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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsFirst, let's talk about the articles. In Frisian, we have two definite articles, "de" and "it". And one indefinite article, "in". Notice how all three words have the same unstressed vowel sound. "De universiteit" "de bibleteek" "it hûs" "it teater" "in baan" "in broer". First, the definite article. A singular noun is either a "de-wurd" - "De universiteit" - or an "it-wurd". "It teater"

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsDiminutives are always, "it-wurden". "It suske."

Skip to 1 minute and 6 secondsPlural nouns are always "de-wurden". So it is "de universiteiten", "de teaters" and "de suskes", regardless of the singular form.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 secondsNow the indefinite article. The indefinite article of every singular noun is "in". So it is "in unversiteit", "in teater" and "in suske". The plural has no indefinite article. "Universiteiten", "teaters", "suskes".

Skip to 1 minute and 50 secondsThe articles "de" and "it" have reduced forms in both speech and writing. "De" is often reduced and written as apostrophe e, " 'e", when it follows a preposition of one syllable. "De bibleteek", "yn 'e bibleteek",

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds"Ik sil yn 'e bibleteek studearje." I'm going to study in the library.

Skip to 2 minutes and 25 seconds"It" is often reduced and written as apostrophe t or 't. "Ha jim it nei 't sin?" Are you enjoying yourselves? "Ik wenje yn 't sintrum." I live in the city centre. "Hoe is 't?" How are you? Here are some examples from the dialogues. "Ik ha in ôfspraak." I have an appointment. "Dankewol foar de kofje!". Thank you for the coffee. "Ik hâld net fan maratons." I don't like marathons.

Watch and read: articles

In the next steps, you will learn the basics of Frisian 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.

Articles

In Frisian we have two definite articles – de and it – and one indefinite article – in. All three words have the same unstressed vowel sound [ə].

Definite article
A singular noun is either a de-wurd (de universiteit) or an it-wurd (it teater).
Diminutives are always it-wurden (it suske).
Plural nouns are always de-wurden. So it is de universiteiten, de teaters and de suskes, regardless the singular form.

Indefinite article
The indefinite article of every singular noun is in.
So it is in universiteit, in teater and in suske.
The plural has no indefinite article: universiteiten, teaters, suskes.

Reduced forms
The articles de and it have reduced forms in both speech and writing. De is often reduced and written as ‘e when it follows a preposition of one syllable:

de bibleteek the library
yn ‘e bibleteek in the library
Ik sil yn ‘e bibleteek studearje. I’m going to study in the library.

It is often reduced and written as ‘t:

Ha jim it nei ‘t sin? Are you enjoying yourselves?
Ik wenje yn ‘t sintrum. I live in the city centre.
Hoe is ‘t? How are you?

Practise with Quizlet

Would you like to practise Frisian grammar? Please visit our grammar section on articles on Quizlet (you might like to open this link in a new window).

Do you have any questions about Frisian grammar? Share your comments and questions in the discussion below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Frisian

University of Groningen

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Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Listen and repeat
    Listen and repeat
    video

    Practise your speaking skills in Frisian: 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 Frisian.

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