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

Verbs: The Simple Present - Useful Words and Phrases - Ordinal Numbers - The Large Water Projects

The Simple Present Tense
Useful Words and Phrases
Emergency Preparedness
Ordinal Numbers
Land Reclamation (2)

Nescio: Titaantjes click to hear 'The Mini-Titans' ... more of the finest Dutch writing
(see Lesson 8 for more about the author Nescio)
[The translation is quite liberal, just meant to give you a sense of what it is about.]
'The Mini-Titans' Nescio: Titaantjes click to hear
We were just kids - but nice kids. If I may say so myself. Jongens waren we - maar aardige jongens. Al zeg ik 't zelf. click to hear
We are much wiser now, it's pitiable how prudent we've become - except for Bavink, who's gone crazy. We zijn nu veel wijzer, stakkerig wijs zijn we, behalve Bavink, die mal geworden is. click to hear
We had big plans to fix things. Wat hebben we al niet willen opknappen. click to hear 2
We were going to show them how things should be done. We zouden hun wel eens laten zien hoe 't moest. click to hear 2
We, that were the five of us. All other people were 'they.' We, dat waren wij, met z'n vijven. Alle andere mensen waren 'ze'. click to hear
'They,' who didn't understand anything and didn't see anything. 'Ze', die niets snapten en niets zagen. click to hear
'What?' Bavink said, 'God? Are you talking about God? Their hot meal is their God.' 'Wat?' zei Bavink, 'God? Je praat over God? Hun warme eten is hun God.' click to hear
Except for a few 'good guys' we despised everyone. Op enkele 'goeie kerels' na werd iedereen door ons veracht. click to hear
Very, very quietly I'll add 'and rightly' now, but I wouldn't want anybody to hear that. Heel stilletjes zeg ik daar nu bij: 'En niet ten onrechte', maar dat mag niemand horen. click to hear
I am not a hero anymore. You never know how you'll need people. Ik ben nu geen held meer. Je weet niet hoe je de mensen nog eens nodig kunt hebben. click to hear 2
And Hoyer also thinks you should not give offense. Of Bekker we don't see or hear anything anymore. En Hoyer vindt ook dat je geen aanstoot moet geven. Van Bekker zie of hoor je niks meer. click to hear 2
And Kees Ploeger talks of those bad men that put him on the wrong track. En Kees Ploeger praat van die rare kerels die 'm op de slechte weg brachten. click to hear
But those were the days of our foolishness, when we were God's elect, even God himself. Maar toen waren we in de dagen van onze dwaasheid, de uitverkorenen Gods, ja God zelf. click to hear
Now we have become prudent, again except for Bavink, and we look at each other and smile, and I tell Hoyer: 'things have not improved.' Verstandig zijn we nu, alweer behalve Bavink, en we kijken mekaar aan en glimlachen en ik zeg tegen Hoyer: 'we zijn er niet op vooruit gegaan.' click to hear
But Hoyer is too far gone already, he's joining the ranks of the Labor Party bigshots and signals doubt with his hands and shoulders. Maar Hoyer is al te ver heen, hij begint bij de bonzen van de SDAP te horen, en maakt een gebaar van twijfel met z'n handen en z'n schouders. click to hear 2 3 continued

Verbs: the Simple Present (Imperfect)

The Verb Stem
The Conjugation
Exceptions and Irregularities
The Dutch verb is in many ways similar to the English verb, though a slightly larger number of endings makes it a little more complicated. But Dutch spelling, on the other hand, is much more straightforward than English.

kennento know (people) wetento know (things) gaanto go
ik ken
jij kent
hij kent
wij kennen
jullie kennen
zij kennen
U kent
click to hear
(I know)
(you know)
(he knows)
(we know)
(you know)
(they know)
(you know)
ik weet
jij weet
hij weet
wij weten
jullie weten
zij weten
U weet
click to hear
(I know)
(you know)
(he knows)
(we know)
(you know)
(they know)
(you know)
ik ga
jij gaat
hij gaat
wij gaan
jullie gaan
zij gaan
U gaat
click to hear 2
(I go)
(you go)
(he goes)
(we go)
(you go)
(they go)
(you go)

(you - singular, informal)

(you - plural, informal)

(you - polite)
In the verbs above, the vowel length doesn't change, but the spelling does. It's entirely according to the rules that were explained in lessons 3-5.
A double vowel is always long, but a single vowel can be either long or short. The single-vowel spelling rules again, in short:

The Verb Stem

The different verb forms add endings or beginnings to the verb stem.
Basically, the verb stem is found by removing the -EN ending from the infinitive of Dutch verbs.

Exceptions Regular I:
According to The Spelling Rules:
If removing the -en would result in a stem ending in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel, then that single vowel will be doubled.
When removing the -en would result in a stem ending in a double consonant, then one of the consonants is dropped.


following the basic rule
following the basic rule
the infinitive's single P indicates that the 'a' is long
the infinitive's double P indicates that the 'a' is short

Exceptions Regular II:
In Dutch, there always has to be a vowel after a V or a Z; otherwise, they change to F or S respectively. This feature is found in some adjectives and plurals too, and it is further explained in the page about plurals. >>




Exceptions Irregular:
doen, zien - stem: doe, zie
gaan, staan - stem: ga, sta
zijn, hebben (to be, to have) - very irregular verbs we have seen and heard in the previous two lessons.
Find a few more irregular verbs at the end of this lessons's verbs section.

Present Tense Conjugation

Simple Present Model
(I) ik STEM
(you [singular]) jij STEM + t
(he) hij STEM + t
(we) wij INFINITIVE ( = STEM + en)
(you [plural]) jullie INFINITIVE ( = STEM + en)
(they) zij INFINITIVE ( = STEM + en)
(you [polite]) U STEM + t
denken to think
ik denk
jij denkt
hij denkt
wij denken
jullie denken
zij denken
U denkt
click to hear
(to think)
(I think)
(you think)
(he thinks)
(we think)
(you think)
(they think)
(you think)
danken to thank
stemmen to vote or to tune
doen to do
ik dank
jij dankt
hij dankt
wij danken
jullie danken
zij danken
U dankt
click to hear
(I thank)
(you thank)
(he thanks)
(we thank)
(you thank)
(they thank)
(you thank)

ik stem
jij stemt
hij stemt
wij stemmen
jullie stemmen
zij stemmen
U stemt
click to hear
(I vote)
(you vote)
(he votes)
(we vote)
(you vote)
(they vote)
(you vote)

ik doe
jij doet
hij doet
wij doen
jullie doen
zij doen
U doet
click to hear
(I do)
(you do)
(he does)
(we do)
(you do)
(they do)
(you do)
zitten (to sit, be sitting, be seated) vinden (to find)
ik zit
jij zit
hij zit
wij zitten
jullie zitten
zij zitten
U zit
click to hear
(to sit)
(I sit)
(you sit)
(he sits)
(we sit)
(you sit)
(they sit)
(you sit)

zit ik?
zit je?
zit hij?
zitten we?
zitten jullie?
zitten ze?
zit U?
click to hear

(am I sitting down?)
(are you sitting down?)
(is he sitting down?)
(are we sitting down?)
(are you sitting down?)
(are they sitting down?)
(are you sitting down?)

ik vind
jij vindt
hij vindt
wij vinden
jullie vinden
zij vinden
U vindt
click to hear
(to find)
(I find)
(you find)
(he finds)
(we find)
(you find)
(they find)
(you find)

vind ik?
vind jij?
vindt hij?
vinden wij?
vinden jullie?
vinden zij?
vindt U?
click to hear 2

(do I find?)
(do you find?)
(does he find?)
(do we find?)
(do you find?)
(do they find?)
(do you find?)

Exceptions and Irregularities

In the two previous lessons we saw and heard zijn and hebben, which are irregular like in English. Two other very common verbs with an irregular present tense are mogen (to be allowed to, 'may') and kunnen (to be able to, 'can').
mogen (to be allowed to, 'may') kunnen (to be able to, 'can')
ik mag
jij mag
hij mag
wij mogen
jullie mogen
zij mogen
U mag
click to hear
(I 'may')
(you 'may')
(he 'may')
(we 'may')
(you 'may')
(they 'may')
(you 'may')

ik kan
jij kunt
hij kan
wij kunnen
jullie kunnen
zij kunnen
U kunt
click to hear
(I 'can')
(you 'can')
(he 'can')
(we 'can')
(you 'can')
(they 'can')
(you 'can')

mag jij?
kun jij?
click to hear
are you allowed to?
are you able to?
You can say both jij kan click to hear 2 3 and jij kunt, and also U kan and U kunt.
Note that there is no T in jij mag, hij mag and jij kan, hij kan

A few common Dutch verbs have a short vowel in the singular and a long vowel in the plural. It's more common in the past tense; for the present the only example I can think of is komen ('to come'):

komen (to come)
ik kom
jij komt
hij komt
wij komen
jullie komen
zij komen
U komt
click to hear
(I come)
(you come)
(he comes)
(we come)
(you come)
(they come)
(you come)

kom ik?
kom jij?
komt hij?
komen wij?
komen jullie?
komen zij?
komt U?
click to hear
(am I coming?)
(are you coming?)
(is he coming?)
(are we coming?)
(are you coming?)
(are they coming?)
(are you coming?)

<< previous - verbs central - next >>

The 'Smartphone' Verbs Pages have an overview of the verbs grammar and many pages with the full conjugation and many sample sentences of verbs

Useful Words and Phrases

It would be nice to practice Dutch with a real Dutchman, or with the far superior formidable Dutchwoman, but those may not be available. Trying to speak Dutch with fellow students will also be good practice, you may not be able to correct pronunciation, but it makes you think of words you'll need, moves them from passive to active vocabulary. Imaginary conversations are a good tool too, and may be less embarrassing.
Many people are shy about speaking a foreign language they don't know well - it's hard to have to show that you're not good at something - but please keep at it: speaking, however imperfectly, is one of the best ways to learn.
There is passive vocabulary, words you recognize when you see or hear them, good for reading and listening, and there is active vocabulary, words you can call up from memory when needed. For conversation and writing you'll need to build an active vocabulary.
Good morning Goedemorgen click to
Good afternoon Goedemiddag click to
Good evening Goedenavond click to
Ladies and Gentlemen ...
(addressing a group)
Dames en Heren ... click to
      hear 2
Mr. and Sir Meneer click to
( = Mijnheer)
Mr. van Dijk Meneer van Dijk click to
Mrs. and Ma'am Mevrouw click to
      hear Mrs. Jansen Mevrouw Jansen click to
Miss Juffrouw click to
Miss de Jong Juffrouw de Jong click to
hi, hello hallo click to hear
My name is ... Ik heet ... click to hear
My name is ... Mijn naam is ... click to hear
Hi - I am Marco Hallo, ik ben Marco click to hear
Hi - my name is Marco Hallo, ik heet Marco click to hear
My name is Daniel Mijn naam is Daniël click to hear
What's your name?
polite: Wat is Uw naam? click to hear 2
informal: Hoe heet je? click to hear
'Dutch' First Names
Happy birthday! Hartelijk gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag! click to
      hear - more Birthday
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year! Prettige Kerstdagen en Een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! click to hear 2
Blessed Easter / Happy Easter! Zalig Pasen (said by Roman Catholics) / Prettige Paasdagen click to
      hear - ‑>>
Happy Holidays! Prettige Feestdagen! click to hear 2
Happy New Year! Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! click to
      hear - New Year's Resolutions
Would you like a cup of tea? Wil je een kopje thee? click to hear 2 - Food and Drink
How are you? (polite) Hoe maakt U het? click to hear
How are you? (informal)
Hoe gaat 't? click to
Hoe is 't ermee? click to hear
Very good, thank you Heel goed, dank je click to
      hear 2
And you? En met jou? click to
Please Alstublieft click to hear
Thank you (polite) Dank U wel click to hear
Thank you (informal) Dank je wel click to hear
Bedankt! click to hear
Thank you, and the same to you Bedankt en van hetzelfde click to hear 2
You're welcome,
My pleasure
Graag gedaan click to hear
No Problem ('Minimal effort')
Don't mention it ('no reason to thank me')
Kleine moeite click to
Geen dank click to hear
Just a moment, please
just a moment ...
Een momentje, alstublieft click to hear
ogenblikje click to hear 2
Bless you! (Gesundheit!)
(what you say when somebody click to hear sneezes)
Gezondheid! click to
Wishing you a speedy recovery Beterschap click to hear - medical
Best wishes Het beste ermee click to hear
Have fun Veel plezier click to
Goodbye, See you Tot ziens click to hear
See you this afternoon Tot vanmiddag click to
See you in a moment Tot zo click to
      hear 2
Have a nice day Een prettige dag nog click to
Have a nice weekend Prettig weekend click to
      hear 2
Bon Appetit (Enjoy your meal) Eet smakelijk click to
Have a safe & pleasant trip Goede reis click to
Sleep well, Happy dreams Welterusten click to
I'm sorry Het spijt me click to
      hear 2
What's going on? Wat is er aan de hand? click to
Wait a moment ... Wacht even click to hear 2
It cannot be helped
[Nothing can be done about it]
Er is niks aan te doen click to
It doesn't matter 't Geeft niet click to
      hear 2
I think ...
(In my view ..., "According to me ...")
Volgens mij ... click to

In Dutch, we don't say something like '"How are you?" to about everyone you come across, like in America. Just say it to people you already know. Next to Heel goed, dank je click to
      hear 2, other possible answers to "How are you?" are: goed click to hear 2 ('good') - redelijk click to hear ('reasonably, relatively well') - niet zo goed click to hear ('not so good') - belabberd click to hear 2 ('pretty bad.')
Tot ziens click to hear is a the best all-purpose 'goodbye' and 'see you,' but it is a bit formal. With a more specific meaning you could say tot zo click to hear 2 ('see you in a moment') - tot straks click to hear 2 ('see you later') - tot vanmiddag click to hear ('see you this afternoon') - tot vanavond click to hear ('see you this evening') or tot maandag click to hear ('see you Monday.')
Morgen! click to hear 2 "Morning!" - short for Goedemorgen click to hear "Good morning!" - often 'softened' to goeiemorgen click to hear - or further shortened to môge click to hear 2
Most often 'morgen' click to hear 2 means: 'tomorrow' but it can also mean 'morning' and 'good morning!'
For 'goodbye' I can only think of the somewhat informal dag click to hear - which is often stretched out to da-ag click to hear - or even into a long goodbye dag - da-ag - dag hoor - nou, dag hoor click to hear 2. You may hear people say doei click to hear or doe-ie click to hear but I think it's a bit intimate. Originally from Groningen, but now a generally popular 'goodbye' is hoi click to hear or even moi click to hear. When I was a teenager, we said things like aju click to hear (from French 'adieu') - tabé click to hear (from Malay) or de mazzel! click to hear (from Hebrew 'mazzal,' luck) but those things went out of fashion.
I often say sterkte click to hear with a goodbye, it's like 'good luck.' Literally it means [wishing you] 'strength.'
Alstublieft click
to hear is the magic word 'please,' but it's also said when you hand someone something, like 'here you are,' and sometimes it's said in reply to a 'thank you,' in the sense of 'you're welcome, my pleasure.'
I have the impression people in England and America don't say something like "Enjoy your meal" to the other diners at the table, it's the waiter or waitress who says that; but in Holland, saying Eet smakelijk click to
      hear to your fellow diners is very common.

A more elaborate Conversations Template - Vocabulary Overview
question vraag click to
answer antwoord click to
yes ja click to
no nee click to
maybe, perhaps misschien click to
I can't hear what you're saying Ik kan U niet goed verstaan click to
I don't understand what you're saying Ik begrijp niet wat U zegt click to
Could you please say that again? Kunt U dat nog eens zeggen? click to
Would you mind repeating that? Zou U dat nog eens willen zeggen? click to
      hear 2
Birthday - Words of Religion - Medical Conversations - Fun Things to Say

- Where is the bathroom? Waar is de WC? click to
In public places, a sign on that bathroom door will say 'Heren' (or old-fashioned 'Heeren' - 'Gents') or 'Dames' ('Ladies')

Emergency Preparedness

emergency, urgent case (het) spoedgeval click to hear 2 emergencies noodgevallen click to hear 2
In an emergency in Holland, call 112 and (if you're not Dutch) talk in English to the responders.
help me! help! click to hear
danger (het) gevaar click to hear
dangerous gevaarlijk click to hear
be careful! pas op! click to hear
look out! kijk uit! click to hear 2
careful! voorzichtig! click to hear
pay attention! opgelet! click to hear
warning (de) waarschuwing click to hear 2
fire! brand! click to hear 2 ‑>>
fire department (de) brandweer click to hear 2
firefighter (de) brandweerman click to hear 2
police (de) politie click to hear
police station (het) politiebureau click to hear
policeman, 'cop' (de) politieman click to hear 2
(de) agent click to hear 2
"officer" agent click to hear 2
hospital (het) ziekenhuis click to hear
ambulance (de) ambulance (Fr.) click to hear
doctor, MD (de) dokter click to hear >> medical
nurse (de) verpleegster click to hear 2
pharmacy (de) apotheek click to hear 2
fever (de) koorts click to hear 2
crash, collision (de) botsing click to hear 2
accident (het) ongeluk click to hear 2
Op 't ergste voorbereid click to hear 2 ('prepared for thye worst')
in geval van nood click to hear 2 3 ('in case of an emergency, in an emergency')
de / het / 't click to hear
de click to hear het click to hear 't click to hear
een, 'n click to hear (a)
één click to hear (one)
(het) gevaar click to hear danger
in gevaar click to hear 2 3 in danger, endangered
zonder veel gevaar click to hear without much danger
zonder waarschuwing click to hear 2 without warning
gevaarlijk click to hear 2 dangerous
levensgevaarlijk click to hear 2 life-threatening
in levensgevaar click to hear 2 in mortal danger
waarschuwen click to hear 2 3 4 to warn
in gevaar brengen click to hear 2 3 4 [to bring into danger] to endanger
Ze zijn een gevaar voor de wereldvrede click to hear They are a danger to world peace
Ik heb jullie gewaarschuwd click to hear 2 I have warned you, I did warn you (plural 'you')
Hij waarschuwde voor complicaties click to hear 2 3 He warned of complications
loos alarm click to hear 2 false alarm

Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers 1 and 3 are irregular; otherwise the ordinal number is formed by adding a -DE ending to the regular number; except numbers ending in -T or -D, or in -G, which get an -STE ending.
rangtelwoorden click to hear 2 ordinal numbers
eerste click to hear 2
tweede click to hear 2
derde click to hear 2
vierde click to hear 2
vijfde click to hear 2
hear 5

click to hear

click to hear

click to hear
more numbers
de Eerste Engelse Zeeoorlog click to hear the 1st Anglo-Dutch War (1652-54)
de Tweede Engelse Zeeoorlog click to hear the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War (1665-67)
de Derde Engelse Zeeoorlog click to hear the 3rd Anglo-Dutch War (1672-74)
de Vierde Engelse Zeeoorlog click to hear the 4th Anglo-Dutch War (1781-84)
'Engelse Zeeoorlog' is literally 'English Sea-war' ‑>>
<< - numbers, simple math and dimensions - >>

From Zuider Zee to Lake IJssel (1916-1968) - 20th Century Land Reclamation

[a map showing hte land reclamation in the former Zuyder Zee]
Urk click to hear and Schokland click to hear were islands in the old Zuider Zee. Urk was (and is) a fishing town; but the shrinking island of Schokland was evacuated at Government's orders in the 1850s, because the risk of flooding and people drowning was considered too high. Houses were broken down and the materials and people's possessions moved to the mainland

De IJsselmeerpolders click to hear 2 ('the reclaimed land in Lake IJssel')
Work on the Closing Dam ('de Afsluitdijk' click to hear 2) was started in 1927 and it was finished in 1932.

Old and New
Zuiderzee click to hear 2
Urk click to hear
Schokland click to hear
Afsluitdijk click to hear 2 ("Closing Dam")
(het) IJsselmeer click to hear
click to hear

The reclaimed land:
Andijk click to hear - (a small 1927 experiment)
Wieringermeer click to hear - (1927-30 -190 km², 75 sq. miles)
(de) Noordoostpolder click to hear 2 - (1937-42 - 465 km², 180 sq. miles)
click to hear

Oostelijk Flevoland click to hear 2 - (1950-57 - 525 km², 200 sq. miles)
Zuidelijk Flevoland click to hear - (1959-68 - 425 km² 165 sq. miles)
(de) Markerwaard click to hear - (... - 400 km² 155 sq. miles)
click to hear

For the Markerwaard some dams were laid, but its completion is postponed indefinitely.
I guess some ranches in Texas are the size of Dutch polders.

Cities Old

Hindeloopen click to hear
Stavoren click to hear
Lemmer click to hear
click to hear
Kampen click to hear
Harderwijk click to hear 2
Amsterdam click to hear
click to hear
Volendam click to hear 2
Hoorn click to hear
Enkhuizen click to hear
Medemblik click to hear
click to hear

Cities New

Wieringerwerf click to hear 2
Emmeloord click to hear
Dronten click to hear
click to hear
Lelystad click to hear
Almere click to hear
Zeewolde click to hear
click to hear

In the old days, ships had to sail down the Zuiderzee click to hear 2 - map to reach Amsterdam, but in the 1870s, (het) Noordzeekanaal click to hear ('North Sea Channel') was dug, from Amsterdam West to IJmuiden click to hear ('the mouth of the IJ') on the North Sea.
Het IJ click to hear 2 is a body of water near Amsterdam.

>> more maps

The Delta Protection Works, 1953-1986

[a map of the South-West of Holland, showing the extent of
  the 1953 flooding
    and the dams and other protection measures built since]
Maps drawn by Marco Schuffelen, after 'Kleine Geografie van Nederland,'
- Published by 'Het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken' (State Department), The Hague, Holland 1983

To maintain a saltwater and tides environment one opening to the sea was not closed off with a permanent dam, but a $3 billion storm-surge barrier (Stormvloedkering click to hear) was built that can be lowered when a gale threatens. (The line of dots in the lower map.)

(de) Rijn click to hear 2
(de) Waal click to hear 2
(de) Maas click to hear
(de) Schelde click to hear 2
click to hear
Rotterdam click to hear
Dordrecht click to hear
Den Briel click to hear
click to hear

Zierikzee click to hear
Middelburg click to hear 2
Vlissingen click to hear
Goes click to hear
click to hear

Terneuzen click to hear
Bergen-op-Zoom click to hear
Rosendaal click to hear 2
click to hear

Flushing is the English name for the port of Vlissingen click to hear

De Watersnoodramp click to hear 2 (The Flood Disaster)
Het Deltaplan click to hear 2 ('The Delta Protection Plan')
De Deltawerken click to hear ('The Delta Protection Works')
(de) Stormvloedkering click to hear ('Storm-surge barrier')
Rijkswaterstaat click to hear 2 the government agency for water management

In early 1953, the combination of a very high tide and a full day of high winds from exactly the wrong direction caused widespread flooding in Southwestern Holland. 1854 People died. The water kept rising after the tide was expected to turn - it must have been very frightening.

The main problem seems to have been that the landside of the dikes quickly washes away when large amounts of water come over the dike. After the disaster a grand plan was developed that drastically shortened the coastline, so it was much easier to strengthen and maintain the dikes facing the sea.

The real Hans Brinker

When in the Flood of 1953 the Schielandse Hoge Zeedijk click to hear 2 - a dike at Ouderkerk aan de IJssel click to hear 2 (see large arrow in map) - was about to break, threatening part of the Dutch heartland, skipper Arie Evegroen click to hear offered to sail his river barge De Twee Gebroeders click to hear ('The Two Brothers') in front of the vulnerable spot and sank it there.
'Hans Brinker' click to hear - The Real Hans Brinker
<< - essays - >>

Thank you Ian Davies and Mark Fairweather for feedback that improved the page.

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