"The salt is tasty."
Translation:Het zout is lekker.
Why don't they teach us the articles along with the words? I'm getting so frustrated by this incompetency--if I give up, it'll be because of this. Please, please tell me they're going to change this.
I'm struggling here!
So is it "Het zout" but "De peper"? Is pepper not a material in this sense?
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 :)
You made it up and then some. Thanks for the guidelines! A lot to digest - so for now I might focus on your rules for the kitchen and deal with iron thrones and velvet dresses as they come up.
No. Because 'zout' is a neuter word, it must use 'het' as the definite article. 'De' is used for masculine and feminine words.