Ow, what a sweet little black cat! Yes what a sweet little black cat! Hello everyone! Good day!
This video is about adjectives. In Dutch we call these “bijvoeglijke naamwoorden”. The question of a number of you is: when do you put +E behind an adjective and when not? Like in the introduction video: Nala is “een lieve, kleine kat” (a sweet little cat) or “een lief, klein katje” (a sweet little cat). So what’s the difference? When do you have +E when don’t you? After watching this video you can test your knowledge. Click on the link in the description to go to the website where you can make the tests.
Have fun! One of the first things that I often improve with students is their pronunciation. And especially the +E at the end of a word, usually with adjectives. For example, they often don’t say in the beginning “een fantastische film” (a fantastic film), or “een rode wijn” (a red wine), but “een fantastisch film” (a fantastic movie), “een rood wijn” (a red wine), and that’s because in many other languages, such as English, the +E at the end of a word is not pronounced. But in Dutch the +E is very important! It is part of the grammar of adjectives. Such as: “een lief, klein katje” en “een lieve kleine kat”. So it is important to first learn to
always pronounce the +E. Then step 2: when do you have +E when don’t you have +E behind an adjective? The rule is fairly simple. To determine whether or not there is +E
behind the adjective, you must first know if the word is a “de-word” or a
“het-word”. So I say “simple” because it actually
is already hard to know if the word has “de” or “het” as an article. There are a number of rules that you can apply to say ok: this is a de-word and this is a het-word. I do not discuss these rules in this video
because there are quite a lot of them. In addition, Dutch is the language of exceptions. So many words don’t even fall into one of the rules and they suddenly have “het” instead of “de” or vice versa. I can give an example: People normally always get “de”: de vrouw (woman/wife) de man (man/husband), de koning (king), de docent (teacher). But there are two exceptions: “het kind” (the child) and “het meisje” (the girl). All words with “de”, or all “de-words”, always get +E behind the adjective. So: “de lange vrouw (the tall woman), or a
color “de rode roos” (the red rose), or a nationality, such as “de Nederlandse man” (the Dutch man) for example. These are de-words; they always get +E. Plural is also always with “de”. So for example “het meisje” (the girl) is a het-word, but plural it becomes: “de meisjes”,
so: “de kleine meisjes”. Now we get a grammatical term and that is “definite”. As a substantief (a noun /
zelfstandig naamwoord), all of them terms for the same principle.
So when a noun is definite, you always put +E behind the adjective. Definite is that you know what the noun is and then you can put “de” in front of it, and everything with “de” has +E, or then there is for example “mijn” (my) or “jouw” (your), and then you also always have +E. In this case you also use an adjective with +E for all het-words such as: “het mooie meisje” (the beautiful girl), “mijn lekkere biertje (my nice beer”) and “het lieve katje Nala” (the sweet cat Nala). This was all “easy”, now we go to indefinite nouns. That is if you are not 100% familiar with what you are talking about So not “het katje” but “een katje”, or not “mijn katje” but “een katje”. Not “de katjes”, but “katjes”. So it is less clear what you are talking about and that is indefinite; then you often use “een” in front of the noun, or no article. Okay this is a completely different subject but in short, this is indefinite. Like I said all de-words always get +E, even if they are indefinite. And now we go to the only rule that you do not use +E that is: an indefinite het-word. And that is as in the introduction video “een lief klein zwart katje” (a sweet little black cat). So this is the only case that an
adjective does not get +E. “Een lief klein katje” (a sweet little cat)
“een mooi meisje” (a beautiful girl), “een lekker biertje” (a nice/tasty beer). They are officially het-words and they are indefinite. But when they become definitive, it becomes “het mooie meisje”, “het lekkere biertje”, “mijn zwarte katje”. So this is the rule and then it will be always hard to apply it, because it’s already difficult to know: What is a “de-word” and what is a “het-word”? But like I said, that is another subject. Then one thing: this rule only applies when you have an adjective directly in front of a noun. When you put the adjective behind the noun then you will never get +E. So: “het katje is lief en klein en zwart” (the cat is sweet and small and black), “het meisje is mooi (the girl is beautiful),
“het biertje is lekker”(the beer is nice/tasty). “de vrouw is lang (the woman is tall). All without +E. Then there are two special kinds of adjectives that you put directly in front of a noun. These two forms always get +EN. The first case is if the adjective is derived (is made) of a past participle (that ends with + EN!) A past participle is, for example: “gebakken” (baked/fried). You can say: “dit eitje is gebakken (this egg is fried), but you can put the past participle “gebakken” also in front of the noun
and then it becomes “het gebakken eitje (the fried egg) or “een gebakken eitje” (a fried egg), of “de gebakken eitjes” (fried eggs). So always with +EN. And then you also have adjectives made of a fabric well “made” …. which indicate a fabric/metal. For example “een gouden horloge” (a golden watch), “het gouden horloge”, “gouden horloges.” So you see that adjective remains having +EN. And then it’s the same, when you put the adjective behind the noun, then it’s: “het horloge is van goud” (the watch is made of gold). In summary: you always use +E, except when the noun is a “het-word”,
is singular and is indefinite. And of course when the adjective is behind the noun, or when the adjective is made of
a past participle or a metal or substance, because then it gets +EN when it is placed in front of the noun. I hope you have learned a lot and now you can go to the website in the
link in the description, to test your knowledge.
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