A while ago, I had a conversation with one of my students’ parents about the theme of “de” and “het.” The mother shared that her son is doing well with his Dutch, but the “de” and “het” theme remains a bit challenging.

So, today, let’s dive into the mystery of “de” and “het” in Dutch. Does your child sometimes struggle with this too? Don’t worry! Here’s a little refresher.

When do we use “de”?

Let’s start with “de.” We use “de” when talking about:

  • People: “de juf” (the teacher), “de vriend” (the friend)
  • Animals: “de hond” (the dog), “de kat” (the cat)
  • Matters of the heart: “de liefde” (the love), “de vriendschap” (the friendship)

Example sentences:

  • “De zon schijnt vandaag.” (The sun is shining today.)
  • “Ik speel met de bal.” (I am playing with the ball.)
  • “De bloem is mooi.” (The flower is beautiful.)

When do we use “het”?

Now, let’s talk about “het.” We use “het” when talking about:

  • Things: “het huis” (the house), “het boek” (the book)
  • Abstract things: “het geluk” (happiness), “het weer” (the weather)

Example sentences:

  • “Het is een groot huis.” (It is a big house.)
  • “Ik lees het boek.” (I am reading the book.)
  • “Het regent vandaag.” (It is raining today.)

The secret weapon: practice!

Practice makes perfect, so let’s practice together. Can you figure out if it’s “de” or “het” for these words?

  • Tafel (Table)
  • Meisje (Girl)
  • Computer (Computer)
  • Strand (Beach)
  • School (School)

Answers:

  • De tafel
  • Het meisje
  • De computer
  • Het strand
  • De school

Do you feel like your child might need extra help in the form of online Dutch lessons? You can sign them up for a free trial class via this link.

Written by Anouk Hosman, owner of Dutch for Kids

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