Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/ThermopylaeHero

What is the difference between "het" and "de"?

I think it is confusing that they have two words that mean the same thing (tell me if I'm wrong), used on certain occasions, but cannot be used interchangeably. Does anyone know why?

10 months ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/grey236
grey236
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3732938/Grammar-De-Het-Een

When to use de:

  • With common gender nouns (masculine/feminine)
  • In the plural

When to use het:

  • With neuter nouns
  • With diminutives (e.g. het meisje)
10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pentaan
pentaan
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 9
  • 807

Please read the grammar "tips and notes" in Duolingo's web version (www.duolingo.com) before you start a new skill (set your browser to "desktop mode")
They are on the bottom of the lesson page of each skill, that introduces new grammar.
For "de" and "het" go to https://www.duolingo.com/skill/dn/Basics-1

More grammar explanation in:
"Overview of grammar explanations"
https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3732817

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
  • 21
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 115

I removed the explanation on German grammar from Osnakezz, as this is not only useless as an explanation for Dutch grammar, it probably also confuses people. However this also removed replies to that post which were useful, I'll copy/paste them in replies to this post.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
  • 21
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 115

Pentaan wrote:

It is a very bad idea to use an explanation of German grammar for Dutch grammar! Please use for Dutch: - the grammar "tips and notes" on the bottom of the lesson page of each skill in the "desktop mode" of http://www.duolingo.com

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
  • 21
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 115

grey236 wrote:

The other case forms for the articles in Dutch is not used at all except in names and maybe special phrases (e.g. ter, ten, Den Haag, 's, etc.). For the genitive most would just say van de/van het unless it's repeating then they might use der (e.g. Het rijk van de mensen der landen)

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Christine_nl

"De" and "het" do not mean the same thing. "de" is the article for masculin and feminin nouns. "het" is the article for neutral nouns. All you have to do is memorize which words are m/v, and which words are n. I'd say, don't pay too much attention. The best way to learn when to use "de" and when to use "het" is to read a lot in Dutch, and listen to a lot of Dutch.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThermopylaeHero

Just one question, is girl neutral? Because it is "het meisje" not "de meisje".

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
  • 21
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 115

The grammatical gender of the noun meisje is indeed neutral/neuter, this is the case for all diminutives. Clearly the natural gender and grammatical gender don't always match, also the same noun may have different grammatical genders in different languages.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n0cturnalowl
n0cturnalowl
  • 13
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2

Basic meaning: De is the masculine article, and Het is an neutral noun. Similar to Spanish where different words have either masc/fem/neutral, and you use the words accordingly. Best way to memorise is to learn the definitive noun that does with the word and learn them together. This will take a lot of time (obviously), but the more your practice, the more used to this you'll get. :)

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThermopylaeHero

Thank you everyone! That really helps!

10 months ago