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Useful Dutch Classroom Phrases and Vocabulary

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Would you like to study or teach in the Netherlands? Then it might be handy to know the most common Dutch classroom phrases for students and teachers. Whether you’re about to join a study program as a foreign student in the Netherlands, start one of those Dutch language courses, or teach in a Dutch school, you will have to learn how to communicate in the classroom. 

As a student, it will be handy to know how to address your teachers in Dutch, ask questions, and understand instructions. And as a teacher, you might want to know how to ask questions, give instructions, and, yes, how to discipline your students.

From Dutch classroom greetings to Dutch classroom command phrases, you will have to know or understand them. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know as a teacher or a student, from common classroom phrases to useful classroom vocabulary in Dutch.

Happy learning (or teaching)!

Students Paying Attention and Taking Notes in a Classroom

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. School Vocabulary
  2. Teacher’s Phrases
  3. Student’s Phrases
  4. Tests Instructions
  5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. School Vocabulary

Before we start with the phrases, let’s first see some classroom vocabulary in Dutch. From educational buildings to subjects to supplies, it will help you find your way around the schoolyard or the campus.

1- Educational Infrastructures

GebouwBuilding
SchoolpleinSchoolyard
GangHallway
KlaslokaalClassroom
KantineCanteen
SecretariaatSecretariat
LerarenkamerTeachers’ roo
BibliotheekLibrary
GymzaalGym
CollegezaalLecture hall

2- Subjects

A Girl in Front of a Whiteboard with a Mathematical Calculation

WiskundeMath
BiologieBiology
ScheikundeChemistry
InformaticaComputing
NatuurkundePhysics
KunstArt
TekenenDrawing
NederlandsDutch
FransFrench
EngelsEnglish
DuitsGerman
SpaansSpanish
FilosofiePhilosophy
LatijnsLatin
GrieksGreek
EconomieEconomy
MaatschappijleerSocial studies
GeschiedenisHistory
AardrijkskundeGeography
MuziekMusic
Lichamelijke opvoedingPhysical education (PE)

    ➜ To practice your pronunciation, have a look at our free Dutch vocabulary list on School Subjects, with recorded words and example phrases, on DutchPod101.

2- School Supplies

SchriftNotebook
MapBinder
Vel papierSheet of paper
BoekBook
PenPen
PotloodPencil
GumEraser
PuntenslijperPencil sharpener
EtuiPen case
RugzakBackpack
RekenmachineCalculator
SchaarScissors
LiniaalRuler


2. Teacher’s Phrases

A Teacher in Front of the Class

As a teacher, you need to be able to give instructions, ask questions and, every now and then, bring some discipline to the classroom. And as a student, it’s also very useful to learn these phrases, as it’s important that you understand your teacher. 

Let’s see some of the most common Dutch classroom command phrases.

1- Instructions

Vandaag gaan we vervoegingen leren.
(“Today we are going to learn conjugations.”)
Open je boek op pagina 12.
(“Open your book on page 12.”)
Pak een vel papier.
(“Take a sheet of paper.”)
Steek je hand op als je het antwoord weet.
(“Raise your hand if you have the answer.”)
Luister en herhaal na mij.
(“Listen and repeat after me.”)
Kijk naar de afbeelding op het scherm. / Kijk naar de afbeelding op het bord.
(“Look at the picture on the screen.” / “Look at the picture on the board.”)
Schrijf deze zin op.
(“Write this sentence.”)
Spel dit woord.
(“Spell this word.”)
Maak een zin met het woord “vakantie”.
(“Make a sentence with the word “holiday””.)
Hoe zeg je “tomorrow” in het Nederlands?
(“How do you say “tomorrow” in Dutch?”)
We gaan kleine groepjes vormen.
(“We will form small groups.”)

2- Questions

Begrijp je deze zin?
(“Do you understand this sentence?”)
Wat betekent dat?
(“What does that mean?”)
Wie kan deze vraag beantwoorden?
(“Who can answer this question?”)
Wat is het juiste antwoord?
(“What is the correct answer?”)
Wie wil er hardop voorlezen?
(“Who wants to read aloud?”

3- Discipline

Ga zitten.
(“Take a seat.”)
Stilte alstublieft.
(“Silence, please.”)
Let op.
(“Pay attention.”)
Stop met praten.
(“Stop talking.”)


3. Student’s Phrases

So, let’s now see some useful Dutch classroom phrases that students use: from addressing teachers, to asking questions, to stating your problem.

1- Addressing Teachers

In primary school, school teachers are addressed as :

  • [Male] Meester (Literally: “Master”)
  • [Female] Juf or juffrouw (Literally: “Miss”)

In High school and University, teachers are addressed as meneer (“Mister”) and mevrouw (“Madam” or “Mrs”), often combined with their last name.

So in Dutch classroom greetings, as a student, you could just say Hallo meneer van der Zand (“Hello Mister van der Zand”) or Goedemorgen mevrouw Jacobs (“Good morning Mrs. Jacobs”).

And when talking about the teachers in general, you would refer to them with leraar (“teacher,” male) or lerares (“teacher,” female).

Let’s see some examples on how you could talk about teachers:

  • Onze leraar Frans heeft ons huiswerk gegeven. (“Our French teacher gave us homework.”)
  • Mevrouw Jacobs geeft Duits. (“Mrs. Jacobs teaches German.”)
  • Meneer, ik heb een vraag. (“Mister, I have a question.”)

As a teacher, whether it’s your colleagues or your students, you can simply call them by their names. And if you want to make one of those good Dutch classroom greetings, you could say Hallo allemaal (“Hello everyone”).

2- I have a question

A Student in a Classroom Looking Troubled

Ik begrijp het niet.
(“I don’t understand.”)
Ik begrijp de spelling van dit woord niet.
(“I don’t understand the spelling of this word.”)
Ik heb moeite met het vervoegen van dit werkwoord.
(“I have trouble conjugating this verb.”)
Kunt u dat alstublieft herhalen?
(“Could you repeat that please?”)
Ik weet niet hoe ik dat moet zeggen.
(“I don’t know how to say that.”)
Hoe spreek je het uit?
(“How do you pronounce it?”)
Welke pagina?
(“What page?”)

3- I have a Problem

Ik heb mijn boek vergeten.
(“I forgot my book.”)
Ik heb geen pen.
(“I don’t have a pen.”)
Ik ben mijn schrift kwijt.
(“I lost my notebook.”)
Ik heb een probleem.
(“I have a problem.”)
Kan ik een gum lenen?
(“Can I borrow an eraser?”)
Ik heb wat meer tijd nodig.
(“I need a little more time.”)
Ik ben bijna klaar!
(“I’m almost done!”)
Mag ik naar de wc gaan?
(“Can I go to the bathroom?”)
Ik kan niet bij de volgende les zijn.
(“I can’t be at the next class.”)
Ik heb mijn huiswerk niet gemaakt.
(“I didn’t do my homework.”)
Ik heb mijn huiswerk vergeten.
(“I forgot my homework.”)
Mijn hond heeft mijn huiswerk opgegeten.
(“My dog ate my homework.”)


4. Tests Instructions

Having an exam is already nerve wracking and the last thing you want is to not understand the instructions. So prepare yourself with these Dutch classroom phrases about test instructions. This way you will perfectly understand how the exam will take place and exactly what you have to do.

1- Basic Vocabulary

Examen
(“Exam”)
In the classroom vocabulary in Dutch, there exist different words to refer to a “test”: the word examen is mostly used at university, proefwerk at high school and toets at primary school.
Mondeling examen
(“Oral exam”)
Diploma
(“Degree”)
Surveillant
(“Test supervisor”)
Formulier
(“Form”)
Opstel
(“Essay”)
Instructies
(“Instructions”)

2- Instructions

Students Taking an Exam

Lees de tekst.
(“Read the text.”)
Lees de zin.
(“Read the sentence.”)
Kruis het juiste antwoord aan.
(“Check the right answer”)
Vul de lege plekken in.
(“Fill in the blanks.”)
Maak deze zinnen af.
(“Complete these sentences.”)
Zet deze afbeeldingen in de juiste volgorde.
(“Put these images in the right order.”)
Onderstreep het goede antwoord.
(“Underline the correct answer.”)
Streep de foute antwoorden door.
(“Cross out the wrong answers.”)
Luister naar het voorbeeld.
(“Listen to the example.”)
Beschrijf de afbeelding.
(“Describe this image.”)
Schrijf rond de 200 woorden.
(“Write about 200 words.”)
Vat deze tekst samen in 100 woorden.
(“Summarize this text in 100 words.”)

    ➜ For more Taking Tests vocabulary, be sure to explore our free vocabulary list with audio recordings.

5. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you have learned the most common Dutch classroom phrases, for students and teachers alike. From classroom vocabulary in Dutch, Dutch classroom command phrases for teachers to Dutch classroom greetings, this guide should provide you with a solid foundation for your daily Dutch school life.

Which Dutch classroom phrases will you use the most? Is there any other specific topic you’d like to read more about? Make sure to share with your fellow students in the comments below!

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

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

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

Useful Guide with Dutch Restaurant Vocabulary and Phrases

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Going to a restaurant is probably one of the favorite things people do when they are in a foreign country. It’s a great way to go out, enjoy some new food and discover a new hip and trendy restaurant. However, when you don’t speak the language fluently, the whole experience can be unnecessarily stressful. 

How do things work around here? How can I order? And how much should I tip? Knowing the Dutch restaurant vocabulary and phrases is one thing, but learning about the ins and outs of Dutch dining will truly take you to the next level. 

In this article, we’ll go through the three steps of going to a restaurant in the Netherlands and, for each phase, we’ll list the most common Dutch phrases for restaurants, as well as the restaurant etiquette and unwritten rules you need to know. 

So let’s learn how to order food in Dutch and start to really enjoy the Dutch culinary experience.

A Boy Waiting for His Food, with His Cutlery in His Hands

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Before Dining
  2. During Dining
  3. After Dining
  4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Before Dining


A- Booking a Restaurant: When and How?

Making a reservation in a Dutch restaurant is not always necessary, as you can often show up unannounced. However, without a booking, you will not have the guarantee that a table will be available. This is especially the case for the more popular restaurants, or if you’re planning to go out during busier nights like Friday or Saturday night.

So, is it really necessary to make a reservation at a restaurant in the Netherlands? No, but it can be a great way to make sure that your night goes as planned. So how to make a booking in a Dutch restaurant? Some restaurants have their own booking system on their official website, while others use The Fork or other similar third-party services. In most cases, you can also make a phone call, if you prefer to do so. Booking information and phone numbers are usually available on the restaurant information on Google Maps.

B- Conversation Example

Would you like to make a reservation by phone? Let’s learn restaurant phrases in Dutch grammar on reservations, between a client and a restaurant employee:

Hallo, Restaurant “De Bolle Beer”, hoe kan ik u helpen?
(“Hello, “De bolle beer” restaurant, how can I help you?”)

Hallo, ik wil graag een tafel reserveren voor morgenavond.
(“Hello, I would like to book a table for tomorrow evening.”)

Oké. Voor hoeveel personen?
(“Okay. For how many people?”)

Voor vier personen.
(“For four people.”)

Wilt u binnen of buiten eten?
(“Would you like to eat inside or outside?”)

Buiten als dat kan.
(“Outside if that’s possible.”)

Oké. Voor hoe laat?
(“Okay. At what time?”)

Om half acht.
(“At half past seven.”)

Wat is uw naam?
(“What is your name?”)

Mijn naam is Sofia Real.
(“My name is Sofia Real.”)

Oké Sofia. Morgenavond om half acht, vier personen, buiten op het terras. De reservering is gemaakt.
(“Okay Sofia. Tomorrow night at half past seven, four people, outside on the terrace. The reservation has been made.”)

Perfect. Heel erg bedankt! Tot morgen.
(“Perfect. Thank you very much! See you tomorrow.”)

Do you prefer to send an e-mail or message to make the reservation, then you can also write the following message:

Hallo, ik wil graag een tafel reserveren voor morgenavond om 19:30u voor 4 personen. Mijn naam is Sofìa Real.
(“Hello, I would like to reserve a table for 4 people tomorrow evening at 7:30 pm. My name is Sofia Real.”)

2. During Dining

So, you know which restaurant to go to, you might even have made a reservation. Let’s now see some common Dutch phrases for restaurants, such as asking for your table, asking for the menu, and how to order food in Dutch.

A- Asking for Your Table

A Head Waiter Welcoming Clients and Showing Their Table

Did you already book a table? Then this part of the process will be as simple as introducing yourself when entering the restaurant. Let’s learn these restaurant phrases in Dutch grammar:

Hallo, ik heb een reservering op naam van Jack Smith.
(“Hi, I have a reservation under the name of Jack Smith.”)

Goedenavond, ik heb een reservering op naam van Jack Smith, voor zes personen.
(“Good evening, I have a reservation under the name of Jack Smith, for six people.”)

And you will be shown your table.

Didn’t you make a reservation? Then you can ask the following question when you enter the restaurant:

Hallo, hebben jullie nog een tafel vrij voor vier personen?
(“Hello, do you have a table available for four people?”)

Ja, we hebben nog een tafel vrij op ons terras. Loop maar met me mee.
(“Yes, we still have a table available on our terrace. Come with me.”)

The host waiting at the entrance could also ask you directly some questions, such as this eating at the restaurant phrases in Dutch:

Goedenavond, komen jullie om te eten?
(“Good evening, are you here to eat?”)

Ja.
(“Yes.”)

Nee, alleen om wat te drinken.
(“No, just for a drink.”)

Wilt u binnen of buiten eten?
(“Would you like to eat inside or outside?”)

Binnen, alstublieft.
(“Inside, please.”)

Voor hoeveel personen?
(“For how many people?”)

Voor twee personen?
(“For two people?”)

Voor drie personen.
(“For three people.”)

    ➜ You can find more words and practice your pronunciation with our vocabulary list on Restaurants.

B- Asking for the Menu

Many restaurants in the Netherlands already have the menu on the table or give you the menu when you sit down. But in case it’s not there, they forget, or they are really busy, you might have to ask for it.

Pardon. Mag ik de menukaart zien?
(“Excuse me. Can I see the menu?”)

Dutch menus don’t always follow a standard pattern. However, you will usually find the following components: voorgerechten or “appetizers,” soep, which is “soup,” hoofdgerechten, meaning, “main entrées,” dranken, which is “drinks,” and of course the nagerechten, your “desserts.”

    ➜ Are you missing a fork or a spoon? After learning Dutch food vocabulary on Food Utensils and Tableware, you will be able to ask for it without hesitating.

C- Ordering Food and Drinks

A Man Ordering Food in a Restaurant

Now the most exciting time has arrived: you can order that basic food in Dutch. It’s time to move on to some eating at the restaurant phrases in Dutch. But how to order food in Dutch? Don’t be nervous, ordering is usually fairly easy as you can just refer to the menu. 

In the Netherlands, after the waiter shows you your table, he or she will usually first ask you what you want to drink. 

Wat wilt u drinken?
(“What do you want to drink?”, singular or formal plural)

Wat willen jullie drinken?
(“What do you want to drink?”, casual plural)

Ik wil graag een appelsap, alstublieft.
(“I’d like an apple juice, please.”)

Niets voor mij.
(“Nothing for me.”)

Misschien later.
(“Maybe later.”)

    ➜ What drink would you like to order in Dutch? Have a look at our free vocabulary list on Drinks, on DutchPod101.

When you look ready to order, the waiter may ask you: 

Heeft u een keus gemaakt?
(“Have you made a choice?”)

To which you may respond with one of these ‘eating at the restaurant’ phrases in Dutch: 

Nee, we hebben nog wat meer tijd nodig.
(“No, we need a little more time.”)

De varkenshaas, wat is dat?
(“The varkenshaas, what is that?”)

Ja, ik wil graag de pompoensoep vooraf en daarna de steak met frietjes als hoofdgerecht, alstublieft.
(“Yes, I’d like the pumpkin soup first and then the steak and fries for the main course, please.”)

Ja, ik wil graag de saté als hoofdgerecht en de chocolade mousse als nagerecht, alstublieft.
(“Yes, I would like the saté as a main course and the chocolate mousse for dessert, please.”)

When you order in the Netherlands, you usually say alstublieft (“please”) after your order.

Are you not sure what to order? You can always ask the staff for recommendations. The appropriate question in such a situation would be Wat raadt u aan? (“What do you recommend?). 

If you have any allergies or a special diet, then you might also want to say or ask:

Ik ben allergisch voor pinda’s.
(“I’m allergic to peanuts.”)

Zitten er pinda’s in dit gerecht?
(“Are there peanuts in this dish?”)

Wat zijn de vegetarische gerechten?
(“What are the vegetarian dishes?”)

Hebben jullie vegan gerechten?
(“Do you have vegan dishes?”)


3. After Dining

Once you have enjoyed your meal and the waiter sees that you have finished, he or she will probably come to your table and kindly ask you one of the following questions: 

Wilt u nog iets anders? 
(“Would you like anything else?”)

Nee, bedankt. We zijn helemaal voldaan.
(“No thanks. We are completely satisfied.”)

Was alles naar wens?
(“Was everything to your liking?”)

Ja het was heerlijk, dankuwel.
(“Yes, it was delicious, thank you.”)

Wilt u nog een kopje koffie?
(“Will you have a coffee?”)

Ja, graag.
(“Yes, please.”)

A- Asking for the Bill

A Man Sitting at a Table in a Restaurant, Calling the Waiter

If the waiter asks you if you need anything else, you can also ask for the bill:

De rekening alstublieft. 
(“The bill, please.”)

Kunnen wij de rekening krijgen?
(“Can we get the bill?”)

Ja, ik zal de rekening voor u halen.
(“Yes, I’ll get the bill for you.”)

U kunt direct aan de balie betalen.
(“You can pay directly at the counter.”)

Then, when it’s time to pay:

Willen jullie apart of samen betalen?
(“Do you want to pay separately or together?”)

Ik zal voor iedereen betalen.
(“I will pay for everyone.”)

Apart, alstublieft.
(“Separately, please.”)

B- What About the Tip?

The tips in the Netherlands are very rarely included in the price, so it is polite to give tips in restaurants, pubs, and some cafés. About ten to twelve percent would be appropriate. Dutch waiters don’t survive on tips, but they’re rarely paid very well, so a tip is a welcome bonus to their wage.

Tips are usually left on the table in the form of coins, a bill, or in a dedicated tip box at the counter. But you could also ask to add a certain amount or 10% to the bill when paying by card: Voeg maar tien procent toe als fooi. (“Just add ten percent as a tip.”)

    ➜ Would you like to see more common restaurant vocabulary and phrases with recorded examples to work on your pronunciation? Why not stop by our vocabulary list on Key Phrases for Restaurants.

4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

A Man and Woman Having a Fancy Dinner, Making a Toast

In this guide, you have learned everything you need to know when going to a Dutch restaurant. You now know how to make a reservation and how to order food in Dutch. For each step, you know the tips and tricks, as well as Dutch restaurant vocabulary and phrases. Did we forget some specific situations you’d like to learn more about?

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

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

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

Useful Guide to Improve Your Dutch Conversation Skills

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Did it ever happen to you that you just froze in a Dutch conversation? You went into the conversation with confidence, but in the end, were only able to blurt out a bunch of inarticulate words? Don´t worry about that, it happens to the best. You just need some tips on how to improve your Dutch conversation skills. 

You don’t need to dive into academic lessons or books to be able to master those conversation skills in Dutch, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. You just need to learn some tricks such as reaction words, filler words, or conversation starters. 

This guide will teach you how to improve your Dutch speaking skills: it all starts with making your own unique conversation “cheat sheet” with the words and sentences you might need the most. After that, you only need to learn some common Dutch questions, reactions, and answers, and you will be good to go and start that Dutch conversation. 

This way, nothing will stop you from making new Dutch friends and starting conversations with fellow students, coworkers, or random strangers.

Four People on a Couch Having a Conversation in a Café

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Make Your Own Conversation Cheat Sheet
  2. Learn Dutch Reaction Words
  3. Use Dutch Filler Words
  4. Learn Common Questions and Answers
  5. Use Dutch Conversation Starters
  6. How to Improve Your Dutch Conversation Skills
  7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch

1. Make Your Own Conversation Cheat Sheet

So, how to improve your Dutch conversation skills? One of the best ways for improving Dutch conversation skills is to prepare yourself with your own personalized conversation cheat sheet.

1- What’s a cheat sheet?

So, what´s a conversation cheat sheet? It’s a list of words, phrases, and conversation lines that you can make for yourself. It’s no one-size-fits-all list, but it’s rather something personalized as it assembles information that refers to YOU, for example, relating to your background, lifestyle, age, and interests. 

2- Why would I need one?

When meeting new people, you will have to introduce and talk about yourself. So, it could come in handy to prepare some self-introduction phrases. This way, you will be able to answer questions about yourself, your story, hobby, interests, background, and, last but not least, what motivates you to learn the Dutch language. 

This will not only make the conversation runs smoother, as you are well prepared and have the vocabulary ready to talk about yourself, but it will also make you more confident when meeting new people. It’s a great way to be able to connect with your conversation partners and establish lasting relationships from the start with your (hopefully) new Dutch friends. 

3- How do I make a conversation cheat sheet?

As a conversation cheat sheet is something personalized, every cheat sheet is unique. It all depends on your story and which information you would like to highlight.

One way to go is to start writing your own self-introduction and then tell something about your hobbies and interests, for example:

Hallo, mijn naam is Julia, ik kom uit Argentinië en ik ben 35 jaar oud. Ik woon in Amsterdam en ik werk hier als socioloog. Daarvoor heb ik 4 jaar in Spanje gewoond, ik studeerde daar sociologie aan de universiteit van Madrid. Ik hou van films kijken, koken en wandelen.
“Hello, my name is Julia, I am from Argentina and I am 35 years old. I live in Amsterdam and I work here as a sociologist. Before that I lived in Spain for 4 years, where I studied sociology at the University of Madrid. I like watching movies, cooking and walking.”

You can elaborate on the individual parts of your conversation cheat sheet and imagine how you would answer specific questions, by gathering phrases and words that specifically apply to your situation:

  • Ik woon sinds twee jaar in Amsterdam. (“I have been living in Amsterdam for two years.”)
  • Ik ging in 2016 in Madrid wonen. (“I went to live in Madrid in 2016.”)
  • Ik wilde nieuwe landen en culturen ontdekken. (“I wanted to discover new countries and cultures.”)

  • Veranderen van carrière (“Changing career”)
  • Een nieuwe studie beginnen (“Starting a new study”)
  • Mijn leven omgooien (“Turn my life around”)

  • Mijn favoriete film is de Notebook. (“My favorite movie is the Notebook.”)
  • Ik houd van de Aziatische keuken. (“I love Asian cuisine.”)
  • Ik maak elke dag een wandeling door de stad. (“I take a walk through the city every day.”)

4- Useful Learning Tools

You now know what a conversation cheat sheet is, why you would need one, and what information you should include. Do you have a hard time creating your own introduction phrases and answers? Don´t worry, there are plenty of resources you can use, depending on your level:

  1. Online translators may have a bad reputation. However, nowadays, they work quite well and can definitely help you with your more basic Dutch introduction phrases. There are many different online translators, but Google translate is the most popular option.

  2. Other online tools such as Reverso context can help you with idioms and expressions. They’re not flawless, but still, it’s a nice resource to use.

  3. DutchPod101 has tons of useful free content, blog articles, and vocabulary lists you can use. The vocabulary lists may especially come in handy if you’re looking for a specific topic. They also provide sentences and vocabulary that suit specific needs.

  4. A personal teacher is a great way to learn fast and efficiently. Your own personal teacher can definitely guide you through the process of writing your conversation cheat sheet and fix any mistakes you may make. Be sure to check our private coaching service from our Premium PLUS offer.

A Businesswoman Offering Her Hand, Ready to Introduce Herself

2. Learn Dutch Reaction Words

With reaction words and expressions, you can fill up those awkward silences and miscommunications. It’s a great way to show that you have been paying attention and are interested in your Dutch conversation partner. They will definitely make your conversations smoother and more lively. So, let’s have a look at some Dutch reaction words that express excitement, curiosity, and disbelief, among other reactions.

1- Great!

A: Ik vind de serie die je me hebt aangeraden heel erg leuk (“I really love the series you’ve recommended me.”)

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

2- Sorry.

A: Ik heb een notenallergie. (“I have a nut allergy.”)

B: Oh, sorry, dat wist ik niet. (“Oh, sorry, I didn’t know.”)

3- I can’t believe it.

A: Ik hou niet van kaas. (“I don’t like cheese.”)

B: Echt waar? (“Really?”) [Formal/Casual]
B: Meen je het? (“Are you serious?”) [Formal/Casual]
B: Maak je een grapje? (“Are you making a joke?”) [Casual]

4- That’s a shame.

A: Ik kan vanavond niet komen. (“I can’t come tonight.”)

B: Ah, dat is jammer. (“Oh, that’s a shame.”) [Formal/Casual]
B: Ah, dat is balen! (“Ah, that sucks!”) [Casual]

5- Keep me posted!

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

B: Oké, hou me op de hoogte! (“Okay, keep me posted!”)

6- Thanks for coming!

A: We hebben genoten van het feest gisteravond. (“We have enjoyed the party last night.”)

B: Wat fijn, bedankt voor het komen! (“How nice, thanks for coming!”)

    ➜ This is just a quick list of common reaction words and phrases, but you can find more useful information in our blog article on Intermediate Dutch Phrases.

3. Use Dutch Filler Words

So what are filler words? Dutch filler words are those short sounds and words that locals use to fill the gaps when talking. You don’t necessarily have to use them, but they are useful as they give you time to think, and they definitely will make you sound more local.

Let’s have a look at some of the most common Dutch filler words:

1-

DutchLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
Uhm…“Uh…”

Ik zou graag wat melk en, uhm… twee eieren kopen. (“I would like to buy some milk and, uh… two eggs.”)

De supermarkt? Uhm, het is de eerste straat naar links en dan zie je de supermarkt aan de rechterkant van de straat. (“The supermarket? Uh, it’s the first street on the left and then you see the supermarket on the right side of the street.”)

2-

DutchLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
Maar goed“But good”“But yeah” / “Anyway”

Maar goed, ik ben dus eigenlijk nog steeds boos op haar. (“Anyway, I’m still mad at her.”)

Maar goed, genoeg daarover, hoe gaat het met jou?
(“Anyway, enough about that, how are you?”)

3-

DutchLiterally and English Equivalent
Eigenlijk“Actually”

Maar, eigenlijk, koop ik dit product al jaren. (“But, actually, I’ve been buying this product for years.”)

Eigenlijk eet ik liever binnen. (“Actually, I prefer to eat inside.”)

Hij vind dat eigenlijk helemaal niet zo grappig. (“He actually doesn’t think that’s funny at all.”)

4-

DutchLiterally and English Equivalent
Nou“Well” / “Well then”

Nou, ik denk dat hij het niet leuk vond dat je zo tegen hem sprak. (“Well, I think he didn’t like you talking to him like that.”)

Nou, ik ben het niet helemaal met je eens.
(“Well, I don’t quite agree with you.”)

We gaan nou niet zo snel naar Amsterdam op dit moment. (“Well, we are not going to Amsterdam anytime soon.”)

5-

DutchLiterally and English Equivalent
Dus“So” / “Well”

Dus uhm, ik ga niet mee vanavond. (“So uh, I’m not coming along tonight.”)

Dus, wat is er met je aan de hand? (“So, what’s up with you?”)

    ➜ For more Dutch filler words, example sentences, and how to use them in your conversations, make sure to have a look at our article on Dutch Filler words.

4. Learn Common Questions and Answers

An Image of a Man Saying Something to a Woman, But She Doesn't Understand Him

Asking questions and answering them is part of our daily life. It’s how we get to know each other, how we organize our lives, and how we get a better understanding of someone or something.

Do you already know the golden rules of Dutch questions? Do you know the Dutch question patterns, as well as the most important question words? If you need a refresher, go to our complete article on Dutch Questions and Answers.

Otherwise, let’s dive into some of the most common questions as well as some examples of answers you might want to add to your conversation cheat sheet. Once again, choose the sentences that feel relevant to your personal story and interests.

1- How are you?

  • Hoe gaat het met je? (“How are you”) [Casual]
  • Hoe gaat het met u? (“How are you”) [Formal]

Another informal way to ask this question is: Alles goed? (“Everything fine?”)

Possible answers for this question include:

Het gaat goed met me. (“I am doing great.”)
Ik voel me niet goed. (“I am not feeling well.”)
Het gaat wel. (“I am fine.”)
Ik heb het erg druk. (“I am very busy.”)

2- What’s your name?

  • Wat is je naam?  (“What’s your name?”) [Casual]
  • Wat is uw naam? (“What’s your name?”) [Formal]

Another way to ask this question in Dutch is: 

  • Hoe heet je? [Casual]
  • Hoe heet u? [Formal]

Let’s now have a look at the answers:

Ik heet Sophie. (“My name is Sophie.”)
Mijn naam is Sophie. (“My name is Sophie.”)
Ik ben Sophie. (“I am Sophie.”)

3- Where are you from?

  • Waar kom je vandaan? (“Where are you from?”) [Casual]
  • Waar komt u vandaan? (“Where are you from?”) [Formal]

Let’s have a look at some possible answers:

    Foreign answers
    Ik ben Duits. (“I’m German.”)
    Ik kom uit Frankrijk. (“I’m from France.”)

    Local answers
    Ik kom uit Amsterdam. (“I’m from Amsterdam.”)
    Ik ben een Rotterdammer. (“I’m a Rotterdammer.” – a person from Rotterdam)
    Ik kom uit Brabant. (“I’m from Brabant.”)

4- Do you speak Dutch?

  • Spreek je Nederlands? (“Do you speak Dutch?”) – Casual
  • Spreekt u Nederlands? (“Do you speak Dutch?”) – Formal
  • Spreek je Engels? (“Do you speak English?”) – Casual
  • Spreekt u Engels? (“Do you speak English?”) – Formal

Let’s have a look at some possible answers:

Ik spreek een beetje Nederlands. (“I speak a little Dutch.”)
Ik spreek vloeiend Engels. (“I speak English fluently.”)
Min of meer. (“So-so.”)

5- What do you do?

  • Wat doe je? (“What do you do?”) [Casual]
  • Wat doet u? (“What do you do?”) [Formal]

Or sometimes it’s better to be a bit more specific:

  • Wat voor werk doe je? (“What kind of work do you do?”)
  • Wat is jouw baan? (“What’s your job?”)
  • Waar werk je? (“Where do you work?”)
  • Wat voor een studie doe je? (“What kind of study do you do?”)
  • Wat studeer je? (“What do you study?”)
  • Waar studeer je? (“Where do you study?”)

Some possible answers are:

Ik ben politieagent. (“I’m a police officer.”)
Ik werk in IT. (“I work in IT.”)
Ik werk in een kledingwinkel. (“I work in a clothing store.”)
Ik studeer anthropologie. (“I study anthropology.”)
Ik studeer aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. (“I study at the University of Amsterdam.”)

5. Use Dutch Conversation Starters

A Man and a Woman Drinking a Cup of Coffee and Having a Conversation

It can be hard to start a conversation with random strangers. It may be a little easier when you’re among fellow students, coworkers, or friends, as you have something in common, but you’ll still have to come up with some good opening lines.

It’s even more complex to start a conversation in a foreign language, but it definitely helps to be well prepared. Add some good conversation starters to your conversation cheat sheet and you’ll be good to go!

Here are a few examples for various situations:

  • Ik ga nog een drankje halen. Kan ik iets voor je meenemen?
    “I’m going for another drink. Can I get you something?”

  • Aan welk project werk je?
    “Which project are you working on?”

  • Weet jij een goede plek om te lunchen?
    “Do you know a good place to have lunch?”

  • Woon je al lang in Amsterdam?
    “Have you been living in Amsterdam for a long time?”

  • Wat zijn jouw plannen voor dit weekend?
    “What are your plans for this weekend?”
    ➜ There are many other conversation starters that you can use for a wide variety of situations, from strangers, people you already know, colleagues, schoolmates, and romantic dates to reconnecting with friends. For many more examples, have a look at our full guide on Dutch Conversation Starters.

6. How to Improve Your Dutch Conversation Skills

So, how to improve your Dutch speaking skills? Let’s give you some useful tips on the best ways to improve Dutch conversation skills.

1- Get as much exposure as possible

Exposure is everything, so listen to Dutch podcasts and music, watch Dutch movies, TV shows, or series, read Dutch books or make some new Dutch friends. There are many different ways to get some exposure to the Dutch language, so choose the exposure that works for you and your situation.

Exposure will help you learn the language without feeling like it’s all boring study work. It helps solidify everything you’re learning in a fun way, as you’ll get to experience words and structures in more natural situations.

Sure, you’ll need some basics before you can start, but there’s no need to wait too long, as recordings can be slowed down and videos can be subtitled.

2- Use every opportunity to practice

Practice is key. It may be a cliché, but it’s definitely true. Having real-life conversations is truly the best way to put your new grammar and vocabulary lessons into practice. 

Do you feel like your Dutch is not good enough to have a conversation? You don’t need more than some basics to get out there and talk to someone. The conversation might not go very far, but you will definitely learn from it.

Of course, if you are not in the Netherlands, it may be harder to find some Dutch language practice opportunities. However, language meet-ups or online chats are all valid ways to practice, as long as you get to talk to a native speaker and experiment with what you’ve learned.

3- Don´t worry too much about grammar or vocabulary

As we already said before, you don’t need to speak Dutch perfectly before you put those conversation skills in Dutch into practice. Don´t worry too much about Dutch grammar or vocabulary, it will hinder you from trying to speak Dutch. Just use the knowledge you have, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You will learn from them.

And if you want to be a bit more prepared, pick the topics you will need and learn the basics. Often you can get quite far when you mix up the words you already know and just make new phrases out of them.

4- Get some feedback

Practicing is very important, but it might be even more important to get feedback. Without feedback, you might run the risk of getting stuck in the same mistakes without being able to spot and correct them.

So how to get that feedback? Finding a language partner (online or in person) is one way to go. Your language partner may be interested in your native language, and this way, you’ll both benefit from the relationship; besides that, it could lead to a nice new friendship.

Another option is a language teacher, as a private teacher will be able to set you on the right path, correct your grammar mistakes and improve your pronunciation. You can probably find a private teacher or classroom-based language course where you live or subscribe to an online service such as our Premium PLUS coaching on DutchPod101.

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Dutch

A Woman Waving and Saying Hello

In this guide, you have learned how to improve your Dutch speaking skills. One of the best ways to improve Dutch conversation skills is to start with a conversation cheat sheet, then learn about various types of words and expressions that will help you run those conversations more smoothly, from filler words, reaction phrases, common questions, and answers to useful conversation starters.

Is there any other topic you would like to add to your Dutch conversation skills practice? Or are you ready to put these conversation skills in Dutch into practice?

Make sure to explore DutchPod101’s many free resources, such as vocabulary lists with audio recordings. This way, you can practice your Dutch conversation skills and understand your conversation partner even better.

Maybe you would like a private teacher? DutchPod101 also offers personal one-on-one coaching with the premium MyTeacher service. Boost your Dutch with your private teacher’s interactive exercises, personalized feedback, and useful tips.

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

Countries and Nationalities in Dutch

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What is the most common question you will hear as a foreigner in the Netherlands? Yes, that oh-so common question about your nationality. As someone living abroad, you will have the advantage of having that as the perfect ice breaker to start some small talk: someone is bound to ask you where you’re from. 

This is your time to make a great impression and show your knowledge of the Dutch nationality vocabulary. What would you say about your nationality in Dutch? Saying Ik ben Frans (“I am French”) or Ik kom uit de Verenigde Staten (“I am from the United States”) may not be enough to keep the conversation going. 

This is where this guide may come in handy! By learning more vocabulary on nationalities, as well as the related questions and answers, you’ll be ready to impress with the perfect answer (and follow-up question) for the question: “What is your nationality?”, in Dutch.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Dutch Table of Contents
  1. Top 20 Nationalities in the Netherlands
  2. Conversations About Nationalities
  3. Country, City, Nationality & Language
  4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

1. Top 20 Nationalities in the Netherlands

Image of a Hand Holding the Dutch Flag

Dutch nouns for nationalities are actually quite easy, they are often written quite similar and for the feminine version you just have to add a ´se´. You’ll find as well that some of the countries and their nationalities in Dutch can be similar to their English equivalents. Furthermore, in Dutch nationality names, adjectives and country names are also written with a capital letter, just like in English! Easy, right?

Let’s have a look at a few examples:

Country’s nameNounAdjective
Brazilië
(“Brazil”)
Braziliaans, Braziliaanse
(Brazilian male version, feminine version)
Braziliaanse
(Brazilian)
Italië
(“Italy”)
Italiaans, Italiaanse
(Italian male version, feminine version)
Italiaanse
(Italian)
Mexico
(“Mexico”)
Mexicaans, Mexicaanse
(Mexican male version, feminine version)
Mexicaanse
(Mexican)

Let’s see some examples of the adjectives:

  • Het Braziliaanse eten. (“The Brazilian food.”)
  • Het Braziliaanse volkslied. (“The Brazilian anthem.”)
  • De Italiaanse vrouwen. (“The Italian women.”)
  • De Mexicaanse man. (“The Mexican man.”) 
  • Zij houdt erg van Mexicaanse muziek. (“She really loves Mexican music.”)

A Picture of a Brigadeiro, Brazilian Food

As you can see, in Dutch the country´s name, nationality and adjective all start with an uppercase letter.

So now let’s have a look at how this would look like for the 20th most common nationalities in the Netherlands.

Dutch demography statistics show that in 2020 about 4.22 million of the Dutch citizens are of non-Dutch origin and half of these are from six backgrounds alone: Turks (inc. Kurds), Moroccans (inc. Berbers), Indonesians (inc. Moluccans), Surinamese, Germans and Poles.

Let’s have a look at the numbers from 2019, and learn some useful Dutch words in the process!

%English (Country)Dutch (Country)Dutch (Adjective)Dutch (Nationality)
2.37Turkey (inc. Kurds)TurkijeTurks/eTurk / Turkse
2.33Morocco (incl. Berbers)MarokkoMarokkaans/eMarokkaan / Marokkaanse
2.08Indonesia (incl. Moluccans)IndonesiëIndonesisch/eIndonesiër / Indonesische
2.05SurinamSurinameSurinaams/eSurinamer / Surinaamse
2.03GermanyDuitslandDuits/eDuitser / Duitse
1.07PolandPolenPools/ePool / Poolse
0.9Former Netherlands AntillesVoormalige Nederlandse AntillenAntilliaans/eAntilliaan / Antilliaanse
0.69BelgiumBelgiëBelgisch/eBelg / Belgische
0.57SyriaSyriëSyrisch/eSyriër / Syrische
0.53Former Soviet UnionVoormalige Sovjet Unie
0.53Great Britain Groot-BrittanniëBrits/eBrit / Britse
0.51Former YugoslaviaVoormalig JoegoslaviëJoegoslavisch/eJoegoslaaf / Joegoslavische
0.45ChinaChinaChinees/ChineseChinees / Chinese
0.36IracIrakIrakees/eIrakees / Irakese
0.33ItalyItaliëItaliaans/eItaliaan / Italiaanse
0.28AfghanistanAfghanistanAfghaans/eAfghaan / Afghaanse
0.28IndiaIndiaIndisch/eIndiër / Indische
0.27FranceFrankrijkFrans/e Fransman / Franse (or: Française)
0.27SpainSpanjeSpaans/eSpanjaard / Spaanse
0.26United StatesVerenigde StatenAmerikaans/eAmerikaan / Amerikaanse

Knowing these countries, it may also come in handy to get to know the names of the different continents in Dutch:

EuropeEuropaEuropees/Europese
AsiaAziëAziatisch/e
AfricaAfrikaAfrikaans/e
AmericaAmerikaAmerikaans/e
OceaniaOceaniëOceanisch/e

Image of a Globe with the European Continent Highlighted

When you need to be a little more specific, you can use cardinal directions:

NorthNoord
SouthZuid
EastOost
WestWest

For example:

  • Zuid-Amerika (“South America”)
  • Oost-Europa (“Eastern Europe”)
  • Zuidoost-Azië (“Southeast Asia”)
  • Noord-Afrika (“North Africa”)


2. Conversations About Nationalities

When you meet someone new in a foreign country, you don’t know where the conversation might go. But they will surely ask you where you’re from.

    ➜ Are you applying for Dutch citizenship? Then it might also come in handy to be able to talk about your current nationality. This way you can explain your situation and get that Dutch passport.

When you meet a new person in the Netherlands, they might ask you: Waar kom je vandaan? This literally means “Where do you come from?”, but translates better to “Where are you from?” 

If you need to go a bit more formal, you can use U (“You”, formal): Waar komt u vandaan?

To answer, you just say Ik ben, which means “I am,” and then your nationality. So what would you say about your nationality in Dutch?

For example:

  • Ik ben Amerikaans. (“I am American.”)
  • Ik ben Duits. (“I am German.”)
  • Ik ben Braziliaans. (“I am Brazilian.”)

As you can see, in this sentence structure you always take the male version, even if you’re female.

You could also answer with Ik kom uit Duitsland, which means “I come from Germany,”. In that case, in your reply you would have to change the nationality to the name of the country, so “I come from Netherlands.”

For example:

  • Ik kom uit Frankrijk. (“I am from France.”)
  • Ik kom uit Australië. (“I am from Australia.”)

To return the question you can simply say En jij? This means “And you?” 

Last but not least, they could also ask “What is your nationality?”, in Dutch. Saying Wat is jouw nationaliteit? Or asking Ben je [nationality]? (“Are you [nationality]?). So for example, Ben je Fins? (“Are you Finnish?”). To which you could reply:

  • Ja, ik ben Fins. (“Yes, I am Finnish.”)
  • Ja, ik kom uit Finland. (“Yes, I am from Finland.”)
  • Nee, ik ben niet Fins. Ik ben Amerikaans. (“No I am not Finnish. I am American.”)

Or you can use a more advanced reply:

  • Ik ben geboren in Finland, maar ik groeide op in Italië. (“I was born in Finland but I grew up in Italy.”)
  • Ik ben Fins en Italiaans (“I’m Finnish and Italian.”)
  • Ik ben Frans maar ik woon in Finland (“I’m French but I live in Finland.”)
  • Ik ben Duits maar ik woon in Japan. (“I’m German but I live in Japan.”)
  • Ik ben Braziliaans maar ik woon nu al twee jaar in Frankrijk. (“I’m Brazilian but I’ve been living in France for two years.”)


3. Country, City, Nationality & Language

You now know how to talk about countries and their nationalities in Dutch, let’s go back to our list and take it one step further.

Image of Ankara

Country in EnglishCountry in DutchMajor CityNationalityLanguage
TurkeyTurkijeAnkaraTurk/seTurks (“Turkish”)
Morocco MarokkoRabatMarokkaan/seMarokkaans (“Moroccan”)
IndonesiaIndonesiëJakartaIndonesiër/IndonesischeIndonesisch (“Indonesian”)
SurinamSurinameParamariboSurinamer/SurinaamseSurinaams (“Surinamese”)
GermanyDuitslandBerlijn (“Berlin”)Duitser/DuitseDuits (“German”)
PolandPolenWarschauPool/sePools (“Polish”)
BelgiumBelgiëBrussel Belg/BelgischeNederlands (“Dutch”), Frans (“French”) and Duits (“German”)

Belgium has three official languages, however Belgian Dutch, Vlaams (“Flemish”), and Belgian French, Waals (“Walloon”), are mainly spoken there.
SyriaSyriëDamascusSyriër/SyrischeArabisch (“Arabic”)
Great Britain Groot-BrittanniëLonden (“London”)Brit/seEngels (“English”)
ChinaChinaBeijingChinees/ChineseChinees (“Chinese”)
IraqIrakBaghdadIrakees/IrakeseIraaks (“Iraqi”)
ItalyItaliëRome Italiaan/seItaliaans (“Italian”)
AfghanistanAfghanistanKabulAfghaan/seDari
IndiaIndiaNew DelhiIndiër/IndischeHindi
FranceFrankrijkParijs (“Paris”)Fransman/Franse

(Française is also used for the feminine version)
Frans (“French”)
SpainSpanjeMadridSpanjaard/SpaanseSpaans (“Spanish”)
United StatesVerenigde StatenWashingtonAmerikaan/seAmerikaans (“American”)

You can combine all of that when you introduce yourself. Here’s what it could look like:

  • Ik ben Spaans, ik ben geboren in Madrid maar ik woon nu in Parijs, Frankrijk.
    (“I am Spanish, I was born in Madrid but I now live in Paris, France.”)

  • Ik ben Pools maar ik ben in Spanje opgegroeid.
    (“I’m Polish but I grew up in Spain.”)

  • Ik ben Chinees, maar woon al een tijdje in Brussel.
    (“I’m Chinese but I’ve been living in Brussels for some time.”)

  • Ik ben Indiaas en spreek nog niet zo goed Nederlands. Ik ben zes maanden geleden naar Nederland verhuisd.
    (“I’m Indian and I don’t speak Dutch very well yet. I moved to the Netherlands six months ago.”)

  • Ik ben Turks en Marokkaans. Ik ben opgegroeid in Turkije maar spreek geen woord Marokkaans. (“I’m Turkish and Moroccan. I was raised in Turkey but I don’t speak a word of Moroccan.”)

  • Ze is Amerikaanse, spreekt vloeiend Duits en houdt van de Duitse cultuur.
    (“She’s American, she speaks German fluently and she loves the German culture.”)

    ➜ Telling where you’re from and what language you speak is a great starting point. To go a bit further, you can check out our vocabulary list with 10 lines to introduce yourself in Dutch.

A Woman Waving Goodbye

4. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

In this guide, you have learned everything about countries and their nationalities in Dutch. You also learned some simple as well as complex sentence structures that you can use to answer the popular question Waar kom je vandaan? You even know how to say  “What is your nationality?”, in Dutch.

Are there any other nationality related words you would like to learn? Where are you from yourself and what would you say about your nationality in Dutch?

Let’s start putting this Dutch nationality vocabulary in use with the help of DutchPod101’s vocabulary lists with audio recordings, and other free resources to boost your studies.

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

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

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30+ Useful Intermediate Dutch Phrases to Up Your Game

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

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

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

Let’s dive in.

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

Let’s master those intermediate Dutch phrases!

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

1. Talking About Past Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2. Making and Changing Plans

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

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

A How-to Guide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Explaining Your Reasons

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Making Recommendations and Complaints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Reaction Phrases for Everyday Conversations

A Man and a Woman Chatting Over Coffee

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

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

1 – Great!

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

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

2 – Sorry.

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

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

3 – I can’t believe it.

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

B:
Echt waar?
“Really?” [Formal/Casual]

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

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

4 – That’s a shame.

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

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

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

5 – Keep me posted!

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

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

6 – Thanks for coming!

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

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


6. Dutch Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings

A Man and Woman Shaking Hands in a Car Dealership

What Dutch etiquette rules do you already know?

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

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

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

Goede reis!
Have a good trip!

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

Leuk je te ontmoeten. 
[Casual]
Aangenaam kennis te maken. 
[Formal]
Nice to meet you.

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

Gezondheid.
Bless you.
Literally: Health.

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

    ➜ Would you like to learn more about Dutch etiquette? You’re in luck! We have a complete guide [link] on what’s polite and what’s not in the Netherlands. It’s available for free on DutchPod101.com.

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

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

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

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

A Woman Wearing a Graduation Cap and Gown

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

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

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

What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

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

A Useful List of 150+ Advanced Dutch Words

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

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

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

A Kid Wearing Glasses and a Graduation Cap

Let’s refine your Dutch vocabulary!

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

1. General Advanced Dutch Words

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

1  – Verbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Adjectives

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

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

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

OnaanvaardbaarDeze resultaten zijn onaanvaardbaar!
UnacceptableThese results are unacceptable!

OnwaarschijnlijkDit lijkt erg onwaarschijnlijk.
UnlikelyThis seems very unlikely.

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

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

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

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

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

3 – Adverbs

AbsoluutHet heeft absoluut geen zin.
AbsolutelyIt is absolutely pointless.

AbruptWe zijn abrupt weg gegaan.
AbruptlyWe left abruptly.

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

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

LetterlijkHij heeft dat letterlijk gezegd.
LiterallyHe said that literally.

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

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

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

4 – Linking Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Woman in a Yellow Sweater Thinking about Something

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

2. Academic Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you ready to master these academic Dutch words?

3. Advanced Business Words

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

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

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

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

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

OntslagOntslag werd overwogen.
Dismissal / ResignationDismissal was considered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

FondsenWe moeten fondsen vrijmaken.
FundsWe have to release funds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vast contract
Permanent contract

Tijdelijk contract
Temporary contract

A Businesswoman Surrounded by Sketches of Lightbulbs

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


4. Advanced Medical Words

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

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

GoedaardigDit syndroom is goedaardig.
BenignThis syndrome is benign.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BuikIk heb buikpijn.
StomachI have a stomachache.

WervelkolomDe wervelkolom is delicaat.
SpineThe spine is delicate.

RibbenMijn ribben doen pijn.
RibsMy ribs hurt.

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

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

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


5. Advanced Legal Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schriftelijk bewijsSchriftelijk bewijs van adres
Written proofWritten proof of address

DagvaardenZe dagvaardde de getuige.
To summonShe summoned the witness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CorruptieCorruptie is een misdaad.
CorruptionCorruption is a crime.

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

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

A Gavel on Top of a Book

Which advanced Dutch legal words are most useful to you?

6. Alternative Words for Acing a Dutch Language Exam

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

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

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

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

1 – Alternative Verbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Alternative Adjectives

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

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

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

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

3 – Alternative Adverbs

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

Zonder problemenProbleemloosHet evenement verliep probleemloos.
EasilySmoothlyThe event went smoothly.

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

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

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

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

Students Writing an Essay in a Classroom

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

7. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

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

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

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

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

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

Intermediate Dutch Student Guide with 300+ Useful Words

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

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

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

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

A Woman Studying on Her Cell Phone

Let’s master the intermediate Dutch level!

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

1. Pronouns

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

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

1 – Possessive Pronouns

A possessive pronoun indicates ownership:

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Objective Personal Pronouns

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

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

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

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

3 – Reflexive Pronouns

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

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

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

4 – Reciprocal Pronouns

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

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

A Woman Waving to Someone

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

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

2. Verbs

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

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

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

Six English Verbs in Colored Bubbles

What other intermediate Dutch verbs would you like to know?

3. Numbers

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

Let’s have a look.

1 – From 10 to 20


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

2 – Counting Up to 100


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

3 – To 1000 and Beyond


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

And from there, the sky’s the limit!

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

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

4. Nouns 

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

1 – Time


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

2 – Places


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

3 – Technology


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

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

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

4 – Home


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

5 – City & Transportation


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

6 – People


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

7 – Body Parts


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

8 – Food


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

9 – Work & Studies


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

10 – Clothes


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

Two Women Looking at Clothes

Can you already talk about clothes in Dutch?

5. Conjunctions 

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

Noch (“Nor”)

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

Dus (“Then” / “So”)

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

Anders (“Otherwise”)

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

Aangezien (“Since” / “As”)

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

Als (“When”)

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

Daarom (“Therefore” / “Thus”)

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

6. Adjectives

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

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

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

A Man Flirting with a Woman through a Window

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

7. Adverbs

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

1 – When


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

2 – How Often


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

3 – Where


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

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

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

4 – How


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

5 – How Much


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


8. Prepositions

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

1 – Time


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

2 – Space


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

3 – Other


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

9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

A Guy Having a Lightbulb Moment while Studying

Let DutchPod101 help you master the intermediate Dutch level.

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

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

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

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

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

Happy learning on DutchPod101.com!

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

Dutch Animal Names: The Ultimate List for Language Learners

Thumbnail

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

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

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

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

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

Several Different Pet Animals

Learn some Dutch animal names with DutchPod101!

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

1. Pets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Konijn“Rabbit”

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

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

Hamster“Hamster”
Dutch expression: Hamsteren 

Literally: “To hamster”
Meaning: To hoard

Rat“Rat”

Cavia“Guinea pig”

Goudvis“Goldfish”

Kanarie“Canary”

A Kitten Mewling

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

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

2. Farm Animals

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

Here are the names of common farm animals in Dutch:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geit“Goat”

Paard“Horse”

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

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

Two Donkeys

Are you as stubborn as a donkey?

Kip“Chicken”

Haan“Rooster”

3. Wild Animals

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

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

Beer“Bear”

Wolf“Wolf”

Hert“Deer”

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

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

Das“Badger”

Leeuw“Lion”

Tijger“Tiger”

Panter“Panther”

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

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

Giraf“Giraffe”

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

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

Nijlpaard“Hippopotamus”

Pinguïn “Penguin”

IJsbeer“Polar bear”
Dutch expression: IJsberen

Literally: “To polar bear”
Meaning: To pace

A Polar Bear in the Snow

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

4. Sea Animals

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

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

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

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

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

Haai“Shark”
Dutch expression: Naar de haaien gaan 

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

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

Mussels

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


5. Bugs and Insects

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

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

Bij“Bee”

Wesp“Wasp”

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

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

Vlieg“Fly”

Spin“Spider”

Sprinkhaan“Grasshopper”

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

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

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

Two Butterflies against a White Background

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

6. Birds

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pauw“Peacock”
Dutch expression: Trots als een pauw

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

Gans“Goose”

Zwaan“Swan”

Eend“Duck”

A Duck with Its Ducklings

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

7. Reptiles & Amphibians

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

Kikker“Frog”

Pad“Toad”

Slang“Snake”

Krokodil“Crocodile”
Dutch expression: Krokodillentranen huilen

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

A Crocodile

Have you ever seen a crocodile tear?

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

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

8. Animal Body Parts

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

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

9. Animal Verbs

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

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


10. Animal Sounds in Dutch

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

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

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

A Friendly Dog Looking at the Camera

How does barking sound in Dutch? Woef!

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

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

11. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

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

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

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

Happy learning!

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

Learn Dutch Phone Call Phrases and Other Useful Words

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s make that Dutch phone call with confidence!

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

1. Phone Vocabulary

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

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

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


2. Greeting

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

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

Let’s have a look.

A Woman in a White Tank Top Waving to Someone

Which Dutch greetings do you already know?

1 – Calling

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Answering

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

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

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

3. Checking

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

1 – Calling

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 – Answering

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

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

4. Transferring

Some People Working in a Call Center

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

1 – Calling

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

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

2 – Answering

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

5. Stating Your Reason for the Call

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

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

6. Experiencing Phone Call Problems

A Woman Who Is Stressed Out while Talking on the Phone

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

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

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

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

7. Leaving a Message

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

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

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

A way to respond to this might be:

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

8. Ending

A Guy Giving the Peace Sign with Both Hands

How do you say goodbye in Dutch on the phone?

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

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

9. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn Better Dutch

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

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

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

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

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

Boost Your Dutch with These 200+ Dutch Words for Beginners

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

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

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

Let’s get started!

A Woman Trying to Understand What a Man Is Saying

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

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

1. Pronouns

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

Personal Subject Pronouns

Personal subject pronouns replace the subject of a sentence.

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

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

Impersonal Pronouns

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

Het (“It”)

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

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

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

Demonstrative Pronouns

The Dutch demonstrative pronouns are: 

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

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

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

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

Interrogative Pronouns

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

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

Indefinite Pronouns

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

2. Verbs

Common English Verbs in Colorful Bubbles

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

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

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


3. Numbers

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

A Child Solving the Problem 1+1=2

Let’s learn how to count in Dutch.

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

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

4. Nouns

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

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

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

Time

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

Places

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

Technology & Internet

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

Home

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

City & Transportation

A Map of the Netherlands Showing Amsterdam and Limburg

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

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

People

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

Body

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

Food

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

Work & Studies

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

5. Conjunctions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Adjectives

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

A Little Girl Making Faces and Gestures to Express Different Emotions

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

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

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

7. Adverbs

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

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

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

When

StraksLater
NuNow
SnelSoon
GisterenYesterday
VandaagToday
MorgenTomorrow
VanavondTonight
Volgende weekNext week

How Often

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

Where

HierHere
DaarThere
OveralEverywhere
NergensNowhere
ErgensSomewhere

Four Friends Chatting with Coffee Drinks

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

GoedWell
SlechtBadly / Poorly
SnelQuickly

How Much

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

8. How DutchPod101 Can Help You Learn More Dutch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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