Relative clauses begin with relative pronouns - words that correspond to who, whom, that and which in English. These may be omitted in English, but must be included in Dutch. The relative pronoun is put into the correct gender depending on the noun it refers to. The conjugated verb goes to the end of the sentence as well as with subordinate clauses. Die and dat are the relative pronouns in Dutch; die refers to people, singular common nouns and all plural nouns, whereas dat refers to singular neuter nouns.
Kent u de man die daar op de hoek staat? Do you know the man who is standing there on the corner?
Dat is het boek dat ik las. That is the book (that) I read.
Hier is de jurk die ik gisteren gekocht heb. Here is the dress (which) I bought yesterday.
Die is replaced by wie when the clause refers to people and is preceded by a preposition. In addition, whoever is translated as wie.
De jongen met wie ik praatte heet Piet. The boy with whom I spoke is called Peter.
No relative pronoun is used when the clause refers to things and is preceded by a preposition. In this case, waar- and the preposition are used instead. In some cases, waar- and a preposition can also replace the relative pronoun when referring to people.
Dat zijn mensen waarop je rekenen kunt. They are people upon whom you can count. (They are people you can count on.)
Wat replaces dat when the pronoun refers to the words alles (everything), iets (something), niets (nothing); to the superlative form of an adjective used as a noun; to the whole preceding clause. It is also used when there is no antecedent (no preceding noun/pronoun to refer to.)
Dat is alles wat ik heb. That is everything that I have.
Zij komt altijd te laat, wat mij ergert. She always comes late, which annoys me.
63. Uses of Er
1. Personal pronouns are used after prepositions when referring to people. However, when you need to refer to a thing, a compound using er- plus the preposition (either written as one word, or separated by adverbial expression) is used. Daar (that) and hier (this) can also replace er when it is not written as one word.
De kinderen spelen vaak ermee. The children often play with it.
De kinderen spelen er vaak mee. The children often play with it.
Di kinderen spelen daar/hier vaak mee. The children often play with that/this.
2. Er is used when talking about a quantity or an amount. It is translated as "of it" or "of them," though these expressions are not always used in English.
Ik heb er genoeg gehad. I've had enough (of it.)
Hoeveel poesjes heb je? Ik heb er twee. How many kittens do you have? I have two (of them.)
3. In an unstressed position, er means there (an adverb of place). It is replaced by daar in stressed positions (such as the beginning of a sentence.)
4. Er can introduce sentences with an indefinite subject. In this case, er functions as there as a subject, as in "there is/are."
katje / poesje (n)
vacht / pels
kat / poes
kip / hen
65. Infinitive Constructions
Some verbs require a preposition before an infinitive in Dutch, while others do not. This is true in English as well; e.g. I want to leave vs. I can read. Verbs that do not require te before an infinitive include: modal verbs, blijven, laten, zullen, zien (to see), horen (to hear), voelen (to feel), komen, gaan, vinden (to find), leren (to teach), and helpen.
Ik kan komen. I can come. Het zal morgen regenen. It will rain tomorrow. Zij gaat iedere dag zwemmen. She goes swimming everyday.
The preposition used in Dutch is te, although the om... te construction can also be used. Verbs that use only te before an infinitive include: zitten, staan, liggen, lopen (to walk), beginnen, proberen (to try), durven (to dare), hoeven (to need), weten. And after these prepositions, te is used before an infinitive: zonder (without), in plaats van (instead of), and door (by.) When using om...te, all adjectives, adverbs, objects, and expressions of time, manner and place are placed between om and te. Om... te is always used when the infinitive occurs at the beginning of the sentence, and when the infinitive refers to a preceding noun.
Hij stond op de bus te wachten. He stood waiting for the bus.
Het begint te regenen. It's beginning to rain.
Ik zei het zonder te denken. I said it without thinking.
Het is erg moeilijk om te doen. It is very difficult to do.
Hoeveel kost het om hier te parkeren? How much is it to park here?
Het is een interessant programma om naar te kijken. It is an interesting program to watch.
English infinitives that follow an object are translated into clauses using conjunctions in Dutch.
Zij verwacht dat ik kom. She is expecting me to come. (Literally: She expects that I come.)
66. Past Perfect Tense
The past perfect tense corresponds to the perfect tense, but the action occurred in the past before another action occurred in the past. In English, it translates to "had" instead of "have" before the past participle. To form this tense, simply use the simple past of hebben or zijn (whichever auxiliary the verb used in the present perfect tense) and the past participle.
Zij had de boeken niet gevonden. She had not found the books.
Jullie hadden in Paris gestudeerd. You had studied in Paris.
The conditional mood expresses doubt or uncertainty. In English, "would + infinitive" is used for the present conditional and "would have + past participle" is used for the past conditional. In Dutch, zou/zouden + infinitive is used for the present conditional, and zou/zouden + past participle + infinitive of hebben or zijn is used for the past conditional. (Zou and zouden are the singular and plural past tense forms of zullen.)
Ik zou graag thuis blijven. I would like to stay home.
Als ik jou was, zou ik dat huis niet kopen. If I were you, I would not buy that house.
Ik zou graag thuis gebleven zijn. I would have liked to stay home.
Diminutives are forms of a word that show smallness or endearment and are much more common in Dutch (especially spoken Dutch) than in English. All diminutives in Dutch are formed by adding -je to the noun, and all are neuter nouns and form the plural by adding -s.
The present participle is made by adding -d (or sometimes -de) to the infinitive of a Dutch verb. Present participles are not used as frequently in Dutch as in English. They are used mainly when another action takes place within the specific period of time we are talking about. So, every example sentence is about two actions that take place at the same time.
zingen to sing
Ze liep zingend naar huis. She walked home singing.
Kun jij lopend lezen? Can you read while walking?
fluisteren to whisper
Hij zei fluisterend dat hij eerder weg wilde. He said whispering that he wanted to leave earlier.
Most of the time an English present participle is not translated by a Dutch present participle. Usually, the Dutch simple present tense is used instead. The sentence below is an example of this.
Ze leest een boek. She is reading a book.
70. Passive Voice
When the subject of the sentence does something, the sentence is in the active voice. If something happens to that person, we use the passive voice.
Replacing the auxiliary verb hebben (to have) by zijn (to be) or worden (to become, to be from this moment on), very often results in the passive voice.
The verb vinden (to find) is in the active voice:
Ik heb gevonden. I have found.
Ik had gevonden. I had found.
And in the passive voice:
Ik ben gevonden.I am found
Ik ben gevonden. I have been found.
Ik was gevonden. I was found.
Ik was gevonden. I had been found.
Ik word gevonden. I am found (right now).
Suppose that Peter finds you.
Ik ben door Peter gevonden. I am found by Peter.
Ik was door Peter gevonden. I was found by Peter.
Ik word door Peter gevonden. I am found by Peter (right now).
Ik word door Peter gevonden. I will be found by Peter.
"Ik word door Peter gevonden." in the present perfect has about the same meaning as "Peter vindt mij." in the simple present.