Dutch Adjective Forms

Learn the different forms of adjectives in Dutch

The Netherlands  Belgium  Suriname

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Dutch Adjective Forms


When adjectives are placed before nouns, and not after, they add the ending -e.  The spelling rules that affect pluralization of nouns and verb conjugations also apply when inflecting adjectives.  However, the -e is not added when the adjective occurs before a neuter singular noun without an article (warm water) or a neuter singular noun preceded by een, geen, elk (each), ieder (each), menig (many a), veel (much), welk (which) or zo'n (such a).  Adjectives that end in -en, as well as the adjectives linker (left) and rechter (right), do not add -e either.

het grote huis - the large house
de lange muur - the long wall
mijn mooie tuin - my beautiful garden
snelle treinen - fast trains

een oud huis - an old house
vers brood - fresh bread
de houten trap - the wooden staircase
zijn rechter oog - his right eye

When an adjective is placed directly after iets (something), niet (nothing), veel (much), weinig (little), and wat (something), it adds the ending -s.

iets moois - something beautiful
niets nieuws - nothing new

If the noun following the adjective has been mentioned before, it may be omitted.  In English, "one" is used in its place, but there is no equivalent word in Dutch.  Dutch simply uses the article and adjective, with the -e inflection, if it is required.

Koop je een jurk?  Ja, ik neem de blauwe.  Are you buying a dress?  Yes, I'll take the blue (one.)


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