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Lesson Transcript

Hi again and welcome to this next Dutch lesson. My name is Stella and today, we’ll be talking about some of the most important Dutch verbs. Let’s get started!
1. zijn “to be”
Hij is piloot. “He is a pilot.”
Now, like many languages, Dutch has strong and weak verbs and zijn is a typical strong verb, and that’s why zijn doesn’t look or sound anything like is, hij is piloot. So, in combination with hij / ze “he / she”, the verb zijn, sounds like /is/.
2. leuk vinden “to like”
Ik vind haar leuk. “I like her.”
Now, if you’re saying this in Dutch, especially about a person, then, it usually means that you have a little crush on them, so be careful when you use this.
3. doen “to do”
Wij doen de afwas. “We are doing the dishes.”
This is also a strong verb, but it’s recognizable here. The word doen or “do” can be used for many different things and there’s lots of different meanings to it, just like in English.
4. zeggen “to say”
Zij zegt helemaal niets. “She says nothing at all.”
This is just a very neutral word. If you’re going to ask someone to tell you a story, then you can start the sentence with zeg. For example, you can say - Zeg, hoe is het afgelopen met John? “I say, whatever happened to John?” except it’s less archaic in Dutch than it is in English.
5. horen “to hear”
Ik hoor de trein. “I hear the train.”
There’s an easy way to remember this one, because the verb horen sounds a bit like oren. So - Horen doe je met je oren. “You hear with your ears.”
6. gaan “to go”
Zij gaan naar huis. “They are going home.”
Gaan, can also mean “leaving”. For example, if you say, Ik ga, that means, “I’m leaving”.
7. weten “to know”
Ik weet niets. “I know nothing.”
Jon Snow. That’s literally the only time I’ve ever seen that sentence. So in Dutch, unless you’re quoting Game of Thrones, you would say - Ik weet het niet. “I don't know.”
8. nemen “to take”
Kun je de fiets nemen? “Could you take the bike?
So this is nemen, in the context of choosing a means of transportation. So Ik neem een appel means “I'll take an apple”. You can also say - Ik neem de telefoon op. Opnemen means “answering a phone”, and you can say - Ik neem een boek mee. Meenemen means “to take something with you”. So, the verb nemen, you can combine it with many prepositions.
9. zien “to see”
Hij ziet heel weinig. “He doesn't see much.”
So, zien, is spelled with a Z, but the Dutch aren’t that particular about it, so, it just sounds very slightly different from an S. So with an S, you would say, /sien/, and with a Z, you would say, /zien/. Do you hear it? /Sien - zien/. Just a small difference, but it’s there.
10. komen “to come”
Ze komen morgen op visite. “They will come and visit us tomorrow.”
Another example would be, if someone calls you and you want to say, “I’m coming.”, you would say - Ik kom eraan.
11. denken “to think”
Ik denk aan lekker eten. “I am thinking of delicious food.”
Yeah, yeah. So, unlike in some other languages, denken is very versatile. So you can say - Ik denk aan je “I'm thinking of you” or Ik denk dat het de blauwe is. “I believe it's the blue one.”
So you can use it for both the active act of thinking and for, when you mean, you believe something to be true.
12. kijken “to look”
Ik kijk naar het huis. “I'm looking at the house.”
This is a tricky sound if you don’t speak Dutch; (A) that’s because it’s a diphthong, which means, it’s actually consisting of two vowels like every set of vowels in the phrase, “no highway cowboys”. So, no… high… way… cow… boys... Was that clear or was it just a weird sentence pronounced really slowly? I can’t tell.
13. willen “to want”
Zij wil een hond. “She wants a dog.”
Now, don’t be fooled by those city Dutch people who say, wilt, zij wilt. That’s not correct, and wilt is often not the correct word. So, if you want to be completely safe, just never use wilt, always say wil. Ik wil / jij wil / hij wil, that’s it. You can’t go wrong with that.
14. geven “to give”
Ik geef mijn vriend een verjaardagscadeau. “I'm giving my friend a birthday present.”
You can also give other things, like when you say - Pas op! op ik geef je een schop. You’re saying, “Watch out! Or I'll give you a kick.”
15. gebruiken “to use”
Hij gebruikt de auto. “He is using the car.”
This not a typical example of a diphthong. It’s a tricky sound to make, /ui/, gebruikt. Keep practicing.
16. vinden “to find”
Ik kan mijn haarborstel niet vinden. “I can't find my hairbrush.”
This is a daily struggle for people like me. Usually when I’m saying this, I’m already holding it in my hand and I’ve forgotten that I found it.
17. uitgaan “to go out”
Morgen gaan we uit! “We will go out tomorrow!”
Now, this is a tricky one, because, uitgaan, can mean “to go out for drinks” like here, but it can also mean, “to step out of bed”. For example, when you say - ik ga eruit, you mean “I’m getting up”.
18. vragen “to ask”
Vraag het aan je moeder. “Ask your mother.”
This is what you do every time you have new clothes and you need to know how they can be laundered.
19. werken “to work”
Zij werkt bij de bank. “She works at the bank.”
This one sounds a lot like the English one, and it’s almost written exactly the same way too, work - werk, but then with an E instead of an O.
20. binnengaan “to enter”
Het restaurant binnengaan. “To enter the restaurant.”
You may also say binnenlopen, which means the same thing, but it has the meaning of “walking in there” or binnenkomen, if it’s from the perspective of someone who is already inside. So, if you’re sitting inside and someone comes in, you could say - hij komt binnen, rather than, hij gaat naar binnen.
21. voelen “to feel”
Ik voel het in mijn tenen. “I feel it in my toes.”
So, it’s also not very difficult to see the connection here, “feel” voel. Okay, so to be fair, it only has three sounds, and two of them have changed, but you see what I mean, right?
22. proberen “to try”
We proberen het gewoon nog eens. “We will just try it again.”
So this is a tough one, because proberen sounds absolutely nothing like “try”. They say, it comes from the Latin word probaren, which means “tasting”, so, maybe that helps you.
23. verlaten “to leave”
Hij verlaat het feest. “He is leaving the party.”
Now, you may want to be careful with this one, because verlaten is a very loaded word. So, it means something like “to leave alone”. You can also say that you feel verlaten, Ik voel me verlaten, and that means that you’re feeling abandoned and lonely, so be careful how you use this.
24. bellen “to call”
Kun je mij bellen? “Can you call me?”
There’s an interesting background to this one. The word bellen comes from the name, Alexander Graham Bell, who was the inventor of the telephone.
25. rennen “to run”
Het kind rent naar huis. “The child runs home.”
Here again, the words are quite alike, so you’ll be likely to recognize it without too much trouble. The noun, ren, also refers to an enclosed piece of land for chickens or rabbits, so, the more you know.
So, that’s all for now. I hope you feel like you’ve learned some important Dutch verbs today and I will see you at the next class. Have a good day!