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de and het in dutch

Ok I know I could just look it up but it annoys me that this website didn't teach us how to use which word for certain situations before telling us we get questions wrong. Is anybody else with me P.S if you could some how add a lesson specifically on these two words at the beginning that would be greatly appreciated

March 28, 2017


Sorted by top post


The web version of Duolingo is much more suitable for the first stage of learning than the App. It works also fine in the browser of a phone or tablet.
The Dutch course for English speakers has good tips and notes for each skill (in the bottom of the lesson's pages)
And there is a great "Overview of grammar explanations" in this discusion https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3732817

March 28, 2017



"We use de for singular masculine or feminine nouns and het with singular neuter nouns. We tend to refer to these nouns as either de words or het words. For plural nouns, we always use de.


The woman = De vrouw ..... The man = De man ..... The child = Het kind ..... The men/women/children = De mannen/vrouwen/kinderen"

March 28, 2017


One trick which might maybe be useful to know:

Diminutive nouns (add (p|t)je' at the end) in Dutch always get 'het' assigned as definite article.


  • het meisje
  • het jongetje
  • het vrouwtje
  • het mannetje
  • het huisje
  • het trapje
  • het tafeltje
  • het stoeltje
  • het schermpje
  • het computertje
  • het toetsenbordje


April 3, 2017


Also, all words that end with -heid (like schoonheid) are female, so they are "de". (de=male&female, het=neuter)

July 13, 2017


OK, good to know

July 13, 2017


The problem is that in the Netherlands, there isn't a real rule about when to use 'het' or 'de'.

March 29, 2017


Yes, you have to memorise it. Just like in German (der, die das), French (le, la) and many other languages.

March 30, 2017
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