As a student of Dutch philology, I have travelled to Belgium and the Netherlands more than once to explore my interests and to learn about the countries I am studying.
When I went to Amsterdam, I had no doubts about the tourist attractions that I simply had to see. One in particular I was looking forward to – a visit to the Moco Museum of Modern Art. Once I got there on Monday to buy my ticket and start the tour, my attention was drawn to the high price of the ticket, which was simply too much for a student’s wallet. Full of hope, I asked the lady at the ticket counter if there was by any chance a student discount. Unfortunately, there wasn’t, but she informed me that on Tuesdays (dinsdag) until 4 p.m., tickets are half price.
This was great news, because I was planning to go home on Friday, so there was nothing stopping me from coming back on Tuesday – at least that is what I thought. Full of excitement, I did not write it down because I was sure I would remember it. However, the only thing I remembered was the first letter of the day of the week, “d”, which also stood for Thursday – donderdag. As you can probably guess, I confused the two names, and instead of taking advantage of the promotion on Tuesday, I went on Thursday and heard the painful truth.
You could say that the names of the days of the week or the months are a small part of learning a language, which you will learn in practice anyway. However, it turns out to be important when you come into contact with foreigners or plan a trip to a particular country. In this article I will list all the months, days of the week and seasons, as well as practical phrases and ways in which you can consolidate this knowledge.
Days of the week in Dutch
In the Netherlands and also in Belgium, working days are from Monday to Friday. Weekends are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some of the day names can be associated with English equivalents, for example Wednesday is woensdag in Dutch.
- Monday – maandag
- Tuesday – dinsdag
- Wednesday – woensdag
- Thursday – donderdag
- Friday – vrijdag
- Saturday – zaterdag
- Sunday – zondag
As you have probably already noticed, every day’s name ends with the word “dag”, which means “day” in Dutch. When we want to refer to a day in a sentence, we use the preposition “op”.
If you want to use the plural of a day, add the ending “en”, e.g. Thursdays = donderdagen.
|We gaan op zaterdag naar een verjaardagsfeestje.||We are going to a birthday party on Saturday.|
|Maandagen zijn altijd moeilijk op het werk.||Mondays are always difficult at work.|
|Van maandag tot vrijdag gaan de kinderen naar school.||From Monday to Friday the children go to school.|
|Op dinsdag zijn de kaartjes voor het museum de halve prijs.||On Tuesdays, tickets for the museum are half price.|
|Ik hou ervan om lang te slapen op zondag.||I like to sleep long on Sundays.|
Months in Dutch
If you go to the Netherlands for a holiday, or for a longer period of time, you should know when the days off and holidays are in this country. Many holidays in England are also celebrated in the Netherlands. Some of them are the same but have different dates (e.g. Mother’s Day), and some are completely foreign to English (e.g. King’s Day). Below, you will find the names of the months in Dutch and important holidays celebrated in the Netherlands, along with the dates.
Names of months:
- januari – January
- februari – February
- maart – March
- april – April
- mei – May
- juni – June
- juli – July
- augustus – August
- september – September
- oktober – October
- november – November
- december – December
Important holidays in the Netherlands:
- Nieuwjaar – New Year – 1 januari
- Valentijnsdag – Valentine’s Day – 14 februari
- Pasen – Easter – 17–18 april (2022 dates)
- Koningsdag – King’s Day – 27 april
- Bevrijdingsdag – Liberation Day – 5 mei
- Moederdag – Mother’s Day – 8 mei
- Vaderdag – Father’s Day – 19 juni
- Sinterklaas – St Nicholas Day – 5 december
- Kerstavond – Christmas Eve – 24 december
- Oudejaarsavond – New Year’s Eve – 31 december
When we want to use the name of the month in a sentence and say that something happened, for example, in March, we use the preposition “in” which means “in”. When we refer to a specific date, we use the preposition “op”.
|Ik ga op vakantie in augustus.||I am going on holiday in August.|
|Mijn verjaardag is in december.||My birthday is in December.|
|Op 27 april vieren de Nederlanders Koningsdag.||On 27 April, the Dutch celebrate King’s Day.|
|Ik ga met mijn vrienden naar een concert op 20 juli.||I am going to a concert with my friends on 20 July.|
|In februari hebben de kinderen wintervakantie.||In February, the children have winter holidays.|
|We hebben een hotelreservering gemaakt op 20 juni.||We made a hotel reservation on 20 June.|
Seasons in Dutch
If this is not your first article about the Netherlands, you probably already know that the Netherlands is famous for its rainy weather and maritime climate. If you compare it to England, you will find that the temperature in the Netherlands is more ‘mild’ – it is about 2 degrees Celsius less in summer and about 7 degrees more in winter. The wind blows practically always and is much stronger than in England, regardless of the season.
The Dutch have a habit of complaining about the weather – no matter if it’s too cold or too hot; only the English complain more often. The weather is a good way to start a conversation with someone. So next time you are in the Netherlands and you want to talk to an interesting person, ask them, “Wat een weer, hè?” (“What horrible weather, huh?”), or when it’s really nasty outside, we can say, “Lekker weertje, hè?” (literally: “Delicious weather, isn’t it?”)
Below you will find the names of the seasons and examples of how they can be used in a sentence:
- de lente – spring
- de zomer – summer
- de herfst – autumn
- de winter – winter
The seasons always have a “de”. When we want to say that something took place in spring, we also use “in”.
|Sneeuw smelt in de lente.||Snow melts in spring.|
|In de winter ga ik skiën in de bergen.||In winter, I go skiing in the mountains.|
|In de zomer schijnt de zon het langst in het jaar.||In summer, the sun shines the longest in the year.|
|De winter duurt van 1 december tot 28 februari.||Winter lasts from 1 December till 28 February.|
|Bomen laten hun bladeren vallen in de herfst.||Trees drop their leaves in autumn.|
How best to learn days of the week, names of months and seasons in Dutch
Now that you’ve remembered how to say days and dates in Dutch, I hope you won’t make a similar mistake to me and confuse the day of a promotion for a museum ticket. The days of the week, the months and the seasons are in the early stages of learning and are not difficult to learn. However, if you don’t practise – if you don’t consolidate it – the simplest sentence using a date can give you a hard time.
Since these words are often used in combination with several numbers (when, for example, we are talking about dates), it is very important to also repeat them within whole sentences, so that you can use them reflexively in the future. A good example here is your date of birth, which you know very well. But when you say it for the first time in a whole sentence, it might not be so easy.
We have prepared all of these for you within our collections, with which you can start your Dutch language training today.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll find collections designed especially for you, which will help you to quickly move on to the next stage and continue learning at a higher level. Even if the phrases given seem easy, we encourage you to take a look at the collections below. Then, you will see that many simple phrases have already slipped from your memory and, thanks to this, you will not only remember them, but also consolidate them.
After a few weeks of practice with Taalhammer, you will notice how many of these phrases you have memorised and are able to pronounce fluently.