"The salt is tasty."
Translation:Het zout is lekker.
De or het? Overview of articles of the words featured in our course: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16nwvPSaCviwOaDuyeJ7fbsganqCU_DFQG0WDpENJsh0/pubhtml?gid=0=true
- link to memrise course for practice: https://www.memrise.com/course/356041/dutch-duolingo-de-or-het-vocabulary/
This is a great asset for learning the basic words.
Sorry to make you feel so confused. You're right of course :$. Being Dutch I never had to think about the logic of these kinds of things, so I summed up some materials in my head (mostly chemical materials), noticed they were all 'het', rememberd faintly there was some general rule with material things and supposed that was it. Call it overconfidence :)
But, I just checked the periodic table just now and all metals were 'het', as were the alloys ending in, -aat, -um or a metal name. Elements ending in -stof (waterstof (hydrogen), koolstof (carbon), stikstof (nitrogen) (note that 'stikken' means 'to choke' which is exactly what you do if you only breath nitrogen), zuurstof (oxygen)) are all 'de'.
This doesn't help with cooking of course so:
Vegetables (groente) and fruits (fruit) are mostly 'de' (that is, skimming through lists of them without the extremely exotic variants I couldn't find a 'de' one). Note however that it is 'het fruit'.
Most meat is 'de' as well, the excpetions I could think of are 'het vlees' (meat), 'het gehakt' (minced meat) and 'het cervelaat' (cervelat).
Drinks: 'het sap' (juice) and everyting that ends in -sap (eg appelsap) 'het water' (water), 'het bier' (beer) are the 'hets' I can think of.
The general rule in the back of my mind which got me confused was this: material adjectives (stoffelijke bijvoegelijke naamwoorden) add 'en' if they are used attributively:
- De ijzeren troon - The iron throne (but 'het ijzer')
- De fluwelen jurk - The velvet dress (but 'het fluweel')
- De stenen tafel - The stone table (but 'de steen')
The only exception to this rule are loanwords:
- De plastic tas - The plastic bag
I hope I made it up to you :)
De: For gendered nouns or nouns with suffix -teits -ij -tie -heid -aar -ent -er -es -eur Het: Neuter nouns in singular, or nouns with suffix -je -isme Use Het even if a sentence is referring to a person with these noun endings where you would normally use De. (From Essential Dutch Grammar By Henry R. Stern)