Talking about objects (Or: Dutch lesson 4 of 14)

Tuesday’s class actually had an awesome moment. We had a speaking exercise where we were paired up with our buurvrouw (neighbor, female). We had to roleplay one of us being the one asking for employment (me) and the other being the receptionist from the company giving information (her). So all the groups practiced their speaking bits. I said I was looking for a preschool teacher job (peuterleidster), but that as partly because it was a vocabulary word we learned the page before.

For us, there was a section where my partner struggled a bit with what to ask – describing what would I do at the job. After a few seconds, I spoke up and just stated what I would do (play with the kids and teach them). And then the practice section was done, a bit before the rest of the students. I am not sure if the teacher noticed that, because we got called on…

So we recited our “phone conversation” to the entire class.  I was a bit nervous, as I am used to writing everything down so I don’t forget anything, but I hadn’t done that. As you know, I am definitely not one of the best speakers in the class. The nice thing during the exercise was that my partner switched it up a bit – she asked me what I could do for the job, rather than trying to describe it herself (where she got into trouble last time). So we rattled everything off…

…and after we were done a few people looked stunned and one even said “Whoa.” at what we had put together. Booyah! Niki looks smart when speaking for once.

(Of course, the teacher said it was good and then spent the next few minutes dissecting the conversation and telling us what the mistakes were. Ha.)

This time there were more students (18) than the last time (12). It seems like a handful of them were on vacation last week. It made it a bit harder for everyone to find a seat in the newly improvised “sit in a large square with our desks” seating arrangement, but it worked out. I am sure it was against fire code (people were technically blocked in on all sides), but otherwise okay.

During the break, one of the students went up to speak to the teacher. It seems that the student was finding the class a bit difficult and was hoping to go back down to level A1. The teacher told her to go to the register’s office at the front of the building and see if there was anything they could do. Unfortunately when she came back, she said that the next A1 class wasn’t until September. I am not sure what she is going to do – maybe she’ll stick around.

One of the grammar things that we learned this time was referring to an object as “it” or similar. Of course, Dutch has three variations – de, het, and plurals.

De words (most popular)

Subject form – hij

Object form – hem

* Waar is mijn brief? Waar is hij? (Where is it [my letter]?)

* Hij heeft je brief. Hij heeft hem. (He has it.)

—Yes, if you’re playing along, you’ll realize ‘hij’ is also the word for ‘he’!

Het words

Subject form – het

Object form – het

* Het paspoort ligt op de tafel. Het ligt op de tafel. (It lies on the table.)

* Heb jij mijn paspoort? Heb jij het? (Do you have it?)

Plurals

Subject form – ze

Object form – ze

* Mijn pasfoto’s zijn niet goed. Ze zijn niet goed. (They [passport photos] are not good.)

* Ik vind mijn pasfoto’s niet leuk. Ik vind ze niet leuk. (I don’t like them.)

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