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.
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.
The following are the days of the week (De dagen van de week) with their abbreviations.
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.
These are the months of the year (De maanden van het jaar).
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:
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.
See?! Quite easy.
The Netherlands is a temperate climate which means they have four seasons. The four seasons of the year are:
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:
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:
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.
With a.m. and p.m. not being used, the Dutch have appositions instead to indicate times of the day. These oppositions are:
Now let's take a look at some real-world examples of this and how you would say time.
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.
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:
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.
|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|
|last month||afgelopen maand|
|last week||afgelopen week|
|next week||volgende week|
|next year||volgend jaar|
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?!
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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