anonymous asked:

So I'm getting near the end of the duolingo tree and come across the sentence "Wie krijgt er jouw stem?". My question is, how come the "er" is there?. Do I need to put it in everytime? Thank you!


Thanks for sending me an ask :)

I really had to read into the use of “er”, because I can’t remember I’ve ever learned any rules for it. It’s somehow very obvious for a native Dutch speaker to know how to use it. The rules I’ve found online were extremely vague and unclear, but I’m going to try my very best to explain it properly ;)

First of all, there’re four ways in which you use “er”:

- locatief
- presentatief
- prepositioneel
- kwantitatief

So I’ll start by explaining locatief.
Locatief means you use “er” to refer to a location or place in a certain situation or context. In this case you can often replace “er” by “daar” (there) or “hier” (here). However, “er” is more neutral and less specific than “daar” or “hier”.


1. Hoe lang woont hij al in Londen? Hij woont er nu al dertig jaar.

Translation: How long has he lived in London? He has lived there for thirty years now.

🔹In this case “er” refers to London.

2. Kan ik de manager spreken? Nee, zij is er niet.

Translation: Can I speak to the manager? No, she isn’t here.

🔹In this sentence “er” refers to the location where the manager normally is.

Next I’ll explain presentatief.
Presentatief means you use “er” when the subject is non-specific or undefined. In some cases you can translate “er” with “there”.


1. Er staat een paard in the gang.

Translation: There is a horse in the hallway/ Some horse stands in the hallway.

🔹As you can see the horse itself doesn’t really matter. What matters is the horse being in the hallway. So you use “er” less specifically (it’s just some horse).

2. Wie krijgt er jouw stem?

Translation: Who will get your vote?

3. Komen (to come) er vanavond veel mensen?

Translation: Are there going to be a lot of people tonight?

🔹If the sentence starts with an interrogative pronoun (wie, wat, waar, wanneer, hoe, waarom) and the subject is non-specific or undefined you often use “er”. You also use “er” in many other questions. It is mandatory to use it when there’s no direct object in the sentence. In sentence 2 you don’t necessarily have to use “er”, because the verb “krijgt” says something about “jouw stem” (direct object). In sentence 3 you do have to use “er”, because there’s no direct object (the verb “komen” doesn’t say anything about a certain part of the sentence).

4. Er ligt daar iemand te slapen.

Translation: There’s someone sleeping over there.

🔹This one is very similar to example 1. It doesn’t matter who this someone is. What does matter is that he’s sleeping over there.

5. Er wordt beweerd dat koeien hun eigen melk drinken.

Translation: It is said that cows drink their own milk.

🔹In passive voice constructions, like this sentence, you can either use “er” or “het”(it).

Prepositioneel means you can combine “er” with a preposition. Common prepositions combined with “er” are: erin, ervoor, erachter, ernaar, erom, ervan, erop, etc.


1. Toen de kat het aanrecht zag, sprong hij erop.

Translation: The moment the cat saw the kitchen counter, he jumped on it.

🔹"Er" is used to refer to the kitchen counter and the meaning of “op” is on.

2. Ik had zin in het feest, maar ik kan er helaas niet bij zijn.

Translation: I was looking forward to the party, but unfortunately I can’t come.

🔹"Er" refers to the party and “bij” means to be at (in this specific phrase).

Kwantitatief refers to the use of “er” in sentences that indicate a certain amount/number of things/people.


1. Hoeveel kinderen hebben zij? Ze hebben er vijf.

Translation: How many children do they have? They have five.

🔹"Er" refers to the children.

2. Hoeveel cactussen heb jij? Ik heb er geen.

Translation: How many cactuses do you have? I have none.

🔹"Er" refers to the cactuses.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask them :)

Het wordt warm... het is bijna zomer!

Any of you who are in the Netherlands right now are probably enjoying the glorious weather. And good news! It’s supposedly getting even hotter this week! So in light of the summery weather, I thought I would share with you some summery Dutch vocabulary to express your delight for the incoming summer months and the summery activities that you may be up to.

zon sun
droog dry
vochtig humid/moist
warm hot
graden degrees

zonnebaden sunbathe
zonnescherm sunscreen/sun cream
looien to tan
bruine lijnen tan lines
zonnebrand sunburn :(

zonnebril sunglasses
hoed hat
badkleding swimwear

strand beach
meer lake
zand sand
feest party

zwemmen to swim
surfen to surf
windsurfen to windsurf
volleybal volleyball
tennis tennis
fietsen to bike

ijs icecream
vers fruit fresh fruit
ijsblokjes ice cubes

Ik fiets naar de strand. I am biking to the beach.
Wil je een ijs? Do you want an ice cream?
Ik kan zien jouw bruine lijnen! I can see your tan lines!
Ze heeft een slechte zonnebrand. She has a bad sunburn.
Hij houdt van volleybal op het strand. He loves volleyball on the beach.
Zij kopen kleurrijke zonnebrillen. They are buying colourful sunglasses.
Het is te warm. Meer ijsblokjes alsjeblift! It is too hot. More ice please!

If there are any mistakes (or if you have any suggestions!) don’t hesitate to get in touch and let me know!

Kolderdag vocabulary

Okay, so I decided to do a vocabulary post themed “kolderdag” for any of you learning Dutch or interested in Dutch culture.

First things first; what does “kolderdag” mean? Directly translated it means something like mischiefday. Basically, it’s the last schoolday of the seniors before spring break, followed by their final exams. On this last day they’re allowed to do all sorts of things to celebrate and say their last goodbyes to the school. 

Of course there are certain restrictions - the principal usually does not want all classes for other students to be disrupted though first period might start later for example due to the seniors detaining people from entering for about 20 minutes. 

Other examples include (this is just so you don’t get the idea people actually wreck their whole school. Even though in some cases this has happened to certain schools.) :

  • terrorizing fellow students with water guns (but not inside the school)
  • playing music as loudly as possible (again, not inside)
  • creating a competition in which teachers have to fight against each other in minigames during lunch break

all seniors are basically like:

Originally posted by cybermamacita

Before kolderdag the seniors eat dinner with all teachers, which is called “het galgenmaal” (this roughly means last meal before the guillotine, in which the guillotine is a metaphor for their finals) and most of them go out partying afterwards (koldernacht).

The actual vocabulary

(de) dag, (dagen) - day, days
(de) zesdeklasser(s) / vijfdeklasser(s) / vierdeklasser(s) - senior*
gek - crazy
wild - wild
(het) laatst / (de) laatste - last
(de) wedstrijd, (wedstrijden) - competition
(het) springkussen, (springkussens) - bouncing castle
(het) waterpistool, (waterpistolen) - water gun
(de) meivakantie, (meivakanties) - springbreak
(de) docent, (docenten) - teacher
(de) rector, (rectoren) - principal
(het) kluisje, (kluisjes) - locker
(het) bier, (-) - beer
(het) feest, (feesten) - party
(de) nacht, (nachten) - night
dronken - drunk
blij - happy
dansen (danste - gedanst) - dance
(de) muziek (-) - music
luid - loud
afspelen - to play (sth like music or a film, not an instrument!)
(de) radio, (radio’s) - radio
(de) leerling, (leerlingen) - student
(de) les, (lessen) - class
opdrukken - to perform push-ups
(het) thema, (thema’s) - theme
verkleden - to dress up like (idk a pirate or sth)
(het) plezier (-) - fun
(de) vriend, (vrienden) - friends
een grap uithalen met.. - to play a prank on…

*it depends on what kind of school you attend. A senior from a high school with only four grades would be called a vierdeklasser, while a senior from a high school with six grades would be called a zesdeklasser. The number of grades is determined by the level of difficulty of the education given at that school.

Perhaps you have a similar tradition in your country? I literally have no idea if this is a common thing in Europe / on other continents?