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Adjectives in Dutch!

I am having a hard time figuring out how to use/ spell different adjectives. when is it "belangrijke" and when is it "belangrijk" ? I have finished most of the adjective lessons and feel like I have learned nothing. The description at the bottom of the lessons is very vague. Please help!

November 24, 2014



If you have trouble understanding a skill, try checking the tips and notes during the lesson or at the bottom of the skill's page: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/dn/Adjective-Basics

You can also find a grammar thread as a link in the grammar overview, which you can find in the welcome thread.

If you can't find what you need in the tips and notes, check the grammar overview thread, and if you can't find your answer there, just ask about it in the forums (which you are doing here, which is great).


belangrijk is use for het words and belangrijke is used for de words. If you don't immediately understand what I mean by that then you should go back and review the difference between het and de. Not specifically for certain words like het huis or de schildpad, but as a whole -- why is het used, why is de used?

You use Dutch adjectives like you use English adjectives. "I am fat. That fat dog looks like me."

If you don't know how to use the adjectives or what they mean, then you need to study them to learn what they mean. Duolingo isn't going to do the work for you. :P


In English the adjective never changes spelling. It does in Dutch.


They never do! You only add an -e on the end if it's a de word and it stays the same if it is a het word. You might drop a letter between langzaam and langzame but I REALLY don't think it's that hard to remember.

Don't complain about Dutch adjectives if you haven't tried German adjectives. Langsam langsame langsames langsamer langsamen etc... :P


Yes they don't tell you anything. I am still no closer to having any idea of when to use de or het other than from memory either. So far it is the worst duo lingo course I've done. The dictionary hints are consistently useless, matter of fact, you're better to not reference them at all. They've steered me away from a correct answer more than they have ever helped.


Hi CoryBarnes3!

We would love to tell you the rules for when to use "de" or "het" for a noun, but after two basic rules there will be a problem: there are no other rules. True, there are some guidelines, but these are not gospel and have many exceptions. Unfortunately, as Dutch contributors, we don't have the means to give you the right gender of a noun in the hints (one of the reasons is that they are shared with the English for Dutch speakers course, so that will cause trouble).

The two basic rules I was talking about:

  • All plural nouns are de woorden
  • All singular diminutives (basically words that end in -je) are het woorden


That part of the rules I have down. That covers about 5% of the words that de or het are used for. The problems in the dictionary hints go way beyond prepositions though.

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