The "ij" pronunciations sound more like "ay" as in day for me. The "e" endings sound shorter...maybe more like an "oo" sound, but shorter. I really haven't gotten too many sentences with the "e" endings, so it's pretty safe to say that any pronunciations you hear will be Hij, Zij, or Wij. :)
I'm actually replying to your latest comment below. OK, I haven't been using those tips so much yet. Thanks! Your example of You and they makes even more sense to me in comparison with German. I studied that for years back in high school with my German mom (not to discount my polyglot Brazilian Dad!) as my "template", so I actually have a great affinity for languages in general, but German (and Portuguese/Spanish) in particular. I'd put that on my personal icon, but SocioEco stuff is a priority concern of mine! Anyway, in German, Sie, sie, and sie, wow, three similar forms, and You and they are only distinguishable in writing by the capital letter! Fascinating. So Jij drinkt melk indicates that YOU are drinking (not someone else).
That's helpful. DL is throwing an unusual feature early on without making the essential nature of it clear. It's like Dungeons and Dragons for linguists! It also occurs to me that no one has mentioned any other gender. Don't tell me this pronoun differentiation only applies to the female?!
It is explained in the tips and notes, if you select Basics 1 in the tree, you get to the page where you can select the lessons, scroll down from there. I find these tips and notes for the various skills/lessons very useful.
You can see there, there are 4 such cases: - you (singular) - jij (emphasised), je (un-emphasised) - she - zij (emphasised), ze (un-emphasised) - we - wij (emphasised), we (un-emphasised) - they - zij (emphasised), ze (un-emphasised)
As you can see they and she are identical in Dutch (similar to the English you), you can distinguish them by the verb conjugation, e.g.:
- Ze is groot. > She is big.
- Ze zijn groot. > They are big.
Later on you will see that other forms of they and she, like theirs and hers are not the same.
Sorry, this is lesson two, and I have NO background in Dutch. My German is NOT helping my imagination in this question. I find this to be an unusual and distinctive feature of Dutch. Your and Susande's subsequent comments complete the necessary features of the point you originally made. Thanks, guys! Good work!
I would leave out "de", nobody says she drinks "the" milk. This counts the same for Dutch. People would just say she drinks milk. Unless it is specifically pointing out a special milk as in she drinks the special goat milk with extra magic otherwise no article needed in UK or NL. Just my opinion.