The three Germanic languages are already starting to get mixed up in my head. I like to repeat the sentence after the speaker and I said: Een jongen ate den Apfel.
We have: De- words (the) · De stoel (the chair) · De aap (the monkey) Het- words (the) · Het kind (the child)
You can place "een" (a/an) before all the words · Een stoel · Een aap · Een kind
But: ·HET stoelTJE (little chair) ·HET aapJE (little monkey) ·HET kindJE (little child)
So if you make a word "smaller", it becomes a het- word
Like German no.
-Dutch has neuter, feminine and masculine, however, the latter two have merged.
-So we only have two definite articles. Het for neuter nouns and de for gendered nouns.
-More importantly, just like modern English, modern Dutch doesn't have a case system anymore either. So no declension of articles.
For completeness; genders are fixed (some people are causing confusion saying both het melk and de melk exist etc, no genders do not change it is engrained in the essence of the word and it can never be both. So for instance de melk would always be de melk.)
The other point, when the nouns are turned into plurals the definite article is always de. And when they are turned into diminutives the article is always het.
I think that covers it :)
So, the issue here is with English. 'eats' can mean 'does eat' OR 'is eating'. Ik eet or de jongen eet has a specific meaning: it is happening now.
"I eat apples" (Ik eet appelen) in English can be a declaration (I am known to eat apples), and if we add a definitive article - I eat THE apples - it becomes ambiguous. It sounds strange to a native speaker but it is technically not improper grammar and carries the same meaning as 'I am eating the apples.'
Better example of this in action: I sleep. ("And now I sleep.") It is ambiguous and could also mean that you do (at times) sleep, depending on context, but does not sound so strange as "I eat."
I don't know much about Spanish sounds so I cant compare it with that.
The g is pronounced but not like the sound a g makes at the beginning of a word. (And that very gutteral is more when foreigners are trying to pronounce the Dutch sounds. When native speakers talk it is hardly gutteral. Coming from the throat in some cases yes but as a soft passing of air (like sometimes when you are yawning) not the sound some make like they are trying to cough up a furball... or worse)
In jongen it is a /ŋ/ sound
Which (in combination with the o ) is by placing your entiretongue beside the tip to the top of your mouth, so the air can only leave through your nose. Like in song.
The g at the start of a word is with your throat slightly opened and letting air pas through. WhiLe your mouth relaxed. So nothing that resembles gagging like some foreigners or people who parody the language do. I guess they try to close it with the larynx/bringing the larynx up. But all you need to do is bring the back of your tongue up a bit. (Sometimes not even necesarry, just a relaxed mouth and let air escape while your vocal chords close a bit. It almost happens automatically when you take a deep breath an let it go. Passively so no forcing the airflow. (I guess people who snore would understand. When you lay on your back and everything gets a bit constricted. But I don't snore so I'm not a 100% sure)
Sorry for the long post
I am an Spanish speaker and I am learning Dutch through the English mode since there is no Dutch classes for Spanish speakers. I have had no problems with any lesson given, I do not discuss why this or that is, because languages are not meant to be learned as we think they should be but how they are. I see patterns and I simply learn them as a rule and period. As I hear the lessons, I write them in the three languages: Dutch, English and Spanish, this way my brain "seals" the information.
Discipline is the key, follow the rules. Buh-bye...!!!