Learn The Most Common Dutch Words

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Learn The Most Common Dutch Words


Almost any conversation in Dutch requires a basic understanding of Dutch vocabulary, except for maybe non-verbal communication. Nevertheless, you are likely to use basic Dutch nouns, adjectives, verbs, and interrogative words in your daily interactions with neighbors, friends, and coworkers.

To be fluent in any language, it is important to learn the most commonly used vocabulary first. Research has shown that 92% of spoken Dutch is made up of only 2500 words. While 82% of all Dutch texts you will ever see are made up of the top 2500 Dutch words. This is quite remarkable given that the current number of Dutch words in use is approximately 150,000. To quickly improve your Dutch vocabulary knowledge, it is worth learning high-frequency words first, rather than learning them randomly. This way, you will know words you are likely to use in your basic conversations or small talks.

Knowing common Dutch words is a way to make communication easier and open doors. Even if you aren't fluent in grammar or verb conjugation, it is possible to "get by" by knowing enough words. You will find it easier to understand, read, speak, and write Dutch if your vocabulary is sufficient. Even though you might not win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, you are capable of going well enough about your daily life.

To build a solid foundational vocabulary, you must be familiar with all the words used in each language. Start by learning the common words and then expand your vocabulary to include unique terms that relate to your situation. Example: Will you be spending some time surfing in the Netherlands? To begin, you need to master your basic vocabulary. Then you can create or modify a vocabulary list which teaches you specific surfing related vocabulary.

The MostUsedWords Lists of Common Dutch Words

Frequency dictionaries help you quickly learn Dutch vocabulary. Our Dutch series will give you a neatly organized list of the most commonly used words in Dutch. You can purchase them either as ebooks from our site or as paperbacks through Amazon.

Our books are organized using a combination of a general frequency listing, frequency as part of speech, and by alphabet. Every entry comes with IPA phonetic spelling to help you correctly pronounce Dutch words. Since you learn vocabulary in chunks, each entry includes a Dutch-English example sentence.

Below are the links to the paperbacks on Amazon. They are affiliate links. That means we might get a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking these links. 

Two sets of our Dutch Frequency Dictionaries will help you get the most out of your Dutch studies. They are available as ebooks on our website. With 5000 common words, you can communicate confidently in various situations.

Dutch Words for Beginners

To get you started on your Dutch language journey, here are some of the most common Dutch words and phrases. These will help you build a strong foundation for your Dutch vocabulary.

Common Dutch Greetings

It is impossible to communicate with small groups of people without knowing Dutch greetings first. Here are some:

“Goedemorgen” which means “Good morning”

“Goedemiddag” which means “Good afternoon”

“Goedeavond” which means “Good evening”

“Goedenacht” which means “Good night”

“Hoe is het?” which means “How are you?”

“Hoe gaat het?” which means “How’s it going?”

“Wat doe je?” which means “What are you doing?”

“Wat is er gaande?” which means “What’s happening?” or “What is going on?”

You can use these following conversational Dutch phrases as a reply if someone asks you those questions:

“Goed, dank je wel”, meaning: Good, thank you

“Zeer goed”, meaning: Very well

“Zoals gewoonlijk”, meaning: As always

“En jij?”, meaning: And you?

How to Introduce Yourself in Dutch

You can say these Dutch phrases to introduce yourself to Dutch-speakers:

“mijn naam is” - My name is

“Ik heet…” - My name is

“ik ben” - I am

You can ask for the name of the person you are talking to by saying:

“wat is jouw naam” - What is your name?

And you can answer them by saying:

“Aangenaam kennis te maken”, or simply “Aangenaam” - Nice to meet you.

Common Polite Words and Expressions in Dutch

These Dutch phrases are sure to come in handy to avoid offending anyone during a conversation. Being polite can take you anywhere! Try it by saying:

“Bedankt!” - Thank you! / Thanks!

“heel erg bedankt!” - Thank you very much!

“Graag gedaan!” - You’re welcome! / Don’t mention it!

“alsjeblieft” - Please

“het spijt me” - I’m sorry

“Neem me niet kwalijk” - Excuse me

Common Question Words in Dutch

To make your conversations with people more effective, you need to be able to ask questions. Here are some Dutch question words that you can learn immediately:

“wat?” - What?

“wie?” - Who?

“wanneer?” - When?

“waar?” - Where?

“waarom?” - Why?

“welke?” - Which?

“hoe?” - How?

Here are more useful questions you might like to know:

Saying “hoe laat is het?” is how you ask what time is it

Saying “waar kom je vandaan?” is how you ask where they are from

Saying “Waar woon jij” is how you ask where they live

Saying “kun je me helpen?” is how you ask if they can help you

Saying “kan ik u helpen?” is how you ask if you can help them

Saying “Hoeveel is het?” s how you ask how much it cost

Saying “Begrijp je dat?” is how you ask if they understand

Saying “Spreekt u Engels?” is how you ask if they speak English

Saying “wat betekent het?” is how you ask what it means

Saying “kan je langzaam praten” is how you ask them if they can speak slowly

Saying “waar kan ik de taxi vinden?” is how you ask where to find a taxi

And you should know what to answer:

“ja” means: Yes

“nee” means: No

“kan zijn” means: Maybe

“altijd” means: Always

“nooit” means: Never

“geen probleem!” means: No problem!

“Ik begrijp het niet!” means: I don’t understand!

“ik weet het niet” means: I don’t know!

“ik heb geen idee” means: I have no idea!

“ik spreek geen Nederlands” means: I don’t speak Dutch

“ik ben verdwaald” means: I’m lost

“Mijn Nederlands is slecht” means: My Dutch is bad

Celebrate in Dutch

Dutch has many expressions that can be used to celebrate special occasions. These phrases are ideal for events such as birthdays or parties with friends:

“gelukkige verjaardag!” to say “Happy Birthday!”

“Gefeliciteerd!” to say “Congratulations!”

“Veel plezier!!” to say “Have fun!” / Have a good time!

“eet smakelijk” to say “Bon appetit!”

“welkom!” to say “Welcome!”

“proost!!” to say “Cheers!”

Saying goodbye in Dutch

It's difficult to say goodbye, especially if you don’t know how. Here are some Dutch phrases you can use to end a conversation and leave:

“tot ziens” or “vaarwel” means “Goodbye”

“tot morgen” means “See you tomorrow”

“Tot kijk!” means “See you!” 

“wees voorzichtig!”  means “Take care!” / “be careful!”

“Prettige dag!” means “Have a nice day!”

“tot snel!” means “See you soon!”

“Goede reis!” or “Prettige reis!” means “Have a nice trip!”

You will be able to have your first conversation with a native Dutch-speaker if you know all these common Dutch words. To improve your language fluency, you only have to practice the vocabulary and phrases frequently. You will soon be able to recognize these words naturally if you use them often.

Resources for Adding More Dutch Words to Your Vocabulary

Of course, not all Dutch words are possible to be included in one article. To effectively learn Dutch, you will need reliable and practical source material. For learners looking to quickly improve Dutch vocabulary, our Dutch frequency dictionaries have been created to help all learners attain their goal.


Common Dutch Words

These books were designed by MostUsedWords to help learners achieve fluency in Dutch language. The books are divided into 10,000 Dutch words, so that learners with different levels of Dutch proficiency can use each book. The frequency dictionaries can be used as a standalone tool or in combination with other language learning apps, work books, or programs. They are suitable for all levels of fluency, including beginners, intermediates, advanced, and near-fluent learners. You can purchase them online as ebooks or from Amazon as paperbacks.

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