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The Spelling and Pronunciation of Dutch Vowels:
Learn the Rules by Studying and Listening to Examples

The use of single and double vowels and consonants in the spelling and pronunciation of the Dutch vowels: study and listen to the examples and find the rules by yourself - it's mostly systematic and logical - or refresh your understanding of the rules

Studying and listening to the examples you may notice patterns and 'discover' the system, find the rules by yourself. Isn't that much better than being told and having to memorize the rules? I am anti-authoritarian. No need for jargon.
(or read about the rules)

klinkers click to hear vowels:
- a click to hear - aa/a click to hear - e click to hear - ee/e click to hear - e (uh) click to hear
- i click to hear - ie ( ii ) / i click to hear - o click to hear - oo/o click to hear - u click to hear - uu/u click to hear

tweeklanken click to hear diphthongs:
- au/ou click to hear - ei/ij click to hear - eu click to hear - oe click to hear - ui click to hear

Y y

medeklinkers click to hear consonants:
b - c - d - f - g - h - j - k - l - m - n - p - q - r - s - t - v - w - x - z

let-ter-gre-pen click to hear 2 - lettergrepen click to hear syl-la-bles - syllables

 a - e - i - o - u 
 aa/a - ee/e - oo/o - uu/u 
 b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x z 
 au/ou, ei/ij, eu, oe, ui + ie 
 -uw,   - aai,   -ooi 
 -isch "-ies"     -lijk "-luhk" 
 -el "-uhl"     -er "-uhr"     -ig "-uhg" 

1.  - a click to hear - e click to hear - i click to hear - o click to hear - u click to hear

al click to hear 2
alle (al-le) click to hear
al/alle click to hear
(all)
gek click to hear
gekke (gek-ke) click to hear 2
gek/gekke click to hear 2
(crazy, insane)
wit click to hear 2
witte (wit-te) click to hear 2 3
wit/witte click to hear 2 3
(white)
los click to hear
losse (los-se) click to hear
los/losse click to hear 2
(loose, not attached)
dun click to hear
dunne (dun-ne) click to hear 2
dun/dunne click to hear 2
(thin, skinny)

al click to hear 2  / alle (al-le) click to hear   al / alle click to hear (all) ‑>>
laf click to hear 2  / laffe (laf-fe) click to hear 2   laf / laffe click to hear 2 (cowardly)
smal click to hear 2  / smalle (smal-le) click to hear   smal / smalle click to hear (narrow)
nat click to hear  / natte (nat-te) click to hear 2 3 4   nat / natte click to hear (wet)
zwak click to hear 2  / zwakke (zwak-ke) click to hear 2   zwak / zwakke click to hear 2 3 (weak) ‑>>
slap click to hear  / slappe (slap-pe) click to hear   slap / slappe (weak, mild, limp) ‑>>
snel click to hear  / snelle (snel-le) click to hear 2 3   snel / snelle click to hear (quick, fast) ‑>>
ver click to hear 2 3 4  / verre (ver-re) click to hear 2 3   ver / verre click to hear (far) ‑>>
gek click to hear  / gekke (gek-ke) click to hear 2   gek / gekke click to hear 2 (crazy, insane)
wit click to hear 2  / witte (wit-te) click to hear 2 3   wit / witte click to hear 2 3 (white) ‑>>
dik click to hear  / dikke (dik-ke) click to hear 2   dik / dikke click to hear 2 3 (fat, thick)
slim click to hear  / slimme (slim-me) click to hear 2 3   slim / slimme click to hear 2 (clever)
stil click to hear 2  /  stille (stil-le) click to hear   stil / stille click to hear 2 (quiet, no sound) ‑>>
vol click to hear  /  volle (vol-le) click to hear 2   vol / volle click to hear (full, filled)
hol click to hear 2  / holle (hol-le) click to hear   hol / holle click to hear (hollow)
los click to hear  /  losse (los-se) click to hear   los / losse click to hear 2 (loose, not attached) ‑>>
krom click to hear 2  /  kromme (krom-me) click to hear 2 3   krom / kromme click to hear (crooked, bent)
dun click to hear  /  dunne (dun-ne) click to hear 2   dun / dunne click to hear 2 (thin, skinny)
druk click to hear  /  drukke (druk-ke) click to hear 2   druk / drukke click to hear 2 (busy) ‑>>

2. - aa/a click to hear - ee/e click to hear - oo/o click to hear - uu/u click to hear

laag click to hear 2 3 4
lage (la-ge) click to hear
laag/lage click to hear 2
(low)
geel click to hear
gele (ge-le) click to hear 2 3
geel/gele click to hear 2
(yellow)
rood click to hear
rode (ro-de) click to hear
rood/rode click to hear
(red)
duur click to hear
dure (du-re) click to hear 2
duur/dure click to hear 2
(expensive)
  ie =  ii   IE =  II  click to hear   - -

laag click to hear 2 3 4  /  lage (la-ge) click to hear   laag / lage click to hear 2 (low)
waar click to hear  /  ware (wa-re) click to hear   waar / ware click to hear (true, 'real') ‑>>
zwaar click to hear  /  zware (zwa-re) click to hear   zwaar / zware click to hear (heavy) ‑>>
raar click to hear 2  /  rare (ra-re) click to hear   raar / rare click to hear (strange, odd, weird) ‑>>
laat click to hear  /  late (la-te) click to hear   laat / late click to hear late, not in time) ‑>>
breed click to hear  /  brede (bre-de) click to hear 2   breed / brede click to hear 2 (wide)
geel click to hear  /  gele (ge-le) click to hear 2 3   geel / gele click to hear 2 (yellow) ‑>>
leeg click to hear  /  lege (le-ge) click to hear 2   leeg / lege click to hear (empty)
rood click to hear  /  rode (ro-de) click to hear   rood / rode click to hear (red) ‑>>
groot click to hear  /  grote (gro-te) click to hear   groot / grote click to hear 2 (large // tall // big // great) ‑>>
hoog click to hear 2 3  /  hoge (ho-ge) click to hear   hoog / hoge click to hear (high)
duur click to hear  /  dure (du-re) click to hear 2   duur / dure click to hear 2 (expensive) ‑>>
zuur click to hear 2  /  zure (zu-re) click to hear 2 3   zuur / zure click to hear 2 (sour) ‑>>

langzaam click to hear 2 3  /  langzame (lang-za-me) click to hear 2 3 langzaam / langzame click to hear 2 (slow) ‑>> - 2
goedkoop click to hear 2 3  /  goedkope (goed-ko-pe) click to hear 2 3 goedkoop / goedkope click to hear (cheap, inexpensive) ‑>>
gewoon click to hear  /  gewone (ge-wo-ne) click to hear 2 3 gewoon / gewone click to hear 2 (common, usual, regular) ‑>> - 2

3.   b - c - d - f - g - h - j - k - l - m - n - p - q - r - s - t - v - w - x - z

arm click to hear 2
arme (ar-me) click to hear 2 3
arm/arme click to hear
(poor)
paars click to hear
paarse (paar-se) click to hear 2
paars/paarse click to hear
(purple)
scherp click to hear 2 3
scherpe (scher-pe) click to hear 2
scherp/scherpe click to hear 2
('sharp' - knives)

vreemd click to hear
vreemde (vreem-de) click to hear
vreemd/vreemde click to hear 2
(strange)
dicht click to hear
dichte (dich-te) click to hear
dicht/dichte click to hear 2
(closed)
kort click to hear 2 3
korte (kor-te) click to hear 2
kort/korte click to hear
(short)

gestoofd click to hear 2
(stewed)
/ gestoofde
(ge-stoof-de)
zulk click to hear
zulke (zul-ke) click to hear
zulk/zulke click to hear
(such)
gefrituurd click to hear 2
(deep-fried)
gefrituurde
(ge-fri-tuur-de)

arm click to hear 2  /  arme (ar-me) click to hear 2 3   arm / arme click to hear (poor) ‑>>
zwart click to hear  /  zwarte (zwarte) click to hear   zwart / zwarte click to hear (black) ‑>>
hard click to hear  /  harde (har-de) click to hear 2   hard / harde click to hear ('hard' - not soft +) ‑>>
zacht click to hear  /  zachte (zach-te) click to hear 2   zacht / zachte click to hear (soft) ‑>>
vast click to hear  /  vaste (vas-te) click to hear 2   vast / vaste click to hear 2 (fixed, not loose) ‑>>
warm click to hear  /  warme (war-me) click to hear 2   warm / warme click to hear 2 (warm) ‑>>
vals click to hear  /  valse (val-se) click to hear   vals / valse click to hear 2 3 (false, untrue, off-pitch)
lang click to hear  /  lange (lan-ge) click to hear   lang / lange click to hear (long, tall) ‑>>
paars click to hear  /  paarse (paar-se) click to hear 2   paars/paarse click to hear (purple) ‑>>
Vlaams click to hear  /  Vlaamse (Vlaam-se) click to hear 2   Vlaams / Vlaamse click to hear (Flemish)
sterk click to hear  /  sterke (ster-ke) click to hear 2 3   sterk / sterke click to hear (strong) ‑>>
recht click to hear 2  /  rechte (rech-te) click to hear   recht / rechte click to hear 2 (straight)
rechts click to hear  /  rechtse (recht-se) click to hear 2
also:  rechter- click to hear
  rechts / rechtse click to hear (right - not left)
scherp click to hear 2 3  /  scherpe (scher-pe) click to hear 2   scherp / scherpe click to hear 2 ('sharp' - knives)
vreemd click to hear  /  vreemde (vreem-de) click to hear   vreemd / vreemde click to hear 2 (strange) ‑>>
dicht click to hear  /  dichte (dich-te) click to hear   dicht / dichte click to hear 2 (closed) ‑>>
licht click to hear  /  lichte (lich-te) click to hear 2 3   licht / lichte click to hear (light - not heavy // not dark) ‑>>
links click to hear  /  linkse (link-se) click to hear 2
also:  linker- click to hear 2 3
  links / linkse click to hear 2 ('left' - not right)
kort click to hear 2 3  /  korte click to hear 2   kort / korte click to hear (short) ‑>>
rond click to hear 2  /  ronde (ron-de) click to hear   rond / ronde click to hear 2 (round, curved)
krom click to hear 2  /  kromme (krom-me) click to hear 2 3   krom / kromme click to hear (crooked, bent)
jong click to hear  /  jonge (jon-ge) click to hear 2 3   jong / jonge click to hear 2 (young) ‑>>
zulk click to hear  /  zulke (zul-ke) click to hear   zulk / zulke click to hear (such) ‑>>

geslaagd click to hear 2  /  geslaagde (ge-slaag-de) click to hear (successful) ‑>>
verkeerd click to hear  /  verkeerde (ver-keer-de) click to hear 2 3 verkeerd/verkeerde click to hear 2 (wrong) ‑>>
gecompliceerd click to hear 2 3 4  /  gecompliceerde click to hear 2 (complex, complicated)
gevreesd click to hear 2  /  gevreesde (ge-vrees-de) click to hear 2 ‑>>
plotseling click to hear  /  plotselinge (plot-se-lin-ge) click to hear 2 (sudden) ‑>>
gestoofd click to hear 2 (stewed)  /  gestoofde (ge-stoof-de) peertjes click to hear (stewed pears)
koken (ko-ken) click to hear 2 (to boil)  /  gekookt (ge-kookt) click to hear (boiled) de gekookte (ge-kook-te) aardappels click to hear ('the boiled potatoes')
berucht click to hear 2  /  beruchte (be-ruch-te) click to hear berucht/beruchte click to hear (infamous)
gefrituurd click to hear 2  /  gefrituurde (ge-fri-tuur-de) (deep-fried)

  4. - ie ( ii ) click to hear - au/ou click to hear - ei/ij click to hear - eu click to hear - oe click to hear - ui click to hear

diep click to hear 2
diepe (die-pe) click to hear
diep/diepe click to hear
(deep)
groen click to hear
groene (groe-ne) click to hear 2 3 4
groen/groene click to hear
green
beroemd click to hear 2
beroemde (be-roem-de) click to hear
beroemd/beroemde click to hear
famous

ziek click to hear
zieke (zie-ke) click to hear 2
ziek/zieke click to hear 2
(sick, ill)
oud click to hear 2
oude (ou-de) click to hear 2
oud/oude click to hear
(old)
benauwd click to hear 2
benauwde (be-nauw-de) click to hear
benauwd/benauwde click to hear
(short of breath +)

diep click to hear 2  /  diepe (die-pe) click to hear   diep / diepe click to hear (deep)
ziek click to hear  /  zieke (zie-ke) click to hear 2   ziek / zieke click to hear 2 (sick, ill) ‑>>
nauw click to hear  /  nauwe click to hear 2   nauw / nauwe (narrow)
oud click to hear 2  /  oude (ou-de) click to hear 2   oud / oude click to hear (old) ‑>>
koud click to hear  /  koude (kou-de) click to hear  koud / koude click to hear (cold) ‑>>
zout click to hear 2 3  /  zoute (zou-te) click to hear 2   zout/zoute click to hear 2 (salty) ‑>>
klein click to hear 2 3 4 5  /  kleine click to hear   klein/kleine click to hear 2 (small, little) ‑>>
blij click to hear  /  blije (blij-e) click to hear   blij / blije click to hear (happy, glad) ‑>>
vrij click to hear  /  vrije (vrij-e) click to hear 2   vrij / vrije click to hear 2 3 4 (free)
nabij click to hear 2  /  nabije (na-bij-e) click to hear 2   nabij / nabije click to hear 2 (near - in time) ‑>>
wijd click to hear  /  wijde (wij-de) click to hear 2   wijd / wijde click to hear 2 (wide)
rijk click to hear  /  rijke (rij-ke) click to hear   rijk / rijke click to hear (rich) ‑>>
leuk click to hear 2 3 4 5  /  leuke (leu-ke) click to hear   leuk / leuke click to hear 2 3 (nice, pleasant, funny +) ‑>>
goed click to hear 2 3  /  goede (goe-de) click to hear   goed / goede click to hear (good, just, correct, well) ‑>>
zoet click to hear  /  zoete (zoe-te) click to hear 2 3   zoet / zoete click to hear 2 (sweet) ‑>>
groen click to hear  /  groene (groe-ne) click to hear 2 3 4   groen / groene click to hear (green) ‑>>
vroeg click to hear  /  vroege (vroe-ge) click to hear   vroeg / vroege (early) ‑>>
lui click to hear  /  luie (lui-e) click to hear   lui / luie click to hear (lazy)
vuil click to hear 2  /  vuile (vui-le) click to hear   'vuil / vuile click to hear 2 (dirty, foul) ‑>>
bruin click to hear  /  bruine (brui-ne) click to hear   bruin / bruine click to hear (brown) ‑>>
juist click to hear  /  juiste (juis-te) click to hear   juist / juiste click to hear 2 3 (correct) ‑>>
benauwd click to hear 2  /  benauwde (be-nauw-de) click to hear benauwd / benauwde click to hear (short of breath +)
trouw click to hear 2 (faithful)  /  "trouwe vriend" click to hear 2 ('faithful friend') ‑>>
getrouwd click to hear / getrouwde click to hear 2 3 4 (married) ‑>>
geheim click to hear 2  /  geheime (ge-hei-me) click to hear geheim / geheime click to hear (secret)
bedroefd click to hear  /  bedroefde (be-droef-de) click to hear 2 (sad - mood) ‑>>
beroemd click to hear 2  /  beroemde (be-roem-de) click to hear
beroemd / beroemde click to hear famous
zwoel click to hear 2 / zwoele (zwoe-le) click to hear zwoel / zwoele click to hear 2 (sultry, sensual)

  5. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  uw click to hear
ruw click to hear 2
ruwe (ru-we) click to hear 2
ruw / ruwe click to hear 2
rough
sluw click to hear 2
sluwe (slu-we)
sluw / sluwe click to hear 2
sly, mean-clever
schuw click to hear
schuwe (schu-we) click to hear 2
schuw / schuwe click to hear
timid, very shy


saai click to hear 2
saaie (saai-e) click to hear 2
saai / saaie click to hear 2
boring, not exciting ‑>>
mooi click to hear
mooie (mooi-e) click to hear
mooi / mooie click to hear 2
beautiful, pretty ‑>>

! ! ! (de) uitzondering click to hear 2 exception ‑>>

 6.   -ISCH ("-ies") click to hear  -  -LIJK ("-luhk") click to hear 2

medisch click to hear
medische (me-di-sche) click to hear 2
medisch / medische
(medical)
lelijk click to hear 2
lelijke (le-lij-ke) click to hear 2 3
lelijk / lelijke click to hear 2
ugly

  -isch ("-ies") click to hear ‑>>
medisch click to hear  /  medische (me-di-sche) click to hear 2 medisch / medische (medical) ‑>> chemisch click to hear  /  chemische (che-mi-sche) click to hear 2 chemisch / chemische (chemical) ‑>> tragisch click to hear 2  /  tragische (tra-gi-sche) click to hear tragisch / tragische (tragical) fantastisch click to hear 2 3  /  fantastische (fan-tas-ti-sche) click to hear fantastisch / fantastische (fantastic) elektrisch click to hear  /  elektrische (e-lek-tri-sche) click to hear elektrisch / elektrische click to hear (electric) ‑>> automatisch click to hear 2  /  automatische (au-to-ma-ti-sche) click to hear automatisch / automatische click to hear (automatic)

  -lijk ("-luhk") click to hear 2 ‑>>
lelijk click to hear 2  /  lelijke (le-lij-ke) click to hear 2 3
lelijk / lelijke click to hear 2 (ugly) ‑>>
duidelijk click to hear / duidelijke click to hear
duidelijk / duidelijke click to hear 2 (clear, understandable) ‑>>
vriendelijk click to hear / vriendelijke click to hear 2 (friendly') ‑>>
makkelijk click to hear / makkelijke click to hear 2 (easy) ‑>>
gemakkelijk click to hear / gemakkelijke click to hear (easy) ‑>>
verschrikkelijk click to hear / verschrikkelijke click to hear 2 (terrible, awful) ‑>>
verrukkelijk click to hear 2 3 / verrukkelijke click to hear 2 (very enjoyable, delightful, great!)
vrouwelijk click to hear / vrouwelijke click to hear (female)
mannelijk click to hear 2 / mannelijke click to hear (male)
! ! ! ! ! click to hear  gelijk click to hear 2 gelijke (ge-lij-ke) click to hear 2 ('equal') ‑>>

 7.   -EL ("-uhl") click to hear 2  -  -ER ("-uhr") click to hear 2  -  -IG ("-uhg") click to hear

mager click to hear
magere (ma-ge-re) click to hear 2
mager / magere click to hear 2
skinny, 'thin'
veilig click to hear 2
veilige (vei-li-ge) click to hear
veilig / veilige click to hear 2
safe, secure

-el click to hear 2  -  -er click to hear 2
dubbel click to hear / dubbele (dub-be-le) click to hear 2 (double)
edel / edele (e-de-le) click to hear (noble)
enkel click to hear (single) / enkele (en-ke-le) click to hear (a few) enkel / enkele click to hear 2 ‑>>
flexibel click to hear flexibele (flexi-be-le) click to hear 2 (flexible)
ijdel click to hear 2 3 / ijdele (ij-de-le) click to hear 2 (vain)
wankel click to hear 2 wankele (wan-ke-le) click to hear 2 (not stable, shaky)
bitter click to hear / bittere (bit-te-re) click to hear 2 3 bitter / bittere click to hear 2 (bitter) ‑>>
donker click to hear 2 / donkere (don-ke-re) click to hear 2 3 donker / donkere click to hear (dark) ‑>>
duister click to hear 2 / duistere (duis-te-re) click to hear 2 3 (dark, ~sinister) ‑>>
helder click to hear / heldere (hel-de-re) click to hear 2 3 helder / heldere click to hear (clear, bright)
ieder click to hear / iedere (ie-de-re) click to hear 2 3 ieder / iedere click to hear 2 (every) ‑>>
lekker click to hear 2 3 4 / lekkere (lek-ke-re) lekker / lekkere click to hear 2 (enjoyable, tasty) ‑>>
lekkere koffie click to hear [enjoyable] 'good coffee' ‑>>
mager click to hear / magere (ma-ge-re) click to hear 2 mager / magere click to hear 2 (skinny, 'thin')
somber click to hear sombere (som-be-re) click to hear (gloomy, depressedy)
zeker click to hear 2 zekere (ze-ke-re) click to hear 2 3 zeker / zekere click to hear (certain, sure) ‑>>
! ! ! ! click to hear   bijzonder click to hear / bijzondere (bij-zon-de-re) click to hear 2 3 bijzonder / bijzondere click to hear (special) ‑>>

   -ig ("-uhg") click to hear ‑>>
veilig click to hear 2 / veilige (vei-li-ge) click to hear veilig / veilige click to hear 2 safe, secure
verstandig click to hear / verstandige click to hear (sensible, prudent) ‑>>
aardig click to hear 2 3 / aardige click to hear 2 3 (kind, nice // rather, considerably) ‑>>
eenvoudig click to hear / eenvoudige click to hear 2 (simple, easy to solve) ‑>>
(lawaaiïg) lawaaiig click to hear 2 / (lawaaiïge) lawaaiige (la-waai-i-ge) click to hear (noisy) ‑>>
gelukkig click to hear 2 3 / gelukkige click to hear 2 3 (lucky // (happy)) ‑>>
heilig click to hear / heilige click to hear (saintly, holy) ‑>>
grappig click to hear 2 3 - grappig / grappige click to hear (funny, amusing, humorous) ‑>>
smerig click to hear 2 3 / smerige click to hear 2 3 (dirty, filthy, soiled' - unpleasantly, disgustingly so) ‑>>
vorig click to hear / vorig / vorige click to hear 2 (previous) ‑>>
willekeurig click to hear 2 / willekeurige click to hear 2 ('random') ‑>>
rossig click to hear / rossige click to hear 2 (reddish) ‑>>
regelmatig click to hear / regelmatige click to hear ('regular)
luidruchtig click to hear / luidruchtige click to hear (loud, noisy) ‑>>
heftig click to hear 2 / heftige click to hear 2 3 ('violent, fierce' // "heavy" - slang)
ernstig click to hear 2 / ernstige click to hear 2 3 (serious) ‑>>
hartig click to hear / hartige click to hear 2 (savory' (not sweet) 'salty, hearty,' umami?) ‑>>
rustig click to hear / rustige click to hear 2 3 (quiet, calm) ‑>>
prettig click to hear / prettige click to hear 2 3 (pleasant, nice, enjoyable ) ‑>>
hevig click to hear 2 / hevige click to hear 2 (violent, vehement, intense, vehement)
stevig click to hear 2 (3) / stevige click to hear 2 (solid, substantial


Other Explanations of the Rules for Spelling Vowels:
The Beauty and Logic of Dutch Spelling - Plurals


de mars was lang click to hear the march was long
de lange mars click to hear the long march
een lange mars click to hear a long march
geen lange mars click to hear not a long march
het verhaal was lang click to hear the story was long
het lange verhaal click to hear the long story
een lang verhaal click to hear a long story
geen lang verhaal click to hear not a long story

de lelijke eend click to hear the ugly duck
een lelijke eend click to hear an ugly duck
het lelijke eendje click to hear the ugly duckling
een lelijk eendje click to hear an ugly duckling
geen lelijk eendje click to hear 2 not an (no) ugly duckling

dit stopcontact 
is niet geaard click to hear
this power outlet
is not grounded
een geaard stopcontact click to hear a grounded power outlet
de geaarde stekker click to hear the grounded power plug

het weer was slecht click to hear 2 the weather was bad
het slechte weer click to hear the bad weather
het was slecht weer click to hear it was bad weather
het was zwaar weer click to hear It was [heavy]
very bad weather
zwaar weer click to hear very bad weather

het houten schip click to hear the wooden ship
een houten schip click to hear a wooden ship
het verdronken land click to hear the flooded, drowned land
de sinaasappels zijn oranje 
- de oranje sinaasappels click to hear
the oranges are orange
- the orange oranges

The -E Ending of Adjectives

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Gij zult niet stelen click to hear 'Thou shalt not steal'