I’ve come across adjectives from day one, no sentence is complete without an adjective really. There are probably one in 99% of all statements. In my English Language A Level the more adjectives the better! Today I have looked at them in a little more depth rather than winging it.
The most common ending for adjectives in Dutch is ‘-e’, very occasionally an ‘-s’ and sometimes its simply left alone.
I’ve split my learning into sections that take ‘-e’, ‘-s’ and sections that are alternatives or just stay the same.
Adjectives that take -e
- All adjectives take and ‘-e’ if they come AFTER the definite article and/or BEFORE a plural ending.
- Hoge dijken – high dikes
- Snelle treinen – Fast trains
- Het grote huis – The big house
- Deze dure schoenen – These expensive shoes
- Mijn mooie tuin – My beautiful garden
- De lange muur – The long walls
- Dit nieuwe huis – This new house
- When the adjective does not come before the noun it modifies. Both of these sentences make sense but when the adjective comes before the noun it takes on the ‘-e’.
- Het weer is warm – The weather is warm
- Het warme weather – The warm weather
- De wijn is rood – The wine is red
- De roode wijn – The red wine
Adjectives that take -s
- After the pronouns ‘iets’ (something), ‘niets’ (nothing) adjectives take the ‘-s’ ending. This is used very rarely in Dutch apparently but it is still worth knowing.
- iets moois – something beautiful
- niets nieuwes – nothing new
Adjectives that don’t change.
- When a singular noun is preceeded by een, geen or elk there is no change to any of the words.
- Het huis = een oud huis
- Het kopje = een duur kopje
- Het paard = welk oud paard
- Adjectives ending in ‘-en’ don’t change.
- De houten trap – the wooden staircase
- Een verstanding leraar – A wise teacher
- Wollen sokken – woolen socks
Adjectives that add -er
- Adjectives for ‘left’ and ‘right’ along with place names add ‘-er’
- De linkerhand – the left hand
- De rechterarm – the right arm
- Een Edammer kass – an Edam cheese
- There is not translations in Dutch for the English phrase ‘that one’ meaning which of the options you are taking. Sentences follow the rules set out above. This small exchange will help to make more sense of it, I hope.
- Koop je een jurk? Ja, ik neem de blauwe – Are you going to by a dress? Yes, the blue one.
- Neemt u een groot glas beir of een klien? – Are you having a large glass of beer or a small one?
I haven’t got round to doing a little quiz on these yet but I think they all look pretty straightforward. I think that once I review everything covered to date the earlier stuff will make much much more sense and I’ll be surprised at just how much I now know. At the end of the month I’m going to watch Mannenharten again and just see how different it is to watch after a month of studying.