sorry.

Neem me niet kwalijk. 
Excuse me.

A Little Kid Holding Pencils and Pouting

Use these simple Dutch beginner phrases when you’re sorry.

    → A simple sorry might not be enough if you really messed up. In this case, you might want to consult our Common Ways to Say Sorry vocabulary list.

3. Dining and Shopping Phrases

As you travel through the Netherlands, you’ll surely enjoy the country’s dining culture and the many shopping places we have. Even though the staff in shops, bars, and restaurants will surely speak English, wouldn’t it be nice to practice your Dutch?

Do you plan on dining out a lot? Learning these common Dutch phrases for beginners will help you order food, ask for the bill, and more. 

Ik heb honger.
I am hungry.

Mag ik de menukaart zien?
Can I see the menu?

Ik wil graag twee koffie, alstublieft.
I’d like two coffees, please.

De rekening, alstublieft.
The bill, please.

Ik wil graag contant betalen.Ik wil graag pinnen.
I would like to pay in cash.I would like to pay by card.
These phrases will also come in handy for discussing payment options with the cashier at a store. 

We willen graag splitsen.
We would like to split the bill.
When you’re with friends (or even a date) in a bar or restaurant, it’s quite common in the Netherlands to split the bill, or “go Dutch.” In this case, you would just ask the staff if you could each pay your own part.
    → You’ll find many more restaurant phrases in our vocabulary list Useful Phrases for Ordering Food. It even contains recorded examples to help you practice your pronunciation!

Now that you’ve quieted your hunger or thirst in a nice Dutch café or restaurant, it’s time to do some shopping. Here are a few beginner phrases in Dutch that will help you shop like there’s no tomorrow:

Waar is de paskamer?
Where is the changing room?

Ik wil graag deze broek passen.
I’d like to try on these pants.

Hoeveel kost dit?
How much is this?

Ik wil graag deze jas kopen.
I’d like to buy this jacket.

Verkoopt u postzegels?
Do you sell postage stamps?
    → Do you need more shopping words? Make sure to stop by our Shopping vocabulary list.

A Man and a Woman Shopping at a Mall Together

Let’s go shopping with these useful Dutch beginner phrases.

4. Asking for Help

Since you’re reading these basic Dutch phrases for beginners, chances are you’re not fluent yet. This means there will likely be times when you get a little lost and confused. This is perfectly fine, as long as you can explain the situation and move on. The following Dutch beginner phrases will help you do just that, even when you’re dealing with that pesky language barrier! 

1 – Lost in Translation

Are you worried about listening comprehension issues during your visit? While the easiest option would be to switch to English, you should try to stick with Dutch as this will help improve your Dutch language skills. 

Ik spreek niet zo goed Nederlands.
I don’t speak Dutch very well.

Ik begrijp u niet. 
Ik begrijp je niet. 
I don’t understand you.

Hoe zeg je “dog” in het Nederlands? 
How do you say “dog” in Dutch?

Kunt u dat herhalen? 
Kun je dat herhalen? 
Could you repeat that, please?

Ik versta u als u langzaam praat. 
Ik versta je als je langzaam praat. 
I understand you if you speak slowly.

And if you really can’t save yourself in Dutch, then you could always say:

Spreekt u Engels? 
Spreek je Engels? 
Do you speak English?

2 – Asking for Directions

Besides being lost in translation, you might also really get lost when traveling in the Netherlands. When you’re stranded in the middle of a strange Dutch city or you don’t know where the nearest restroom is, you’ll definitely need to know these Dutch beginner phrases for asking directions.

Sorry, waar zijn de toiletten?
Excuse me, where are the toilets?

Waar is het centraal station?
Where is the central station?

Ik ben op zoek naar de Damstraat.
I am looking for the Damstraat.

Hoe kan ik daar komen?
How can I get there?

3 – Getting Out of Trouble

Did you get into trouble in the Netherlands or find yourself in a situation that you really don’t understand? Then these simple beginner phrases might come in handy.

Ik weet het niet.
I don’t know.

Wat is dat?
What’s that?

Wat gebeurt er?
What’s happening?

Het is oké.
That’s okay.

Het maak niet uit.
It doesn’t matter.

Maak je geen zorgen. 
[Formal or casual]
Maak je niet druk. 
Don’t worry.

5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

An Image Indicating an Upward Trend

These Dutch beginner phrases will surely help you improve your Dutch and start conversing!

In this guide, you’ve learned many phrases in Dutch for beginners: greetings, self-introductions, goodbyes, courtesy phrases, and even phrases for shopping, dining, and getting help.

Can you think of any more basic Dutch phrases you might need to know? 

You can start practicing and rehearsing these phrases right away by checking out the free vocabulary lists on Each list contains a recorded pronunciation of the words and phrases it covers, making them perfect for getting your pronunciation just right! In addition, we provide a variety of free resources and audio/video lessons for learners at every level. With DutchPod101, you can really keep your Dutch learning fun and diverse. 

Would you like some special attention? Remember that we also offer a Premium PLUS service with personal 1-on-1 coaching: MyTeacher. Let your private teacher help you with Dutch vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and much more. You’ll receive personalized exercises, constructive feedback, and interactive assignments.

Happy learning on!

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

A Useful List of 150+ Advanced Dutch Words


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

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

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

A Kid Wearing Glasses and a Graduation Cap

Let’s refine your Dutch vocabulary!

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

1. General Advanced Dutch Words

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

1  – Verbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Adjectives

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

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

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

OnaanvaardbaarDeze resultaten zijn onaanvaardbaar!
UnacceptableThese results are unacceptable!

OnwaarschijnlijkDit lijkt erg onwaarschijnlijk.
UnlikelyThis seems very unlikely.

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

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

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

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

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

3 – Adverbs

AbsoluutHet heeft absoluut geen zin.
AbsolutelyIt is absolutely pointless.

AbruptWe zijn abrupt weg gegaan.
AbruptlyWe left abruptly.

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

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

LetterlijkHij heeft dat letterlijk gezegd.
LiterallyHe said that literally.

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

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

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

4 – Linking Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Woman in a Yellow Sweater Thinking about Something

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

2. Academic Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you ready to master these academic Dutch words?

3. Advanced Business Words

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

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

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

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

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

OntslagOntslag werd overwogen.
Dismissal / ResignationDismissal was considered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

FondsenWe moeten fondsen vrijmaken.
FundsWe have to release funds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vast contract
Permanent contract

Tijdelijk contract
Temporary contract

A Businesswoman Surrounded by Sketches of Lightbulbs

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

4. Advanced Medical Words

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

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

GoedaardigDit syndroom is goedaardig.
BenignThis syndrome is benign.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BuikIk heb buikpijn.
StomachI have a stomachache.

WervelkolomDe wervelkolom is delicaat.
SpineThe spine is delicate.

RibbenMijn ribben doen pijn.
RibsMy ribs hurt.

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

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

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

5. Advanced Legal Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schriftelijk bewijsSchriftelijk bewijs van adres
Written proofWritten proof of address

DagvaardenZe dagvaardde de getuige.
To summonShe summoned the witness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CorruptieCorruptie is een misdaad.
CorruptionCorruption is a crime.

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

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

A Gavel on Top of a Book

Which advanced Dutch legal words are most useful to you?

6. Alternative Words for Acing a Dutch Language Exam

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

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

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

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

1 – Alternative Verbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Alternative Adjectives

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

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

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

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

3 – Alternative Adverbs

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

Zonder problemenProbleemloosHet evenement verliep probleemloos.
EasilySmoothlyThe event went smoothly.

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

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

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

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

Students Writing an Essay in a Classroom

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

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

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

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

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

Happy learning on!

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

Intermediate Dutch Student Guide with 300+ Useful Words


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

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

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

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

A Woman Studying on Her Cell Phone

Let’s master the intermediate Dutch level!

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

1. Pronouns

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

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

1 – Possessive Pronouns

A possessive pronoun indicates ownership:

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

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

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

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

Jouw (casual with emphasis)
Je (casual without emphasis)
Uw (formal)
Ons (het-nouns)
Onze (de-nouns and plural nouns)
Jullie (casual)
Uw (formal)

2 – Objective Personal Pronouns

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

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

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

Jou (casual with emphasis)
Je (casual without emphasis)
U (formal)
Jullie (casual)
U (formal)

3 – Reflexive Pronouns

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

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

Je (casual)
U (formal)
Zich (formal)
Zich (singular)“Himself”
Je (casual)
U (formal)
Zich (plural)“Themselves”

4 – Reciprocal Pronouns

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

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

A Woman Waving to Someone

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

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

2. Verbs

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

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

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

Six English Verbs in Colored Bubbles

What other intermediate Dutch verbs would you like to know?

3. Numbers

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

Let’s have a look.

1 – From 10 to 20


2 – Counting Up to 100


3 – To 1000 and Beyond


And from there, the sky’s the limit!

1,000,000 (106)Eén miljoen

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

4. Nouns 

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

1 – Time

Trimester“Trimester” / “Quarter”

2 – Places

The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces.

3 – Technology

A lot of Dutch people also use the English word “keyboard.”
Just like in English, muis is also the word for the cute furry animal.

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

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

4 – Home

Verdieping“Floor” / “Story”
Woonkamer“Living room”
Kast“Cabinet” / “Wardrobe” /
“Cupboard” / “Closet”

5 – City & Transportation

Buurt“Neighborhood” / “Area”
Kruispunt“Crossroad” / “Intersection” / “Junction”

6 – People


7 – Body Parts

Bil“Butt cheek”

8 – Food

Hoofdgerecht“Main dish” / “Main course”

9 – Work & Studies

Politieagent“Police officer”

10 – Clothes

Broek“Pants” / “Trousers”
Jas“Coat” / “Jacket”

Two Women Looking at Clothes

Can you already talk about clothes in Dutch?

5. Conjunctions 

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

Noch (“Nor”)

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

Dus (“Then” / “So”)

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

Anders (“Otherwise”)

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

Aangezien (“Since” / “As”)

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

Als (“When”)

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

Daarom (“Therefore” / “Thus”)

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

6. Adjectives

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

Geweldig“Great” / “Awesome” / “Amazing”
Fantastisch“Fantastic” / “Great”
Raar“Weird” / “Strange”
Bijzonder“Particular” / “Special”
Rijk“Rich” / “Wealthy”
Leuk“Nice” / “Fun”
Gelukkig“Happy” / “Fortunate”
Rustig“Quiet” / “Calm”
Vettig“Greasy” / “Fatty”
Eén na laatste“Penultimate” / “Second-to-last”

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

A Man Flirting with a Woman through a Window

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

7. Adverbs

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

1 – When

Lang geleden“A long time ago”
Eindelijk“At last” / “Finally”

2 – How Often

Doorgaans“Generally” / “Usually”

3 – Where

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

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

Ergens anders“Somewhere else”

4 – How

Snel“Fast” / “Quickly” / “Shortly”
Rustig“Calmly” / “Quietly”
Gewoon“Simply” / “Just”

5 – How Much

Hoeveel“How much” / “How many”
Zoveel“So much” / “So many”
Ongeveer“About” / “Approximately”

8. Prepositions

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

1 – Time


2 – Space

Naar rechts“To the right”
Naar links“To the left”
Voor“In front of” / “Ahead”
Naar beneden“Down”
Naar boven“Up”

3 – Other

Tussen“Between” / “Among”
Dankzij“Thanks to”

9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

A Guy Having a Lightbulb Moment while Studying

Let DutchPod101 help you master the intermediate Dutch level.

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

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

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

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

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

Happy learning on!

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

Learn Dutch Phone Call Phrases and Other Useful Words


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

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

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

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

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

Let’s make that Dutch phone call with confidence!

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

1. Phone Vocabulary

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

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

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

2. Greeting

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

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

Let’s have a look.

A Woman in a White Tank Top Waving to Someone

Which Dutch greetings do you already know?

1 – Calling

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Answering

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

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

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

3. Checking

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

1 – Calling

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Answering

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

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

4. Transferring

Some People Working in a Call Center

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

1 – Calling

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

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

2 – Answering

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

5. Stating Your Reason for the Call

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

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

6. Experiencing Phone Call Problems

A Woman Who Is Stressed Out while Talking on the Phone

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

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

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

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

7. Leaving a Message

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

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

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

A way to respond to this might be:

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

8. Ending

A Guy Giving the Peace Sign with Both Hands

How do you say goodbye in Dutch on the phone?

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

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

9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Better Dutch

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

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

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

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

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

Boost Your Dutch with These 200+ Dutch Words for Beginners


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

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

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

Let’s get started!

A Woman Trying to Understand What a Man Is Saying

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

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

1. Pronouns

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

Personal Subject Pronouns

Personal subject pronouns replace the subject of a sentence.

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

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

Impersonal Pronouns

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

Het (“It”)

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

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

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

Demonstrative Pronouns

The Dutch demonstrative pronouns are: 

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

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

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

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

Interrogative Pronouns

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

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

Indefinite Pronouns

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

2. Verbs

Common English Verbs in Colorful Bubbles

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

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

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

3. Numbers

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

A Child Solving the Problem 1+1=2

Let’s learn how to count in Dutch.

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

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

4. Nouns

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

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

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


Het uurThe hour
De minuutThe minute
De dagThe day
De maandThe month
Het jaarThe year
De ochtendThe morning
De (na)middagThe afternoon
De avondThe evening
De nachtThe night


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

Technology & Internet

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


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

City & Transportation

A Map of the Netherlands Showing Amsterdam and Limburg

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

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


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


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


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

Work & Studies

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

5. Conjunctions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Adjectives

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

A Little Girl Making Faces and Gestures to Express Different Emotions

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

GoedGood / Right / Correct
SlechtBad / Wrong / Incorrect
MoeilijkDifficult / Hard
GrootLarge / Big / Tall / Great / Major
DikBig / Fat
KleinSmall / Little
LangLong / Tall
SnelFast / Quick
LaatsteLast / Final / Latest
AlleenOnly / Alone / Lonely
MooiHandsome / Beautiful / Nice / Good
AardigNice / Kind
BlijGlad / Happy
ZiekSick / Ill
LekkerDelicious / Tasty

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

7. Adverbs

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

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

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


Volgende weekNext week

How Often

Te veelToo much
OokAs well / Too / Also



Four Friends Chatting with Coffee Drinks

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

SlechtBadly / Poorly

How Much

EchtTruly / Really
Heel / Erg / ZeerVery
VeelMany / Much / A lot
BeetjeLittle / Few
WatSome / Somewhat

8. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy learning on!

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

The 10 Most Common Dutch Filler Words


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

Of course, there are the basics. For example…

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

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

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

Let’s get to it!

Two Hands Making a Heart Shape Toward the Sun

Impress your Dutch love with these Dutch romantic phrases.

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

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

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

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

Hoe heet je?“What’s your name?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ik mis je.“I miss you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Woman Smiling as She Reads a Christmas Card

Ready to write some love letters in Dutch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pop the question in Dutch.

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

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

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

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

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

What Dutch endearment term would you use?

5. Must-know Dutch Love Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

You’re ready to find some Dutch love!

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

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

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

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

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

Dutch Negation Rules: How to Say No in Dutch


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

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

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

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

Ready? Let’s go!

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

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

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

How to say no in Dutch…

A. When to use niet

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

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

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

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

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

B. How to use niet 

A Woman in a Yellow Long-sleeved Shirt Thinking

Do you know where to place the word niet?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Some Important Negation Rules

A Woman Holding Out a Palm to Say No or Stop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C. Negative Dutch expressions

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

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

3. More Negative Words

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

A Guy Flexing with One Strong Arm and One Weak Arm

Feel strong using these Dutch negation words.

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

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

For example, if someone asks: 

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

You could say:

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

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

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

4. Negative Questions

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

A. Negative Open Questions

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

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

Question word + Verb + Subject + Niet

Let’s have a look at two simple examples:

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

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

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

B. Negative Closed Questions

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

Verb + Subject + Niet

For example:

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

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

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

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

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

5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

You now know How to say no in Dutch.

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

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

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

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

Start saying no in Dutch like a native with DutchPod101!

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


How long does it take to learn Dutch? 

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

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

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How long does it take to learn Dutch?

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

1. The Many Factors Involved

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

Your Native Language vs. Dutch

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

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

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

Your Language Learning Experience 

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

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

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

Your Motivation

Why do you want to learn Dutch? 

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

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

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Have you already found your motivation to learn Dutch?

Your Approach

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

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

2. From Beginner to Advanced

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 – Beginner Level

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

Do you want to reach the Dutch beginner level?

Let’s start with the beginner level, A1.

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

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

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

  • Word order
  • Present tense
  • Basic conjugation

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

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

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

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

2 – Intermediate Level

B1 is the intermediate level.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 – Advanced Level

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

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Ready to achieve the advanced level?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Dutch Learning Strategies to Help You Learn Faster

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

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

1 – Make Use of Online Classes

Wondering how to learn Dutch online? We hear you! 

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

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

A Woman Reading a Book on a Bus

Be efficient and learn where and when you can.

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

2 – Make Learning Dutch Fun

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

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

3 – Practice is Key

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

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

4 – Use Word Lists to Build Up a Solid Vocabulary

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

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

5 – Create a Study Schedule and Set Some Goals

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

How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch Faster

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

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

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

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

Happy learning on!

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