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List of the 100 Must-Know Dutch Adverbs

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Adverbs bring some clarity, fun, and emotion to a language. Could you imagine a language without them? It would surely make everything much more ambiguous and boring. We need adverbs to form phrases, to express our emotions, to give some perspective, and to spice up our conversations. 

Luckily, there are plenty of Dutch adverbs to choose from. From adverbs describing time and frequency, to those useful adverbs that help you connect your thoughts. Through these fun adverbs, you’ll be able to explain yourself better and more clearly express your mood, opinions, and feelings.

Are you already intrigued? Then let’s start with a short guide on the use of Dutch adverbs. After this, we’ll continue with a useful Dutch adverbs list with 100 must-know adverbs. Enjoy!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Dutch Adverbs User Guide
  2. Adverbs of Time
  3. Adverbs of Frequency
  4. Adverbs of Place
  5. Adverbs of Manner
  6. Adverbs of Degree
  7. Adverbs to Connect Thoughts
  8. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Dutch Adverbs User Guide

1- What are Adverbs?

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

So let’s show you some examples to help you understand the Dutch grammar of adverbs:

Combination of an adverb and a verb:

  • Ik ga morgen naar school. (“I will go to school tomorrow.”)

Here, the adverb morgen (“tomorrow”) defines the verb gaan (“to go”).

Combination of Dutch adjectives and adverbs:

  • Ik ben zeer goed in het leren van talen. (“I am very good at learning languages.”)

The Dutch adverb zeer (“very”) influences the word goed, which is an adjective.

    Learn more about the difference between adverbs and adjectives.

Combination of an adverb with another adverb:

  • Later deze week reis ik naar Nederland. (“Later this week, I travel to the Netherlands.”)

Here, you can see how the adverb later (“later”) and the adverb deze week (“this week”) define each other.

Top Verbs

2- Dutch Adverb Order

For the Dutch adverb placement, it’s very common to place the adverb as closely as possible after the verb. For example:

  • Ik spreek zachtjes. (“I speak softly.”)

However, if you’d like to emphasize the adverb, you can put it at the beginning of the sentence:

  • Bovendien, heb ik al plannen. (“Moreover, I already have plans.”)

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

Time-Manner-Place

So adverbs of time come before adverbs of manner, and adverbs of manner come before adverbs of place.

Now that you’ve learned something about the Dutch grammar of adverbs, let’s start with our Dutch adverbs list and dive into the different adverbs. In the following sections, we’ll be covering adverbs in Dutch related to time, frequency, place, manner, degree, and those special thought connectors.

2. Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time will tell you when something takes place.

Man Looking at His Watch

1.

Gisteren
“Yesterday”
Gisteren was ik erg moe.
“Yesterday, I was very tired.”

2.

Deze week
“This week”
Deze week begin ik met mijn nieuwe baan.
“This week, I start with my new job.”

3.

Straks
“Later”
Ik bel je straks.
“I’ll call you later.”

4.

Vandaag
“Today”
Mijn zus gaat vandaag trouwen.
“My sister gets married today.”

5.

Morgen
“Tomorrow”
Ik kan niet werken morgen.
“I can’t work tomorrow.”

6.

Dan
“Then”
Hij komt dan naar huis.
“He then comes home.”

7.

Later
“Later”
Later als ik groot ben…
“Later, when I grow up…”

8.

Vanavond
“Tonight”
Ik heb een date vanavond.
“I have a date tonight.”

9.

Nu
“Right now”
Kom nu naar huis.
“Come home right now.”

10.

Gisteravond
“Last night”
Gisteravond gingen we laat slapen.
“Last night we went to bed late.”

11.

Vanmorgen
“This morning”
Vanmorgen kon ik mijn bed niet uit komen.
“This morning, I couldn’t get out of bed.”

12.

Volgende week
“Next week”
Volgende week reizen we naar Amsterdam.
“Next week, we will travel to Amsterdam.”

13.

Al
“Already”
Ik wacht al een uur op je.
“I’ve already been waiting for you for an hour.”

14.

Onlangs
“Recently”
Ik ben onlangs oma geworden.
“I recently became a grandmother.”

15.

De laatste tijd
“Lately”
De laatste tijd kan ik niet goed slapen.
“Lately, I can’t sleep very well.”

16.

Snel
“Soon”
Ik zie je snel.
“I will see you soon.”

17.

Meteen
“Immediately”
Ik duik meteen in het zwembad.
“I immediately dive into the pool.”

18.

Nog
“Still”
Hij is nog aan het bellen.
“He is still calling.”

19.

Nog steeds
“Still”
Ik ben nog steeds verliefd op jou.
“I am still in love with you.”

As you can see, nog and nog steeds both mean “still.” However, nog steeds in general refers to a longer time, so something that continues over a longer time period.

20.

Geleden
“Ago”
Zeven jaar geleden ging ik naar Argentinië.
“Seven years ago, I went to Argentina.”

    →Make sure to visit our vocabulary list on Talking about Time and discover the pronunciation of various Dutch adverbs of time.

3. Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of frequency will give you some information on how often something takes place.

21.

Bijna
“Almost”
Ik ga bijna nooit uit eten.
“I almost never eat out.”

22.

Altijd
“Always”
Zaterdag ga ik altijd winkelen.
“I always go shopping on Saturday.”

23.

Vaak
“Often”
Hij is vaak boos.
“He is often angry.”

24.

Gewoonlijk
“Usually”
Ik werk gewoonlijk tot zes uur.
“Usually, I work until six.”

25.

Soms
“Sometimes”
Ik kijk soms het nieuws.
“I sometimes watch the news.”

26.

Af en toe
“Occasionally”
Mijn vriend en ik gaan af en toe naar de bioscoop.
“My boyfriend and I occasionally go to the movies.”

27.

Zelden
“Rarely”
Mijn broer reist zelden met de auto.
“My brother rarely travels by car.”

28.

Nooit
“Never”
Ik ga nooit trouwen.
“I will never get married.”

29.

Ooit
“Someday”
Ooit wil ik graag de wereld over reizen.
“Someday, I want to travel all over the world.”

30.

Meestal
“Usually”
Ik ben meestal wel thuis.
“I’m usually at home.”

31.

Bijna nooit
“Almost never”
Ze liegt bijna nooit tegen me.
“She almost never lies to me.”

32.

Regelmatig
“Regularly”
Hij gaat regelmatig voetballen.
“He plays football regularly.”

4. Adverbs of Place

More Essential Verbs

Adverbs of place tell you more about where something takes place.

33.

Hier
“Here”
Kom hier!
“Come here!”

34.

Daar
“There”
Ik ga daar niet naartoe.
“I’m not going there.”

35.

Daarginds
“Over there”
Daarginds woont mijn moeder.
“My mother lives over there.”

36.

Overal
“Everywhere”
Er zijn overal camera’s.
“There are cameras everywhere.”

37.

Nergens
“Nowhere”
De hond is nergens te vinden.
“The dog is nowhere to be found.”

38.

Thuis
“Home”
Hij is thuis.
“He is at home.”

39.

Buiten
“Outside”
Ik zit buiten.
“I’m sitting outside.”

40.

Binnen
“Inside”
Binnen is het lekker warm.
“Inside, it’s nice and warm.”

41.

Ergens
“Somewhere”
De sleutels liggen ergens in de la.
“The keys are somewhere in the drawer.”

5. Adverbs of Manner

How does something happen? That’s what the adverbs of manner describe. 

42.

Nogal
“Quite”
Ze was nogal boos.
“She was quite mad.”

43.

Echt
“Really”
Hij is echt geschrokken.
“He is really shocked.”

44.

Snel
“Quickly”
De man rijdt snel naar huis.
“The man drives home quickly.”

45.

Voorzichtig
“Carefully”
Ik maak de kast voorzichtig open.
“I carefully open the cupboard.”

46.

Langzaam
“Slowly”
Langzaam fietsen we door de sneeuw.
“Slowly, we cycle through the snow.”

47.

Goed
“Well”
Het gaat goed met mij.
“I am doing well.”

48.

Hard
“Fast”
Hij fietst hard door de bossen.
“He cycles fast through the woods.”

49.

Liefdevol
“Lovingly”
Ze kijkt liefdevol naar haar vriendje.
“She looks lovingly at her boyfriend.”

50.

Nauwelijks
“Hardly”
Ik kan je nauwelijks bijhouden.
“I can hardly keep up with you.”

51.

Merendeels
“Mostly”
De zoon woont merendeels bij zijn moeder.
“The son mostly lives with his mother.”

52.

Samen
“Together”
Wij gaan samen winkelen.
“We go shopping together.”

53.

Alleen
“Alone”
Ik ben niet graag alleen.
“I don’t like to be alone.”

54.

Stom
“Stupidly”
Hij lachte stom om haar flauwe grap.
“He laughed stupidly at her silly joke.”

55.

Slecht
“Badly”
Ik dans slecht.
“I dance badly.”

56.

Mooi
“Beautifully”
De vrouw zingt mooi.
“The woman sings beautifully.”

57.

Kwaad
“Angrily”
Hij liep kwaad weg.
“He walked away angrily.”

6. Adverbs of Degree

Adverbs of degree tell you to what extent something happens or is true. 

A Woman with a Scale

58.

Heel
“Very”
Onze hond is heel lief.
“Our dog is very sweet.”

59.

Erg
“Very”
Ik ben erg gelukkig met jou.
“I am very happy with you.”

60.

Zeer
“Very”
Ik vind mijn studie zeer interessant.
“I find my study very interesting.”

As you can see, there are (at least) three different ways to say “very” in Dutch. Heel and erg are the most common ones. Zeer is a more serious way of saying “very.”

61.

Helemaal
“Completely”
Hij eet zijn bord helemaal leeg.
“He eats his plate completely empty.”

62.

Graag
“Like” / “Gladly”
Zij wil graag met hem trouwen.
“She would like to marry him.”

63.

Redelijk
“Quite”
Het is al redelijk laat.
“It is already quite late.”

64.

Vrij
“Quite”
Ik ben vrij moe.
“I am quite tired.”

65.

Absoluut
“Absolutely”
Hij kan absoluut het beste koken.
“He can definitely (absolutely) cook the best.”

66.

Veel
“A lot”
In de doos zitten veel bloemen.
“There are a lot of flowers in the box.”

67.

Weinig
“Not much”
Ik zie hem weinig.
“I don’t see him much.”

68.

Min of meer
“More or less”
Ik ga min of meer twee keer per jaar op vakantie.
“I go on holiday twice a year, more or less.”

69.

Genoeg
“Enough”
Dat is genoeg.
“That’s enough.”

70.

Nauwelijk
“Hardly”
Je kunt het nauwelijks zien.
“You can hardly see it.”

71.

Een beetje
“A bit”
Ik ben een beetje teleurgesteld in jou.
“I am a bit disappointed in you.”

72.

Wat
“Something”
Ik heb zeker wat geleerd van mijn Nederlandse les.
“I definitely learned something from my Dutch class.”

73.

Niets
“Nothing”
Ik heb niets verkeerd gedaan.
“I have done nothing wrong.”

74.

Minder
“Less”
Hij is minder grappig.
“He is less funny.”

75.

Onvoldoende
“Not enough”
Ik heb onvoldoende gestudeerd.
“I have not studied enough.”

    →Learn How to Express Quantity with DutchPod101.com and have a look at which words are adverbs (see the words with “adv”).

7. Adverbs to Connect Thoughts

Some adverbs help you connect thoughts. With these, you’ll be able to form sentences and express opinions.

76.

Ook
“Also”
Ik ben ook moe.
“I am also tired.”

77.

Natuurlijk
“Of course”
Hij is natuurlijk weer te laat.
“He is, of course, too late again.”

78.

Echter
“However”
Ik ben echter wel benieuwd.
“However, I am curious.”

79.

Daarom
“Therefore”
Daarom ga ik vandaag naar de dokter.
“Therefore, I am going to the doctor today.”

80.

Aan de andere kant
“On the other hand”
Aan de andere kant wil zij liever vrij zijn.
“On the other hand, she would rather be free.”

81.

Ongetwijfeld
“Undoubtedly”
Mexicaans eten is ongetwijfeld heel lekker.
“Mexican food is undoubtedly very tasty.”

82.

In feite
“In fact”
In feite is het helemaal niet zo ingewikkeld.
“In fact, it’s not that complicated at all.”

83.

Eindelijk
“Finally”
Ik studeer vandaag eindelijk af.
“I’m finally graduating today.”

84.

Niettemin
“Nevertheless”
Niettemin zal ik proberen vandaag plezier te hebben.
“Nevertheless, I will try to have fun today.”

85.

Inderdaad
“Indeed”
Het is inderdaad een uitdaging.
“It is indeed a challenge.”

86.

In plaats van
“Instead”
Zij kiest voor hem in plaats van haar beste vriendin.
“She chooses him instead of her best friend.”

87.

Bovendien
“Moreover”
Ik ga bovendien al over 2 dagen op vakantie.
“Moreover, I will go on holiday in two days.”

88.

Ondertussen
“Meanwhile”
Zij is ondertussen al getrouwd.
“Meanwhile, she already got married.”

89.

Uiteindelijk
“Eventually” / “In the end”
Uiteindelijk hebben ze gekozen voor iets nieuws.
“In the end, they opted for something new.”

90.

Trouwens
“Besides” / “By the way”
Trouwens, wist je al dat Bob en Kim uit elkaar zijn?
“By the way, did you know Bob and Kim separated?”

91.

Zeker
“Certainly”
Zij is zeker heel mooi.
“She is certainly very beautiful.”

92.

Daarbij
“In addition”
Daarbij ga ik graag naar school.
“In addition, I like to go to school.”

93.

Niet
“Not”
Dat is niet grappig.
“That’s not funny.”

94.

Misschien
“Maybe”
Ik ben misschien wel wat voorbarig geweest.
“I was maybe a bit presumptuous.”

95.

Helaas
“Unfortunately”
Helaas kan ik je niet verder helpen.
“Unfortunately, I can’t help you further.”

96.

Eigenlijk
“Actually”
Ik ben eigenlijk wel opgelucht.
“Actually, I’m relieved.”

97.

Toch
“Anyway”
Zij gaat toch naar huis.
“She’s going home anyway.”

98.

Hè?
“Huh?”
Dat vind je wel leuk, hè?
“You like that, huh?”

is a common Dutch catchword, and it’s a popular way to end a question.

A Dutch Woman Thinking Hè

99.

Zeg
“Say”
Dat heeft ze goed gedaan, zeg.
“She did well, I say.”

Zeg means “say,” and it’s usually used to put emphasis on something said before.

100.

Blijkbaar
“Apparently”
Blijkbaar is zij verliefd op hem.
“Apparently, she is in love with him.”


8. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, we’ve shown you the ins and outs of Dutch adverbs: Dutch adverb order, Dutch adverb placement in sentences, and a massive Dutch adverbs list. In our list of the 100 most useful Dutch adverbs, you learned all about the Dutch grammar of adverbs as well.

Are you ready now to take this new knowledge into your daily life? Are you ready to put these adverbs into practice? To do this, you need to be able to form sentences with Verbs and Pronouns.

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

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Dutch

Beginner’s Guide to Dutch Verb Conjugation

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Why is it so important to study Dutch verb conjugation? Verbs are a crucial aspect of any language, and Dutch is no exception. But to be able to use verbs well, you have to understand their conjugation. What verb form should you use, when and why? 

First, it’s important to understand the concept of conjugation and how it influences the Dutch language. After that, you can proceed to learning the different types of Dutch verbs. And with that information, you’ll have the tools to start understanding Dutch verb conjugation. 

Conjugation is a basic skill that you need to really understand the Dutch language. But don’t panic; we’re here to help you. In this Beginner’s Guide, we’ll take you by the hand and explain everything you need to know about Dutch verb conjugation.

Is making Dutch sentences still a challenge for you? Then have a look at our Top 10 Sentence Patterns for Beginners.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. What is Conjugation?
  2. The Five Types of Verbs
  3. Present Simple
  4. Past Simple
  5. The Present & Past Perfect
  6. Future Simple
  7. Future Perfect
  8. Conditional
  9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. What is Conjugation?

Top Verbs
Dutch verb conjugation defines how the verbs change depending on the person, the number of subjects, the politeness level, and the tense.

Okay, but what does that mean? Let’s give you some examples.

1- Persons, number of subjects, and politeness level

1st person singularik“I”
2nd person singularjij / u“you” (casual) / “you” (formal)
3rd person singularhij / zij“he” / “she”
1st person pluralwij“we”
2nd person pluraljullie“you”
3rd person pluralzij“they”

Quite similarly to English, Dutch regular verbs don’t change with every different person. However, irregular verbs are a different story.

For example, the irregular verb zijn (“to be”) in present tense:

  • Ik ben (“I am”)
  • Hij is (“He is”)
  • U/Jij bent (“You are” formal/casual)
  • Wij zijn (“We are”)
  • Jullie zijn (“You are”)
  • Zij zijn (“They are”)

As you can see, the Dutch verb conjugation also changes because of the number of subjects (for example, see the difference between “you” and “they”).

The politeness level doesn’t have such a big influence on the Dutch language, unless you use hebben (“to have”) in the present tense. Take a look at this brief Dutch conjugation table:

Dutch conjugation of hebben (“to have”)Jij hebt (“you have” casual)U heeft (“you have” formal)

2- The Dutch verb tenses

The Dutch language has two main tenses: the present simple and the past simple. Besides these two tenses, there are also some “semi-tenses.” The six semi-tenses appear when the present or past tense interacts with an aspect (temporary or continuing) or a mood (factual or hypothetical). 

Thus, the Dutch language has, in total, eight tenses. Each one has a different use:

The eight tenses of the regular verb praten (“to talk”)
1. Onvoltooid Tegenwoordige Tijd (“Present Simple”)Used to describe something that is happening now.Ik praat.“I talk.”
2. Onvoltooid Verleden Tijd (“Past Simple”)Used to describe a situation that happened in the past.Ik praatte.“I talked.”
3. Voltooid Tegenwoordige Tijd (“Present Perfect”)Used to describe something that happened in the past and has already ended.Ik heb gepraat.“I have talked.”
4. Voltooid Verleden Tijd (“Past Perfect”)Used to describe an action or event that happened in the past and ended in the past.Ik had gepraat.“I had talked.”
5. Onvoltooid Tegenwoordige Toekomende Tijd (“Future Simple”)Used to talk about something that will happen in the future. Ik zal praten.“I will talk.”
6. Voltooid Tegenwoordige Toekomende Tijd (“Future Perfect”)Used to describe an action that will have been completed before another action in the future.Ik zal hebben gepraat.“I will have talked.”
7. Onvoltooid Verleden Toekomende Tijd (“Conditional”)Used in a “what if” scenario; used to speculate about something.Ik zou praten.“I would talk.”
8. Voltooid Verleden Toekomende Tijd (“Conditional Perfect”)Used to describe a future hypothetical situation in the past.Ik zou hebben gepraat.“I would have talked.”

The Dutch verb praten is a regular (weak) verb, which makes the above exercise a bit easier. Let’s have a look at all of the five types of Dutch verbs.

2. The Five Types of Verbs

More Essential Verbs

In the Dutch language, there exist five types of verbs:

  • Irregular verbs
  • Weak verbs of the T-class
  • Weak verbs of the D-class
  • Strong verbs
  • Mixed verbs

1- Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs are difficult as they’re quite unpredictable. Unfortunately, several important Dutch verbs are irregular. We already showed this before with the irregular verb zijn (“to be”). Another example of Dutch irregular verbs conjugation is the Dutch hebben (“to have”) conjugation:

  • Ik heb (“I have”)
  • Jij hebt (“You have” casual)
  • U heeft (“You have” formal)
  • Hij heeft (“He has”)
  • Wij hebben (“We have”)
  • Jullie hebben (“You have”)
  • Zij hebben (“They have”)


Some other irregular Dutch verbs are willen (conjugation in Dutch) and mogen (conjugation in Dutch).

2- Weak verbs of the T-class

Luckily, not everything is irregular in the Dutch language. A great example of this are the weak verbs. 

Weak verbs are the most common type of verb in Dutch. They’re regular and end with -d or -t. Let’s first show you the Dutch weak verbs of the T-class; these always have a t in the past tense:

Fietsen (“to bike”)Ik fiets (“I bike”)Ik fietste (“I biked”)Ik heb gefietst (“I have biked”)

3- Weak verbs of the D-class

Let’s continue and have a look at the weak verbs of the D-class. These are regular verbs that always have a -d in the past tense:

Redden (“to save”)Ik red (“I save”)Ik redde (“I saved”)Ik heb gered (“I have saved”)

4- Strong verbs

In strong verbs, the vowel changes when going from the simple present tense to other tenses. You can also recognize a strong verb in the past participle, which often ends with -en.

Let’s have a look at some examples in this Dutch verb conjugation chart:

Geven (“to give”)Ik geef (“I give”)Ik gaf (“I gave”)Ik heb gegeven (“I have given”)
Lopen (“to walk”)Ik loop (“I walk”)Ik liep (“I walked”)Ik heb gelopen (“I have walked”)
Sluiten (“to close”)Ik sluit (“I close”)Ik sloot (“I closed”)Ik heb gesloten (“I have closed”)

5- Mixed verbs

Last but not least, there are also verbs that have a mixture of strong and weak elements. These so-called “mixed verbs” are quite common in the Dutch language.

The most common mixed verb form is the one that has a weak past tense, but a strong past participle ending with -en:

Vouwen (“to fold”)Ik vouw (“I fold”)Ik vouwde (“I folded”)Ik heb gevouwen (“I have folded”)
Lachen (“to laugh”)Ik lach (“I laugh”)Ik lachte (“I laughed”)Ik heb gelachen (“I have laughed”)

However, there also exist a smaller group of verbs with the reverse situation: a strong past tense, but a weak past participle.

Vraag (“to ask”)Ik vraag (“I ask”)Ik vroeg (“I asked”)Ik heb gevraagd (“I have asked”)
Jagen (“to hunt”)Ik jaag (“I hunt”)Ik joeg (“I hunted”)Ik heb gejaagd (“I have hunted”)

Okay, we know all about the different types of Dutch verbs. Let’s now dive into the wonderful world of Dutch verb conjugation. 

3. Present Simple

Negative Verbs
    →Used to describe something that is happening now.

1- Weak and strong verbs

In the present simple tense, you can’t see the difference between strong verbs, weak verbs of the T-class, or weak verbs of the D-class. Let’s have a look at the Dutch present tense conjugation of weak and strong verbs. 

To conjugate the singular form (I, you, he, she, it), you can take the infinitive, remove the -en to get the crude stem, and add the -t. However, it’s not always this easy. There are some exceptions:

  • Does the crude stem end with a -z? Then the first person singular ends with an -s. For example: Reizen – ik reis (“To travel” – “I travel”).
  • Does the crude stem end with a -v? Then the first person singular ends with an -f. For example: Schrijven ik schrijf (“To write” – “I write”).
  • Is there a double-consonant ending? Then remove one of the consonants. For example: Vallen – ik val (“To fall” – “I fall”).
  • Does the vowel of the crude stem sound different than the vowel of the infinitive? Then this must be adapted by changing the vowel. For example, a becomes aa or o becomes oo. Let’s have a look: Lopen – ik loop (“To walk” – “I walk”).

In the case of the plural form (we, you, they), you can use the infinitive directly.

Simple Present – Dutch verb conjugation chart
For weak and strong verbs 
Example: voelen (“to feel”)
SingularPlural
I + stem
(“I feel”)
Ik + stem
(Ik voel)
We + infinitive
(“We feel”)
We/Wij + infinitive
(We/Wij voelen)
Casual – 
You + stem + t 
(“You feel”)

Formal – 
You + stem + t 
(“You feel”)
Jij + stem + t
(Jij voelt)


U + stem + t
(U voelt)
You (plural) + infinitive
(“You feel”)
Jullie + infinitive 
(Jullie voelen)
He/She/It + stem + t

(“He/She/It feels)
Hij/Zij/Het + stem + t 

(Hij/Zij/Het voelt)
They + infinitive
(“They feel”)
Zij + infinitive
(Zij voelen)
    →Do you need some help recognizing the infinitive of a Dutch verb? When you look up a verb in the Dutch dictionary, you’ll find the infinitive. The Dutch infinitives are the plural and present tense verbs. They usually end with en, like in praten (“to talk”), and sometimes with only n, like in zijn (“to be”). 
    →Is the verb separable? Then remove the separable prefix from the verb, and add it to the end of the phrase as a separate word (for example: aanbellen (“to ring”) – ik bel aan).
A Woman Studying and Laughing

2- Verbs having an –aan ending

Does the infinitive of a verb have an -aan ending? Then remove the -n to get the stem.

Let’s look at an example of a verb with an -aan ending:

Gaan (“to go”) in simple present
SingularPlural
“I go”Ik ga“We go”We gaan
“You go”Jij gaat“You go”Jullie staan
“He goes”Hij gaat“They go”Ze gaan

In the first person conjugation, it looks like a letter is missing, but the pronunciation of a or aa is the same in Dutch. Therefore, this is the correct spelling.

3- Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs are unpredictable. All you can do is memorize them. The Dutch language has six completely irregular verbs. 

Let’s have a look at them in the present simple tense in this Dutch verb conjugation chart:

SubjectHebben conjugation Dutch (“to have”)Kunnen conjugation Dutch (“can”)Mogen conjugation Dutch (“to be allowed to”)Willen conjugation Dutch (“to want”)Zijn conjugation Dutch (“to be”)Zullen conjugation Dutch (“shall”)
Ikhebkanmagwilbenzal
Jij, uhebtkuntmagwiltbentzult
Hij, zij, hetheeftkanmagwiliszalzal
Wijhebbenkunnenmogenwillenzijnzullen
Julliehebbenkunnenmogenwillenzijnzullen
Zijhebbenkunnenmogenwillenzijnzullen

4. Past Simple

    →Used to describe a situation that happened in the past.

1- Weak verbs

A weak verb can either belong to the T-class or D-class. But how can you recognize which class a weak verb belongs to?

  • Step 1: Remove the -en to get the crude stem.
  • Step 2: Have a look at the last letter of the crude stem.
  • Step 3: Check if it is one of the following: f, ch, s, t, k, p
  • Step 4: Is it? Then it’s a T-verb. If not, it’s a D-verb. 

For example, see the verb voelen (“to feel”). The crude stem is voel, the last letter of the crude stem is –l, and this isn’t one of the endings mentioned. Therefore, it belongs to the D-class: Ik voelde (“I felt”).

Another example is the verb haten (“to hate”). The crude stem is haat (add an a to make the vowel sound the same as in the infinitive), and the last letter of the crude stem is -t, making it a T-verb: Ik haatte (“I hated”).

Simple Past for Weak Verbs of the T-class – Dutch Verb Conjugation Chart
Stem + te (singular) or Stem + ten (plural)
SingularPlural
I stem + teIk stem + teWe stem + tenWe stem + ten
You stem + te (casual)
You stem + te (formal)
Je stem + te 
U stem + te
You stem + ten (plural)Jullie stem + ten
He stem + te
She stem + te
It stem + te
Hij stem + te 
Ze stem + te 
Het stem + te
They stem + tenZe stem + ten

You can replace the stem with the stem of a T-class verb. For example, zet from the verb zetten (“to put”): 

  • Ik zette 
  • Je zette 
  • Hij zette 
  • We zetten 
  • Jullie zetten 
  • Ze zetten
Simple Past for Weak Verbs of the D-class – Dutch Verb Conjugation Chart
Stem + de (singular) or Stem + den (plural)
SingularPlural
I stem + deIk stem + deWe stem + denWe stem + den
You stem + de (casual)
You stem + de (formal)
Je stem + de 
U stem + de
You stem + den (plural)Jullie stem + den
He stem + de
She stem + de
It stem + de
Hij stem + de 
Ze stem + de 
Het stem + de
They stem + denZe stem + den

You can replace the stem with the stem of a D-class verb. For example, voel from the verb voelen (“to feel”): 

  • Ik voelde 
  • Je voelde 
  • Hij voelde 
  • We voelden 
  • Jullie voelden 
  • Ze voelden

2- Strong verbs

A Strong Dutch Kid

As in the present tense, vowel changes can also occur in the past tense. The Dutch language has a lot of different strong verbs; however, we’ve divided them into groups in this Dutch verb conjugation table.

Groups of strong verbsVerbExample
e in the infinitive gets ie in the past form.Werpen
(“to throw”)
Ik wierp
(“I threw”)
ij in the infinitive gets ee in the past form.Blijven
(“to stay”)
Ik bleef
(“I stayed”)
e in the infinitive gets o in the past form.Vechten
(“to fight”)
Ik vocht 
(“I fought”)
e in the infinitive gets a in the past form.Nemen
(“to take”)
Ik nam
(“I took”)
i in the infinitive gets a in the past form.Bidden
(“to pray”)
Ik bad
(“I prayed”)
a in the infinitive gets ie in the past form.Slapen
(“to sleep”)
Ik sliep 
(“I slept”)
ui in the infinitive gets oo in the past form.Sluiten
(“to close”)
Ik sloot
(“I closed”)
a in the infinitive gets oe in the past form.Dragen 
(“to carry”)
Ik droeg
 (“I carried”)
Ik droeg
 (“I carried”)
 Vergeten  
(“to forget”)
Ik vergat 
(“I forgot”)
a in the infinitive gets i in the past form.Vangen
(“to catch”)
Ik ving 
(“I caught”)
o in the infinitive gets ie in the past form.Lopen
(“to walk”)
Ik liep
(“I walked”)
iez in the infinitive gets oor in the past form. Vriezen 
(“to freeze”)
Ik vroor 
(“I froze”)
i in the infinitive gets o in the past form. Drinken 
(“to drink”)
Ik dronk 
(“I drank”)
ends in -cht in the past form.Denken 
(“to think”)
 Ik dacht 
(“I thought”)

3- Irregular verbs

This Dutch verb conjugation chart shows you the conjugation of the six Dutch irregular verbs in the past tense:

SubjectHebben conjugation Dutch (“to have”)Kunnen conjugation Dutch (“can”)Mogen 
conjugation Dutch (“to be allowed to”)
Willen conjugation Dutch (“to want”)Zijn conjugation Dutch (“to be”)Zullen conjugation Dutch (“shall”)
Ik (“I”)hadkonmochtwildewaszou
Jij, u (“you”)hadkonmochtwildewaszou
Hij, zij, het (“he, she, it”)hadkonmochtwildewaszou
Wij (“we”)haddenkondenmochtenwildenwarenzouden
Jullie (“you”)haddenkondenmochtenwildenwarenzouden
Zij (“they”)haddenkondenmochtenwildenwarenzouden

5. The Present & Past Perfect

1- The past participle

There are different rules for the past participle of weak and strong verbs.

Let’s start with the weak verbs. Here, the following rule applies:

ge- (prefix) + stem + -t/-d (ending)

    →Regarding the prefix, if the verb already starts with a prefix (ge-, be-, er-, her-, ver-, ont-), then you don’t have to add the ge-.
    →Regarding the ending, have a look at the stem of the verb. Does it end with one of these letters: f, ch, s, t, k, p? Then the past participle ends with a -t. If not, then it ends with a -d.
    →Does the stem end in -t or –d? Then no extra -t or -d has to be added.

For example, the verb voelen (“to feel”): voel is the stem and gevoeld is the past participle.

For example, the verb fietsen (“to bike”): fiets is the stem and gefietst is the past participle.

The strong verbs have the following past participle rule:

ge- (prefix) + stem + -en (ending)

For example, the verb lopen (“to walk”): loop is the stem and gelopen is the past participle.

For example, the verb zingen (“to sing”): zing is the stem and gezongen is the past participle.

    →Remember, in strong verbs, the vowel may change! 
    →Remember, if the verb already starts with a prefix (ge-, be-, er-, her-, ver-, ont-), then you don’t have to add the ge-.

2- Present perfect

    →Used to describe something that happened in the past and has already ended. 

To master the Dutch verb conjugation rules for present perfect, you need to know the following things:

  • The present tense of zijn (“to be”) or hebben (“to have”).
  • The past participle of your verb.

So, the present perfect is:

Subject + present tense of zijn/hebben + past participle

Let’s have a look at some examples:

Ik heb gelezen (“I have read”) — Present tense of the Dutch hebben conjugation + past participle of strong verb lezen

Hij is gegroeid (“He has grown”) — Present tense of zijn (notice that in Dutch, we say “He is grown”) + past participle of weak verb groeien

3- Past perfect

    →Used to describe an action or event that happened in the past and ended in the past. 

To be able to use the past perfect, you need to know:

  • The past tense of zijn (“to be”), hebben (“to have”), or worden (“to become”).
  • The past participle of your verb.

So, the past perfect is:

Subject + past tense of zijn/hebben/worden + past participle

Let’s give you some examples:

Hij had gewacht (“He had waited”) — Past tense of the Dutch hebben conjugation + past participle of weak verb wachten

We zijn begonnen (“We have started”) — Past tense of zijn (in Dutch, we say “We are started”) + past participle of strong verb beginnen

Ik werd gebracht (“I was brought”) — Past tense of worden + past participle of weak verb brengen

6. Future Simple

    →Used to talk about something that will happen in the future. 
A Guy daydreaming

Follow this simple rule to make the Dutch simple future:
Present tense zullen (“shall”) + infinitive

SubjectFormSchrijven 
(“to write”)
Kijken 
(“to watch”)
Ik (“I”)zal + infinitiveIk zal schrijvenIk zal kijken
Jij, u (“you”)zult + infinitiveJij zult schrijvenJij zal kijken
Hij, zij, het (“he, she, it”)zal + infinitiveZij zal schrijvenZij zal kijken
Wij (“we”)zullen + infinitiveWij zullen schrijvenWij zullen kijken
Jullie (“you”)zullen + infinitiveJullie zullen schrijvenJullie zullen kijken
Zij (“they”)zullen + infinitiveZij zullen schrijvenZij zullen kijken

7. Future Perfect

    →Used to describe an action that will have been completed before another action in the future.

Knowing the simple future, you can now also make the future perfect:

Future simple of Dutch conjugation hebben or zijn + past participle 

Or…

Zullen (“shall”) + Dutch conjugation of hebben or zijn + past participle

SubjectFormLachen
(“to laugh”)
Gaan
(“to go”)
Ik (“I”)zal + hebben/zijn + past participleIk zal hebben gelachenIk zal zijn gegaan
Jij, u (“you”)zult + hebben/zijn + past participleJij zult hebben gelachenJij zult zijn gegaan
Hij, zij, het (“he, she, it”)zal + hebben/zijn + past participleHij zal hebben gelachenHij zal zijn gegaan
Wij (“we”)zullen +hebben/zijn + past participleWij zullen hebben gelachenWij zullen zijn gegaan
Jullie (“you”)zullen +hebben/zijn + past participleJullie zullen hebben gelachenJullie zullen zijn gegaan
Zij (“they”)zullen +hebben/zijn + past participleZij zullen hebben gelachenZij zullen zijn gegaan

8. Conditional

    →Used in a “what if” scenario; used to speculate about something.

Follow the following rule to make the Dutch conditional tense:

Zouden (“would”) + infinitive

SubjectFormRennen (“to run”)
Ik (“I”)zou + infinitiveIk zou rennen
Jij, u (“you”)zou + infinitiveJij zou rennen
Hij, zij, het (“he, she, it”)zou + infinitiveHij zou rennen
Wij (“we”)zouden + infinitiveWij zouden rennen
Jullie (“you”)zouden + infinitiveJullie zouden rennen
Zij (“they”)zouden + infinitiveZij zouden rennen

1- Dutch conditional perfect 

    →Used to describe a future hypothetical situation in the past.

The conjugation of the Dutch conditional perfect is very similar to the conjugation of the future perfect tense. The following rule is used to form the conditional perfect:

Zouden (past tense of zullen [“shall”]) + Dutch conjugation of hebben/zijn + past participle

SubjectFormSchreeuwen
(“to scream”)
Verdronken (“to drown”)
Ik (“I”)zou + hebben/zijn + infinitiveIk zou hebben geschreeuwdIk zou zijn verdronken
Jij, u (“you”)zou + hebben/zijn + infinitiveJij zou hebben geschreeuwdU zou zijn verdronken
Hij, zij, het (“he, she, it”)zou + hebben/zijn + infinitiveZij zou hebben geschreeuwdHij zou zijn verdronken
Wij (“we”)zouden + hebben/zijn + infinitiveWij zouden hebben geschreeuwdWij zouden zijn verdronken
Jullie (“you”)zouden + hebben/zijn + infinitiveJullie zouden hebben geschreeuwdJullie zouden zijn verdronken
Zij (“they”)zouden + hebben/zijn + infinitiveZij zouden hebben geschreeuwdZij zouden zijn verdronken
A Woman Studying on the Bus

9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you’ve learned all about the Dutch verb conjugations, from the five different types of Dutch verbs to the eight Dutch tenses. You now know how to deal with all of them.

Are you ready to rumble and start using the Dutch verb conjugation in your daily life? Or would you like to get some more help?

Make sure to explore DutchPod101.com as it has a lot to offer, such as the multiple vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other useful free resources. Start practicing Dutch conjugations with DutchPod101’s tools, and learn new words and verbs while you’re at it. Practice is key! 

Would you like some one-on-one coaching? Remember that DutchPod101 also has the MyTeacher Premium PLUS service. Here, you can practice Dutch verb conjugation with your own private teacher and really master the Dutch tenses. Through personalized feedback and pronunciation advice, you can master the Dutch language in no time.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Dutch

Learn Dutch Verb Conjugation & 100 Common Dutch Verbs

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Have you read DutchPod101’s articles on 100 Nouns, 100 Adjectives, and Pronouns? By reading this series of articles, you’ll slowly but surely learn more and more about the Dutch language. Learning a language is like completing a big puzzle, piece by piece. Nouns, adjectives, and pronouns are of course crucial pieces, but how can you use them without knowing some common Dutch verbs? 

Have you ever been in a situation where you were trying to speak Dutch using the words that you just learned, but you were incapable of expressing yourself because you didn’t remember a verb? Verbs are a vital part of speech for connecting words. By learning some key Dutch verbs, you’ll expand your capacity to build phrases, creating a good basis for your daily interactions in Dutch. 

Don’t despair, the help of DutchPod101 is near! We present to you this article on the top 100 most common Dutch verbs. To help you even more, we’ll start by giving you some useful tips to help you understand and master Dutch verbs. 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Mastering Dutch Language Verbs
  2. The 100 Most Useful Verbs in Dutch
  3. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Better Dutch

1. Mastering Dutch Language Verbs

Top Verbs

Are you a bit intimidated by Dutch verbs and grammar? Are you unsure of how to start and where to start? Don’t worry. With some easy tips and tricks, we’ll help you master Dutch verbs.

A. How can you recognize a Dutch verb? 

Man Studying Dutch Verbs

So, let’s start at the beginning: What is a verb? Verbs are action words. In sentences, these action words describe what the subject is doing. Therefore, verbs, together with nouns, are a crucial part of a sentence. Even the most simple sentences have a verb! For example: 

  • Ik ben Tom.

“I am Tom.”

A verb can also be a sentence on its own: 

  • Zing! 

“Sing!”

or 

  • Kom! 

“Come!”

So how can you recognize verbs? You can recognize them by looking for the part of the sentence that explains the action taking place. This can either be something that someone is doing, such as in the words rennen (“to run”), eten (“to eat”), and gaan (“to go”), or something that happens, such as in the words sneeuwen (“to snow”) or waaien (“to blow”). 

However, there also exist verbs that don’t include such a clear action. For example, these can be verbs that describe an opinion, an emotion, a possession, or a state of being: voelen (“to feel”), zijn (“to be”), hebben (“to have”), or houden van (“to love”).

Another way to recognize a verb is to find its location compared to the subject. In sentences, verbs almost always come after a noun or pronoun (the subject): 

  • Hij denkt aan school.

“He thinks about school.”

B. What is the Dutch infinitive?

What is the entire verb (the infinitive) in Dutch? Well, Dutch infinitive verbs are the plural and present tense verbs. They usually end with -en, as in lopen (“to walk”). Sometimes, they end with only -n, as in zijn (“to be”).

Before the Dutch infinitive, you can almost always put Ik kan (“I can”): 

  • Ik kan fietsen.

“I can cycle.”

or 

  • Ik kan werken.

“I can work.”

C. The Dutch verb tenses

So, how many tenses are there in Dutch?

Dutch has two main tenses: the present and the past. However, there exist some “semi-tenses” that appear when these two tenses (present or past) interact with a mood (factual or hypothetical) or an aspect (temporary or continuing). Through these combinations, six other tenses are created, giving Dutch a total of eight basic tenses:

The eight tenses of the verb praten (“to talk”)
1. Onvoltooid tegenwoordige tijd (“Present Simple”)Ik praat“I talk”
2. Onvoltooid verleden tijd (“Past Simple”)Ik praatte“I talked”
3. Voltooid tegenwoordige tijd (“Present Perfect”)Ik heb gepraat“I have talked”
4. Voltooid verleden tijd (“Past Perfect”)Ik had gepraat“I had talked”
5. Onvoltooid tegenwoordige toekomende tijd (“Future Simple”)Ik zal praten“I will talk”
6. Voltooid tegenwoordige toekomende tijd (“Future Perfect”)Ik zal hebben gepraat“I will have talked”
7. Onvoltooid verleden toekomende tijd (“Conditional”)Ik zou praten“I would talk”
8. Voltooid verleden toekomende tijd (“Conditional Perfect”)Ik zou hebben gepraat“I would have talked”

Is this Dutch conjugation table a bit intimidating? Praten is one of the Dutch regular verbs—it can get more complicated for irregular verbs. Don’t worry, let’s take it step by step. It gets easier when you start learning the logic and patterns of Dutch grammar and verbs.

D. How to learn Dutch verbs effectively

So let’s take a step back and first give you an idea of the most common Dutch verbs. Don’t worry yet about Dutch verb conjugation, the rules and the exceptions. Pass through this Dutch verbs list of 100 must-know verbs and ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How does the infinitive end?
  • How does it end now that it’s conjugated with a pronoun?
  • Is it like one of the Dutch regular verbs, or could it be irregular?

To keep it easy, we’ll stick to the Tegenwoordige tijd (“Present Simple”) for all of the examples in this article.

Last but not least, look for the basic and most useful Dutch verbs, like the verb “to have” in Dutch (hebben), or “to be” (zijn). These are the first verbs you should know when you start to learn Dutch.

2. The 100 Most Useful Verbs in Dutch

More Essential Verbs

Let’s start diving into the 100 most useful Dutch verbs. To create a logical Dutch verb list, we’ve listed the verbs in alphabetical order (based on the Dutch spelling). This way, you can easily find the verb you’re looking for.

1.

Accepteren
“To accept”
Ik accepteer het aanbod.
“I accept the offer.”

2.

Annuleren
“To cancel”
Wij annuleren onze vakantie.
“We cancel our holiday.”

3.

(Be)antwoorden
“To answer”
Ik antwoord je bericht nu.
“I answer your message now.”

4.

Arriveren
“To arrive”
De trein arriveert.
“The train arrives.”

5.

Beginnen
“To start”
Hij begint vandaag met zijn nieuwe werk.
“He starts today with his new work.”

6.

Couple Understanding Each Other
Begrijpen
“To understand”
Zij begrijpt haar vriendje.
“She understands her boyfriend.”

7.

Bijten
“To bite”
De hond bijt de kat.
“The dog bites the cat.”

8.

Blijven
“To stay”
Ik blijf vandaag thuis.
“I stay at home today.”

9.

Bouwen
“To build”
De bouwvakkers bouwen mijn huis.
“The builders build my home.”

10.

Brengen
“To bring”
De bezorger brengt ons onze pizza.
“The delivery driver brings us our pizza.”

11.

Denken
“To think”
Ik denk aan jou.
“I think about you.”

12.

Doen
“To do”
De man doet huishoudelijk werk.
“The man does housework.”

13.

Douchen
“To shower”
Het kind doucht niet graag.
“The child doesn’t like to shower.”

14.

Draaien
“To turn”
Ik draai me om.
“I turn around.”

15.

Eten
“To eat”
Wij eten altijd om 6 uur ‘s avonds.
“We always eat at six o’clock in the evening.”

16.

Foto’s maken
“To take pictures”
De jongen maakt foto’s van bands.
“The boy takes pictures of bands.”

17.

Gaan
“To go”
Wij gaan morgen op vakantie.
“We go on holiday tomorrow.”

18.

Gebruiken
“To use”
Ik gebruik voor mijn werk de nieuwste gadgets.
“I use the newest gadgets for my work.”

19.

Geloven
“To believe”
Zij gelooft in mij.
“She believes in me.”

20.

Geven
“To give”
Hij geeft me altijd cadeautjes voor mijn verjaardag.
“He always gives me presents for my birthday.”

21.

Halen
“To get”
De vrouw haalt brood bij de bakker.
“The woman gets bread at the bakery.”

22.

Hangen
“To hang”
De klok hangt aan de muur.
“The clock hangs on the wall.”

23.

Hebben
“To have”
De vrouw heeft te veel spullen in haar handen.
“The woman has too many things in her hands.”
Here it is, the verb “to have” in Dutch. Learn this to improve your basic speaking skills!

24.

Helpen
“To help”
We helpen het oude vrouwtje met oversteken.
“We help the old lady with crossing the road.”

25.

Herinneren
“To remember”
Ik herinner me het als de dag van gisteren.
“I remember it as if it were yesterday.”

26.

Heten
“To be called”
Hij heet Mathias.
“He is called Mathias.”

27.

Horen
“To hear”
We horen heel veel roddels over jou.
“We hear a lot of gossip about you.”

28.

Woman Holding Baby
Vasthouden
“To hold”
Het meisje houdt een baby vast.
“The girl is holding a baby.”
Vasthouden is one of the Dutch separable verbs. Let’s see if you can find more of them!

29.

Houden van
“To love”
Hij houdt van zijn werk.
“He loves his work.”

30.

Kennen
“To know”
Zij kennen hun buren al sinds jaren.
“They’ve known their neighbors for many years.”

31.

Kijken naar
“To watch”
Wij kijken naar het programma op tv.
“We watch the show on the television.”

32.

Klimmen
“To climb”
Het jongetje klimt in de boom.
“The boy climbs the tree.”

33.

Koken
“To cook”
Hij kookt erg goed.
“He cooks very well.”

34.

Komen
“To come”
We komen vandaag niet naar huis.
“We are not coming home today.”

35.

Kopen
“To buy”
Ik koop mijn kleding altijd online.
“I always buy my clothes online.”

36.

Kunnen
“Can”
Wij kunnen goed samenwerken.
“We can work together very well.”

37.

Kwetsen
“To hurt”
Ik kwets je niet graag.
“I don’t like to hurt you.”

38.

Lachen
“To laugh”Lachen
“To laugh”
Wij lachen om de grapjes van onze vader.
“We laugh at our father’s jokes.”

39.

Laten
“To let”
Wij laten onze kinderen hun eigen beslissingen maken.
“We let our kids make their own choices.”

40.

Leren
“To learn”
Ik leer Nederlands.
“I learn Dutch.”

41.

Lesgeven
“To teach”
Ik geef Nederlandse les.
“I teach Dutch.”
Yes! Lesgeven is another one of the Dutch separable verbs!

42.

Leven
“To live”
Hij leeft in alle luxe in Amsterdam.
“He lives in luxury in Amsterdam.”

43.

Lezen
“To read”
Wij lezen veel boeken op vakantie.
“We read a lot of books on holiday.”

44.

Liggen
“To lie”
De baby ligt in zijn ledikant.
“The baby lies in his crib.”

45.

Lopen
“To walk”
Wij lopen samen door de stad.
“We walk together through the city.”

46.

Luisteren (naar)
“To listen to”
Ik luister naar de muziek van de Beatles.
“I listen to the music of the Beatles.”

47.

Maken
“To make”
Hij maakt kunst.
“He makes art.”

48.

Moeten
“To have to”
Je moet naar me luisteren.
“You have to listen to me.”

49.

Mogen
“To be allowed to”
Mijn zoon mag in de avond TV kijken.
“My son is allowed to watch television in the evening.”

50.

Nemen
“To take”
Ik neem altijd zonnebrandcrème mee naar het strand.
“I always take sunscreen to the beach.”

51.

Nodig hebben
“To need”
Je hebt me niet nodig.
“You don’t need me.”

52.

Ontvangen
“To receive”
We ontvangen vandaag het pakketje.
“We receive the package today.”

53.

Openen
“To open”
Hij opent de brief.
“He opens the letter.”

54.

Opmerken
“To notice”
Zij merkt me niet op.
“She doesn’t notice me.”

55.

Plannen
“To plan”
Ik plan de bruiloft van mijn zus.
“I plan the wedding of my sister.”

53.

Praten
“To talk”
Wij praten over onze gevoelens.
“We talk about our feelings.”

57.

Proberen
“To try”
Mijn broer probeert zich te concentreren.
“My brother tries to concentrate.”

58.

Running in Forest
Rennen
“To run”
De jongen rent door het bos.
“The boy runs through the forest.”

59.

Rijden
“To drive”
We rijden in de auto.
“We drive the car.”

60.

Rusten
“To rest”
Mijn oma rust op bed.
“My grandmother rests in bed.”

61.

Schrijven
“To write”
Jij schrijft hem een brief.
“You write him a letter.”

62.

Slapen
“To sleep”
Ik slaap 8 uur per dag.
“I sleep eight hours a day.”

63.

Spelen
“To play”
De kinderen spelen samen.
“The kids play together.”

64.

Spreken
“To speak”
De baas spreekt met zijn werknemers.
“The boss speaks with his employees.”

65.

Springen
“To jump”
De kat spring op de kast.
“The cat jumps on the cupboard.”

66.

Staan
“To stand”
Ik sta naast mijn broer.
“I stand next to my brother.”

67.

Studeren
“To study”
Wij studeren voor ons examen.
“We study for our exam.”

68.

Sturen
“To send”
Het bedrijf stuurt me de rekening per post.
“The company sends me the bill by mail.”

69.

Telefoneren
“To call”
Ik telefoneer elke dag met mijn zus.
“I call my sister everyday.”

70.

Tekenen
“To draw”
Het jongetje tekent een draak.
“The boy draws a dragon.”

71.

Terugkeren
“To return”
De soldaat keert terug naar huis.
“The soldier returns home.”
Terugkeren is another one of the Dutch separable verbs.

72.

Tillen
“To carry”
De moeder tilt haar zoon.
“The mother carries her son.”

73.

Trekken
“To pull”
Haar vriendin trekt aan haar jas.
“Her friend pulls her jacket.”

74.

Uitleggen
“To explain”
De lerares legt de Nederlandse grammatica en werkwoorden uit.
“The teacher explains the Dutch grammar and verbs.”
Bingo! The verb uitleggen is also one of the Dutch separable verbs.

75.

Vallen
“To fall”
Ik val van de trap.
“I fall down the stairs.”

76.

Vangen
“To catch”
De rugbyspeler vangt de bal.
“The rugby player catches the ball.”

77.

Voelen
“To feel”
Ik voel me niet lekker.
“I don’t feel well.”

78.

Vergeten
“To forget”
Hij vergeet zijn huiswerk.
“He forgets his homework.”

79.

Verlaten
“To leave”
De vrouw verlaat haar man.
“The woman leaves her husband.”

80.

Verslaan
“To beat”
Ik versla je gemakkelijk in dit spel.
“I beat you easily in this game.”

81.

Vertellen
“To tell”
Wij vertellen je de waarheid.
“We tell you the truth.”

82.

Verwijzen
“To refer”
De dokter verwijst haar naar een specialist.
“The doctor refers her to a specialist.”

83.

Verzamelen
“To collect”
De kinderen verzamelen stickers.
“The kids collect stickers.”

84.

Vinden
“To find”
Ik vind mijn sleutels in de la.
“I find my keys in the drawer.”

85.

Vragen
“To ask”
Jij vraagt me uit.
“You ask me out.”

86.

Cute Puppy Waiting for owner
Wachten op
“To wait for”
De hond wacht thuis op zijn baasje.
“The dog waits for his owner at home.”

87.

Wakker worden
“To wake up”
Ik word wakker met een lach.
“I wake up smiling.”

88.

Wassen
“To wash”
Hij wast zijn handen voor het avondeten.
“He washes his hands before dinner.”

89.

Wensen
“To wish”
Ik wens je een leuke verjaardag.
“I wish you a nice birthday.”

90.

Werken
“To work”
Wij werken te veel.
“We work too much.”

91.

Weten
“To know”
Mijn vader weet niets van technologie.
“My father knows nothing about technology.”

92.

Willen
“To want”
Het stel wilt trouwen.
“The couple wants to get married.”

93.

Wonen
“To live”
Ik woon in Nederland.
“I live in the Netherlands.”

94.

Worden
“To become”
Mijn vriendin wordt binnenkort zwanger.
“My girlfriend will become pregnant soon.”

95.

Zeggen
“To say”
Hij zegt dat hij van haar houdt.
“He says that he loves her.”

96.

Zien
“To see”
Ik zie je op de foto.
“I see you in the picture.”

97.

Zijn
“To be”
Ik ben verdrietig.
“I am sad.”
As you can see, the verb “to be” in Dutch isn’t one of the Dutch regular verbs, it’s irregular. This is one of the first verbs you should learn, as it’s one of the most basic ones! Find here the Dutch verb conjugation of the verb zijn.

98.

Zingen
“To sing”
Wij zingen altijd tijdens het koken.
“We always sing while cooking.”

99.

Zitten
“To sit”
Jij zit op de bank.
“You sit on the couch.”

100.

Zoeken
“To look for”
Zij zoeken hun hond.
“They look for their dog.”
    → Do you need help with Dutch verb conjugation? Use an online verb conjugator, or check out DutchPod101’s upcoming article on how to conjugate Dutch verbs!

3. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Better Dutch

Negative Verbs

In this guide, you’ve learned all about Dutch verbs: recognizing Dutch verbs, understanding the infinitives, and even having a little peek into the different Dutch tenses. And as the icing on the cake, this guide offered you a wide selection of the 100 must-know Dutch verbs, with some useful examples to get familiar with them.

Are you ready to start using your new Dutch verbs vocabulary in your daily conversations with the Dutch? Or do you need some more help?


DutchPod101 has much more to offer, such as the multiple vocabulary lists with audio recordings and other free resources. Boost your Dutch with these easy and useful DutchPod101 tools.

Want more? DutchPod101 also has the MyTeacher premium service. Let your own private teacher help you practice Dutch grammar, verbs, and Dutch verb conjugation, through personalized exercises, fun assignments, and useful recorded audio samples. Improve your Dutch quickly with this personal one-on-one coaching.

Happy learning!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Dutch

Dutch Word Order Guide: Master the Dutch Sentence Structure

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

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

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

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

1. Subject + Verb

Improve Pronunciation

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

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

Subject + Verb

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

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

2. Adding an Object

Improve Listening

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

Subject + Verb + (Direct) Object

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

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

Subject + Verb + Direct object + Indirect object 

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

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

3. Adding a Complement

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

Your Brain Notices That It’s Getting More Difficult

1- Adding Adjectives

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

Most Dutch adjectives go BEFORE the noun they describe.

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

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

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

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

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

2- Adding Adverbs

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

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

Subject + Verb + Adverb

  • Ik praat veel. (“I talk a lot.”)

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

Subject + Verb + Adverb + Adverb

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

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

Subject + Verb + Adverb + Adjective + Direct object

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

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


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

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

Time-Manner-Place

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

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

Let’s make it even more complicated:

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Adding a Verb at the End of a Sentence

A Girl Studying and Laughing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Another Conjugation: The Imperative

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

A Woman Ordering Her Colleague To Do Something

For example:

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

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

Verb + Direct object + Adverb

Or

Verb + Adverb + Direct object

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

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

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

For example:

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

6. Making Questions

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

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

For example: 

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

Another way to make questions is through question words:

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

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

Query word Verb + Subject + Direct object

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

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

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

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

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

Let’s master the Dutch language!

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

Telling Time in Dutch – Everything You Need to Know

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What’s your relationship with the clock like? Does it run your day from a morning alarm to a cut-off chime for bed, or are you more of a go-with-the-flow type, letting your mood and emotions decide how much you fall in line with time?

Understanding time in Dutch is an important part of your studies. As humans, our lives are filled with habits and schedules. From waking up and going to work or gym, to missing rush hour traffic on our way home, we’re always aware of time. We have routines around coffee breaks, meetings, soccer games and vacations. In fact, time can seem rather capricious – going slowly, going fast, sometimes against us, other times on our side – like a force that has a life of its own.

In science, time is often referred to as a fourth dimension and many physicists and philosophers think that if we understood the physics of the universe, we would see that time is an illusion. We sense an ‘arrow’ or direction of time because we have memories, but really time is just a construct that humans have created to help make sense of the world. 

On the other hand, poets through the ages have written impassioned thoughts about time, depicting it as both a relentless thief and an immensely precious resource, not to be wasted at any cost.

Well, poets and scientists may have their views, but in our everyday lives there’s the question of practicality, isn’t there? I mean, if you have plans and want things to happen your way, there’s a certain amount of conforming to the human rules of time that you can’t avoid. 

In ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the prince has a rose that he falls in love with, and he tenderly protects it with a windscreen and places it under a glass dome on his tiny planet.  I love this quote from the book:  “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”  If we truly love something, we spend time with it and not a second of that time could ever be seen as wasted. I feel that way about horses, my children, travel and learning languages

With that in mind, I’d like to take you on a journey into ‘time’ from a Dutch perspective. It’s fun, it’s informative and it’s a basic necessity if you’re learning the language – especially if you plan to travel. DutchPod101 has all the vocab you need to fall in love with telling time in Dutch, and not a minute will be wasted.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Talking about Time in Dutch
  2. How to Tell the Time in Dutch
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about Time in Dutch

As a traveler, your primary need for knowing how to read the hour in Dutch will be for transportation schedules: the bus, train, airplane, ferry, taxi… whatever you plan to use to get from A to B, it won’t wait for you! Fortunately, it’s really not complicated. You already have a firm grasp of time in English and you know you’ll need to reset your watch and phone to the local time. Great – that means you’ll have the correct time on your person. 

We’re so used to just looking at our phones for the time, that it’s easy to take this convenience for granted and forget some travel basics: in a foreign country, times won’t always be written digitally. If you see the time written in words, it’ll be the same challenge to you as hearing it spoken: you’ll need to be familiar with the language. 

You may be surprised at how often ‘time’ comes into conversation. Learning the Dutch terms for time will help you when you have to call a taxi, ask about opening and closing times of events and tourist attractions, restaurants and bars and even late-night food cafes.

My biggest annoyance when traveling is not being able to get coffee and amazingly, even at nice hotels this has happened more times than I care to think about. I’ll be up late planning something, writing my blog or chatting and when I go looking for coffee downstairs, I’m told the kitchen is closed or the ‘coffee lady’ has gone to sleep. Frustrating!

If you’re doing a homestay or at a youth hostel or backpackers, there will probably also be a limited timeframe for when you can grab dinner. Do you know how to ask when it’s time to eat in Dutch? I’ve learned that it’s vital to know how to make my queries clearly understood to accommodation staff and for me to clearly understand their answers. Perfect your ‘time in Dutch’ translations early on – you’ll thank me. 

At DutchPod101, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of Dutch time words and phrases to get you going. 

Pedestrians in a city

1- Morning – ochtend

Morning is the time when we wake up from our dreamworld, hopefully fully rested and restored; we brew the first delicious cup of coffee for the day and watch the sunrise as we prepare for another glorious twelve hours of life. No matter what happened the day before, a new morning is a chance to make everything right. 

I like these quiet hours for language practice, as my mind is clear and receptive to learning new things. I start by writing the Dutch time, date and word of the day on my whiteboard, then get back under the covers for an engrossing lesson.

Time in the morning is written as AM or A.M., which stands for ante meridiem – meaning ‘before midday’ in Latin.

Person typing with coffee next to them

2- Evening – avond

Evening is the part of night when we’re still awake and doing things, winding down from the day. Whether you enjoy a tasty international dinner with friends, go out to see a show, or curl up on the couch with a Dutch snack and your favorite TV series, evening is a good time to forget your worries and do something that relaxes you. If you’re checking in with your Facebook friends, say hi to us, too!  

Evening is also an ideal time to catch up on your Dutch studies. The neighbourhood outside is likely to be quieter and time is yours, so grab a glass of wine or a delicious local tea, and see what’s new on your Mac App or Kindle

3- Daytime – dag

Daytime is defined as the period from early morning to early evening when the sun is visible outside. In other words: from sunrise to sunset.  Where you are in the world, as well as the season, will determine how many daylight hours you get. 

Interestingly, in locations north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, in summertime the sun does not sink below the horizon within a 24-hour period, bringing the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun.  You could only experience this in the north, though, because there aren’t any permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle.

4- Nighttime – nachtelijk

Nighttime is all the hours from sunset to sunrise and depending on where in the country you are, people may be partying all night, or asleep from full-dark. 

In the same northernmost and southernmost regions where you can experience a midnight sun, winter brings the opposite phenomenon: the polar night. Can you imagine a night that lasts for more than 24 hours? 

Girl sleeping; moon and starry sky

5- Hour – uur

An hour is a unit of time made up of 60 minutes and is a variable measure of one-24th of a day – also defined by geeks as 3 600 atomic seconds. Of all the ‘time’ words we use on a daily basis, the hour is the most important, as time of day is typically expressed in terms of hours. 

One of the interesting methods of keeping time that people have come up with is the hourglass. Although the origins are unclear, there’s evidence pointing to the hourglass being invented around 1000 – 1100 AD and one of the ways we know this, is from hourglasses being depicted in very old murals. These days, with clocks and watches in every direction we look, they’re really only used symbolically to represent the passage of time. Still – a powerful reminder of our mortality and to seize the day. In his private journal, the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, wrote: “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

An hourglass with falling sand

6- Minute – minuut

Use this word when you want to say a more precise time and express minutes in Dutch. A minute is a unit of time equal to one sixtieth of an hour, or 60 seconds. A lot can happen in the next 60 seconds. For example, your blood will circulate three times through your entire vascular system and your heart will pump about 2.273 litres of blood. 

7- O’clock – uur

We use “o’clock” when there are no minutes and we’re saying the exact hour, as in “It’s two o’clock.” In Dutch, this is essentially the same as just saying “hour.”

The term “o’clock” is a contraction of the term “of the clock”. It comes from 15th-century references to medieval mechanical clocks. At the time, sundials were also common timekeepers. Therefore, to make clear one was referencing a clock’s time, they would say something like, “It is six of the clock” – now shortened to “six o’clock”.

We only use this term when talking about the 12 hour clock, though, not the 24 hour clock (more on that later!) The 12-hour clock can be traced back as far as Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Both an Egyptian sundial for daytime use and an Egyptian water clock for nighttime use were found in the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep I. Dating to c.1500 BC, these clocks divided their respective times of use into 12 hours each. The Romans also used a 12-hour clock. Daylight was divided into 12 equal hours and the night was divided into four watches. 

These days, the internet has made it very easy to know what the time is in any part of the world.  Speaking of which, why not add the Dutch time zone clock to your laptop?

Many different clocks

8- Half past – een half uur na

When the time is thirty minutes past the hour, in English we say “half past”. Just like the hour, the half-hour is universally used as an orientation point; some languages speak of 30 minutes before the hour (subtraction), whereas others speak of 30 minutes after the hour (addition). 

9- AM – ‘sochtends

As mentioned earlier, AM is the abbreviation of the Latin ante meridiem and means before midday. Using ‘AM’ as a tag on your time simply tells people you’re speaking about a time in the morning. In some countries, morning is abbreviated to “AM” and you’ll see this on shop signs everywhere, announcing the opening hour. A typical shop sign might read something like this:

“Business hours are from 7AM to 6PM.” 

Woman in a shop, adjusting the shop sign

10- PM – ‘s avonds

PM is the abbreviation of the Latin post meridiem and means after midday. Along with ‘AM’, you’ll usually find ‘PM’ on store signs and businesses, indicating the closing hours. It’s advisable to learn the difference between the two, since some establishments might only have one or the other on the sign. For example, a night club sign might say: 

“Open from 10 PM until late.” 

11- What time is it now? – Hoe laat is het nu?

Here’s a very handy question you should memorize, as you can use it in any situation where you don’t have your watch or phone on you. This could be on the beach, in a club, or if you’re stuck anywhere with a flat phone battery. It happens at home, so it can happen when you’re traveling! 

Woman on the phone, looking at her watch

12- One o’clock – één uur

One o’clock, or 1 PM, is the average lunch time for many people around the world – at least, we try to get a meal in at some point between midday and 2 PM.  In terms of duration, the nations vary: Brazililans reportedly take the longest lunch breaks, averaging 48 minutes, whereas Greece reports an average break of only 19 minutes. Historically, Greeks were known for their very leisurely lunch breaks, so it just goes to show how fast the world is changing. If you’re curious about what to expect in Netherlands, try asking our online community about lunch time in Dutch.

13- Two o’clock – twee uur

In his last days, Napoleon Bonaparte famously spoke of “Two o’clock in the morning courage” – meaning unprepared, spontaneous  courage. He was talking about soldiers who are brave enough to tumble out of bed in an instant, straight into action, without time to think or strategize. Do you think you have what it takes? I’m pretty sure all mothers know this feeling!

14- Three o’clock – drie uur

3 AM can be perceived as the coldest time of day and is not an hour we want to wake up, but meteorologists will tell you that the coldest time is actually half an hour after sunrise. Even though the sun is peeking over the horizon, the solar radiation is still weaker than the earth’s infrared cooling to space.

Clock pointing to 3 o'clock

15- Four o’clock – vier uur

Do you know anyone who purposely gets up at 4 o’clock in the morning? As crazy as it sounds, there is something to be said for rising at 4 AM while the rest of the world sleeps. If you live on a farm, it might even be normal for you. I know that whenever I’m staying in the countryside, rising early is a lot easier, because there’s a satisfying reason to do so: watching a sunrise from a rooftop, with uninterrupted views, can’t be beat! It’s also likely that you’ll be woken by a cock crowing, or other animals waking to graze in the fresh pre-dawn air. 

In the world of business, you’ll find a small group of ambitious individuals – many entrepreneurs – who swear by the 4 o’clock in the morning rise. I’m not sure I like that idea, but I’d wake up at 4 AM if it was summer and I had my car packed for a vacation!

16- Five o’clock – vijf uur

What better way to signal the transition between work and play than the clock hands striking 5 o’clock? It’s the hour most working people look forward to each day – at least, those who get to stop working at 5 PM.  Meanwhile, millions of retired folks are taking out the wine glasses, as 5 PM is widely accepted as an appropriate time to pour the first glass. I don’t know how traditional your families are, but for as long as I’ve been alive, my grandparents have counted down the milliseconds to five o’clock, and the hour is announced with glee.

A sunset

17- Six o’clock – zes uur

This is the time many working people and school kids wake up in the morning. In many parts of the world, 6 o’clock is also a good time to watch the sunrise, go for a run or hit the hiking trails. 

18- Seven o’clock – zeven uur

Health gurus will tell you that 7 o’clock in the morning is the best time to eat your first meal of the day, and 7 o’clock in the evening is the time you should eat your last meal. I’ve tried that and I agree, but it’s not always easy!

19- Eight o’clock – acht uur

8 o’clock in the morning is the time that most businesses open around the world, and the time most kids are in their first lesson at school – still full of energy and willing to participate. Interestingly, it’s also the time most babies are born in the world!  In the evening, 8 o’clock is many young children’s bedtime and the time for parents to watch the evening news. 

Smiling boy in school with his hand up

20- Nine o’clock – negen uur

It’s good to occasionally sleep late on a weekend and for me, this means waking up at 9 AM. If you’re traveling in Netherlands and staying at a hotel, planning to sleep late means politely requesting to not be woken up by room service.

21- Ten o’clock – tien uur

10 o’clock in the morning is a popular time to conduct business meetings, and for first break time at schools. We’re usually wide awake and well into our day by then.  But what about the same hour at night? Modern people are often still awake and watching TV at 10 PM, but this isn’t exactly good for us. Experts say that the deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 PM and 2 AM, so we should already be sound asleep by ten o’clock. 

In advertising, have you ever noticed that the hands of the clock usually point to 10:10? Have a look next time you see a watch on a billboard or magazine. The reason? Aesthetics. Somehow, the human brain finds the symmetry pleasing. When the clock hands are at ten and two, they create a ‘smiley’ face and don’t cover any key details, like a logo, on the clock face. 

22- Eleven o’clock – elf uur

When I see this time written in words, it makes me think of the hilarious Academy Award-winning very short film, “The Eleven O’Clock”, in which the delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes that he is actually the doctor. 

Then there’s the tradition of ‘elevenses’ – tea time at eleven o’clock in the morning. Strongly ingrained in British culture, elevenses is typically a serving of hot tea or coffee with scones or pastries on the side. It’s a great way to stave off hunger pangs before lunch time arrives. In fact, if you were a hobbit, ‘Elevenses’ would be your third meal of the day!

23- Twelve o’clock – twaalf uur

Twelve o’clock in the daytime is considered midday, when the sun is at its zenith and the temperature reaches its highest for that day; it’s written as 12 noon or 12 PM. In most parts of the world, though, this doesn’t happen at precisely 12 PM. ‘Solar noon’ is the time when the sun is actually at its highest point in the sky. The local or clock time of solar noon depends on the longitude and date. If it’s summertime, it’s advisable to stay in the shade during this hour – or at least wear good quality sunblock.

Midnight is the other ‘twelve o’clock’, of course. Midnight is written as 12 AM and is technically the first minute of the morning. On the 24-hour clock, midnight is written as 00:00. 

Sun at noon in a blue cloudy sky

2. How to Tell the Time in Dutch

Telling the time

Using a clock to read the time in Netherlands is going to be the same as in your own country, since you’re dealing with numbers and not words. You’ll know the time in your head and be able to say it in English, but will you be able to say it out loud in Dutch? 

The first step to saying the time in Dutch is knowing your numbers. How are you doing with that? If you can count to twelve in Dutch, you’re halfway there! We’ve already covered the phrases you’ll need to say the exact hour, as in “five o’clock”, as well as how to say “half past”. What remains is the more specific phrases to describe what the minute hand is doing.

In everyday speech, it’s common to say the minutes past or before the hour. Often we round the minutes off to the nearest five. 

Then, there’s the 24-hour clock. Also known as ‘military time’, the 24-hour clock is used in most countries and, as such, is useful to understand. You’ll find that even in places where the 12-hour clock is standard, certain people will speak in military time or use a combination of the two.  No doubt you’ve also noticed that in written time, the 24-hour clock is commonly used.  One of the most prominent places you’ll have seen this is on airport flight schedules.

Airport flight schedule

Knowing how to tell military time in Dutch is really not complicated if you know your numbers up to twenty-four. One advantage of using the 24-hour clock in Dutch, is there’s no chance of confusing AM and PM.

Once you know how to say the time, it will be pretty easy to also write the time in Dutch. You’re already learning what the different hours and minutes look and sound like, so give yourself some writing practice of the same. 

3. Conclusion

Now that you understand the vocabulary for telling time in Dutch, the best thing you can do to really lock it down is to just practice saying Dutch time daily. Start by replacing English with Dutch whenever you need to say the time; in fact, do this whenever you look at your watch. Say the time to yourself in Dutch and it will become a habit. When learning a new language, the phrases you use habitually are the ones your brain will acquire. It feels amazing when that turning point comes!

To help yourself gain confidence, why don’t you make use of our various apps, downloadable for iPhone and iPad, as well as Android? Choose what works best for you. In addition, we have so many free resources available to supplement your learning, that you simply can’t go wrong. Some of these are:

If you prefer watching your lessons on video, check out our YouTube channel – there are hundreds of videos to browse. For those of you with Roku, we also have a TV channel you can watch.

Well, it’s time for me to say goodbye and for you to practice saying the time in Dutch. Look at the nearest clock and try to say the exact time, down to the seconds. See you again soon at DutchPod101!

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Essential Vocabulary for Directions in Dutch

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Do you know your left from your right in Dutch? Asking for directions can mean the difference between a heavenly day on the beach and a horrible day on your feet, hot and bothered and wondering how to even get back to the hotel. Believe me – I know! On my earlier travels, I didn’t even know simple terms like ‘go straight ahead’ or ‘go west,’ and I was always too shy to ask locals for directions. It wasn’t my ego, but rather the language barrier that held me back. I’ve ended up in some pretty dodgy situations for my lack of directional word skills.

This never needs to happen! When traveling in Netherlands, you should step out in confidence, ready to work your Dutch magic and have a full day of exploring. It’s about knowing a few basic phrases and then tailoring them with the right directional words for each situation. Do you need to be pointed south in Dutch? Just ask! Believe me, people are more willing to help than you might think. It’s when you ask in English that locals might feel too uncertain to answer you. After all, they don’t want to get you lost. For this reason, it also makes sense that you learn how to understand people’s responses. 

Asking directions in Netherlands is inevitable. So, learn to love it! Our job here at DutchPod101 is to give you the confidence you need to fully immerse and be the intrepid adventurer you are.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Talking about position and direction in Dutch
  2. Getting directions in Dutch
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about position and direction in Dutch

Have you ever tried saying the compass directions of north, south, east and west in Dutch? These words are good to know, being the most natural and ancient method of finding direction. In the days before GPS – before the invention of the compass, even – knowing the cardinal directions was critical to finding the way. Certainly, if you were lost somewhere in the mountain regions now and using a map to navigate, you’d find them useful. Even more so if you and a Dutch friend were adrift at sea, following the stars!

In most situations, though, we rely on body relative directions – your basic up, down, left and right, forward and backwards. Most cultures use relative directions for reference and Dutch is no exception. Interestingly, in a few old languages there are no words for left and right and people still rely on cardinal directions every day. Can you imagine having such a compass brain?

A black compass on a colored map

Well, scientists say that all mammals have an innate sense of direction, so getting good at finding your way is just a matter of practice. It’s pretty cool to think that we were born already pre-wired to grasp directions; the descriptive words we invented are mere labels to communicate these directions to others! Thus, the need to learn some Dutch positional vocabulary. So, without further ado… let’s dive in.

1- Top – bovenop

If planting a flag at the top of the highest mountain in Netherlands is a goal you’d rather leave for  adrenaline junkies, how about making it to the top of the highest building? Your view of the city will be one you’ll never forget, and you can take a selfie  for Twitter with your head in the clouds. 

man on the top rung of a ladder in the sky, about to topple off

2- Bottom – onderkant

The ‘bottom’ can refer to the lower end of a road, the foot of a mountain, or the ground floor of a building. It’s the place you head for after you’ve been to the top!

What are your favorite ‘bottoms’? I love the first rung of a ladder, the base of a huge tree or the bottom of a jungle-covered hill. What can I say? I’m a climber. Divers like the bottom of the ocean and foxes like the bottom of a hole. Since you’re learning Dutch, hopefully you’ll travel from the top to the bottom of Netherlands.

3- Up – omhoog

This is a very common and useful word to know when seeking directions. You can go up the street, up an elevator, up a cableway, up a mountain… even up into the sky in a hot air balloon. It all depends on how far up you like to be!

Hot air balloons in a blue cloudy sky

4- Down – omlaag

What goes up, must surely come down. This is true of airplanes, flaming arrows and grasshoppers – either aeronautics or gravity will take care of that. In the case of traveling humans who don’t wish to go down at terminal velocity, it’s useful to know phrases such as, “Excuse me, where is the path leading back down this mountain?”

5- Middle – midden

In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s characters live in Middle-earth, which is just an ancient word for the inhabited world of men; it referred to the physical world, as opposed to the unseen worlds above and below it. The ancients also thought of the human world as vaguely in the middle of the encircling seas.

When we talk about the ‘middle’, we’re referring to a point that’s roughly between two horizontal lines – like the middle of the road or the middle of a river. While you’re unlikely to ask for directions to the ‘middle’ of anything, you might hear it as a response. For example, “You’re looking for the castle ruins? But they’re in the middle of the forest!”

Castle ruins in a forest

6- Center – centrum

Although similar in meaning to ‘middle’, this word is more specific. Technically, it means the exact central point of a circular area, equally distant from every point on the circumference.  When asking for directions to the center of town, though, we don’t mean to find a mathematically-accurate pinpoint!

Bull’s eye on a dartboard

7- Front – voorkant

The front is the place or position that is seen first; it’s the most forward part of something.  In the case of a hotel, the front is going to be easy to recognize, so if you call a taxi and are told to wait “in front of the hotel”, you won’t have a problem. It’s pretty cool how just knowing the main Dutch directional words can help you locate something if there’s a good landmark nearby.

8- Back – achterkant

I once rented a house in a charming little street that was tucked away at the back of a popular mall. It was so easy to find, but my boss took three hours to locate it from 300 meters away. Why? Well, because she spoke no English and I had no clue what the word for ‘back’ was. All she heard, no matter which way I said it, was “mall, mall, mall”.  As a result, she hunted in front of and next to the mall until she was frazzled. 

Knowing how to describe the location of your own residence is probably the first Dutch ‘directions’ you should practice. This skill will certainly come in handy if you’re lost and looking for your way home. 

9- Side – zijkant

If the place you’re looking for is at the ‘side’ of something, it will be located to the left or the right of that landmark. That could mean you’re looking for an alleyway beside a building, or a second entrance (as opposed to the main entrance). 

As an example, you might be told that your tour bus will be waiting at the right side of the building, not in front. Of course, then you’ll also need to understand “It’s on the right” in Dutch.

Jeepney taxi parked at the side of a building

10- East – oosten

If you’re facing north, then east is the direction of your right hand. It’s the direction toward which the Earth rotates about its axis, and therefore the general direction from which the sun appears to rise. If you want to go east using a compass for navigation, you should set a bearing of 90°. 

We think of Asia as the ‘East’. Geographically, this part of the world lies in the eastern hemisphere, but there’s so much more that we’ve come to associate with this word. The East signifies ancient knowledge and is symbolic of enlightenment in many cultures.

Monks reading on a boulder in front of a Buddha statue

11- West – westen

West is the opposite to east and it’s the direction in which the sun sets. To go west using a compass, you’ll set a bearing of 270 degrees. 

If you were on the planet Venus, which rotates in the opposite direction from the Earth (retrograde rotation), the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east… not that you’d be able to see the sun through Venus’s opaque clouds. 

Culturally, the West refers mainly to the Americas and Europe, but also to Australia and New Zealand, which are geographically in the East. The Western way of thinking is very different to that of the East. One of the most striking differences is individualism versus collectivism. In the West, we grew up with philosophies of freedom and independence, whereas in the East concepts of unity are more important. 

Food for thought: as a traveler who’s invested in learning the languages and cultures of places you visit, you have an opportunity to become a wonderfully balanced thinker – something the world needs more of.

12- North – noorden

North is the top point of a map and when navigating, you’d set a compass bearing of 360 degrees if you want to go that way. Globes of the earth have the north pole at the top, and we use north as the direction by which we define all other directions.

If you look into the night sky, the North Star (Polaris) marks the way due north. It’s an amazing star, in that it holds nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. That’s because it’s located nearly at the north celestial pole – the point around which the entire northern sky turns. Definitely a boon for lost travelers!

The North Star with the Big Dipper in a night sky

13- South – zuiden

South is the opposite of north, and it’s perpendicular to the east and west. You can find it with a compass if you set your bearings to 180 degrees. 

The south celestial pole is the point around which the entire southern sky appears to turn. In the night sky of the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross is a very easy to find constellation with four points in the shape of a diamond. If you come from the southern hemisphere, chances are your dad or mum pointed it out to you when you were a kid. You can use the Southern Cross to find south if traveling by night, so it’s well worth figuring it out!

14- Outside – buiten

This word refers to any place that is not under a roof. Perhaps you’ve heard talk about some amazing local bands that will be playing in a nearby town on the weekend. If it’s all happening outside, you’ll be looking for a venue in a park, a stadium or some other big open space. Come rain or shine, outside definitely works for me!

A young woman on someone’s shoulders at an outdoor concert

15- Inside – binnenkant

I can tolerate being inside if all the windows are open, or if I’m watching the latest Homeland episode. How about you? I suppose going shopping for Dutch-style accessories would be pretty fun, too, and that will (mostly) be an inside affair. 

16- Opposite – tegenovergesteld

This is a great word to use as a reference point for locating a place. It’s right opposite that other place! In other words, if you stand with your back to the given landmark, your destination will be right in front of you. 

17- Adjacent – aangrenzend

So, the adorable old man from next door, who looks about ninety-nine, explains in Dutch that the food market where he works is adjacent to the community hall on the main road. ‘Adjacent’ just means next to or adjoining something else, so… head for the hall! 

While you’re marveling at the wondrous and colorful displays of Dutch food, think about how all of these delicious stalls lie adjacent to one another. Having a happy visual association with a new word is a proven way to remember it!

Outdoor food market fruit display

18- Toward – naar

To go toward something is to go in its direction and get closer to it. This word can often appear in a sentence with ‘straight ahead’, as in:

“Go straight ahead, toward the park.”

If you’ve come to Netherlands to teach English, you might have to ask someone how to find your new school. Depending on what town you’re in, you could simply head toward the residential area at lunch time. You’ll see (and probably hear) the primary school soon enough – it will be the big fenced building with all the kids running around the yard!

19- Facing – tegenover

If you look at yourself in a mirror, you’ll be facing your reflection. In other words: you and your reflection look directly at each other.  Many plush hotels are ocean-facing or river-facing, meaning the main entrance is pointed directly at the water, and the beach out front faces the hotel. 

20- Beside – naast

I know of a special little place where there’s a gym right beside a river. You can watch the sun go down over the water while working out – it’s amazing. What’s more, you can park your scooter beside the building and it will still be there when you come out.

21- Corner – hoek

I love a corner when it comes to directions. A street corner is where two roads meet at an angle – often 90 degrees – making it easier to find than a location on a straight plane. 

“Which building is the piano teacher in, sir?”

“Oh, that’s easy – it’s the one on the corner.”

The key to a corner is that it leads in two directions. It could form a crossroads, a huge intersection, or it could be the start of a tiny one-way cobblestone street with hidden treasures waiting in the shadow of the buildings.

A white and yellow building on the corner of two streets

22- Distant – afgelegen

When a location is distant, it’s in an outlying area. This Dutch word refers to the remoteness of the site, not to how long it takes to get there. For that reason, it’s a very good idea to write the directions down, rather than try to memorize them in Dutch. Even better, get a Dutch person to write them down for you. This may seem obvious, but always include the location of your starting point! Any directions you’re given will be relative to the exact place you’re starting from.

Man lost on a dusty road, looking at a road map and scratching his head

23- Far – ver

This word has a similar meaning to the previous one, but it speaks more about the fact that it will take some time to get there. If you’re told that your destination is “far”,  you’ll no doubt want to go by public transport if you don’t have your own vehicle. Get your hands on a road map and have the directions explained to you using this map. Don’t hesitate to bring out the highlighters. 

24- Close – dichtbij

This word is always a good one to hear when you have your heart set on a very relaxing day in the sun. It means there’s only a short distance to travel, so you can get there in a heartbeat and let the tanning commence. Remember to grab your Nook Book – learning is enhanced when you’re feeling happy and unencumbered. Being close to ‘home’ also means you can safely steal maximum lazy hours and leave the short return trip for sunset! 

A smiling woman lying in a hammock on the beach

25- By – bij

This word identifies the position of a physical object beside another object or a place. A Bed and Breakfast can be ‘by the sea’ if it’s in close proximity to the sea. 

‘By’ can also be used to describe the best mode of transport for your route, as in:

“You can get there by bus.”

26- Surrounding – omheen

If something is surrounding you, it is on every side and you are enclosed by it – kind of like being in a boat. Of course, we’re not talking about deep water here, unless you’re planning on going fishing. Directions that include this word are more likely to refer to the surrounding countryside, or any other features that are all around the place you’re looking for.

A polar bear stuck on a block of ice, completely surrounded by water.

27- All sides – alle kanten

Another useful descriptive Dutch term to know is ‘all sides’. It simply means that from a particular point, you will be able to see the same features to the front, back and sides of you. It doesn’t necessarily imply you’ll be completely surrounded, just more-or-less so. Say, for example, you’re visiting the winelands for the day. When you get there, you’ll see vineyards on all sides of you. How stunning! Don’t neglect to sample the local wines – obviously. 

28- Next to – naast

The person giving you directions is probably standing next to you. The place being described as ‘next to’ something is in a position immediately to one side of it. It could refer to adjoining buildings, neighbouring stores, or the one-legged beggar who sits next to the beautiful flower vendor on weekdays. ‘Next to’ is a great positional term, as everything is next to something! 

“Excuse me, Ma’am.  Where is the train station?”

“It’s that way – next to the tourist market.”

29- Above – boven

This is the direction you’ll be looking at if you turn your head upwards. Relative to where your body is, it’s a point higher than your head. If you’re looking for the location of a place that’s ‘above’ something, it’s likely to be on at least the first floor of a building; in other words, above another floor.

‘Above’ could also refer to something that will be visible overhead when you get to the right place. For example, the road you’re looking for might have holiday decorations strung up from pole to pole above it. In the cities, this is very likely if there’s any kind of festival going on.

View from below of a carnival swing, with riders directly above the viewer

30- Under – onder

Under is the opposite of above, and refers to a place that lies beneath something else. In the case of directions in Dutch, it could refer to going under a bridge – always a great landmark – or perhaps through a subway. In some parts of the world, you can even travel through a tunnel that’s under the sea!

Of course, you might just be missing your home brew and looking for an awesome coffee shop that happens to be under the very cool local gym you were also looking for. Nice find!

2. Getting directions in Dutch

The quickest and easiest way to find out how to get where you’re going is simply to ask someone. Most people on the streets of Netherlands won’t mind being asked at all and will actually appreciate your attempt to ask directions in Dutch. After all, most tourists are more inclined to ask in their own language and hope for the best. How pedestrian is that, though?

Asking directions

I know, I know – you normally prefer to find your own way without asking. Well, think of it like this: you obviously need to practice asking questions in Dutch as much as you need to practice small talk, counting, or ordering a beer. Since you can’t very well ask a complete stranger if they would please help you count to five hundred, you’ll have to stick with asking directions!

We spoke earlier about body relative directions and these tend to be the ones we use most. For example:

“Turn left.”

“Go straight.”

“Turn right.” 

Remember, too, that your approach is important. Many people are wary of strangers and you don’t want to scare them off. It’s best to be friendly, direct and get to the point quickly.  A simple ‘Hi, can you help me?” or “Excuse me, I’m a bit lost,” will suffice. If you have a map in your hand, even better, as your intentions will be clear. 

The bottom line is that if you want to find your way around Netherlands with ease, it’s a good idea to master these basic phrases. With a little practice, you can also learn how to say directions in Dutch. Before you know it, you’ll be the one explaining the way!

3. Conclusion

Now that you have over thirty new directional phrases you can learn in Dutch, there’s no need to fear losing your way when you hit the streets of Netherlands. All you need is a polite approach and your own amazing smile, and the locals will be excited to help you. It’s a chance for them to get better at explaining things to a foreigner, too. Most will enjoy that!

I advise keeping a few things handy in your day pack: a street map, a highlighter, a small notebook and pen, and your Dutch phrasebook. It would be useful to also have the Dutch WordPower app installed on your phone – available for both iPhone and Android

Here’s a quick challenge to get you using the new terms right away. Can you translate these directions into Dutch?

“It’s close. Go straight ahead to the top of the hill and turn left at the corner. The building is on the right, opposite a small bus stop.”

You’re doing amazingly well to have come this far! Well done on tackling the essential topic of ‘directions’ – it’s a brave challenge that will be immensely rewarding. Trust me, when you’re standing at a beautiful location that you found just by knowing what to ask in Dutch, you’re going to feel pretty darn good.

If you’re as excited as I am about taking Dutch to an even deeper level, we have so much more to offer you. Did you know that we’ve already had over 1 billion lesson downloads? I know – we’re blown away by that, too. It’s amazing to be bringing the world’s languages to people who are so hungry for learning. Let me share some of our best options for you:

  • If you haven’t done so already, grab your free lifetime account as a start. You’ll get audio and video lessons, plus vocabulary building tools. 
  • My favorite freebie is the word of the day, which will arrive in your inbox every morning. Those are the words I remember best!
  • Start listening to Dutch music. I’m serious – it really works to make the resistant parts of the brain relax and accept the new language. Read about it here for some tips.
  • If you enjoy reading, we have some great iBooks for your daily commute.
  • If you have a Kindle and prefer to do your reading on a picnic blanket,  there are over 6 hours of unique lessons in Dutch for you right there.

That’s it for today! Join DutchPod101 to discover many more ways that we can offer you a truly fun and enriching language learning experience. Happy travels!

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Top Dutch Compliments Guide

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. General Compliments

Compliments

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

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

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

2. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Looks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s get even more specific:

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

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

3. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Work

Giving Compliments on Work

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

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

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

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

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

4. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Skills

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

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

1- Cooking

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

2- Photography

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

3- Language speaking

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

Giving Compliments to a Friend

4- Sports

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

5- Music

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

5. Dutch Compliments on Someone’s Character

Positive Feelings

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

Here are some examples:

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

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

6. What to Do After Receiving Compliments

A Woman Expressing Gratitude

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

1- Express Your Gratitude

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

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

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

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

2- Answer with Another Compliment

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

For example:

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

3- Share the Credit

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

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

7. Tips & Tricks on How to Flirt in Dutch

Flirting in a Club

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

1. Don’t go over the top.

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

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

2. Be original.

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

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

3. Be confident.

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

4. Play the foreigner card.

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

8. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

Thumbs-up

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

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

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

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

Master these Dutch compliments on DutchPod101.com!

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Tweede Pinksterdag: Whit Monday in the Netherlands

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

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

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

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Whit Monday in the Netherlands?

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

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

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

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

2. What Date is Whit Monday This Year?

Monday Shown on a Calendar

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

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

3. How is Whit Monday Celebrated?

A Music Festival

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

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

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

4. Muziekfestival

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

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

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

5. Must-Know Whit Monday Vocabulary

A Group of People Cycling

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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Getting Angry with the Dutch – Insults & Curse Words Guide

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

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

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. How to Annoy the Dutch

1- Refer to the Netherlands as Holland

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

2- Belittle the country

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

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

3- Talk badly about the (national) football team

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

Orange Flags with Lion

4- Don’t respect the bike culture

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

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

2. Angry Orders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Rot op! (“Get lost!” )

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

3. Angry Questions

Complaints

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

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

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

  • Wat?! (“What?!” )

Or, the also very effective:

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

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

  • Dus?! (“So what?!” )

Also very effective with the right attitude.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Angry Blames

Woman Blaming Man

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

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

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

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

Literally: “Did you become crazy?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luisteren means “to listen.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Describing How You Feel

Negative Verbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Ik haat het! (“I hate it!” )

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

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

Woman Trying to Make Up

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

6. What to Do When You Annoy the Dutch

1- Relax and improve your mood.

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

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

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

2- Make the Dutch happy again.

Dutch Flag with a Heart

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

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

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

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

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

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

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

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

Happy Dutch learning!

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Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Dutch

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. Life Events

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

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

1- Birthday – verjaardag

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

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

Fijne verjaardag

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

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

2- Buy – kopen

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

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

3- Retire – pensioneren

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

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

4- Graduation – afstuderen

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

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

5- Promotion – promotie

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

6- Anniversary – gedenkdag

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

7- Funeral – begrafenis

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

8- Travel – reizen

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

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

9- Graduate – afstuderen

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

10- Wedding – trouwerij

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

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

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

11- Move – verhuizen

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

12- Be born – geboren

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

13- Get a job – een baan vinden

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

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

14- Die – sterven

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

15- Home – huis

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

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

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – baan

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

17- Birth – geboorte

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

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

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

18- Engaged – verloven

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

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

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

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

19- Marry – trouwen

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

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

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

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

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

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

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

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

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

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

4. Conclusion

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

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

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

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