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What basic phrases should I know?


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Please help me out with suggesting a few basic phrases that will help me while traveling the Netherlands. 

Suggestions are:

Where's the bus/train station?

How much is it?

Do you speak English?

Can you help me?

I understand that most people speak English, but I'd like to practice the language.

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  • Where is the train station? - Waar is het treinstation?
  • How much is that? (asking in a shop for price) - Wat kost dat?
  • Do you speak English - Spreekt u Engels?
  • Can you help me? - Kunt u me helpen?

Here's some more basic phrases:

  • Good morning - Goedemorgen
  • Good afternoon - Goedemiddag
  • Good evening - Goedenavond
  • Bye! - Dag!
  • See you later - Tot ziens (may also be used more formally)
  • Thanks - Bedankt
  • Thank you - Dank u wel

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Thanks for adding these phrases.

What's the proper use of alstublieft.  I thought it meant please, but I'm watching some Dutch broadcast and it's used quite often.

As well, what's the method behind using de/het?

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Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

Yes, alstublieft means 'please', but also 'here you go', for example, a waiter in a restaurant will say it when he brings your food.

The word actually consists of a few words, which are all together because it's used so often. If we take it apart, it reads als 't u belieft. Note that that last word isn't used anymore outside this expression. This literally means 'if it pleases you'.

As such, because 'u' is formal, there's also the informal alsjeblieft, substituting u for je.

Regarding de/het, that has to do with the gender. De is used for both masculine and feminine words, while het is neutral. There's not really a way to determine when to use de and when to use het, other than memorising. Though at least for all diminutive words, the gender is always neutral, so you'll always use het. For example, 'the man' is de man; 'the little man' is het mannetje.

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