Below are some useful Dutch greetings:
- Hallo/Hoi = Hello
- Goedemorgen = Good morning
- Goedendag/Dag = Good day
- Goedemiddag = Good afternoon
- Goedenavond = Good evening
- Goedenacht = Good night
- Welterusten = Good night (= more informal)
- Tot ziens/Dag/Doei = Goodbye
- Aangenaam = Nice to meet you
- Tot later = See you later
- Tot straks = See you soon
Other useful Dutch words and phrases
Some other useful expressions are:
- Ja/Nee = Yes/No
- Dank je wel = Thank you (informal)
- Dank u wel = Thank you (formal)
- Graag gedaan/Geen dank = That is OK/You are welcome/No problem
- Alsjeblieft = Please (informal)
- Alstublieft = Please (formal)
- Excuseer = Excuse me
- Het spijt me…. Het geeft niet = I am sorry….Do not worry about it/No need to apologise.
What to say in Dutch if you do not understand someone
- Kan je/Kunt je langzamer praten? = Could you speak more slowly? (informal)
- Kan je/Kunt u dat herhalen? = Can you repeat that? (informal/formal)
- Ik versta niet/Ik weet het niet. = I do not understand/I do not know.
Asking ‘How are you?’
- Hoe gaat het met u? = How are you? (formal) (Literally: How goes it with you? (formal))
- Hoe gaat het met je/jou? = How are you? (informal & singular) (Literally: How goes it to you? (informal & singular))
- Hoe gaat het met jullie? = How are you? (informal & plural) (Literally: How goes it to you? (informal & plural))
- Heel goed dank je wel = Very well thank you (informal & singular)
- Heel goed dank u wel = Very well thank you (formal)
- Niet zo goed = Not so well
- en met u? = and you? (formal) (Literally: and with you? (formal))
- en met je/jou? = and you? (informal & singular) (Literally: and with you? (informal & singular))
- en met jullie? = and you? (informal & plural) (Literally: and with you? (informal & plural))
Formality using the Dutch language
Where I refer to formality above, it refers to who you are talking to. Essentially:
- In the Netherlands most people speak informally to each other. Most people speak formally only when they are talking to someone in a formal position (e.g. policeman, employer, possibly older family members).
- In Belgium the situation is different. In Belgium people tend to speak more formally unless speaking to a close friend, close family member, etc.
I hope that the above post has given you an introduction to Dutch grettings as well as some other commonly used words in the Dutch language. If you have found this post useful, please share it on social media using the links below.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you have or to book Dutch language sessions (offered at beginner’s level e.g. for holidays). (For more information about my language tuition services, please click here).