Articles are words like "a" and "the". Dutch has four articles, which is comparatively few compared to Old Dutch which like German made distinctions between three genders and four cases.

Modern Dutch has two definite articles (de and het, both mean "the"), distinguished by gender, one indefinite article (een, means "a") and a negative indefinite article (geen, means "not any").

The reason Dutch has two definite articles is because it distinguishes between common and neuter nouns. Common nouns where historically masculine and feminine nouns, but have become grammatically identical, and use de. Het is used with neuter singular nouns, which like German neuter nouns require the masculine (or in the case "common") article for plurals, de.

The indefinite article, een, is used just like you would use "a" in English. The negative indefinite article geen however, is particular in that English doesn't have a counterpart, but it is used like "not any" or "not a" in English.

In the case of an indefinite plural article like the English word "some", Dutch simply uses the plural noun without any preceding modifier.

It is also important to note that in conversation and informal text het and een are often shorted to 't and 'n because their pronunciation tends to blend with the surrounding words. Like with English contractions, formal writing maintains the uncontracted words.



Play het
the neuter definite
Play de
the common definite
Play een
a indefinite
Play geen
not any indefinite not a indefinite



Play de man
the man
Play de vrouw
the woman
Play het huis
the house
Play het meisje
the girl
Play de mannen
the men
Play de vrouwen
the women
Play de huizen
the houses
Play een man
a man
Play een vrouw
a woman
Play een huis
a house
Play een boek
a book
Play geen man
not a man
Play geen vrouw
not a woman
Play geen huis
not a house
Play geen boek
not a book

Ask the Polly Ambassadors a question

Have questions about this lesson? Get a video answer from a Polly Ambassador, if your question is relevant and interesting.


Related Videos

Gerelateerde videos

Change language Flag fr French Flag es Spanish Flag en English Flag it Italian Flag de German Flag pt Portuguese