1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. Het vs. De / Geen vs. Niet


Het vs. De / Geen vs. Niet

What is the correct usage of het and de and geen and niet? Can I please have examples?

November 5, 2014



Geen is the reverse of een, so where you would use een you would therefore use geen. For example, "een ei (an egg); geen ei (no egg)"

"Niet" is the equivalent of the English word "not.": Ik zwem niet -> I do not swim. You would not say "niet ei (not egg)"! (Well, maybe you would. ;))

As for "de" and "het", "de" is for gender nouns (masculine and feminine) whereas "het" is for neuter nouns. It's very hard to distinguish gender in Dutch, but there are some rules which the course will teach you to look out for. As I progress through the course, I'm taking note of every word I come across and note it's article using [this website][]. If that website doesn't know the word, I can go to Google and type it and sift through the search results to find the article the word uses. Writing it down and taking note of every word you come across and its article really helps in later study and pretty soon (after a while) you will be able to say the word aloud and make a pretty easy distinction as to which article to use (but not always.)

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.