Skip main navigation

Watch and read: questions

Watch and / or read the explanation and examples on this part of Dutch grammar: form of questions. Also: learn how to practice Dutch grammar.
Question 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.
Some 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?
[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?
So 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”
“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?”
Some 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?
Another 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?
The 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 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 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?
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 a 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.
This article is from the free online

Introduction to Dutch

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education