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Dutch: Grammar > Pronouns

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.

Personal pronouns:

Personal pronouns are the words "I", "you", "he", etc. They are used to indicate a person who is the subject in a sentence (nominative). The Dutch language knows the following personal pronouns:

Dutch English
ik I
jij you (second person singular, informal / familiar)
u you (second person singular, formal)
hij he
zij she
het it
wij we
jullie you (second person plural)
zij they

Dutch personal pronouns show an important feature, namely the use of the word jij and u. Jij is used in more informal or familiar situations, for example when talking with friends, relatives, children, or other people with whom it would be appropriate to be familiar. However, when addressing people with a higher status, police officers, teachers and professors, elderly people, or people you do not know at all, the use of the pronoun u would be more appropriate.

Demonstrative pronouns:

Demonstrative pronouns express this/that, these/those. The form of the demonstrative pronoun depends on whether the noun is a de-word or het-word.

For de-words the following demonstrative pronouns are used:

  • deze (this/these): deze man (this man), deze mannen (these men).
  • die (that/those): die man (that man), die mannen (those men).
  • For het-words the following demonstrative pronouns are used:

  • dit (this): dit kind (this cild), dit meisje (this girl).
  • dat (that): dat kind (that child), dat meisje (that girl).
  • << Plural To be & to have >>

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