Introduction to Dutch: Lesson 5

Dutch for to have to is moeten.

Whenever there is more than one verb in a Dutch sentence, the second verb goes to the end of the sentence. Let’s call this end-traveling.

Thus for example in the phrase I must do it the second verb do goes to the end and the sentence becomes I must it do. How would you say that:

1 translation: I must do it.

How would you say:

2 translation: We must have something.

Dutch does not like having another t so when you have two one of them deletes itself. How would you say:

3 translation: She must speak Dutch.

Good. I have a felling you already know how to say I can (remember, that c is kin Dutch):

4 translation: I can do it.

The word for to be able to should be kanen or kannen but there is a slight change in it and it becomes kunnen.

Note that you are literally saying we can here not be and remember that to be is the same word as the word for are in we are or they are - zijn - and try to say:

5 translation: We cannot be here.

6 translation: We cannot work here.

Take a guess how you would say:

7 translation: They can’t speak Dutch because they have no time.

Just like you have kunnen - kan, you have another word zullen which means will (as in they will or we will or you guys will or to will in general). What do you think the word for I will is:

8 translation: I will.


9 translation: We will do it.

10 translation: I will speak Dutch.

How would you ask:

11 translation: Will you speak Dutch?

What about:

12 translation: Can you speak Dutch?

And answer:

13 translation: Yes, I must speak it.

Nice. Finally, let’s learn some greetings.

Dutch for morning is morgen.

How would you say:

14 translation: Good morning.

Exactly. That’s what the Dutch say for good morning too. To distinguish it, however, if it’s a greeting, they write it as one word goedemorgen and if it’s not a greeting and you are just talking about the morning then they write it separately. They do this for all of the good something greetings.

Another one is good midday which means good afternoon. You already have all the words needed to say it:

15 translation: Good afternoon.

You could also be pretty English-like and say hallo for hi or just use the Dutch hoi - hi. Nice and easy to remember...

What if you want to say bye? You then say let’s call it a day because the Dutch word for bye is simply day! Say it:

16 translation: bye!

What about excuse-me? Or... rather.. pardon.

Dutch for pardon is pardon.

Not much learning to be done there. Another one:

Dutch for sorry is sorry.


Does this get any easier than that?

Oh, and what about thank you?

Dutch for thank is dank.

Then you have to use one of the word for you: the formal u or the informal one. We have learned the informal one to be jij and you could probably get away with saying that but in the greeting the Dutch usually use another form of jij which we have talked about briefly: je.

Say formally:

17 translation: thank you

And informally:

18 translation: thank you

Nice. Let’s call it a day, shall we? The main purpose of this course was to connect your English with your Dutch and show you how much Dutch you actually already know. We have just started on this mission but ik hoop dat the course showed jij wat nederlands is like.

Let’s finally have a conversation in Dutch to remember some of the things we have learned. Imagine that you want to get yourself some work... Use hoi for hi because it sounds coolest and dank je for thanks (we will be talking informally).

19 translation: Hi!

20 translation: Good morning. What are you doing here?

21 translation: I want to work here.

22 translation: What do you want to do?

23 translation: I can do something.

24 translation: You must speak Dutch here. Do you speak it?

25 translation: Yes, I do speak Dutch. Can I work?

26 translation: You can’t (it). Sorry. Bye!

Oh well. Maybe you can find another job then...

Answers to Lesson 5

1 answer: Ik moet het doen.
2 answer: We moeten iets hebben.
3 answer: Ze moet nederlands spreken.
4 answer: Ik kan het doen
5 answer: We kunnen hier niet zijn.
6 answer: We kunnen hier niet werken.
7 answer: Ze kunnen nederlands niet spreken want ze hebben geen tijd.
8 answer: Ik zal.
9 answer: We zullen het doen.
10 answer: Ik zal nederlands spreken.
11 answer: Zal jij nederlands spreken?
12 answer: Kan jij nederlands spreken?
13 answer: Ja, ik moet het spreken.
14 answer: Goede morgen.
15 answer: Goedemiddag.
16 answer: dag!
17 answer: dank u
18 answer: dank je
19 answer: Hoi!
20 answer: Goedemorgen. Wat doe jij hier?
21 answer: Ik wil hier werken.
22 answer: Wat wil jij doen?
23 answer: Ik kan iets doen.
24 answer: Jij moet hier nederlands spreken. Spreek jij het?
25 answer: Ja, ik spreek nederlands. Kan ik werken?
26 answer: Je kan het niet. Sorry. Dag!