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Author William Z. In the interest of simplicity and ease of reference and review, each grammatical topic is discussed as fully as practicable in one place, and an effort has been made to include only one major grammatical feature in any one chapter. See details. See all 2 brand new listings.

Buy It Now. Add to cart. Shetter , Paperback. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information First edition This grammar arose from the need for a concise presentation of the essentials of the Dutch language which could be used both for independent home study and in groups or classes under formal instruction. With the former aim in mind, the explanations have been made as self-explanatory as possible, and a complete key to the exercises has been provided in an appendix. Show more Show less. No ratings or reviews yet.

Be the first to write a review. Best-selling in Language Courses See all. Macbeth by William Shakespeare Paperback, An Inspector Calls by J. Priestley Hardback, Save on Language Courses Trending price is based on prices over last 90 days. You may also like. Grammar Paperback Language Course Books. Grammar Language Course Books in Dutch. This item doesn't belong on this page. Over 5 million people live in an area with some form of Brabantian being the predominant colloquial language out of the area's 22 million Dutch-speakers.

Limburgish , spoken in both Belgian Limburg and Netherlands Limburg and in adjacent parts in Germany, is considered as a dialect in Belgium, while having obtained the status of official regional language in the Netherlands. The IJssel roughly forms the linguistic watershed here. This group, which is not Low Franconian but instead Low Saxon and close to neighbouring Low German, has been elevated by the Netherlands and by Germany to the legal status of streektaal regional language according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

It is regarded as Dutch for a number of reasons. From the 14th to 15th century onward, its urban centers Deventer , Zwolle , Kampen , Zutphen and Doesburg have been increasingly influenced by the western written Dutch and became a linguistically mixed area. From the 17th century onward, it was gradually integrated into the Dutch language area.

However, the national border has given way to dialect boundaries coinciding with a political border, because the traditional dialects are strongly influenced by the national standard varieties. Limburgish has the status of official regional language or streektaal in the Netherlands and Germany, but not in Belgium. Limburgish has been influenced by the Ripuarian varieties like the Colognian dialect , and has had a somewhat different development since the late Middle Ages. Afrikaans , although to a significant degree mutually intelligible with Dutch, is not a dialect but a separate standardised language.

It is spoken in South Africa and Namibia. As a daughter language of Dutch, Afrikaans evolved mainly from 17th century Dutch dialects, but was influenced by various other languages in South Africa. Anglo-Frisian and are therefore genetically more closely related to English and Scots than to Dutch. The different influences on the respective languages, however, particularly that of Norman French on English and Dutch on West Frisian, have rendered English quite distinct from West Frisian, and West Frisian less distinct from Dutch than from English.

Although under heavy influence of the Dutch standard language, it is not mutually intelligible with Dutch and considered a sister language of Dutch, like English and German. Dutch is also an official language of several international organisations, such as the European Union , Union of South American Nations [50] and the Caribbean Community. At an academic level, Dutch is taught in about universities in 40 countries. About 15, students worldwide study Dutch at university.

Though Belgium as a whole is multilingual, the four language areas into which the country is divided Flanders , francophone Wallonia , bilingual Brussels and the German-speaking Community are largely monolingual. The Netherlands and Belgium produce the vast majority of music , films , books and other media written or spoken in Dutch. In stark contrast to its written uniformity, Dutch lacks a prestige dialect and has a large dialectal continuum consisting of 28 main dialects, which can themselves be further divided into at least distinguishable varieties.

Outside the Netherlands and Belgium, the dialect around the German town of Kleve South Guelderish both historically and genetically belongs to the Dutch language. In North-Western France, the area around Calais was historically Dutch-speaking West Flemish , of which an estimated 20, are daily speakers. The cities of Dunkirk , Gravelines and Bourbourg only became predominantly French-speaking by the end of the 19th century.

In the countryside, until World War I , many elementary schools continued to teach in Dutch, and the Catholic Church continued to preach and teach the catechism in Dutch in many parishes. During the second half of the 19th century, Dutch was banned from all levels of education by both Prussia and France and lost most of its functions as a cultural language. In both Germany and France, the Dutch standard language is largely absent, and speakers of these Dutch dialects will use German or French in everyday speech. Dutch is not afforded legal status in France or Germany, either by the central or regional public authorities, and knowledge of the language is declining among younger generations.

As a foreign language , Dutch is mainly taught in primary and secondary schools in areas adjacent to the Netherlands and Flanders. In French-speaking Belgium , over , pupils are enrolled in Dutch courses, followed by over 23, in the German states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia , and about 7, in the French region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais of which 4, are in primary school.

Each year, some 1, to 2, students take Dutch courses there. Many universities therefore include Dutch as a source language, mainly for law and history students. Unlike other European nations, the Dutch chose not to follow a policy of language expansion amongst the indigenous peoples of their colonies. Dutch, the language of power, was supposed to remain in the hands of the leading elite. After independence, Dutch was dropped as an official language and replaced by Malay. Yet the Indonesian language inherited many words from Dutch: words for everyday life as well as scientific and technological terms.

In addition, many Indonesian words are calques of Dutch; for example, rumah sakit "hospital" is calqued on the Dutch ziekenhuis literally "sickhouse" , kebun binatang "zoo" on dierentuin literally "animal garden" , undang-undang dasar "constitution" from grondwet literally "ground law". These account for some of the differences in vocabulary between Indonesian and Malay. Dutch-speaking immigrant communities can also be found in Australia and New Zealand. The Australian census showed 37, people speaking Dutch at home.

In contrast to the colonies in the East Indies , from the second half of the 19th century onwards, the Netherlands envisaged the expansion of Dutch in its colonies in the West Indies. Until , when slavery was abolished in the West Indies, slaves were forbidden to speak Dutch, with the effect that local creoles such as Papiamento and Sranan Tongo which were based not on Dutch but rather other European languages, became common in the Dutch West Indies.

However, as most of the people in the Colony of Surinam now Suriname worked on Dutch plantations, this reinforced the use of Dutch as a means for direct communication. In the United States, a now extinct dialect of Dutch, Jersey Dutch , spoken by descendants of 17th-century Dutch settlers in Bergen and Passaic counties, was still spoken as late as Pennsylvania Dutch is not a member of the set of Dutch dialects and is less misleadingly called Pennsylvania German.

President whose first language was not English. Dutch prevailed for many generations as the dominant language in parts of New York along the Hudson River. Another famous American born in this region who spoke Dutch as a first language was Sojourner Truth. According to the United States census , , people spoke Dutch at home, [82] while according to the Canadian census , this number reaches , Dutch speakers. The largest legacy of the Dutch language lies in South Africa, which attracted large numbers of Dutch, Flemish and other northwest European farmer in Dutch, boer settlers, all of whom were quickly assimilated.

European Dutch remained the literary language [87] until the start of the s, when under pressure of Afrikaner nationalism the local "African" Dutch was preferred over the written, European-based standard. Both languages are still largely mutually intelligible, although this relation can in some fields such as lexicon, spelling and grammar be asymmetric, as it is easier for Dutch speakers to understand written Afrikaans than it is for Afrikaans speakers to understand written Dutch. The Dutch colonial presence elsewhere in Africa, notably Dutch Gold Coast , was too ephemeral not to be wiped out by prevailing colonizing European successors.

For further details on different realisations of phonemes, dialectal differences and example words, see the full article at Dutch phonology. Unlike other Germanic languages, Dutch doesn't have phonological aspiration of consonants. Dutch also retains full use of the velar fricatives that were present in Proto-Germanic , but lost or modified in many other Germanic languages. Dutch has final-obstruent devoicing : at the end of a word, voicing distinction is neutralised and all obstruents are pronounced voiceless.

Like English, Dutch did not develop i-mutation as a morphological marker and shares with most Germanic languages the lengthening of short vowels in stressed open syllables , which has led to contrastive vowel length that is used as a morphological marker. Dutch has an extensive vowel inventory. Vowels can be grouped as back rounded, front unrounded and front rounded. They are also traditionally distinguished by length or tenseness. Vowel length is not always considered a distinctive feature in Dutch phonology, because it normally co-occurs with changes in vowel quality.

One feature or the other may be considered redundant, and some phonemic analyses prefer to treat it as an opposition of tenseness. The changes in vowel quality are also not always the same in all dialects, and in some there may be little difference at all, with length remaining the primary distinguishing feature. And while it is true that older words always pair vowel length with a change in vowel quality, new loanwords have reintroduced phonemic oppositions of length.

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All three are commonly the only ones considered unique phonemes in Dutch. They are grouped here by their first element. There are words that end in four consonants, e.

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A notable change in pronunciation has been occurring in younger generations in the provinces of Utrecht , North and South Holland , which has been dubbed "Polder Dutch" by Jan Stroop. This change is interesting from a sociolinguistic point of view because it has apparently happened relatively recently, in the s, and was pioneered by older well-educated women from the upper middle classes.

Stroop theorizes that the lowering of open-mid to open diphthongs is a phonetically "natural" and inevitable development and that Dutch, after having diphthongised the long high vowels like German and English, "should" have lowered the diphthongs like German and English as well. Instead, he argues, this development has been artificially frozen in an "intermediate" state by the standardisation of Dutch pronunciation in the 16th century, where lowered diphthongs found in rural dialects were perceived as ugly by the educated classes and accordingly declared substandard.

Now, however, in his opinion, the newly affluent and independent women can afford to let that natural development take place in their speech. Stroop compares the role of Polder Dutch with the urban variety of British English pronunciation called Estuary English. Among Belgian and Surinamese Dutch speakers and speakers from other regions in the Netherlands, this vowel shift is not taking place. Dutch is grammatically similar to German , such as in syntax and verb morphology for a comparison of verb morphology in English, Dutch and German, see Germanic weak verb and Germanic strong verb.

Grammatical cases have largely fallen out of use and are now mostly limited to pronouns and a large number of set phrases. Inflected forms of the articles are also often found in surnames and toponyms. Standard Dutch uses three genders to differentiate between natural gender and three when discerning grammatical gender.

Dutch language

But for most non-Belgian speakers, the masculine and feminine genders have merged to form the common gender de , while the neuter het remains distinct as before. This gender system is similar to those of most Continental Scandinavian languages. As in English, but to a lesser degree, the inflectional grammar of the language e. When grouped according to their conjugational class, Dutch has four main verb types: weak verbs , strong verbs , irregular verbs and mixed verbs. In weak verbs, the past tense and past participle are formed with a dental suffix:.

Strong verbs are the second most numerous verb group.

A Practical Grammar Introduction to Dutch | eBay

This group is characterised by a vowel alternation of the stem in the past tense and perfect participle. Dutch distinguishes between 7 classes of strong verbs with some internal variants. Dutch is known for its large group of 'half strong verbs' these have either a weak past tense and a strong participle or a strong past tense and a weak participle. Finally there are also strong verbs that don't neatly fit in any of the seven classes. The following table shows the vowel alternations in more detail.

It also shows the number of roots bare verbs that belong to each class, variants with a prefix are excluded. As in English, the case system of Dutch and the subjunctive have largely fallen out of use, and the system has generalised the dative over the accusative case for certain pronouns NL: me , je ; EN: me , you ; LI: mi , di vs. Modern Dutch has mostly lost its case system. The article has just two forms, de and het , more complex than English, which has only the. The use of the older inflected form den in the dative and accusative, as well as use of der in the dative, is restricted to numerous set phrases, surnames and toponyms.

In modern Dutch, the genitive articles des and der are commonly used in idioms. Other usage is typically considered archaic, poetic or stylistic. In most circumstances, the preposition van is instead used, followed by the normal definitive article de or het. For the idiomatic use of the articles in the genitive, see for example:. In contemporary usage, the genitive case still occurs a little more often with plurals than with singulars, as the plural article is der for all genders and no special noun inflection must be taken account of.

Der is commonly used in order to avoid reduplication of van , e. Although usually avoided in common speech, this form can be used instead of possessive pronouns to avoid confusion. Analogically, the relative and interrogative pronoun wie "who" has the genitive forms wiens and wier corresponding to English whose , but less frequent in use.

Dutch also has a range of fixed expressions that make use of the genitive articles, which can be abbreviated using apostrophes. Common examples include "'s ochtends" with 's as abbreviation of des ; "in the morning" and desnoods lit: "of the need", translated: "if necessary". The Dutch written grammar has simplified over the past years: cases are now mainly used for the pronouns, such as ik I , mij, me me , mijn my , wie who , wiens whose: masculine or neuter singular , wier whose: feminine singular; masculine, feminine or neuter plural.

Nouns and adjectives are not case inflected except for the genitive of proper nouns names : -s, -'s or -'. In the spoken language cases and case inflections had already gradually disappeared from a much earlier date on probably the 15th century as in many continental West Germanic dialects. Inflection of adjectives is more complicated. This was also the case in Middle English, as in "a good e man". An adjective has no e if it is in the predicative : De soep is koud. More complex inflection is still found in certain lexicalized expressions like de heer de s hui zes literally, "the man of the house" , etc.

These are usually remnants of cases in this instance, the genitive case which is still used in German, cf. Der Herr des Hauses and other inflections no longer in general use today. In such lexicalized expressions remnants of strong and weak nouns can be found too, e. Also in this case, German retains this feature. Dutch shares much of its word order with German. Dutch exhibits subject—object—verb word order, but in main clauses the conjugated verb is moved into the second position in what is known as verb second or V2 word order.

This makes Dutch word order almost identical to that of German, but often different from English, which has subject—verb—object word order and has since lost the V2 word order that existed in Old English. An example sentence used in some Dutch language courses and textbooks is " Ik kan mijn pen niet vinden omdat het veel te donker is ", which translates into English word for word as " I can my pen not find because it far too dark is ", but in standard English word order would be written " I cannot find my pen because it is far too dark ".

If the sentence is split into a main and subclause and the verbs highlighted, the logic behind the word order can be seen. Verbs are placed in the final position, but the conjugated verb, in this case "kan" can , is made the second element of the clause. In an interrogative main clause the usual word order is: conjugated verb followed by subject; other verbs in final position:.


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In a tag question the word order is the same as in a declarative clause:. In Dutch, the diminutive is used extensively. The nuances of meaning expressed by the diminutive are a distinctive aspect of Dutch, and can be difficult for non-native speakers to master. It is very productive [] : 61 and formed by adding one of the suffixes to the noun in question, depending on the latter's phonological ending:. The diminutive suffixes -ke from which -tje has derived by palatalization , -eke , -ske , -ie only for words ending -ch, -k, -p, or -s , -kie instead of -kje , and -pie instead of -pje are used in southern dialects, and the forms ending on -ie as well in northern urban dialects.

The noun joch young boy has, exceptionally, only the diminutive form jochie, also in standard Dutch. The former take a diminutive ending and thus function as nouns, the latter remain adverbs and always have the diminutive with the -s appended, e. A few nouns exist solely in a diminutive form, e. Some diminutive forms only exist in the plural, e. When used to refer to time, the Dutch diminutive form can indicate whether the person in question found it pleasant or not: een uur tje kletsen chatting for a "little" hour. The diminutive can, however, also be used pejoratively: Hij was weer eens het "mannetje".


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He acted as if he was the "little" man. There are two series of personal pronouns, subject and objects pronouns. The forms on the right-hand sides within each column are the unemphatic forms; those not normally written are given in brackets. Only ons and u do not have an unemphatic form. The distinction between emphatic and unemphatic pronouns is very important in Dutch. For example, "I gave to myself the money" is reflexive but "I myself gave the money to someone else " is emphatic.

Like English, Dutch has generalised the dative over the accusative case for all pronouns, e. NL 'me', 'je', EN 'me', 'you', vs. There is one exception: the standard language prescribes that in the third person plural, hen is to be used for the direct object, and hun for the indirect object. This distinction was artificially introduced in the 17th century by grammarians, and is largely ignored in spoken language and not well understood by Dutch speakers.

Consequently, the third person plural forms hun and hen are interchangeable in normal usage, with hun being more common. The shared unstressed form ze is also often used as both direct and indirect objects and is a useful avoidance strategy when people are unsure which form to use. Dutch shares also with English the presence of h- pronouns, e. DE er , ihn , ihr , ihnen. Like German, Dutch allows arbitrarily long compounds, but the longer they get, the less frequent they tend to be. An even longer word cropping up in official documents is ziektekostenverzekeringsmaatschappij health insurance company though the shorter zorgverzekeraar health insurer is more common.

Notwithstanding official spelling rules, some Dutch-speaking people, like some Scandinavians and German speakers, nowadays tend to write the parts of a compound separately, a practice sometimes dubbed de Engelse ziekte the English disease.


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  4. Latin , which was spoken in the southern Low Countries for centuries, and subsequently played a major role as the language of science and religion, follows with 6. High German and Low German were influential until the midth century and account for 2. Dutch has borrowed words from English since the middle of the 19th century, as a consequence of the increasing power and influence of Britain and the United States.

    The share of English loanwords is about 1.

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    Conversely, Dutch contributed many loanwords to English, accounting for 1. The main Dutch dictionary is the Van Dale groot woordenboek der Nederlandse taal , which contains some , headwords. This scholarly endeavor took years to complete and contains all recorded Dutch words from the Early Middle Ages onward. The official spelling is set by the Wet schrijfwijze Nederlandsche taal Law on the writing of the Dutch language; Belgium , Netherlands ; based on a spelling revision; both amended in the s after a spelling revision.

    The Woordenlijst Nederlandse taal , more commonly known as "het groene boekje" i.

    Dutch Verbs - Present, Past & Future Tense- Learn by Example