Introduction to Afrikaans: Lesson 2

Afrikaans for I is ek.
Afrikaans for do is doen.

There is no distinction between I am doing it and I do it in Afrikaans: you say I do it in both cases. Say it:

1 translation: I am doing it.

Let’s learn saying the negative too:

Afrikaans for not is nie.

Whenever you have short general words like dit (it), hier (here) and whatnot, you usually put it in front of nie.

2 translation: I don’t do it.

You could also use the word nie with other words such as is:

3 translation: I am not here.

This other word that I want you to learn is very close to the word have.

Afrikaans for have is het.

The word order is I have it not:

4 translation: I don’t have it.


5 translation: I have no cat.

Afrikaans for because is want.

6 translation: I have no cats because I have no time.

Afrikaans for want is wil.

7 translation: I want it because I don’t have it.

Afrikaans for something is iets.

8 translation: I want something.

9 translation: I have something.

It’s pretty boring to talk only about yourself so let’s add more words:

Afrikaans for you is jy.

You could say:

10 translation: You want something.

And you could make that into a question want you something?:

11 translation: Do you want something?

Afrikaans likes to add this y to the end of the words. Otherwise the beginnings are the same as in English. This works great for words like he and she:

Afrikaans for he and she is hy en sy.

It almost feels like you are cheating.

12 translation: He is there and she is here.

Here is a word inherited from Dutch:
Afrikaans for but is maar.


13 translation: She wants something but he has no time.

By the way, if you need help remembering the hy and sy words, just think of the word me which is the same in English and Afrikaans:

Afrikaans for me is my.

Thus you have hy, sy, my. He, she, me.

Right. Then you could learn a combination of words julle and hulle combination.

Afrikaans for they is hulle.

How would you say:

14 translation: They have something.

15 translation: They are there.

16 translation: They have no water.

You don’t need to guess the word for drink because it is the same as in English. Say:

17 translation: I want to drink but they have no water.

One final word that is very similar to hulle is julle.

Afrikaans for you guys (or you all, you (plural)) is julle.

You use this word when you are talking to more than one person. I will refer to this word as you guys because I like this expression but it doesn’t have to be so informal like you guys is.

The word order is you guys have it not:

18 translation: You guys don’t have it.

One more question:

19 translation: What are you guys doing here?

Nice. We now know ek, jy, hy, sy, julle and hulle. Stick along because we will soon be learning the word for we*.

Answers to Lesson 2

1 answer: Ek doen dit.
2 answer: Ek doen dit nie.
3 answer: Ek is hier nie.
4 answer: Ek het dit nie.
5 answer: Ek het geen kat.
6 answer: Ek het geen katte want ek het geen tyd.
7 answer: Ek wil dit want ek het dit nie.
8 answer: Ek wil iets.
9 answer: Ek het iets.
10 answer: Jy wil iets.
11 answer: Wil jy iets?
12 answer: Hy is daar en sy is hier.
13 answer: Sy wil iets maar hy het geen tyd.
14 answer: Hulle het iets.
15 answer: Hulle is daar.
16 answer: Hulle het geen water.
17 answer: Ek wil drink maar hulle het geen water.
18 answer: Julle het dit nie.
19 answer: Wat doen julle hier?