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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsQuestion word questions and more-- in this section, we will look at the formation of questions with a question word and other types of questions. Some question words you have already seen are "wie", meaning, who; "wat", what; "waar", meaning where; "wanneer", which is when; "hoe", meaning how; "hoeveel", that's how many; and "welk" or "welke", meaning which.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsSome examples you have heard and read in the dialogues are [DUTCH SPOKEN] Wie ben jij? [DUTCH SPOKEN] Wat doe je? [DUTCH SPOKEN] Waar woon je?

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds[DUTCH SPOKEN] Wanneer zie je hen? [DUTCH SPOKEN] Hoe gaat het met je cursus? [DUTCH SPOKEN] Hoeveel woorden ken je nu? [DUTCH SPOKEN] Op welk nummer woon je?

Skip to 1 minute and 6 secondsSo how do we form a question using these words? Well, the word order is question word, verb, subject, and then the rest. Just like in "Wie ben jij" "Wie ben jij"

Skip to 1 minute and 23 seconds"Waar woont jouw zus?" "Waar woont jouw zus?" "Wanneer ga je naar Italie?" "Wanneer ga je naar Italie?" "Wanneer ga je naar Italie?" "Wat studeert je broer?" "Wat studeert je broer?" "Hoe gaat hij naar Berlijn?" "Hoe gaat hij naar Berlijn?"

Skip to 1 minute and 43 secondsSome special cases are the question words "hoe" and "welke". First "hoe", meaning how. We can use it on its own. Like in "Hoe gaat het?" but it is often used in combination with a specification like, "Hoe oud?" as in "Hoe oud zijn de kinderen?" "Hoe duur" in "Hoe duur is de bus." "Hoe laat?" in "Hoe laat is het nu?" Note, that if we add "veel", meaning many, it's made into one word, "hoeveel". [DUTCH SPOKEN] Hoeveel woorden ken je?

Skip to 2 minutes and 28 secondsAnother special case is the word "welk" or "welke" meaning which. The use depends on the gender of the noun, so the article you use with it. For so-called "de" words, we use "welke", like in "de cursus", "welke cursus". And with "het" words we use "welk". "Het nummer", "welk nummer". Next to these question word questions, we also have yes/no questions. The answer to these questions is either always yes or no. So for example, [DUTCH SPOKEN] Woon je in Groningen? "ja of nee". Do you live in Groningen? The answer's either yes or no. [DUTCH SPOKEN] Heb je nog tijd voor een kop koffie? [DUTCH SPOKEN] Ja of nee? [DUTCH SPOKEN] Hebben jullie ook vakantie? Ja of nee?

Skip to 3 minutes and 28 secondsThe construction of these question types is quite easy. You start with the verb, followed by the subject, and then the rest. [DUTCH SPOKEN] Wil je koffie? [DUTCH SPOKEN] Heb je plannen voor het weekend? Is het koud daar in december? Vinden jullie Groningen leuk?

Watch and read: questions

Watch the video about question words in Dutch and read the explanation below.

Question words

Here is a list of Dutch question words with an example from the dialogues

wie who Wie ben jij?
wat what Wat doe je?
waar where Waar ben je?
wanneer when Wanneer zie je hen?
hoe how Hoe gaat het met je cursus?
hoeveel how many Hoeveel woorden ken je nu?
welk, welke which Op welk nummer woon je?

Word order

In questions formed with question words, the word order is as follows:

question word – verb – subject …. and the rest.

Wie ben je? Who are you?
Waar woont jouw zus? Where does your sister live?
Wanneer ga je naar Italië? When do you go to Italy?
Wat studeert je broer? What does your brother study?
Hoe gaat hij naar Berlijn? How does he go to Berlin?

Hoe

Hoe can be used on its own:

Hoe gaat het? How is it going?

But it is often used in combination with a specification:

Hoe oud zijn de kinderen? How old are the children?
Hoe duur is de bus? How much is the bus?
Hoe laat is het nu? What time is it now?
Hoeveel woorden ken je? How many words do you know?

Welk

The use of welk depends on the gender of the noun Welke is used with a de-woord and welk is used with a het-woord.

de cursus welke cursus? which course?
het nummer welk nummer? which number?

Yes/no questions

Yes/no questions are questions to which the answer is always “yes” or “no”.

In a yes/no question the word order is as follows:

verb - subject - rest

Woon je in Groningen? Do you live in Groningen?
Wil je koffie? Do you want coffee?
Hebben jullie ook vakantie? Do you also have holiday?

Practise with Quizlet

Would you like to practise Dutch grammar? Please visit our grammar section on question words 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 and repeat
    Listen and repeat
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    Practise your speaking skills in Dutch: watch the video, listen carefully and repeat. The phrases are from the dialogues of week 1 of this course.

  • Watch and read: the time
    Watch and read: the time
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    Watch and/or read about the principles of telling the time, with practical phrases, in Dutch.

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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!

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