Dutch Lesson 1

Dutch for BeginnersDutch is quite a difficult language. It’s not very widely spoken, but it’s certainly a difficult language to learn and to pronounce. Dutch is, of course the native language of The Netherlands, and also of Northern Belgium (Flanders). The Belgians have a very typical accent. you immediately notice whether a person is from Holland or Belgium. Dutch is a language of Germanic origin and besides The Netherlands and Belgium, it’s also spoken on the Netherlands Antilles, Suriname and many people in Indonesia also speak it (all former colonies of The Netherlands). And in South-Africa, they speak a language derived from Dutch: Afrikaans.

Part one of this course is only intended for absolute beginners.

Part One – The Basics

Lesson 1: To Be

Welcome to the Dutch course here at UniLang. We want to help you learn foreign languages and we hope this little course can help. Of course we also have a big grammar reference and a list of vocabulary available for you to study. These courses in part one are intended for absolute beginners who need a little assistance with starting to learn some basics, so this is not a complete course. When we’ve shown you the most important basics we’ll let go you and then you can explore our grammar reference all by yourself. Before you continue you must do two things. First of all, make sure you are familiar with all the basic grammar terms. Do you know what a noun is? What a verb is? What an adverb is? You can then secondly take a peek at the Dutch pronunciation page.


We’ll start by teaching you how to introduce yourself in Dutch. Take a look at the following Dutch sentence and it’s English translation. All Dutch text will be written in blue and the English translation in green. “Ik ben Robert” “I am Robert” Here we see your very first Dutch sentence where you introduce yourself as Robert, a fictional person. You should of course replace the name with your own name. Although the sentence consists of only three words we are going to carefully examine each word. The first word “Ik” is the Dutch equivalent of the English word “I”, also referred to as 1st person singular. It’s a subject pronoun. The second word “ben” is a verb. It’s a conjugation of the irregular Dutch verb “zijn”, which is the Dutch equivalent of “to be”. Now we’ve seen how to introduce yourself using “ik ben” but we can also introduce other people, take a look at the following examples:
 Ik ben Robert  I am Robert
 Jij bent Robert  You are Robert
 Hij is Robert  He is Robert
 Zij is Roberta  She is Roberta
 Het is Robert  It is Robert
 Wij zijn Robert en Paul  We are Robert and Paul
 Jullie zijn Robert en Paul  You are Robert and Paul
 Zij zijn Robert en Paul  They are Robert and Paul
Thats alot of new words, but it’s all very easy. Now that you’ve seen all subject pronouns in Dutch, you know how to refer to people. And besides that, you’ve also learned your first Dutch verb, an irregular verb: “Zijn”, in English “To be”. There is also a small new word that appeared in this lesson, the Dutch words “en”, which means “and”. It’s also a good exercise to try to pronounce every Dutch sentence you see on this page, and when you’re uncertain of how to pronounce a certain character or group of characters then go to the pronunciation page.


In this lesson you’ve learned two aspects of Dutch grammar, you’ve learned the subject pronouns and you’ve learned the full conjugation of the irregular Dutch verb “zijn”.


We’ll ask you to study a number of words in each lesson , this time we’ll give you a couple of very easy words to study. Learn them in both directions! English-Dutch and Dutch-English.


 vader  father
 moeder  mother
 oma  grandmother
 opa  grandfather


Each lesson will come with some exercises so you can practice the grammar and vocabulary of this lesson. Exercise A: Translate to English: 1) Hij is Robert. 2) Het is vader. 3) Zij zijn Robert en Piet. 4) Zij is moeder. 5) Jij bent oma. 6) Jullie zijn opa. 7) Wij zijn George en William. Exercise B: Translate to Dutch: 1) We are James and Jane. 2) They are father. 3) I am mother. 4) She is grandmother. 5) They are Robert and Paul. 6) You are George and William. 7) You are grandfather.


After you’ve done the exercises you can check whether your answer is correct using the following solutions: Solution of Exercise A: 1) He is Robert. 2) It is father. 3) They are Robert and Piet. 4) She is mother. 5) You are grandmother. 6) You are grandfather. 7) We are George and William. Solution of Exercise B: 1) Wij zijn James en Jane. 2) Zij zijn vader. 3) Ik ben moeder. 4) Zij is oma. 5) Zij zijn Robert en Paul. 6) Jullie zijn George en William. 7) Jij bent opa.

Scroll to Top