Articles, Nouns and Questions…

Finally a day behind schedule I have finished my “theory” chapters. I have finished it on three topics I should probably have started with but i stand by the idea of throwing yourself into the depend makes you excited enough to put up with two weeks worth of boring and intense theory work!! I can’t say its time to throw the theory book away and I am no where near an expert but now I’ve created my own little theory catalogue of the key rules I can and will refer to them as and when i need them. So here is my little take on the last step. Articles, Nouns and Questions.

Articles and Nouns

UnknownTwo different types just like English. Indefinite and Definite Articles. In Dutch we use the word “een” which is used as a translation for both “a” and “an” regardless of the noun starting with a vowel or consonant. e.g. Een vrouw (a woman), Een olifant (an elephant).

Then the hard stuff comes on with neuter or common noun. Every dutch word I have looked at to date has either a de or het article. I have tried to work out some little rule or rhyme but the fact is there isn’t one. You can’t really guess them, well i can’t at this stage. The tip i read which actually makes most sense for me, when learning a vocab list learn them with the article. Sometimes the obvious points just need pointing out!

There are some rules that can help:

  • All plural nouns take de.
  • Nouns denoting male or female persons are most likely de-words. The most common suffixes are
    • -aar e.g. de leraar (the teacher)
    • -ent e.g. de student (the student)
    • -er e.g. de danser (the dancer)
    • -es e.g. de lerares (the female teacher)
    • -eur e.g. de acteur (the actor)
  • All diminutives that end in -je , -tje, -etje, -pje or are het-words. (Note. Diminutives make de-words become het-words.
    • het meisje,
    • het mannetje,
    • het kopje,
    • het stoeltje
    • het balletje
    • het armpje
  • Nouns with the following endings  are de-words
    • -heid e.g. de godheid (the deity)
    • -ij e.g. de slagerij (the butcher shop)
    • -ing e.g. de herinnering (the memory)
    • -teit e.g. de identiteit (the identity)
    • -tie e.g. de kwestie (the question)

**Its pretty intense isn’t it!!**

Question Forms

This bit is a little more straight forward.

The standard word or in Dutch is: Subject+Verb+Object e.g. Hij eet brood.images

The word order for questions are: Verb+Subject+Object e.g. Eet hij brood?

Here are some example of question in Dutch that show this new word order:

  • Kan ik komen?
  • Hoe groot is het?
  • Kunt u mij helpen?
  • Slaapt hij?
  • Waar woon je?

There are two different ways to ask questions in order to get a yes or no answer, here is a little description of both:

  1. – verb + pronoun = Heeft u vrije tijd? —- auxiliaries such as ‘do’ or ‘does’ arent used in Dutch *I must learn this!!
  2. – pronoun + verb = U heeft vrije tijd? —- only the intonation makes the sentence interrogative

The best part of sentences and questions is that you can add – Toch? at the end of a statement which literally means “isn’t it?” *definitely something I’ll be using!



And there we have it. Theory work all covered. The rest of this week is going to be a mixture of going over theory and taking on the exercises and quizzes that I have in my theory books and that i can find online. There’s little point scrambling my brain with all these rules if i don’t start using them!!  This also means it may be the end of these ridiculously long blog posts!!


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