TOP
Home
Site Map
Mobile
Learning Dutch?
There's Never Been
A Better Time
Pronunciation
Listening
Hear Names
Words
Phrases
Grammar
Search my site: Facebook

'Groot' (Large, Tall, Big, Great) and 'Klein' (Small, Little)

groot click to hear 2 3 4 5
(grote click to hear 2 - groot / grote click to hear 2) large, tall, big, great

klein click to hear 2 3 4 5
(kleine click to hear - klein / kleine click to hear 2) small, little, short in height

[a small and a large pair of blue jeans]
'Groot' = Large, Tall, Big, Great
'Klein' = Small, Little
Major, Important and Serious
Comparative and Suprelative Degrees
Relatives
Related Words

Dutch adjectives often get an -E ending - only not for singular 'het'-words after 'een,' 'geen' or no article
explained - smartphone - many more examples

Brazilië is een groot land - het grote land click to hear 2 Brazil is a large country - the large country China is een groot land - het grote land click to hear 2 China is a large country - the large country Nederland is een klein land - het kleine land click to hear Holland is a small country - the small country Waarin een klein land groot kan zijn click to hear '(Things) in which a small country can be big' - Dutch names of foreign lands etc.

'Groot' = Large, Tall, Big, Great

heel groot click to hear very large
erg groot click to hear 2 3
slow slow2 slow3 very large, gigantic
de Grote Oceaan click to hear [the large ocean] The Pacific
also:  de Stille Oceaan click to hear [the Quiet Ocean] ‑>>
Ze had de leiding over een groot bedrijf click to hear 2 She was at the head of a large company Het nieuwe zusje is van de groenvrouw gekomen in een grote kool click to hear The woman selling vegetables has brought the new little sister in a large cabbage - Multatuli in groten getale click to hear in large numbers (a standard phrase with an old-fashioned -N ending)

For 'groot' as 'tall' see below

(de) grote teen click to hear big toe de grote boze wolf click to hear 2 the big bad wolf ‑>> Zulke grote voeten! click to hear 2 Such big feet! 't Is één grote teleurstelling click to hear It's one big disappointment, a great disappointment
On a map of The Netherlands you'll see that about a quarter of the country is South of three big rivers. That part is sometimes called
'beneden de grote rivieren' click to hear 2 3 [(below) South of 'the big rivers'] the Southern part of The Netherlands ‑>>

de Grote Muur click to hear 2 the Great Wall (of China) grote angst click to hear 2 3 4 'great fear,' terror ‑>> een te groot risico click to hear too great a risk ‑>> groot gelijk click to hear 2 [great correctness] - "absolutely right" ‑>>

Groot / grote click to hear 2 'great' can also be said of people who made a difference, like the Frankish ruler (ca. 800)
Karel de Grote click to hear 2 [Charles the Great] - Charlemagne For 'great' men, often the basic, uninflected form of the adjective groot click to hear 2 3 4 5 is used instead of the usual grote click to hear 2
een groot man click to hear a great man
Churchill was een groot man click to hear 2 Churchill was a great man Seeing or hearing 'een grote man' click to hear 2 I'd rather think of a tall guy or a big man
For great women it is not right to use 'groot.'  Saying 'Koningin Wilhelmina was een groot vrouw'  sounds wrong. But again, een grote vrouw click to hear makes me think of a large woman. Instead, you could say
een bijzondere vrouw click to hear a special, extraordinary woman

And in the old 'Piet Hein' song:
'Zijn daden benne groot' click to hear His [deeds] actions are great (he captured the Spanish Silver Fleet off Cuba in 1628)
('benne' is a slang version of 'to be' ‑>>)

Piet Hein, Piet Hein,
Piet Hein zijn naam is klein, ... his name is short
Zijn daden benne groot, His actions ('deeds') are great
Zijn daden benne groot,
Hij heeft gewonnen de Zilvervloot. He has captured ('won') the Silver Fleet
Hij heeft gewonnen, gewonnen de Zilvervloot,
Hij heeft gewonnen de Zilvervloot.
click to hear

groot worden click to hear to become large, to grow
groeien click to hear 2 3 to grow ‑>> - 2
in grote lijnen click to hear 2 [in broad strokes] - a rough sketch, a general picture without details

een groot kind click to hear 2 3 1. a large child
2. 'a big child,' an adult behaving like a child

(de) grootheid click to hear 2 magnitude // greatness // important person (de) grootte click to hear size, magnitude, dimension ‑>> ('grote' and 'grootte' sound the same click to hear ‑>>)

(het) vergrootglas click to hear 2 magnifying glass
vergroten click to hear 2 to enlarge
uitvergroten click to hear 2 zooming in on, blowing up (pictures) (de) groothandel click to hear 2 'wholesale' ‑>>
(de) detailhandel click to hear 2 'retail' - where the common people buy things
(de) grootgrutter click to hear 2 large supermarket chain (jocular)
(de) grutter click to hear 2 small grocery store or its owner - or more precisely selling legumes and cereal
grote grutten! click to hear 2 3 Good grief! Oh Dear! ‑>>

(de) begroting click to hear 2 3 4 budget, estimated income and expenses (het) begrotingstekort click to hear 2 budget shortfall, deficit

groots click to hear 2 3 4 grand, majestic
iets groots click to hear 2 3 something big // something grand een groots onthaal click to hear 2 3 a grand reception, a very festive welcome party Boomgroepen, dorpen, geknotte torens,
Kerken en olmen in een groots verband ... click to hear Clumps of trees, villages, truncated towers,
Churches and elm trees in a grand union, a majestic Gestalt ...
- Marsman
'Groots met Een Zachte G' click to hear 2 'Great, majestic with a soft G' (A Guus Meeuwis show) - Southern 'soft' G (de) vleugel click to hear wing // grand piano ‑>> 'Grandparents' and 'Grandchildren:' see Relatives below

'Klein' - Small, Little

een klein kind click to hear 2 a small child Klein Duimpje click to hear 2 [Little Thumbkin] - Tom Thumb ‑>> piepklein click to hear 2 3 very small, tiny, itty-bitty
met kleine slokjes drinken click to hear 2 '[drink with] take small sips' Hij was te klein om over de schutting te kijken click to hear 2 He was too small to look over the fence (he was not tall enough to look over ...) Ik ben opgegroeid in een kleine stad click to hear
Ik ben in een kleine stad opgegroeid click to hear 2 3 I've grown up, I've been brought up in a small town Een ongeluk zit in een klein hoekje click to hear (saying) ['an accident is in a small corner'] - accidents can happen in unexpected places (and unexpectedly) Kleine moeite! click to hear ['Minimal effort'] - No Problem (you're welcome) De Macht van Het Kleine click to hear 2 ['The Power of The Little Thing'] - a charity that collects small donations, something like The March of Dimes kleinzielig click to hear small-[souled]-minded, petty (de) kleinzieligheid click to hear 'pettiness, small-mindedness' kleine kans click to hear 2 3 a small chance
"dikke kans!" click to hear 2 "fat chance!" (ironic, meaning: zero chance!)
kort en klein click to hear slaan click to hear [bash to short and short] 'reduce to smithereens' iets kleins click to hear 2 something small, a small thing

Sometimes 'klein' click to hear 2 3 4 5 is translated by English 'little'
Het kleine broertje click to hear the little brother een klein beetje click to hear 2 a little, a little bit een heel klein beetje click to hear 2 a very small amount, minimally

English 'little' can also mean 'not much' or 'not many' - that can be weinig click to hear 2 3 4
Beter te veel dan te weinig click to hear 2 3 Better too much than too little Er was weinig geld click to hear There was little money het weinige geld ... click to hear 'the little money ...' - the small amount of money Ze hebben weinig gemeen click to hear They have little in common Hoe weinig we weten click to hear 2 How little we know (We don't know much) ‑>> - more 'Little'

(de) kleine letter click to hear 2 lowercase letter
(de) hoofdletter click to hear uppercase, capital letter
hoofdletter / kleine letter click to hear
(het) kleingeld click to hear ["small money"] - small change - money

een kleinigheid click to hear 2 a little thing, a small gift // an unimportant, small matter // a small amount of money een kleinigheid als dank voor je hulp click to hear 2 3 4 a small gift as thanks for, in gratitude of your help ‑>> (het) kleinigheidje click to hear 2 3 small thing

German also has the word 'klein' click to hear 2 but note that Dutch and German EI sound different

For 'klein' as 'short' (height) see below

'Major,' 'Important' and 'Serious'
'Belangrijk,' 'Voornaam,'  'Ernstig' and 'Serieus'

There is not a simple equivalent for the English adjective 'major' in Dutch. It is usually translated by a variety of words like: but these Dutch words can often not be translated 'back' into Enlish as 'major'

de grote vakantie click to hear 2 3 the major holiday, school summer holiday de grote denkers click to hear 2 3 the major thinkers, philosophers

't overgrote deel click to hear 2 the major part, the vast majority

de voornaamste reden click to hear 2 3 the major, most important reason

de belangrijkste reden click to hear 2 the major, most important reason

more 'belangrijk' click to hear 2
onbelangrijk click to hear not important, unimportant
niet meer belangrijk click to hear 2 3 no longer important, 'moot' een belangrijke mijlpaal click to hear 2 an important, major milestone een belangrijke mededeling click to hear 2 3 an important announcement, message een belangrijke ontwikkeling click to hear 2 3 an important, major development

een serieuze poging click to hear 2 3 a serious attempt serieuze concurrentie click to hear 2 3 4 serious, 'real' competition

Doe even serieus! click to hear 2 3 Be serious (for a moment) - stop the joking around, it's no joke, it's a serious matter Je kunt zo iemand niet serieus nemen click to hear 2 3 You can't take someone like that seriously Jullie zijn niet serieus! click to hear 2 3 4 You guys are not serious!

een ernstig ongeluk click to hear 2 3 a serious accident, a serious crash een ernstig geval click to hear 2 3 4 a serious case een ernstig probleem click to hear 2 3 a serious, grave problem een ernstig verwijt click to hear 2 3 a serious reproach, accusation of shortcoming een ernstig nadeel click to hear 2 a serious disadvantage

Hij is ernstig ziek click to hear 2 3 He is seriously, gravely ill

dodelijk ernstig click to hear 2 3 deadly serious, not a chance of humor Hij keek me ernstig aan click to hear 2 3 4 He looked at me gravely, seriously ('with a serious face')

aanzienlijk click to hear 2 3 considerable, large
een aanzienlijk bedrag click to hear 2 3 a considerable sum (money)

The military officer 'major' is (de) majoor click to hear 2 ‑>>
and the city 'mayor' is (de) burgemeester click to hear 2 3
The music 'major' is majeur click to hear 2 3 (4) ‑>>
An adult, a grown-up, person over 18/21 is (de) volwassene click to hear 2 - the adjective is volwassen click to hear ('grown-up, adult') ‑>>

(het) hoofd click to hear head // main, major
(de) hoofdzaak click to hear main point, the most important thing (de) hoofdmaaltijd click to hear main course (food)
(het) hoofdgerecht click to hear main dish
(de) hoofdingang click to hear 2 3 main entrance
(de) hoofdgedachte click to hear 2 3 main thought, prinicpal/leading idea A student's 'major,' main subject in college or at university is (het) hoofdvak click to hear 2

Comparative and Superlative Degrees

> (greater than) groter dan click to
 hear - more 'dan'
< (less than) kleiner dan click to hear
2 > 1 (2 is greater than 1) twee is groter dan één click to hear
3 < 4 (3 is less than 4) drie is kleiner dan vier click to hear

vergrotende trap / overtreffende trap click to hear comparative degree / superlative degree (de) vergrotende trap click to hear 2 3 comparative degree (de) overtreffende trap click to hear 2 superlative degree more about the degrees
(de) 'trap' click to hear usually either means 'stairs' or 'kick')
vergroten click to hear 2 usually means 'to enlarge'
'overtreffen' click to hear usually means 'to exceed'
de verwachtingen overtreffen click to hear 2 3 to [exceed] beat expectations

groot
large (etc)
-groter
larger (etc.)
-grootst
largest (etc.)
click to hear 2
klein
small
-kleiner
smaller
-kleinst
smallest
click to hear 2

For people's height, Dutch says 'klein' and 'groot' where English says 'short' and 'tall'
but also:  Hoe lang ben je? click to hear How tall are you? What is your height? Ik ben één meter tachtig click to hear I'm 1 meter 80 centimeters tall (about 5'11") ‑>>

[two stick figures, Wim and Henk] Henk is klein click to hear Henk is short Wim is groot click to hear Wim is tall Wim is groter dan Henk click to hear Wim is taller than Henk Henk is kleiner dan Wim click to hear Henk is shorter than Wim Henk is niet zo groot als Wim click to hear Henk is not as tall as Wim
[Jan, Piet, Klaas and Wim.
    Jan is taller than Piet,
    Piet and Klaas are the same height,
    Wim is the tallest.
    (Klaas looks sad.)] Jan is groter dan Piet click to hear Jan is taller than Piet Piet is even groot als Klaas click to hear 2 Piet is as tall as Klaas Piet en Klaas zijn even groot click to hear Piet and Klaas are the same height Wim is het grootst click to hear 2 Wim is the tallest
Many Dutchmen say "groter (etc.) als," for the comparative degree, but that is not correct. Use dan click to hear - groter dan click to hear ('larger etc. than,') kleiner dan click to hear ('smaller than') etc. - more

Mijn grootste wens is ... click to hear 2 3 My greatest wish is ... Ik wil een groter huis click to hear 2 3 I want a bigger house Alsof er geen grotere problemen in de wereld zijn click to hear As if there are no bigger problems in the world geen groter genoegen click to hear (2) no greater pleasure Hoe groter geest, hoe groter beest click to hear 2 3 4 (saying) 'The greater the mind, the more like a beast' - great intellects often behave badly Het oog is groter dan de maag click to hear 2 (saying) ['the eye is bigger than the stomach'] - said when you can't finish the food you put on your plate 't kleinste huis click to hear 2 the smallest house

Relatives

Dutch uses groot click to hear 2 3 4 5 and klein click to hear 2 3 4 5 in the words for some relatives where English uses 'grand'

(de) grootvader click to hear grandfather
(de) grootmoeder click to hear grandmother
grootouders click to hear grandparents
Een kind naar een grootouder noemen click to hear 2 3 Calling, naming a child after a grandparent (de) overgrootvader click to hear great-grandfather
(de) bet-overgrootmoeder click to hear great-great-grandmother

(de) kleindochter click to hear granddaughter
(de) kleinzoon click to hear grandson
kleinkinderen click to hear grandchildren
achterkleinkinderen click to hear great-grandchildren
- more family and relatives
Note the subtle difference in pronunciation:
'n klein kind click to hear 2 'a small child'
'n kleinkind click to hear 'a grandchild'

gemiddeld click to hear 2 (gemiddelde click to hear 2) average gigantisch click to hear 2 gigantic, very large
de gigantische explosie click to hear 2 3 the vast explosion (de) reus click to hear giant
reusachtig click to hear 2 gigantic, very large
de reusachtige ontploffing click to hear 2 3 the vast explosion een geweldige ontploffing click to hear 2 3 a tremendous explosion 't is een grof schandaal click to hear 2 3 it's a crying shame, a very large deplorable thing een groffe belediging click to hear 2 a grave insult
'grof' click to hear 2 3 (grove click to hear 2 3 4 or groffe click to hear) by itself means 'coarse' - both 'not fine' and 'rude, bad mannered.'
Dat is schromelijk overdreven! click to hear 2 3 That's grossly exaggerated (de) dwerg click to hear dwarf
minuscuul click to hear 2 3 minuscule
(het) detail (French) click to hear detail
naar verhouding click to hear 2 in proportion, comparatively, relatively

(de) grot click to hear 2 cave
plural:  grotten click to hear

email - Copyright © Marco Schuffelen 2020. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, redistributed, or hotlinked to.
Gij zult niet stelen click to hear 'Thou shalt not steal'