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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsArticles. Articles, singular and plural. Articles, definite and indefinite form, and the consequences thereof. In Dutch, we have two definite articles, "de" and "het", and one indefinite article, "een". For example it's "het centrum", but "de universiteit". It's "het theater", but "de bibliotheek". And here are also two examples with the indefinite article, "een baan", and "een leuk huisje."

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsA singular noun is either a "de-woord", "de universiteit", or a "het-woord", "het theater". "De-woorden" are male or female, and "het-woorden" are neuter. Diminutives, however, are always "het-woorden", "het huisje". Plural nouns are always "de-woorden", so it's "de universiteiten", "de theaters", and "de huisjes", regardless of their singular form.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 secondsThe indefinite article of every singular noun is "een". So it's "een universiteit", "een theater", and "een huisje". The plural has no indefinite article.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 secondsWhether a word is "het" or "de" has some consequences. The question word "welke" is used with "de-woord". And "welk" is used with "het-woord". So it's "welke koffie?" And "welk adres?" Since plurals are always "de-woorden", it is always "welke", such as "welke katten?"

Skip to 2 minutes and 7 secondsThe possessive pronoun "onze" is used with "de-woorden". "Ons" is used with "het-woorden". So it's "onze stad", and "ons adres", and of course "onze katten".

Skip to 2 minutes and 24 secondsHere are some examples from the dialogues. "Ik ga graag naar het theater." "Ik heb een baan als vertaler."

Skip to 2 minutes and 35 secondsIndefinite article have only one form in Dutch. "Ik houd niet van marathons." No indefinite article with the plural form.

Watch and read: articles

In the next steps, you will learn the basics of Dutch grammar. In our view, grammar is a practical tool for structuring the ideas and thoughts you want to express. Grammar is not a goal in itself, but it can be a great help.

You can watch a video with a teacher explaining and reading the examples, and / or you can read the text on this grammatical subject. Choose what feels best for you. In this course, you will only learn about the basic principles and rules. If you want to know more, you can find links to some other Dutch grammar websites in the ‘See also’ section under the text.

Articles

In Dutch we have two definite articles – de and het – and one indefinite article – een.

Definite article
A singular noun is either a de-woord (de universiteit) or a het-woord (het theater).
De-woorden are male or female and het-woorden are neuter.
Diminutives are always het-woorden (het huisje).
Plural nouns are always de-woorden. So it is de universiteiten, de theaters and de huisjes, regardless the singular form.

Indefinite article
The indefinite article of every singular noun is een.
So it is een universiteit, een theater and een huisje.
The plural has no indefinite article.

Consequences
Whether a word is a het- or de-woord has some consequences.

The question word welke is used with a de-woord and welk is used with a het-woord.
So it is de universiteit, welke universiteit? And het theater, welk theater?

The possessive pronoun onze is used with a de-woord and ons is used with a het-woord.
So it is onze universiteit and ons theater.

Practise with Quizlet

Would you like to practise Dutch grammar? Please visit our grammar section on articles on Quizlet (if you prefer Quizlet to open in a separate window, click the CTRL key while clicking the link).

Do you have any questions about Dutch grammar? Follow the links below for more information. Share your comments and questions in the discussion below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Dutch

University of Groningen

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    Listen to learners of Dutch talking about themselves. Do you recognize some of it? And: an invitation and tool to send audio with you speaking Dutch!