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Time And Dates In Dutch: #1 Useful Guide

May 26, 2022

Traveling to a new country where they don't speak your native language can make telling time confusing. When in the Netherlands, you certainly don't want to miss your train, plane, bus, or an important meeting because you don't know the time and dates in Dutch.

Today's article will teach you everything about Dutch's essential tidbits, vocabulary, and phrases related to time and dates. After grasping this information, you will never feel stressed about time and understand how dates and time work in the Netherlands.

Ready? Go!


Days Of The Week In Dutch

Just like when you were a kid, learning the days of the week is one of the foundational skills to know when learning about time.

In Europe, it's necessary to know that the start of the week is on Monday, not Sunday and that none of the days of the week in Dutch are capitalized.

In addition, the days of the week also have unique abbreviations.

Time and dates in Dutch

The following are the days of the week (De dagen van de week) with their abbreviations.

EnglishDutchDutch Abbreviation


Months Of The Year In Dutch

In the Netherlands, they follow the Georgian calendar, much like the rest of the world, which will make it easier to follow any calendar in Dutch. 

For months, many of the Dutch words are very similar in spelling and sound, and some are even the same as English! You'll also notice they don't capitalize their months either.

Time and dates in Dutch

These are the months of the year (De maanden van het jaar).

EnglishDutchDutch Abbreviation


How To Read Years In Dutch

In Dutch, years are not read by each number one by one: 1976 = one thousand, nine hundred and seventy-six. Instead, they are read just like in English. So 1976 would be 'nineteen, seventy-six.' 

It would be the same until you get to the 2000's, when instead of two separate parts, the year becomes all one word.

Let's see an example.

In English, you read 2007 as 'two thousand seven.' While in Dutch, it would be 'tweeduizend zeven.'

Get help with and learn Dutch numbers right here!

These are a few examples of how to read years or dates in Dutch:

  • 1984 - negentienvierentacthig
  • 2017 - tweeduizend zeventien
  • 1345 - dertienvijfenveertig
  • 1400 - veertienhonderd
  • 2010 - twee­duizend­tien
  • 2022 - twee­duizend­twee­ën­twintig


How To Write The Date In Dutch

Writing the date in Dutch is quite easy as it's the same across much of Europe and many other parts of the world. Let's take a quick look.

  • The standard numeric date format in the Netherlands is dd mm yyyy
  • Written dates are expressed as Tuesday, March 12, 2019 = dinsdag 12 maart 2019
  • The abbreviated written date would be di. 12 mrt. 2019
  • The abbreviated numerical date would be 12-03-2019 or12/03/2019

See?! Quite easy.


How To Read Seasons In Dutch

The Netherlands is a temperate climate which means they have four seasons. The four seasons of the year are:

  • de zomer = the summer
  • de winter = the winter
  • de lente = the spring
  • de herfst = the autumn


Do The Dutch Use The 12 Hour Clock Or 24 Hour Clock?

Time and dates in Dutch

How To Tell Time In Dutch

Whenever you see time in its written form, it will always be in 24 hours. It makes it easier for Dutch people to tell if morning, afternoon, or evening times are being indicated because they don't use a.m. or p.m. to denote the difference. Here are some examples:

  • 22.51 uur
  • 9.12 u.
  • 09:12

The word "uur" stands for hour, and "u" is the abbreviation for hour in Dutch. Although it's also common to see time notation as:

  • 17 h 21 min 16 s. (seventeen hours twenty-one minutes and sixteen seconds)

It's common in Dutch for them to use "h" to indicate hour, "min" or "m" for minutes, and "s" for seconds.

When speaking about time, the Dutch don't use 24-hour time. They use the 12-hour clock instead. You'll learn how to say time in Dutch in the next section.

The Dutch Don't Use AM Or PM - So How Do They Differentiate Times Of Day?

With a.m. and p.m. not being used, the Dutch have appositions instead to indicate times of the day. These oppositions are:

  • morning - ochtend
  • noon - middag
  • afternoon - (na)middag
  • evening - avonds
  • midnight - middernacht

Now let's take a look at some real-world examples of this and how you would say time.

  • 21:00 is said as "9 uur's avonds" (9 o'clock in the evening)
  • 07:00 is said as "7 uur's ochtend" (7 o'clock in the morning)
  • 12:00 is said as "12 uur's middaq" (noon)
  • 24:00 is said as "12 uur's middernaucht" (midnight)
  • 16:00 is said as "4 uur's middag" (4 o'clock in the afternoon)

How to Understand Half-past, Quarter To, And Quarter Past In Dutch

Half Past

So this is where it gets tricky. Let's begin with how to say 5:30. In English, we would say half-past five. However, in Dutch, half hours are relative to the next hour. 5:30 would be said as "half 6". A bit confusing, right? 

Just think backward to help you remember.

  • 15:30 would be "half 4"
  • 12:30 would be "half 1"
  • 9:30 would be "half 10"

Telling Time In Minutes

Like in English, minutes in Dutch are usually rounded off to the nearest five minutes but are not read or said in the same way at all. Instead of saying 7:40 (seven forty), you would say "10 over half 8." All minutes are expressed relative to the closest half-hour. Let's see some more examples:

  • 5:35 is "5 over half 6"
  • 5:20 is "tien voor half 6" (10 to half to 6)
  • 7:50 is "tien voor 8" (10 to 8)

Quarter Hours

Quarter hours are thankfully expressed just like they are in English and are read to the nearest whole hour. 

For example, 6:15, "kwart over 6" would be quarter past six, and 6:45, "kwart voor zeven" would be quarter to seven.


Talking About Time In Dutch

Time and dates in Dutch

Asking And Answering Questions

What time is it?Hoe laat is het?
It is ___.Het is ___.
... eight o'clock.... acht uur
... half past eight.... half negen
... quarter past eight.... kwart over acht
... quarter to eight.... kwart voor acht
“Are you available on that day?”Ben je op die dag beschikbaar?
“Is this date OK with you?”Is dit een goede datum voor je?
“When is the best time that suits you?”Welke tijd komt het beste bij je uit?
“What are you doing this weekend?”Wat ga je dit weekend doen?
“Can we reschedule this?”Kunnen we dit opnieuw plannen?
“I am free tomorrow.”Ik ben morgen vrij
“This week I am busy.”Dit weekend heb ik het druk
“I am planning to stay at home.”Ik ben van plan om thuis te blijven


Talking About Time In Dutch

Time and dates in Dutch

Adverbs Of Time

last monthafgelopen maand
last weekafgelopen week
next weekvolgende week
next yearvolgend jaar

Other Important Vocabulary Of Time And Dates In Dutch To Know



That's All For Time And Dates In Dutch!

That doesn't mean you stop learning, though! Knowing the date and time vocabulary is essential. But imagine how much more you can communicate and understand your time in the Netherlands if you knew even a little more Dutch?!

Learn Dutch with Ling

That's where Ling comes in. Our friendly monkey - Ling - will guide you through learning a new language; 60 of them if you wish! It's always best to focus on one language at a time, and why not Dutch? You've already started.

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