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Appendix:Dutch inflection

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
If frugality were established in the state, and if our expenses were laid out to meet needs rather than superfluities of life, there might be fewer wants, and even fewer pleasures, but infinitely more happiness.
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This page contains links and information about inflection in the Dutch language.



Dutch nouns are either masculine, feminine or neuter gender. Masculine and feminine are not distinguished by many speakers, and are then grouped together as a single common gender. Masculine and feminine use the definite article de, and neuter words use the definite article het. The indefinite article is een for all genders.


Plural forms can end in -en or -s. When adding -en, vowel length is preserved by either doubling the consonant or removing a vowel in the plural. However some nouns with short vowels get a long vowel in the plural when -en is added. For such nouns, i becomes e.


Most Dutch nouns can also have diminutives. The diminutive is formed by adding the suffix -tje (or one of its varieties -etje, -je, -pje, -kje depending in the preceding sound). In many dialects the suffix -ke or -ken is also used. The plural of a diminutive always ends in -s.




The extra "e" appears in every form, except in indefinite neuter. The example below is in the positive degree, but the rules also apply for the comparative and superlative degree.

masculine & feminine neuter
indefinite een grote kast een groot huis
definite de grote kast het grote huis



Present participle

In spoken language it can be considered archaic. In written language (mainly books) it is still used, though not as much as in English. Instead, the construction zijn (to be) + aan het + infinitive is used.

The present participle is formed infinitive + d, e.g. lezend (reading). The inflected form is infinitive + de, e.g. lezende. When using the present participle as adjective, use the inflection rules as explained at #Adjectives.

Separable verbs

Dutch has separable verbs, e.g. toestaan (toe- + staan) becomes hij staat toe in the first-person singular.

Note that there exist verbs with prefixes which are not separable. You can mostly distinguish them by looking to the place of the stress: if the stress falls on the prefix, it is normally separable, and vice versa. E.g. there's a verb overzien (ik zie over) and a verb overzien (ik overzie).

In subclauses, separable verbs aren't anymore separable: ik wil dat hij dit toestaat.







Personal pronouns
Subject Object
Full forms Mute forms Full forms Mute forms
First-person singular ik ’k mij me
Second-person singular jij je jou je
Second-person singular dialectal gij ge u -
Second-person singular polite u - u u
Third-person singular masculine hij ie hem ’m
Third-person singular feminine zij ze haar ze, ’r, d’r
Third-person singular neuter het ’t het ’t
First-person plural wij we ons -
Second-person plural jullie je jullie je
Second-person plural dialectal gij ge u -
Second-person plural polite u - u -
Third-person plural zij ze hen (accusative case)

hun (dative case)



Possessive pronouns
Full forms Mute forms
First-person singular mijn m’n
Second-person singular jouw je
Second-person singular dialectal & polite uw -
Third-person singular masculine & neuter zijn z’n
Third-person singular feminine haar ’r, d’r
First-person plural ons (onze) m’n
Second-person plural jullie je
Second-person plural dialectal & polite uw -
Third-person plural hun ’r, d’r


Reflexive pronouns
First-person singular me
Second-person singular je
Second-person singular dialectal u
Second-person singular polite zich
Third-person singular masculine zich
Third-person singular feminine zich
Third-person singular neuter zich
First-person plural ons
Second-person plural je
Second-person plural dialectal u
Second-person plural polite zich
Third-person plural zich






See also