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:

?I am doing it.|Ek doen dit.

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.

?I don’t do it.|Ek doen dit nie.

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

?I am not here.|Ek is hier nie.

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:

?I don’t have it.|Ek het dit nie.


?I have no cat.|Ek het geen kat.

Afrikaans for because is want.

?I have no cats because I have no time.|Ek het geen katte want ek het geen tyd.

Afrikaans for want is wil.

?I want it because I don’t have it.|Ek wil dit want ek het dit nie.

Afrikaans for something is iets.

?I want something.|Ek wil iets.

?I have something.|Ek het iets.

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

Afrikaans for you is jy.

You could say:

?You want something.|Jy wil iets.

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

?Do you want something?|Wil jy iets?

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.

?He is there and she is here.|Hy is daar en sy is hier.

Here is a word inherited from Dutch:

Afrikaans for but is maar.


?She wants something but he has no time.|Sy wil iets maar hy het geen tyd.

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:

?They have something.|Hulle het iets.

?They are there.|Hulle is daar.

?They have no water.|Hulle het geen water.

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

?I want to drink but they have no water.|Ek wil drink maar hulle het geen 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:

?You guys don’t have it.|Julle het dit nie.

One more question:

?What are you guys doing here?|Wat doen julle hier?

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

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