• Dutch grammar
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  • 1 Dutch alphabet [0/2]
  • 2 Dutch pronunciation [0/2]
  • 3 Dutch sentence structure
  • 4 Dutch articles (de, het, een) [0/2]
  • 5 Dutch nouns [0/8]
  • 6 Dutch pronouns [0/12]
  • 7 Dutch prepositions [0/9]
  • 8 Dutch adjectives [0/6]
  • 9 Dutch adverbs [0/16]
  • 10 Dutch verbs [0/27]
  • 10.1 Dutch infinitive (verbs with and without 'te') [0/2]
  • 10.2 Dutch regular verbs (weak verbs) [0/2]
  • 10.3 Dutch irregular verbs (strong verbs) [0/2]
  • 10.4 Dutch imperative (gebiedende wijs) [0/2]
  • 10.5 Dutch modal verbs [0/2]
  • 10.6 Dutch reflexive verbs [0/2]
  • 10.7 Dutch auxiliary verbs [0/2]
  • 10.8 Active and passive voice in Dutch [0/2]
  • 10.9 Separable and inseparable verbs in Dutch [0/2]
  • 10.10 Present participle in Dutch [0/2]
  • 10.11 Past participle in Dutch [0/3]
  • 10.12 Dutch subjunctive (aanvoegende wijs) [0/2]
  • 10.13 Dutch gerund [0/2]
  • 10.14 Dutch verb list
  • 11 Dutch verb conjugation and tenses [0/34]
  • Exercise to practice Dutch verb conjugation and tenses 1 (Score -/-)
  • Exercise to practice Dutch verb conjugation and tenses 2 (Score -/-)
  • 11.1 Dutch present simple (onvoltooid tegenwoordige tijd) [0/4]
  • 11.2 Dutch past simple (onvoltooid verleden tijd) [0/4]
  • 11.3 Dutch present perfect (voltooid tegenwoordige tijd) [0/4]
  • 11.4 Dutch past perfect (voltooid verleden tijd) [0/4]
  • 11.5 Dutch future simple [0/4]
  • 11.6 Dutch future perfect [0/4]
  • 11.7 Dutch conditional tense [0/4]
  • 11.8 Dutch conditional perfect [0/4]
  • Dutch articles (de, het, een)

    Definition and usage of the Dutch articles 

    The Dutch language has three different articles:

    • 'de' (the)
    • 'het' (the)
    • 'een' (a/an).

    The articles are used with a noun. Words as adjectives and numerals are placed between the article and the noun.  A noun can be combined with an indefinite article ('een') or with a definite article ('de' / 'het').   

    Indefinite articles are used when people talk about something in general or when people think others might not know what they are talking about. 

    Examples: 

    • Een hond (a dog)  
    • Een glas (a glass) 

    Definite articles are used when people are sure that others know what they are talking about. There are no rules to determine if a word gets 'de' or 'het'.  

    Examples:

    • Het kind (the child) 
    • Het bureau (the desk) 

    When to use 'de' and when to use 'het'?

    As explained in the chapter of Gender of Dutch nouns, the article 'de' can be used for female and male nouns. Therefore, the article does not change when the noun changes gender and it is not important to know what gender the noun is. The article 'het' is used for neutral nouns. You can find the gender of the nouns in the dictionary. As a result, there are no exact rules to tell you when to use 'het' or 'de', below you will find some guidelines.  

    When to use 'het?'

    Below you will find some guidelines to remember when to use 'het': 

    When? Example Translation
    All diminutives
    • Het meisje
    • Het broekje
    • the little girl
    • the little trousers
    The infinitives used as a noun 
    • Het hebben van een laptop is leuk
    • Het hebben van een zus is gezellig.
    • Having a laptop is fun.
    • Having a sister is nice.
    All nouns ending in '-aat' (that do not refer to a person), '-um', '-isme' 
    • Het museum
    • Het resultaat
    • the museum
    • the result
    Most nouns that begin with the prefix 'be-', 'ver-', 'ge-', but do not end in '-ing' 
    • Het begin
    • Het verkeer
    • the beginning
    • the traffic
    All nouns that say 'the good thing is ...', 'the bad thing is ...' 
    • Het mooie is ...
    • Het stomme is …
    • The nice thing is …
    • The stupid thing is …

    When to use 'de'? 

    There are a few tips for the 'de-nouns' to be able to remember when to use them: 

    When? Examples Translation
    All plural nouns 
    • De schoenen 

    • De boten 

    • the shoes
    • the boats
    Obvious feminine or masculine nouns 
    • De vrouw 

    • De man 

    • the woman
    • the man
    Nouns that end in '-ing' 
    • De groepering

    • De uitnodiging

    • the grouping
    • the invitation
    Nouns that end in '-tie', '-thie', '-sie' 
    • De politie

    • De telepathie

    • the police
    • the telepathy
    Nouns that end in '-or' 
    • De motor

    • De professor

    • the motor
    • the professor
    Persons (except het kind) 
    • De zus

    • De vader

    • the sister
    • the father
    Nouns that end in '-aar' 
    • De tovenaar

    • De leraar

    • the wizard
    • the teacher
    Nouns that end in '-eur' 
    • De acteur

    • De regisseur

    • the actor
    • the director
    Words ending in '-er' 
    • De dokter

    • De schrijver

    • the doctor
    • the writer
    Nouns that are obviously female
    • De danseres

    • De actrice

    • the dancer
    • the actress

    Train your skills by doing the exercises below!

    Exercises

    Exercise Dutch articles 1

    Exercise Dutch articles 2

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