HOME
        TheInfoList






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:

  • Masculine singular: "des duivels" (lit: "of the devil") (common proverbial meaning: Seething with rage)
  • Feminine singular: het woordenboek der Friese taal ("the dictionary of the Frisian language")
  • Neuter singular: de vrouw des huizes ("the lady of the house")
  • Plural: de voortgang der werken ("the progress of (public) works")

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.g. het merendeel der gedichten van de auteur instead of het merendeel van de gedichten van de auteur ("the bulk of the author's poems").

There is also a genitive form for the pronoun die/dat ("that [one], those [ones]"), namely diens for masculine and neuter singulars (occurrences of dier for feminine singular and all plurals are extremely rare). Although usually avoided in common speech, this form can be used instead of possessive pronouns to avoid confusion. Compare:

  • Hij vertelde over zijn zoon en zijn vrouw. – He told about his son and his (own) wife.
  • Hij vertelde over zijn zoon en diens vrouw. – He told about his son and the latter's wife.

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 a

Modern Dutch has mostly lost its case system.[110] However, certain idioms and expressions continue to include now archaic case declensions. 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:

  • Masculine singular: "des duivels" (lit: "of the devil") (common proverbial meaning: Seething with rage)
  • Feminine singular: het woordenboek der Friese taal ("the dictionary of the Frisian language")
  • Neuter singular: de vrouw des huizes ("the lady of the house")
  • Plural: de voortgang der werken ("the progress of (public) works")

In contemporary usage, the genitive case still occurs a little more often with plurals than w

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.g. het merendeel der gedichten van de auteur instead of het merendeel van de gedichten van de auteur ("the bulk of the author's poems").

There is also a genitive form for the pronoun die/dat ("that [one], those [ones]"), namely diens for masculine and neuter singulars (occurrences of dier for feminine singular and all plurals are extremely rare). Although usually avoided in common speech, this form can be used instead of possessive pronouns to avoid confusion. Compare:

  • Hij vertelde over zijn zoon en zijn vro

    There is also a genitive form for the pronoun die/dat ("that [one], those [ones]"), namely diens for masculine and neuter singulars (occurrences of dier for feminine singular and all plurals are extremely rare). Although usually avoided in common speech, this form can be used instead of possessive pronouns to avoid confusion. Compare:

    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:

    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 100 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. The adjective receives no ending with indefinite neuter nouns in singular (as with een /ən/ 'a/an'), and -e in all other cases. (This was also the case in Middle English, as in "a goode man".) Note that fiets belongs to the masculine/feminine category, and that water and huis are neuter.

    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 des huizes (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.g. in het jaar des Heren (Anno Domini), where -en is actually the genitive ending of the weak noun. Similarly in some place names: ‌'s-Gravenbrakel, ‌'s-Hertogenbosch, etc. (with weak genitives of

    More complex inflection is still found in certain lexicalized expressions like de heer des huizes (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.g. in het jaar des Heren (Anno Domini), where -en is actually the genitive ending of the weak noun. Similarly in some place names: ‌'s-Gravenbrakel, ‌'s-Hertogenbosch, etc. (with weak genitives of graaf “count”, hertog “duke”). 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.[111]

    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

    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.

    Main clause: "Ik kan mijn pen niet vinden "

    Verbs are placed in the final position, but the conjugated verb, in this case "kan" (can), is made the second element of the clause.

    Subclause: "omdat het veel te donker is "

    The verb or verbs always go in the final position.

    In an interrogative main clause the usual word order is: conjugated verb followed by subject; other verbs in final position:

    In the Dutch equivalent of a wh-question the word order is: interrogative pronoun (or expression) + conjugated verb + subject; other verbs in final position:

    "Waarom kun jij je pen niet vinden?" ("Why can you your pen not find?") "Why can't you find your pen?"
    <

    In a tag question the word order is the same as in a declarative clause:

    "Jij kunt je pen niet vinden?" ("You can your pen not find?") "You can't find your pen?"

    A subordina

    A subordinate clause does not change its word order:

    "Kun jij je pen niet vinden omdat het veel te donker is?" ("Can you your pen not find because it far too dark

    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[112]:61 and formed by adding one of the suffixes to the noun in question, depending on the latter's phonological ending:

    • -je for ending in -b, -c, -d, -t, -f, -g, -ch, -k, -p, -v, -x, -z or -s: neef → neefje (male cousin, nephew)
    • -pje for ending in -m: boom (tree) → boompje
    • -kje for ending in -ing if the preceding syllable carries the stress: koning (king) → koninkje (the 'ng'-sound transforms into 'nk'); but ring → ringetje (ring), and vondeling → vondelingetje (foundling) without this stress pattern
    • -tje for ending in -h, -j, -l, -n, -r, -w, or a vowel other than -y: zoen → zoentje (kiss). A single open vowel is doubled when adding "-tje" would change the pronunciation: auto

      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. Some of these form part of expressions that became standard language, like een makkie, from gemak = ease). The noun joch (young boy) has, exceptionally, only the diminutive form jochie, also in standard Dutch. The form -ke is also found in many women's given names: Janneke, Marieke, Marijke, Mieke, Meike etc.

      In Dutch, the diminutive is not merely restricted to nouns, but can be applied to numerals (met z'n tweetjes, "the two of us"), pronouns (onderonsje, "tête-à-tête"), verbal particles (moetje, "shotgun marriage"), and even prepositions (toetje, "dessert").[112]:64–65 Most notable however, are the diminutive forms of adjectives and adverbs. 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.g. adjective: groen ("green") → noun: groentje ("rookie"); adverb: even ("a while") → adverb: eventjes ("a littl

      In Dutch, the diminutive is not merely restricted to nouns, but can be applied to numerals (met z'n tweetjes, "the two of us"), pronouns (onderonsje, "tête-à-tête"), verbal particles (moetje, "shotgun marriage"), and even prepositions (toetje, "dessert").[112]:64–65 Most notable however, are the diminutive forms of adjectives and adverbs. 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.g. adjective: groen ("green") → noun: groentje ("rookie"); adverb: even ("a while") → adverb: eventjes ("a little while").

      Some nouns have two different diminutives, each with a different meaning: bloem (flower) → bloempje (lit. "small flower"), but bloemetje (lit. also "small flower", meaning bouquet). A few nouns exist solely in a diminutive form, e.g. zeepaardje (seahorse), while many, e.g. meisje (girl), originally a diminutive of meid (maid), have acquired a meaning independent of their non-diminutive forms. A diminutive can sometimes be added to an uncountable noun to refer to a single portion: ijs (ice, ice cream) → ijsje (ice cream treat, cone of ice cream), bier (beer) → biertje. Some diminutive forms only exist in the plural, e.g. kleertjes (clothing).