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.
All Dutch verbs consist of a stem and an ending. All regular verbs
usually end in -en, such as maken (=to make), reizen (=to
travel), or praten (=to talk). In order to obtain the stem of
the verb, two steps have to be undertaken:
First, the ending -en has to be removed. Second, the
stem has to be modified in such a way, that the pronunciation remains the
same as before the ending had been removed.
If there is a
long vowel (a, e, o, u) at the end of the stem, it has to be doubled. For
maken (to make) - maak (make)
praten (to talk) - praat (talk)
koken (to cook) - kook (cook)
If the stem ends in a double consonant, then one has to be removed. For
knikken (to nodd) - knik (nodd)
liggen (to lie) - lig (lie)
zitten (to sit) - zit (sit)
In addition to the rules above, a v at the end of a stem is
changed to f, and an z is changed to s. For example:
geven (to give) - geef (give)
blazen (to blow) - blaas
In the present tense, verbs are usually formed according to the
jij, u (you, singular)
stem + t
hij, zij, het (he, she, it)
stem + t
jullie (you, plural)
Special attention should be paid to the following: when a stem ends in
-t, then in the second and third person singular no t is
attached to the stem. Finally, in the exercise below you can practice the
conjunction by filling in the right form of each verb.
maken (to make): ik ..., jij ..., hij ..., wij ..., jullie maken,
slapen (to sleep): ik ..., jij ..., hij slaapt, wij ..., jullie ...,
eten (to eat): ik eet, jij ..., zij ..., wij ..., jullie ..., zij
drinken (to drink): ik ..., u ..., het ..., wij drinken, jullie ...,
zetten (to put): ik ..., u ..., zij ..., wij ..., jullie ..., zij