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Lesson 8 - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

To Have (Present Tense) - The Dutch Consonants - Land Reclamation - Weather Vocabulary - Simple Arithmetic

Hebben - to Have (present tense)
The Dutch Consonants
Land Reclamation (1)
Simple Math

Nescio click to hear (Latin: 'I don't know') was the pen name of J.H.F. Grönloh click to hear, who early in the 20th Century wrote three novellas and a series of sketches that I think are the finest Dutch writing ever; he revealed his real name about twenty years after publication of his first work because it had come to be attributed to someone else.
De Uitvreter click to hear is a person who lives off other people - a parasite. I thought 'scrounger' has the same kind of unpleasant tone.
His other novellas are Titaantjes click to hear ('Little Giants') >> and Dichtertje click to hear ('The Little Poet.') The collection of sketches is called Mene Tekel click to hear - Daniel 5:23, the writing on the wall, from Chaldaic: 'Judged (and found wanting.)'
Nescio's work is usually published in the spelling of the early 20th Century; I took the liberty to modernize the spelling to make it easier for my students. Nescio uses the colloquial -ie ('he') and writes it with single I, for instance: als-i. Most Dutchmen would write this as: als-ie or als hij.

The Scrounger
Except for the man who thought the Amsterdam Sarpahtistraat the most beautiful spot in Europe, I've never known a more peculiar person than the scrounger.
Nescio: De Uitvreter
Behalve de man, die de Sarphatistraat de mooiste plek van Europa vond, heb ik nooit een wonderlijker kerel gekend dan de uitvreter. click to hear
The scrounger, who was lying in your bed when you got home late in the evening, dirty shoes and all. The scrounger, who was smoking your cigars, filling up on your tobacco and burning your coal and looking through your cabinets and borrowing your money and wearing your shoes and who put on your coat when he had to get home through the rain. De uitvreter, die je in je bed vond liggen met zijn vuile schoenen, als je 's avonds laat thuiskwam. De uitvreter, die je sigaren oprookte, en van je tabak stopte en je steenkolen verstookte en je kasten nakeek en geld van je leende en je schoenen opdroeg en een jas van je aantrok als-i in de regen naar huis moest. click to hear
The scrounger, always ordering things in other people's names; drinking Duch gin like royalty on the sidewalk tables of café 'Hollandais' at the people's expense; who borrowed but never returned umbrellas; who heated Bavink's secondhand stove until it burst; who wore his brother's double collars and lent out Appi's books, who would travel abroad when once more he'd gotten some money off his old man, and never paid for the suits he wore. De uitvreter, die altijd wat liet halen op de naam van een ander; die als een vorst jenever zat te drinken op 't terras van 'Hollandais' voor de centen van de lui; die parapluies leende en nooit terugbracht; die een barst stookte in de tweedehands kachel van Bavink; die dubbele boorden droeg van z'n broer en de boeken uitleende van Appi, en buitenlandse reizen maakte als-i z'n ouwe heer weer had afgezet, en pakken droeg, die hij nooit betaalde. click to hear

Hebben = to Have (present tense)

ik heb
jij hebt
hij heeft
wij hebben
jullie hebben
zij hebben
U heeft
click to hear
to have
I have
you have
he has
we have
you have
they have
you have

ik heb een fiets
jij hebt een fiets
hij heeft een fiets
wij hebben een fiets
jullie hebben een fiets
zij hebben een tandem
U heeft een fiets
click to hear

(I have a bicycle)
(you have a bicycle)
(he has a bicycle)
(we have a bicycle)
(you have a bicycle)
(they have a tandem bicycle)
(you have a bicycle)

heb ik een fiets?
heb jij een fiets?
heeft hij een fiets?
hebben wij een fiets?
hebben jullie een fiets?
hebben zij een fiets?
heeft U een fiets?
click to hear

(do I have a bicycle?)
(do you have a bicycle?)
(does he have a bicycle?)
(do we have a bicycle?)
(do you have a bicycle?)
(do they have a bicycle?)
(do you have a bicycle?)
Some Dutchmen say 'U hebt' - like in for instance U hebt een fiets click to hear ('you have a bicycle' [you - polite singular]) but I think it's ugly.

Dutch question mode is just turning verb and subject around. Note that only je/jij ('you' informal singular) has a change, dropping the T:

jij hebt een fiets click to hear ('you have a bicycle' [you - singular informal])
heb je een fiets? click to hear ('do you have a bicycle?' [you - singular informal])
U heeft een fiets click to hear ('you have a bicycle' [you - singular polite])
heeft U een fiets? click to hear ('do you have a bicycle?' [you - singular polite])
jullie hebben een fiets click to hear ('you have a bicycle' [you - plural informal])
hebben jullie een fiets? click to hear ('do you have a bicycle?' [you - plural informal])
jullie hebben fietsen click to hear ('you have bicycles' [you - plural informal])
hebben jullie fietsen? click to hear ('do you have bicycles?' [you - plural informal])
You may have noticed in the previous lesson that Dutch sometimes uses 'to be' where English uses 'to have' - and sometimes Dutch uses 'to have' where English says 'to be.'
ik heb geluk
jij hebt geluk
hij heeft geluk
wij hebben geluk
jullie hebben geluk
zij hebben geluk
click to hear
I am lucky
you are lucky
he is lucky
we are lucky
you are lucky
they are lucky

heb ik geluk?
heb jij geluk?
heeft hij geluk?
hebben wij geluk
hebben jullie geluk?
hebben zij geluk?
click to hear
am I lucky?
are you lucky?
is he lucky?
are we lucky?
are you lucky?
are they lucky?
U heeft geluk
heeft U geluk?
click to hear

je hebt geluk gehad click to hear 2 3
you are lucky (polite)
are you lucky? (polite)

you've been lucky
There is a story that when the promotion of a certain general was discussed, Napoleon asked: "But is he lucky?" I think this was not silly or superstitious, but shows that Napoleon understood that 'luck' is often about being alert, being aware of possibilities, and having the flexibility to adapt your plans.
hij heeft geen auto click to hear ('he doesn't have a car')
jij hebt een hond click to hear ('you have a dog')
ik heb een boek click to hear ('I have a book')
hij heeft griep click to hear 2 ('he has the flu')
heb je nog even tijd? click to hear ('do you still have a moment?')
hebben jullie wel plezier? click to hear ('are you really having fun?')
ze hebben drie kinderen click to hear ('they have three children')

heb je genoeg water? click to hear 2 ('do you have enough water?')
heb je genoeg geld? click to hear ('do you have enough money?')
heb je genoeg licht? click to hear ('do you have enough light?')
ik heb 't koud click to
      hear ('I am cold')
ik ben verkouden click to hear ('I have a cold')
ik heb honger click to hear ('I [have hunger] am hungry')
ik heb dorst click to hear ('I [have thirst] am thirsty')

<< previous - verbs central - next >>

The Dutch Consonants

Not all Dutch consonants are pronounced like in English, and even those that are may not come naturally to native speakers of other languages.
There are a few exceptions and irregularities that will be explained in a future lesson. >>

See and Hear also: Exceptions and Irregularities in Lesson 10


A pair of consonants ('two of a kind') is pronounced exactly the same as one single consonant. A double consonant usually means that a preceding single vowel is short (see lessons 3-5); occasionally it is found after a double vowel.
maken makker willen wielen click to hear 2
vlot vlotten vloot vloten lood loden click to hear
grote grootte hete heette late haatte click to hear [ grote = 'big' - grootte = 'the size' ]

end-of-word B
end-of-word B is pronounced as P; otherwise B is B like in English
slab slap slabben slappe click to hear
heb step hebben steppen click to hear
lip lippen rib ribben click to hear
kap lab kapel tabel click to hear (kapel and tabel have the stress on the second syllable)
baard paard brak prak click to hear 2
B in

Final B's in parts of compound words keep their P-pronunciation, and also before the '-je' ending of diminutives:
eb ebben ebstroom wipstaart click to hear
ribje hapje slabbetje click to hear 2

C is pronounced either as K or as S, like in similar English words
K: (before A, O, U and consonants) code collega combinatie cultuur click to hear - café click to hear 2 - carrière click to hear - acteur click to hear 2 - actrice click to hear
S: (before E, I and Y) cel citroen gefascineerd click to hear - cirkel click to hear - centrum click to hear - centraal click to hear - cylinder click to hear
K/S: concept concert cycloon cyclus click to hear
K/S: accent succes click to hear
CH, G and K
CH and G: "like you clear your throat:" ge click to hear [exaggerated] (Flemish 'you')
Saying the Dutch CH and G may be difficult for foreigners. This sound is not found in many other languages - but it does exist in both Hebrew and Arabic, and it is like the J of European Spanish.
Single vowels before CH are always 'short.' There is no double CH in Dutch.
dak dag pek pech click to hear
slager slachten klagen klachten click to hear
slak slag brokkelen rochelen click to hear
richel diggelen wikkelen click to hear
kachel waggelen wakker click to hear
kuiken juichen duigen click to hear
vlag lach laag vlaggen lachen lagen click to hear
onrecht onterecht trechter click to hear
rechten rekten recht rekt zegt click to hear 2
chroom chrysanten chronisch click to hear
gifgas lachgas click to hear 2
giechelen click to hear 2 - wij logen click to hear 2 - wij loochenen click to hear 2
There is a faint difference in pronunciation between CH and G, but foreign students shouldn't worry about it. I think they sound almost the same. Native speakers of Dutch say CH and G slightly different, but may not be aware of it. Judge for yourself:
lachen click to hear 2 'to laugh' - er is niks te lachen click to hear 2 '[there's nothing to laugh about] it's not funny, no laughing matter'
vlaggen click to hear 2 'flags' - er waren veel vlaggen click to hear 2 'there were many flags'
When the preceding vowel is long the whole word sounds different, but I think it doesn't change the G.
laag click to hear 2 'layer; low' - lagen click to hear 'layers' - lagen leggen click to hear 'to prepare ambushes' - hinderlaag click to hear 2 'ambush'
lagere school click to hear 'elementary school' - vier lagen verf click to hear '4 layers of paint'

end-of-word D
D at the end of a word is pronounced as a T; otherwise D is D and T is T.
wat wad watten wadden click to hear
raat raten raad raden click to hear
rat ratten pad padden paden click to hear
dadel datum kader kater click to hear
lid wit midden witte click to hear
pet bed petten bedden click to hear
blad plat bladeren platen click to hear
dak tak deken teken click to hear
D in

Final D's in parts of compound words keep their T-pronunciation, and also before the '-je' ending of diminutives:
huidaandoening doodop rondom click to hear 2
platform bladvorm nachtvorst braadworst click to hear
kruid kruit buidel sluiter kruidvat kruitvat click to hear
brandje krantje eindje geintje click to hear
At normal speaking speed, mid-word DT is pronounced as T, and mid-word TD is pronounced as D. Only in deliberately slow speech are the letters pronounced separately, but DT at the end of a verb is always T.
ontdekken ontdaan ont-dekken ont-daan click to hear
windtunnel badtas wind-tunnel bad-tas click to hear
houtduif broodtafel loodtest rotdag click to hear
ontzien onthouden click to hear 2
ik word hij wordt click to hear 2 / de brand click to hear - het brandt click to hear 2

F, V and W
English W is formed with rounded lips; Dutch W is formed with relaxed lips, starting with upper teeth resting lightly on lower lip.
fee vee wee click to hear
fier vier wier click to hear
duif duiven click to hear
zalf zalven click to hear
vlinders fladderen click to hear 2
fel vel fase vazen click to hear
wal val Waal vaal click to hear
even effen boven boffen click to hear
laf laffe laven lava boven boffen click to hear
waffel wafel zwavel luifel zuivel click to hear 2
oefenen toeven toeval hoewel click to hear
duf duw suf sluw click to hear ('uw' is always long)
walm walmen (zalm) bedwelmen click to hear (2)
W in

dwaling dwang dwepen dwingen click to hear
kwaken kwakkelen kweken kwekken kwik kwiek click to hear
zwaan zwanger zweven zwerven click to hear 2
zwalken zwelgen zwerm click to hear - more Dutch W

Dutch J is like English 'consonant Y' (like in YES) - except in the diphthong IJ
ja je jouw jeuk click to hear
je jong jongetje click to hear
ijs click to hear - IJ hij stijl click to

K before N
Unlike in English, K before N is pronounced:
nijptang kniptang click to hear
knaap knap knapen knappe click to hear
knoop knop knopen knoppen click to hear
knarsen knerpen knallen knetteren click to hear 2 3
knikken knokken knul click to hear

Dutch L is very similar to English L - but different from L in many other languages:
ellenlang click to hear - luilekkerland click to hear 2 - more Dutch L

end-of-word N
Many Dutchmen, maybe even a majority of the population, drop the N in -EN verb and plurals endings. It's not the standard pronunciation, and I think it's sloppy, though I have to admit to a certain softening of my own final N's. You may have noticed it in the Multatuli reading of the previous lesson. Dear students, I think it's easier for you to pronounce these N's, because you have to write them anyway, and dropping them would just add another rule.
De mensen praten plat. click to hear - De mense prate plat. click to hear
We hebben lopen demonstreren. click to
We hebbe lope demonstrere. click to hear 2 3
We have been in a protest march.

Dutch NG is like in English NG in SING or HANGER, NOT like in stranger or linger.
zang zanger click to hear
ding dingen click to hear
lang langer langst click to hear
streng strenger strengst click to hear
gang ging gong click to hear
hangen kreng strekking click to hear

P before S
Unlike in English, P before S is pronounced
psalm pseudoniem psycholoog click to hear 2

Dutch R is quite different from English R:
er click to hear rek roos rits rap click to hear
raad veer roef huur huren click to hear
At the beginning of a word, English R starts with the tongue touching the top of the palate, and then moving down; it's a 'rolling' sound formed in the middle of the mouth. Dutch R keeps the tongue flat, its tip touching the lower teeth, and is formed in the back of the mouth.

Compare English and Dutch R:
English road
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
Thank you Cody!
Dutch rood
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
meaning of
Dutch word
red fame a brake rat price fries (girls'
fern animal,
S and Z
gras grassen grazen click to hear
les lessen lezen click to hear
zo'n sombere zomer click to hear ('such a gloomy Summer')
veinzen grijnzen linzen grenzen click to hear

see also CH ("a sound like you clear your throat")
schip click to hear - schop click to hear - schep click to hear - schaar click to hear - schuit click to hear 2 - beschaafd click to hear
schaaf schier schok schoof click to hear - schulp schuilen schuur click to hear

Polders: The Reclaimed Land

['polder' - reclaimed land]

(de) polder click to hear 2 'polder' (reclaimed land)
(de) dijk click to hear dike, levee
(de) sloot click to hear ditch
(de) molen click to hear windmill
(het) gemaal click to hear pumping station
(het) kanaal click to hear canal, channel
het nieuwe land click to hear the new, reclaimed land
When you're on a levee in Holland, you may notice that on one side the water is just a foot or two from the edge, while the land on the other side is much lower down. The 'polders' are not filled in with soil from elsewhere. The old lake bottom is the new land.
5 feet = 1½ meter - 15 feet = 5 meters

[a map of Holland showing the elevation
   of the land, what would be below the sea
     if the Dutch hadn't done something about it]

If there were no dikes and dunes, the sea would enter Holland freely, the waves would roll in twice a day over the area five feet below to five feet above sea level. Actually, the area between the row of islands in the North and the mainland - de Waddenzee click to hear - is a flood plain like that, much of it flooded twice daily. A paradise for coastal birds.

Ten thousand years ago, nomadic hunters were the first men in what's now Holland; when agriculture came a few thousand years later, settlers built dwellings and villages on existing hills, or mounds would be created as safe places from the occasional floods. Those elevations are now usually called by the Frisian word terpen click to hear - singular (de) terp click to hear. The Dutch word (de) vliedberg click to hear ('flee-mountain') has become less common, and (de) vluchtheuvel click to hear ('hill of refuge') - is nowadays the common word for 'traffic isle,' the safe, slightly raised spot for pedestrians beween the lanes of a busy road.
It was probably during the Roman time (ca. 50BC-400AD) that the first dikes were built and the first canals dug - but then the collapse of the Roman empire and the invasions by Germanic tribes coincided with a 5-foot (1½ meter) rise of the sea level and a period of very bad weather, which breached the line of dunes that had been a natural defense against the sea. Very few people remained at the Dutch coast in this time.
See the shape of Holland change over the years.
The first dikes were probably just walls of earth; later they were made more lasting by a layer of rocks or mats of twine or branches, and vegetation also helped to protect them. In the 11th or 12th Century, Waterschappen click to
 hear ('water boards') developed. The people living close to the sea organized themselves to manage the water and worked out a payment system. Some see it as an early, limited form of democracy (of course pioneered by Greeks much earlier.)
The 16th Century development of windmills that could be rotated to face the wind made the draining of larger lakes possible. It often was a commercial venture: investors would pay for reclaiming land that was then rented out to farmers. A famous early water engineer took the name Leeghwater ('empty-water'): Jan Adriaansz Leeghwater click to hear 2
In the 19th Century, steam engines made the draining of still larger and deeper lakes possible.
Read about the large 20th Century water projects in the next lesson. >>
<< - essays - >>


[water] [water] [water] [water]
(het) water click to hear - 2
[sea, breakers, beach]

(de) zee click to hear

(de) branding click to hear

(het) strand click to hear




(de) golf click to hear - 2
(het) zand click to hear - 2
(de) rivier click to hear (Peace River, Canada)
[modern windmill]
moderne windmolen click to hear
(de) molen click to hear = (de) windmolen click to hear
(de) wolken click to hear
[a street where you can't see far because of the mist]
(de) mist click to hear
(de) regen click to hear - 2
[is it raining?]
regent 't? click to hear
[a foot of snow on the ground and in the trees] [snow]
(de) sneeuw click to hear
't sneeuwt click to hear
[a rainbow]
(de) regenboog click to hear
(de) getijden click to hear
tides ->>
(de) eb click to hear
ebbtide, low tide
(de) vloed click to hear
floodtide, high tide
more weather (with Dutch weather expressions.)


rekenen click to hear ('to do arithmetic') - berekenen click to hear 2 ('to calculate') - (de) berekening click to hear 2 ('calculation') - (de) rekening click to hear ('bill, invoice')
(de) vergelijking click to hear ('equation' - also: 'comparison')
plus click to hear 2
min click to hear 2
maal click to hear 2
gedeeld door click to hear 2
is click to hear 2
hear 5
+ (plus)
- (minus)
x (times)
: (divided by, 'over')
= (equals)

optellen click to hear 2
aftrekken click to hear 2
vermenigvuldigen click to hear 2 3
delen click to hear 2
hear 4
(to add)
(to subtract)
(to multiply)
(to divide)

> click to hear
< click to hear
2 > 1 click to hear
3 < 4 click to hear
groter dan
kleiner dan
twee is groter dan één
drie is kleiner dan vier
2x3=6 click to hear twee keer drie is zes
2x3=6 click to hear twee maal drie is zes
2+3=5 click to hear twee en drie is vijf
2+3=5 click to hear twee plus drie is vijf
de tafel van twee:
één keer twee is twee, twee keer twee is vier,
drie keer twee is zes, vier keer twee is acht ... click to hear - 2
In elementary school we are taught the tables using keer for multiplication; maal is more scientific. Likewise, en is the elementary school adding word, plus is the scientific term.
3+4-5=2 click to hear drie plus vier min vijf is twee
6x7=42 click to hear zes maal zeven is tweeënveertig
8:4=2 click to hear acht gedeeld door vier is twee
x+y=z click to hear 2 3 x plus y is z
click to hear 2 3 twee kwadraat (two squared)
a² + b² = c² click to hear 2 a kwadraat plus b kwadraat is c kwadraat
click to hear twee tot de derde (two cubed)
vijf procent
één-tiende procent
één promille
click to hear
in drievoud click to hear 2 in triplicate
zesvoudig click to hear sixfold
één keer click to hear one time, once
twee keer click to hear two times, twice
drie keer click to hear three times, thrice
de eerste keer click to hear the first time
de tweede keer click to hear the second time
deze keer click to hear this time
de vorige keer click to hear the prevous time, the time before
de volgende keer click to hear the next time
de laatste keer click to hear the last time
Dutch does NOT say 'one-tenth of one percent' like English, but just 'one-tenth percent:' één-tiende procent click to hear
één keer per dag click to hear 'one time a day, once daily'
twee keer per dag click to hear two times a day, twice daily
het is de vierde keer click to hear it is the fourth time
drie maal is scheepsrecht click to hear 2 'three times is naval law' - nonsense remark about things happening three times
keer op keer click to hear 2 'time after time'
éénmaal... andermaal ... verkocht! click to hear '[one time ... another time ... sold!] going once ... going twice ... sold!' (what an auctioneer says)
'n enkele keer click to hear 'once or twice, very occasionally'
voor de laatste keer ... click to hear 2 'for the last time ...'
<< - numbers, simple math and dimensions - >>

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