Dutch interrogatives (questions)
How to form questions in Dutch?
The Dutch sentence questions are formed by having the verb and the subject switch places.
Finite verb + subject + the rest of the sentence
Below you will find a table showing you examples.
|Ga jij naar huis vandaag?||Are you going home today?|
|Ben ik met de fiets gekomen?||Did I come by bike?|
|Hadden jullie gisteren een film gekeken?||Did you watch a movie yesterday?|
|Helpen jullie ons met huiswerk?||Do you help us with homework?|
Note that if you write a question with the second person singular, for example 'werk jij?', the '–t' disappears. This exception does not count for 'u' (formal you), for example 'werkt u?', the '-t' stays.
The Dutch language consists of multiple different question words. It can be an interrogative pronoun, an asking adverb, or an interrogative pronominal adverb. These question words are usually placed at the beginning of a question sentence.
Question word + finite verb + subject + the rest of the sentence
1. Dutch interrogative pronouns
|Wie (who)||Wie is zij?||Who is she?|
|Wat (what)||Wat doe je?||What are you doing?|
|Welke (which)||Welke bus neem je naar huis?||Which bus do you take home?|
|Wat voor (what kind of)||Wat voor weer is het vandaag?||What kind of weather is it today?|
'Welk' (what) or 'welke' (which) depends on the noun that follows. 'Welk' is used for singular 'het-nouns' and 'welke' is used for singular and plural 'de-nouns'.
2. Dutch asking adverbs
|Waar (where)||Waar woon je?||Where do you live?|
|Wanneer (when)||Wanneer ga je naar de tandarts?||When are you going to the dentist?|
|Hoe (how)||Hoe kom je naar mijn feestje?||How do you come to my party?|
3. Dutch interrogative pronominal adverb
|Interrogative pronominal adverb||Example||Translation|
|Waarom (why)||Waarom is de dierentuin dicht?||Why is the zoo closed?|
|Waarmee (with what)||Waarmee kan ik je helpen?||How can I be of assistance?|
|Waarvan (of what)||Waarvan heb je een foto gemaakt?||What did you take a picture of?|
'Hoeveel' (How much) is an asking word that should be answered with a countable word:
- Question: 'Hoeveel gaat het kosten' (How much is it going to cost?)
- Answer: 'Zes euro alstublieft.' (Six euros please.)
Train your skills with the exercises about questions below.
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