Introduction to Afrikaans: Lesson 3

Afrikaans for us is ons.

If somebody said to you in English let ons go you would probably understand it, right? It would sound fun, cute, a bit strange... but no problem in understanding.

The words ons happens to mean not only us but also we in Afrikaans.

Afrikaans for work is werk.

Werk, work... whatever. Say:

?They work here.|Hulle werk hier.

What about:

?Do you guys work here?|Werk julle hier?

So since you are quite proficient in this by now you can say:

?We work here.|Ons werk hier.

Afrikaans for where is waar.

Where, waar - pretty similar too. Say:

?Where do you guys work?|Waar werk julle?

Answer that question (the word for in is in by the way):

?We work in Pretoria.|Ons werk in Pretoria.

Alright. Then we can go on learning more words:

Afrikaans for needed is nodig.

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

?We need it.|Ons het dit nodig.

?I need a cat.|Ek het ’n kat nodig.

Let’s learn how to speak about speaking:

Afrikaans for speak is praat.

Afrikaans for Afrikaans is afrikaans.

You could now ask:

?Do you speak Afrikaans?|Praat jy afrikaans?

Knowing that yes is ja, answer:

?Yes, I speak Afrikaans.|Ja, ek praat afrikaans.

Knowing that no is nee, answer:

?No, I speak no Afrikaans.|Nee, ek praat geen afrikaans.

Let’s learn another one:

Afrikaans for English is engels.

?Do you guys speak English?|Praat julle engels?

?Yes, we speak English.|Ja, ons praat engels.

?She speaks Afrikaans.|Sy praat afrikaans.

Afrikaans for learn is leer.


?I learn Afrikaans.|Ek leer afrikaans.

You now know how to talk about things in the present. Let’s learn how you would do it in the past.

To say something in the past, you use the word have - het and then add ge to the verb you want to use.

So, for example, while he speaks is hy praat if you want to make it into he spoke it becomes hy het gepraat.

There is another thing to know about it:

The second verb (the one that has ge in front of it) goes to the end the sentence. We will call this the end-travel.

So hy praat afrikaans becomes hy het afrikaans gepraat because gepraat does the end-travel end goes to the end of the sentence. Try this out:

?We learned English.|Ons het engels geleer.

?They worked here.|Hulle het hier gewerk.

And so on and so forth. We now know how to talk about the present and the past. Stick for the next lesson because we will put a lot of things into place, learn how to use the future and also learn a lot of important words.

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