Grammar review (Or: B2 Dutch course #2)

Last night was the second lesson. It went pretty well. I realized a few months ago that I don’t really have that slightly scared feeling in my stomach when I go to work or class anymore – I used to be very nervous that I wouldn’t know what was being asked or said. And that it would be painfully obvious. But these days I don’t feel that much anymore – I would say I understand about 97% of what the professor says. Work is a bit less, but that’s because it’s dealing with strangers and accents I am not used to yet.

The first part of the class was a review of the grammar that we had already learned, mostly word order. As it is something I’ve already covered a lot in the previous class-related posts, I’ll spare you the boring details. (Well, it’s not boring to me!). We did cover something that I didn’t know yet though.

Het schip strandde op de kust. The ship stranded on the coast.
Het schip is gestrand. The ship was stranded.
Het gestrande schip trekt veel aandacht. The stranded ship drew much attention.

The last bit in bold is what I learned – voltooid deelwoorden (past participle – used in the perfectum/perfect tenses) can be used before nouns. This turns them into adjectives! In most cases you need to add an -e after the past participle. Two exceptions are:

1. before een/a with a ‘het’ word. een afgebrand huis. A burning (down) house. (This rule isn’t any different from the basic rule. Een/A means that the object is not known. If it was, you would use de or het [the] before it. If the object is both unknown and a het word, you do not add an e.)

2. to adjectives that already end in -en, regardless of de or het.
de gouden ring / the golden ring
de houten tafel / the wooden table

Finally, here are two more situations of knowing when to use de of het – I already said that words ending in -ie or -heid are ‘de’ words in the previous post. The same is true for -ing and -teit.

de woning, de oplossing, de leering (the home, the solution, the student)
de nationaliteit, de autoriteit (the nationality, the authority)

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