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Dutch: Grammar > The imperative

Knowing some of the Dutch grammar will help you understand how the language is build up, and it will also help you to understand the basic phrases better. The Dutch grammar guide presented at LanguageTrav.com should in no way be considered as complete, and if you would like to acquire an in-depth understanding we recomment you to purchase books or DVDs for further learning.

The good news is that especially when you are traveling to The Netherlands, virtually everyone will speak English as a second language. However, it is a polite gesture to ask first.

The imperative is used when telling someone what to do. Dutch imperatives are very straightforward. In singular, the imperative equals the stem of the verb. The personal pronouns jij and u are not used. In plural, the imperative equals stem + t. For example:

Infinitive Singular Plural English
gaan ga! gaat! to go
komen kom! komt! to come
lezen lees! leest! to read

However, notice the following exception:

Infinitive Singular Plural English
zijn wees weest to be

In the case of compound verbs, such as weggaan, the first part is detached and placed after the word. For example:

Infinitive Singular Plural English
weggaan ga weg! gaat weg! to go away
instappen Stap in! Stapt in! to get in, to board
uitgaan Ga uit! Gaat uit! to go out.

<< Irregular verbs Adjectives >>

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