Introduction to Dutch: Lesson 3

Dutch for I is ik.

We get rid of en from the infinitive to make verbs work with ik.

We usually get rid of double letters afterwards by making them single as well. Let’s try this with hebben. Say:

?I have it.|Ik heb het.

Try doing this with willen as well:

?I want it because I don’t have it.|Ik wil het want ik heb het niet.

Dutch for needed is nodig.

If you want to say I need it you are actually saying I have it needed. Try:

?I need it.|Ik heb het nodig.

?I need a cat.|Ik heb een kat nodig.

Dutch for am (as in I am) is ben.

?I am here.|Ik ben hier.

Dutch for you is jij.

Another form you see very often is je. It is the unstressed form (we don’t really have time to go there). We will just stick to jij...

If in a question, jij takes the form of ik because of inversion. Try:

?Do you have it?|Heb jij het?

?Are you here?|Ben jij hier?

Since we know this form, we can also talk about speaking languages:

Dutch for to speak is spreken.

Dutch for Dutch is nederlands.

This word is related to the country name (the Netherlands in Dutch is actually Nederland).

If you want to get rid of that en to you actually have to turn sprek into spreek to make it sound longer. That is what you usually do for such words (don’t worry about this too much).

?Do you speak Dutch?|Spreek jij nederlands?

Knowing that yes is ja, answer:

?Yes, I speak Dutch.|Ja, ik spreek nederlands.

Let’s learn another one:

Dutch for English is engels.

There was Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels... what a coincidence, isn’t it.

?Do you guys speak English?|Spreken jullie engels?

?Do you speak English?|Spreek jij engels?

However, a strange thing happens to jij verbs when jij is not in a question... they get a t:

?You speak English.|Jij spreekt engels.

?You don’t have it.|Jij hebt het niet.

We could even say:

?You don’t want it.|Jij wilt het niet.

But actually jij is not alone in this t-getting business:

The words for he - hij, she - zij, it - het, and formal you - u also get a t.


?He speaks Dutch.|Hij spreekt nederlands.

Unlike jij these words keep their t even if they are in questions:

?Does he speak Dutch?|Spreekt hij nederlands?

So it’s second and third person all t. That’s what I want you to take from this lesson. And the rest of the stuff.

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