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Watch and read: word order

Watch and / or read the explanation and examples on this part of Dutch grammar: word order. Also: learn how to practice Dutch grammar.

Watch the video about word order and read the explanation below.

Word order

In Dutch the position of the verb is very important in the word order of a sentence. The position of the verb depends on the type of clause.

Main clause

In the main clause, the conjugated verb stands in second position.

The word order is:

subject – conjugated verb – rest

For example:

Ik woon in het centrum. I live in the city centre
We gaan op vakantie. We are going on holiday.

An emphasized element can be put in the first position. The verb still stays in the second position, followed by the subject. This is called inversion.

This is the word order.

stressed element – conjugated verb – subject – rest

For example:

Nu woon ik in het centrum. Now I live in the centre.
Dan moet ik weg. I have to leave then.
In Toronto woont mijn zus. My sister lives in Toronto.


In questions, the word order changes.

The word order of a yes/no question is as follows:

conjugated verb – subject – rest

For example:

Woon je ook in het centrum? Do you also live in the centre?
Hebben jullie ook vakantie? Do you also have a holiday?

And the word order of a question formed with a question word is:

question word – conjugated verb – subject – rest

For example:

Hoe laat beginnen we? What time do we start?
Waar kom je vandaan? Where do you come from?
Wat ga jij doen? What are you going to do?

Sentences with two verbs

In a sentence with more than one verb, the conjugated verb comes in the second position and the other verbs are at the end.

For example:

We kunnen bij mij eten. We can eat at my place.
Nu moet ik sporten. Now I have to do some exercise.

Practise with Quizlet

Would you like to practise Dutch grammar? Please visit our grammar section on the word order 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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Introduction to Dutch

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