Search my site: 'Like' the Dutch Website on Facebook - New material added: October 2013

Dutch Phrases - A Letters and Conversations Template (Suggestions)

This is of course only a template. My life experience, priorities and lines of smalltalk are most likely different from yours. Fill in what you like, replace with your own narrative. Feel free to email me your suggestions.

This page is in flux. Several of the original paragraphs have already been upgraded and became separate pages, like:
Weather - Food and Drink - Travel - Sleep - Jobs and Lines of Work - The Senses - Health and Medical - Sayings and Idiom
See also: Basic Phrases - 2 - 3 and Speaking Dutch, Speaking about Dutch
And see also: Conversation Words

Still Remaining on This Page:
Opening Remarks - Letters
Phatic Remarks and Questions
Opinions
Colloquial
Statement Modifiers
General
Time
Music
Movies
Books
Laments

Letter Start See also: Mail
Beste Jan, click to hear
Lieve Tine, click to hear
Hallo Jan, click to hear
Dear Jan,
Dear Tine,
Hello Jan,
Letter End
Groet, click to hear
Veel groeten, click to hear 2
Met vriendelijke groet, click to
 hear
Hoogachtend, click to hear 2
Greeting, (regards)
Many greetings, (regards)
'With a friendly greeting, (regards')

'Yours Truly,' (very formal - rarely spoken.
Can you imagine a formal audio letter?)
In general, I write 'Beste' but to my mother, sisters or wife I would write 'Lieve.' People younger than me may write 'Hallo.'
Formal letters should start with 'Geachte Heer,' or 'Geachte Mevrouw,' or 'Mijne Heren, Dames,' (search the Internet for 'titulatuur')
Opening Remarks see also: Birthday
Bedankt voor je brief click to hear 2 Thank you for your letter.
Hoe is 't ermee? click to hear How are you?
Met mij gaat 't goed. click to hear I'm fine.
Maak je geen zorgen over mij. click to hear Don't worry about me.
Hoe is het met je moeder? click to hear
alternatives:
How is your mother?
vader click to hear ('father') - baby click to hear ('baby') - kindje click to hear 2 ('little one')
man click to hear ('husband') - vrouw click to hear ('wife') - see also: Family
vriendin click to hear ('girlfriend') - vriend click to hear ('boyfriend')
Heb je 't leuk gehad? click to hear Did you have a good time?
Heb je wat leuks gedaan in het weekend? click to hear Did you do something nice in the weekend?
Hoe doen je kinderen 't op school? click to hear How are your kids doing at school?
Hoe is 't op school? click to hear 2 How are things at school? (in Dutch, 'school' is only elementary or secondary school, not college or university.)
Hoe gaat 't met je studie? click to hear How is school? (literally: your studies.)
Ik ben blij dat je voor het examen geslaagd bent. click to hear 2 I'm glad you passed the test.
Ik ben blij dat het goed is afgelopen. click to hear I'm glad it came to a good end (ended well.)
Ik word droevig van de toestand in de wereld. click to hear 2 I'm saddened by the state of the world.
Phatic Remarks and Questions
Heb je goed geslapen? click to hear 2
Heb je lekker geslapen? click to hear 2
Did you sleep well?
Heb je 't koud? click to hear 2 3 Are you cold?
Wat heb je gegeten? click to hear 2 What have you eaten? What did you have for lunch/dinner?
Waar heb je gegeten? click to hear 2 Where have you eaten? Where did you go to eat?
Heb je lekker gegeten? click to hear Did you enjoy your meal(s)?
Was 't lekker? click to hear 2 Was it good? Did you enjoy it?
Dat is een goede vraag. click to hear 2 3 That's a good question.
Dat is een ander verhaal. click to hear 2 That's another story.

Weather chapter became separate page: Weather 2 (more than 125 lines)

Travel chapter became separate page: Talking about Travel

Work chapter became separate page: Jobs and Lines of Work

Health moved to: Medical

Opinion see also: Conversation Subjects
Het boeide me niet. click to hear [It did not grab my attention] It was not really interesting.
Ik vind er niks aan click to hear It's not interesting, I don't care for it
Dat geloof ik niet! click to hear I don't think that's true!
Wat denk jij d'r van? click to hear 2 What do you think [of it]?
Vertel de waarheid! click to hear 2 Speak the truth! Tell us what really happened!
Ik ben van gedachten veranderd. click to hear I changed my mind.
Ik zag op het nieuws dat er ... click to hear I saw on the news that ...
't Is maar een verhaaltje. click to hear It's only a story.
tegen beter weten in click to hear 2 3 against (my, his) better judgement
zonder nadenken click to hear 2 unthinkingly, without thinking about it
Colloquial
Gek hè. click to hear 2 Funny, isn't it? (literally: crazy, weird)
Nou en? click to hear [Now and?] So what?
Echt waar? click to hear 2 Really?
Wat een onzin! click to hear 2 Such nonsense!
Wat een verschil! click to hear 2 3 What a difference!
Dat is interessant. click to hear 2 (3) That's interesting. Fascinating!
Maar gaat U verder. click to hear 2 3 But - please continue.
Dat zie je zo. click to hear 2 You notice that right away.
Dat was te verwachten. click to hear 2 That was to be expected, no surprises here.
't Verbaast me niks. click to hear 2 I am not surprised.
Dat is ook goed click to hear 2 That's also OK, that's all right too
Dat is een goed idee click to hear That's a good idea
Wat is er aan de hand? click to hear 2
Er is wat aan de hand click to hear 2
What's going on?
'There's something [unusual, fishy] going on'
Ga je gang. click to hear Go ahead, do it your way.
Ben je boos? click to hear Are you angry?
Wat vervelend! click to hear What a bore! It sucks. (literally: How unpleasant, annoying.)
Als 't moet click to hear 2 'if it has to be, if there is no other way'
Moet je niet doen! click to hear Not a good idea to do that!
Moet kunnen! click to hear 2 It should be possible, you should be allowed to do that
Ga je mee? click to hear Are you coming (with us)?
Ga zitten click to hear 2 Have a seat
Wat kan ik voor U doen? click to hear 2 (What can I do for you?) Can I help you?
Te veel gedoe click to hear Too much hassle
Dat is te veel gedoe click to hear 2 That's too much hassle
Wat jammer! click to hear It's a pity.
Misschien valt 't mee click to hear 2 'Maybe it will not be as bad as we're afraid of'
't Had erger kunnen zijn. click to hear It could have been worse.
Schiet op! click to hear 2 'Hurry up, don't be slow'
Ik weet 't niet. click to hear I don't know [it.]
Dat weet ik niet. click to hear 2 I don't know about that.
Dat wist ik niet. click to hear 2 I didn't know that.
Daar weet ik niks van. click to hear 2 I [know nothing] don't know anything about it
Hij weet waar-(d)ie het over heeft click to hear ( 2) He knows what he's talking about, he knows his stuff.
(Sometimes a D is added to 'ie' for easier pronunciation
Hij heeft er niet lang over nagedacht click to hear 2 'He didn't think long about it'
En jij gelooft dat? click to hear 2
En gij geleuft dat? click to hear 2 3
'And you believe that is true?' Try a kind-of Limburg accent version:
Al zeg ik 't zelf. click to hear 2 3 If I may say so (myself.)
Als ik dat vragen mag. click to hear If I may ask [that.]
't Gaat me niet aan. click to hear It's none of my business.
't Gaat je niets aan. click to hear It's none of your business.
't Geeft niet. click to hear 2 3 It doesn't matter, it's OK, don't worry about it.
't Maakt me niet uit. click to hear 2 It doesn't matter to me.
't Kan me niet schelen. click to hear 2 I don't care.
't Kan me geen zier schelen. click to hear 2 3 I don't care at all.
Er is niks te lachen click to hear 2 3 [There is nothing to laugh about.] It's not funny.
Ik moet er niet aan denken. click to hear 2 I'd rather not think about it, I'm afraid to consider.
Ik vind het heel erg click to hear I think it's very bad, I'm upset
Vertel eens wat leuks. click to hear 2 Tell (us, me) something nice.
Wie weet er nog een mop? click to hear Anyone has a joke to tell?
Iets om naar uit te kijken. click to hear 2 Something to look forward to.
Eerlijk zullen we alles delen click to hear 2
Eerlijk delen! click to hear
We'll share everything [honestly] fairly between us
telling children to share something fairly between them
Er moet nog hard gewerkt. click to
 hear
('worden' is dropped from the line)
It still needs a lot of work
Het is bewerkelijk. click to hear It is a lot of work.
Dan hoor je het ook eens van een ander click to hear 2 ~ You'll hear it from someone else, then.
Heb je Piet gekend? click to hear
Heb je Piet nog gekend? click to hear
Have you known Piet?
Have you still known Piet?
(Piet has died or moved away)
Wat is er van hem geworden? click to hear 2 What has become of him?
Wat is er met Jan? click to hear 2 3 What is with Jan? (There is something going on, he's not his usual self)
Statement Modifiers Fine-tuning your comments
(het) commentaar click to hear 2 comment
volgens mij ... click to hear [According to me ...] I think ...
als je goed kijkt ... click to hear 2 upon closer inspection, when you look closely ...
bij nader inzien ... click to hear upon closer (inspection?) reflection, now that I think about it ...
Het betekent dat ... click to hear 2 It means that ...
min of meer click to hear more or less
Een klein beetje click to hear 2
Een heel klein beetje click to hear 2
a little bit, a small amount
a very small amount
trouwens click to hear by the way ...
eigenlijk click to hear 2 (3) actually
ongetwijfeld click to hear
zonder twijfel click to hear
undoubtedly
without doubt
waarschijnlijk click to hear 2 probably
vermoedelijk click to hear supposed(ly), supposed, presumptive
blijkbaar click to hear apparently
schijnbaar click to hear seeming, seemingly
geloofwaardig click to hear [belief-worthy] credible
vanzelfsprekend click to hear self-evident
natuurlijk click to hear [naturally] of course
enzovoort click to hear 2 etcetera - think of: 'and so forth'
't zou kunnen click to hear 2 it could be, it's possible
General See also: New Year's Resolutions
Leer de regels! click to hear Learn the rules.
Leer me de regels. click to hear Teach me the rules.
Conversation Problems chapter became separate page: Speaking Dutch, Speaking about Dutch
Time See also: Lesson 6: Time or
the Time Thesaurus
Hoe laat is het? click to hear 2 What's the time? What time is it?
Weet jij hoe laat het is? click to hear 2 Do you know what time it is?
Heb je nog even tijd? click to hear Do you still have a moment?
't Wordt laat. click to hear 2 It's getting late.
Er is nooit genoeg tijd. click to hear There's never enough time.
Op tijd naar bed click to hear Go to bed in time
't Komt slecht uit. click to hear It's not a good time.
Ik wil er nog een nachtje over slapen. click to hear 2 I'd like to sleep on it, take a decision tomorrow.
Als 't mee zit is het morgen klaar click to hear If we're lucky, if things work out well, it will be ready tomorrow
Als 't tegen zit kan 't nog wel een week duren click to hear If we're unlucky, if things don't work out, it may take a week
Waar blijft de tijd? click to hear 2 3 Where does the time go?
Food and Drinks chapter became separate page: Conversations: Eating and Drinking, Food Phrases
(about 200 lines)
Music see also: Music Vocabulary - Musicians
Vorige week vrijdag was er een concert van ... click to hear Last week Friday there was a concert by ...
Hij speelde Schubert en Chopin. click to hear He played Schubert and Chopin.
Ik luister nog vaak naar ... click to hear 2 I still (often) listen to ...
De CD ... van ... draai ik ook nog vaak. click to hear I still often play the CD ... by ...
Een paar maanden geleden zijn we naar een optreden van ... geweest. click to hear 2 A few months ago we were at a ... concert.
M'n zoon vond 't erg leuk. click to hear My son really enjoyed it.
Movies see also: Media
Vanavond gaan we naar de bioscoop. click to hear Tonight we'll go to the cinema.
Gisteren heb ik ... weer eens gezien. click to hear Yesterday I've seen ... again.
Het is een fantastische film. click to hear It's a great movie.
't Was de derde keer dat ik 'm zag. click to hear It was the third time I saw it.
Ik vond het nog steeds erg goed. click to hear I still thought it was great.
De film ... van ... vind ik ook erg goed. click to hear I also really like the movie ... by ... (literally: I think it's very good.)
Vorige week hebben we ... gezien. click to hear Last week we've seen ...
Ik vond er niet veel aan. click to hear I did not like it. (I didn't care for it.)
Books
Ik heb een boek gekocht click to hear 2 I have bought a book
Heb je de laatste tijd nog een goed boek gelezen? click to hear Have you read a good book lately?
Ik heb laatst 'Startide Rising' nog eens gelezen. click to hear Recently I've read ... again.
't Is een van m'n favoriete Science-Fictionboeken. click to hear It's one of my favorite Science Fiction books. >>
Ik heb 't met veel plezier gelezen. click to hear 2 I really enjoyed reading it. (literally: I read it with great pleasure.)
Het boek gaat over dolfijnen. click to hear The book is about dolphins.
Ik wil weten hoe 't afloopt. click to hear 2 I want to know [how it ends] the ending.
't Enige boek dat dit goed beschrijft. click to hear 2 3 The only book that describes (deals with) this well.
't Deed me denken aan een boek ... click to hear 2 It made me think of a book ...
Ik heb 't boek uit click to hear I finished (reading) the book
Laments
Er is nog zò veel te doen! click to hear 2 3 4 There is still soooo much to do
Er gaat altijd zoveel mis! click to hear 2 So many things go wrong, all the time!
Er is elke dag weer te weinig tijd click to hear Every day again, [too little] not enough time
Het blijft tobben. click to hear It's never easy, things never go entirely right.
Ik word er doodmoe van. click to hear 2
Ik word er misselijk van click to hear 2
I'm getting so tired of it.
It makes me sick. (figuratively)
Al die moeite voor niks! click to hear All that [effort] trouble wasted! (literally: for nothing)
Er is altijd wel iets. click to hear
D'r is ook altijd wat. click to hear
There's always something (bad, unexpected, complicating things.)
Ik word geleefd click to hear
Ik heb geen moment voor mezelf click to hear 2 3
[I am being lived] I have no life of my own
I don't have any time to myself
Ik kan er niet meer tegen click to hear 2 3 I can't stand it anymore
't Heeft toch geen enkele zin click to hear 2 3
't Maakt toch allemaal niks uit click to hear 2
It's no use, nothing can be done, it's hopeless
It doesn't make any difference, it's no use
Ik word er gek van click to hear
Ik erger me dood click to hear 2 3
't Irriteert me mateloos click to hear 2 3
It's driving me nuts
I'm annoyed to no end
I'm very irritated by it, major annoyance
't Had zoveel mooier kunnen zijn click to hear It could have been so much [more beautiful] nicer
Alles blijft veranderen. click to hear Everything keeps changing. (Not necessarily a lament. Some change is good.)
Ik kan het niet meer bijhouden. click to hear 2 I can't keep up with it.
Waaraan heb ik dit verdiend? click to hear 2
Waaraan heb ik dit te danken? click to hear 2
What did I do to deserve this? (misfortune, disability)
Waarom moet 't zo moeilijk zijn? click to hear 2 Why [should] is it so difficult?
Waarom kan 't niet gemakkelijk zijn? click to hear 2 Why [can't it be] isn't it easy?
Waar is de dankbaarheid? click to hear 2 3 Where is the gratitude?
See also: houden van click to hear ('to like, to love')

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More Phrases: The Most Basic Phrases - Weather - Food and Drink - Travel - Sleep - Fun Things to Say
- Jobs and Lines of Work - The Senses - Speaking Dutch, Speaking about Dutch - Sayings and Idiom
Further Study: Basic Dutch Words - Pictures Dictionary - Easy Dutch - Lessons - Pronunciation - Listening - Reading - Grammar

email - Copyright © Marco Schuffelen 2010. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, redistributed, or hotlinked to.
Don't be a dief (thief) / dievegge (female thief) - diefstal (theft) - stelen (to steal) - heler (dealer in stolen goods) - hear Dutch - 2