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Lesson Transcript

Hallo allemaal! Ik heet Marleen. Hi everybody! I’m Marleen.
Welcome to DutchPod101.com’s “Nederlands in 3 minuten”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Dutch.
In the previous lesson, we learned the most common forms of greetings in Dutch. Do you remember them?
In this lesson we’re going to learn a very useful phrase- “Do you speak English?”
If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver. And because you’re asking it in Dutch, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you’re saying, even if their answer is no.
Here's the informal way to say it.
Spreek je Engels?
[slowly] Spreek je Engels?
In Dutch, verbs change depending on the pronoun that is used. Please notice the word je in the middle of the sentence. Remember that this is the informal way to say “you”? The first word is the verb, spreek, which means “to speak”. Because it is referring to je, it is conjugated to spreek je.
And you probably recognize Engels to be “English.”
Spreek je Engels?
To learn how to use different verbs, like spreken, please look at our Absolute Beginner series on DutchPod101.com. You can find very detailed grammar lessons and resources there!
We’re now going to make this sentence formal. First, we need to use the formal version of “you”, which is u. If we change the word for “you”, we will say the verb differently. It becomes spreekt instead of spreek like in the informal version-
Spreekt u Engels?
[slowly] Spreekt u Engels?
Adding pardon, "excuse-me", the sentence becomes even more polite-
Pardon, spreekt u Engels?
[slowly] Pardon, spreekt u Engels?
The responses you will receive could be one of these three-
Ja. "Yes."
[slowly] Ja.
Een beetje. "A little."
[slowly] een beetje.
Nee, ik spreek geen Engels. "No, I don’t speak English."
[slowly] Nee, ik spreek geen Engels.
Since this last one is a negative statement, we need to say geen after the verb spreken. Notice also that the verb spreek is slightly different than spreken. Remember, the verb changes depending on the pronoun used. We are now talking about ik, Dutch for "I", Thus “I do not speak” is-
Ik spreek geen.
Now it’s time for Marleen’s Insights.
For those of you who are not only English speakers, you can obviously use this question with any language you need. Dutch people study other European languages at school, so maybe you will get lucky! Just substitute Engels with...
Italiaans for ”Italian”.
Duits for “German”.
Spaans for “Spanish”.
Frans for “French”.
In this lesson we mentioned the expression Pardon. But did you know that this could also be used as an apology? In the next lesson we will learn this and other ways to apologize in Dutch. It’s never too late to show your good manners with Dutch people!
I'll see you in our next “Nederlands in 3 minuten” lesson.
Tot ziens!