In this chapter you will learn the basic Dutch sentence structure. You can find the explanation of the Dutch main clauses, negations and interrogatives.
The Dutch sentences contains various elements; the most important are subject, verb, the direct object and the indirect object:
The subject is the person, or object that performs the action in a sentence. The subject can be one or more words.
To find the subject in de sentence, you can ask the question: 'Who or what does something in the sentence?'
|Hij gaat morgen naar school.||He is going to school tomorrow.||Hij (he)|
|Paula eet veel kaas.||Paula eats a lot of cheese.||Paula|
Not all sentences have a subject, for example sentences with an imperative have no subject.
The finite verb tells you what something or someone is doing. A sentence can contain multiple verbs, but only one is the finite verb.
To determine what verb of the sentence is the finite one, you can change the tense of the sentence. The verb that changes when doing this, is the finite verb.
|Zij kookt eten vanavond.||She cooks dinner tonight.||Kookt (cooks)|
|Herman en Helma zijn tien jaar getrouwd.||Herman and Helma have been married for ten years.||Zijn (have)|
The direct objects undergo the actions of the sentence.
|Ik eet een banaan.||I eat a banana.||Banaan (banana)|
|Zij zoeken een boek.||They are looking for a book.||Boek (book)|
Not all sentences have direct objects.
The indirect object is the one which receives the direct object of the sentence.
|Ik ga naar het strand met mijn moeder.||I go to the beach with my mum.||Mijn moeder (my mum)|
|Hij geeft de rozen aan haar.||He gives her roses.||Haar (her)|
Not all sentences have direct objects.
The prepositional object is a part of the sentence with a fixed preposition. The prepositional object always starts with a preposition that belongs to the main verb in the sentence.
To find the prepositional object the following three aspects are important:
1. The part of the sentence starts with a preposition.
2. The preposition can not be replaced by another preposition without changing the meaning of the sentence.
3. The preposition forms a fixed combination with the predicate.
|Ik wacht op de bus.||I wait for the bus.||Op de bus (for the bus)|
|Hij lijkt op zijn moeder.||He looks like his mum.||Op zijn moeder (like his mum)|
In Dutch the adverbial clause gives more information about what is expressed in the predicate. The adverbial clause can consist of:
You can find the adverbial clause by asking one of the following questions:
|Gisteren ging hij zwemmen.||Yesterday he went swimming.||Gisteren (yesterday)|
|Ik heb vijftig kilometer gefietst.||I biked fifity kilometers.||Vijftig kilometer (fifty kilometers)|
The Dutch main clauses are independent sentences.
The Dutch negation is indicated by 'niet' or 'geen'.
The Dutch interrogatives are formed by having the verb and the subject switch places.
A conditional is used to describe a certain proviso and the result if the condition is fulfilled.
The relative clauses are used to refer to something in the main clause. The clauses begin with a relative pronoun or adverb.
A conjunction usually connects sentences (or sentence parts). The Dutch language knows two kinds of conjunctions:
And now train your skills with the exercices below!
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