In this chapter you will learn about the different pronouns in the Dutch language. The Dutch language has four main pronouns: personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, reflexive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns. These pronouns differ in when they are used, but also have different forms such as stressed and unstressed. When to use which, will be described in detail in the subchapters.
Definition of pronouns
As in English, a pronoun is a variable word that can replace a name or even a sentence (the antecedent) and has all the functions of a name.
Personal pronouns (persoonlijk voornaamwoord)
The Dutch personal pronouns refer to a person, group of people, or an object. There are different pronouns for subjects and objects.
- Ik ga naar mijn werk. (I go to work.)
- Ik heb jou gister naar huis gebracht. (I have brought you home yesterday.)
Possessive pronouns (bezittelijk voornaamwoord)
The Dutch possessive pronouns are used to describe to whom an object belongs.
- Ik ben mijn sleutels vergeten. (I have forgotten my keys.)
- Zijn sleutels waren kwijt. (His keys were lost.)
Reflexive pronouns (wederkerend voornaamwoord)
The Dutch reflexive pronouns are used to indicate that the subject and object in a sentence are the same person.
- Hij heeft zich geschoren vanochtend. (He shaved himself this morning.)
- Zij verheugen zich op het feestje. (They are looking forward to the party.)
Demonstrative pronouns (aanwijzend voornaamwoord)
The Dutch demonstrative pronouns are 'dit' (this), 'dat' (that), 'deze' (this, these) and 'die' (that, those). The dependent demonstrative pronoun refers to a specific person or object. The independent demonstrative pronoun leaves out the noun.
- Deze tafel is groen. (This table is green.)
- Deze is groen. (This is green.)
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