Monday, January 23, 2006

De And Het

Did you know ... 'de' and 'het' both mean 'the' in Nederlands.

And you can't just use them as you please, you have to know which one to put before nouns when constructing sentences ... so what rule do you apply?

THERE IS NO RULE!!!

You have to memorise the noun and its accompanying article.
Every noun...

We were so despondent in class today.

7 comments:

a dutch survivor of a nz trip said...

as far as i know "de" and "het" are just like in french depending on the fact if the subject is male or female it's the same in french with "le" and "la". but now don't ask me why things are femenin or masculin. just remember that it's de jongen en het meisje. don't ever accuse us for having no rules because we do have the most rules in the world (i think)

a dutch survivor of a nz trip said said...

ok, i wasn't completly correct but there is a rule which have to do with the femenin or masculin words but those both have "de" written in front. "het" is used for the rest of the words which are neither femenin or masculin. http://www.onzetaal.nl/advies/verwijs.html

woman wandering said...

Dear dutch survivor ... my reputation is in tatters if you continue to call yourself this after traveling with me.

Sigh, as for de en het ... why do you imagine the news that french, or for that matter german, are similar would help me. you know the situation in my world ... i was monolinguistic and lived in language isolation on my small island-continent. And anyway, you forbade me to learn Nederlands when you came over, you implied I was appalling ... tsk tsk tsk. And now I discover it's not me, it's actually your language that is stubborn and difficult ... ahhhh, which reminds me of hmmmm ....?

woman wandering said...

Thanks for the website :)

Adriane said...

I am soon going to be attempting to learn dutch as well (my boyfriend is belgian) and he just informed me of the de and het memorizing issue. My head hurt afterwards!!

Good luck to you and best wishes always.

woman wandering said...

Thanks Adriane ... as you see on the blog I'm torn between complaining and enjoying learning nederlands ...

All the best in your studies :)

Cup'oCofi said...

Not exactly rules but see this from http://www.ielanguages.com/dutch1.html#nouns

"All nouns have a gender in Dutch, either common (de words) or neuter (het words). It is hard to guess which gender a noun is, so it is best to memorize the genders when memorizing vocabulary. However, two-thirds of Dutch words are common gender (because the common gender has combined the former feminine and masculine genders.) So it may be easier to memorize which nouns are neuter, and then assign common gender to the rest. All diminutives (words ending in -je) and infinitives used as nouns, as well as colors, metals, compass directions, and all words that end in -um, -aat, -sel, -isme are neuter. Most nouns beginning with ge- and ending with -te are neuter, as are most nouns beginning with ge-, be-, and ver-. Common noun endings include: -aar, -ent, -er, -es, -eur, -heid, -ij, -ing, -teit, -tie."

People are impressed enough when you guess 80% or so correctly ... and I mean ... the Belgians don't use "many" and "much" correctly 50% of the time ... so it's not that bad.

--The sun-deprived guy who have to study Dutch between work, travel, beers, more beers, and even more beers ...