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Basics 1 is the first skill of theDutch language tree. In these four lessons, the beginner to the Dutch language learns how to form basic sentences in Dutch.

Grammar Notes[]


Dutch has a trio of articles. These are de, het and een.

De and het are the definite articles; in English, this is the word "the." Unfortunately, the rules for using these two words are not completely clear; there is, however, a few patterns to their usage:

De Het
  • All plurals
  • Nouns that are obviously gender specific
    • Example: manvrouw
  • Jobs or professions
  • Vegetables, fruits, plants, and names of mountains and rivers
  • Numbers and letters
  • Nouns ending in -ie, -tie, -ij, -thie, -heid, -teit, -schap, -sie, -aar, -eur, -er, -or, or -ing
  • Diminutives: these end in -je, -tje, -mpje, -etje, or -pje. Example: meisje.
  • Gerunds : these are infinitives used as nouns. More on those later.
  • Metals
  • Languages
  • Sports and games
  • Cardinal directions (north, south, etc.)
  • Ending in -um, -isme, -ment or -aat.
  • Nouns beginning in ge-, be-, ont- or ver-.

The best way to learn which article goes with which is to memorize both the noun and its article.

Een means "a/an," and is used in the exact same way as "a/an" is in English. Een is unaffected by de or het.


The Dutch have a very large selection of pronouns to choose from:

English Dutch
I ik
you (singular informal) jij, je
he hij
she zij, ze
it het
you (formal) u
we wij, we
you (plural informal) jullie
they zij, ze

Regular Verb Conjugation[]

Regular verbs in Dutch are very simple: find the stem of the verb by removing the -en and add the correct ending to it.

The following table shows this process:

Pronoun Ending Example: drinken (stem: drink-)
ik (stem) ik drink
jij, u (stem)+t jij drinkt
hij, zij, het (stem)+t zij drinkt
wij (stem)+en wij drinken
jullie (stem)+en jullie drinken
zij (stem)+en zij drinken


Lesson 1[]

  • man = man
  • vrouw = woman
  • jongen = boy
  • ik = I
  • ben = am
  • een = a/an
  • en = and

Lesson 2[]

  • meisje = girl
  • kind = child/kid
  • hij = he
  • ze = she (unstressed)
  • is = is
  • of = or

Lesson 3[]

  • appel = apple
  • melk = milk
  • drinkt = drinks (2nd and 3rd person singular)
  • drink = drink (1st person singular)
  • eet = eat(s) (singular)
  • de = the

Lesson 4[]

  • sap = juice
  • water = water
  • brood = bread
  • het = it, the
  • je = you (singular informal, unstressed)
  • bent = are (2nd person singular)


Duolingo Lesson: www.duolingo.com/skill/dn/Basics-1