What strategy did you use to memorize de-words and het-words?

Hi Dutch learners,

All-in-all there are a lot more "de-words" in Dutch, so it is generally wise to default to "de" if you do not know if something is de or het, however, what methods of study have you used to memorize which ones are het-words?

How do children in school in the Netherlands learn which words are het-words and which words are de-words?

September 1, 2019


For native speakers there's probably no real strategy. As a child, I don't remember having to memorize lists of de-nouns and het-nouns. You just learn by adopting from your parents, teachers, etc., and if you happened to use the wrong article, somebody would've corrected you.

By the way, this article, explains strategies for memorizing the correct definite articles.

September 1, 2019

My native language is Spanish, which has gender, and really, you just have to learn noun genders and which adjectives have to match its gender. There in no real rule, as there are always exceptions.

So the closest thing to a strategy I would suggest is:

  1. Practice
  2. Make mistakes
  3. Learn from mistakes
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3
September 2, 2019

Did you know there are a few rules for them? (not covering every article but still helpful) You can find them here!

September 1, 2019
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