Learning Dutch, 7 great words

Do you sometimes feel limited when you are expressing your feelings in Dutch? Life is amazingly great, and all you have in your repertoire is ‘heel goed!’ What spectrum and degrees of comparison do the Dutch have for great, marvelous, outstanding, fantastic, when things are really positive, over the top? Here you can find seven words to express positive emotions and a context/example on how to use them.


To be pronounced with a very long Dutch ‘eeeee’, as in ‘saaaaay’ (say). The longer your ‘eeee’, the greater the compliment, because ‘uitstekend’ means ‘outstanding’. How to use this word in different situations:
Hoe gaat het met je? How are you? Uitstekend!
Heeft het gesmaakt? Did you enjoy your meal? Uitstekend!
Hoe ging je examen? How did you do your exam? Uitstekend!


To be pronounced with a long Dutch ‘aaaaaa’, like you start laughing already, because it means hilarious. How to use this word in different situations:
Hoe vond je de film? Hilarisch!
Hoe vond je zijn reactie? What did you think of his reaction? Hilarisch!
Hoe vind je de Nederlandse zomer? What do you think of the Dutch Summer? Hilarisch!


Again, focus on a long ‘eeeeee’ as in ‘saaaaay’ (say). Heerlijk means delicious. The ‘lijk’ at the end should be pronounced as ‘luk’, without any stress. Heerlijk means delicious. How to use this word in different situations:
En, heeft het gesmaakt? And, did it taste well? Het was heerlijk!
Nog een dag en dan is het weekend. Just one more day and then we have the weekend. Heerlijk!
Mooi weer, he? Nice weather, hey? Heerlijk!


Fantastisch gets the emphasize on the second syllable ‘tas’. Please note, ‘sch’ at the end of a word is always pronounced as a simple ‘s’. And of course, it means ‘fantastic’. How to use this word in different situations:
Hoe vind je de trompettist? How do you like the trumpet player? Fantastisch!
Hoe was je wereldreis? How was your trip around the world? Fantastisch!
Wat een fantastisch idee! What fantastic idea!


If something is magnificent, and you want to express that, then you say ‘geweldig’, with stress on ‘wel’. The more emphasis you put on this ‘wel’ the better the experience is expressed. How to use this word in different situations:
Ben je al verhuisd, bevalt het? Did you move house, how do you like it? Geweldig!
Je hebt me geweldig geholpen! You have helped me in a great way!
Wat vind je van deze auteur? Het is een geweldig boek! It’s a great book!


‘Grappig’ is een grappig woord, like ‘funny’ is a funny word. The word ‘funny’ sounds really light, try to pronounce the Dutch equivalent ‘grappig’ with the same lightness. The ‘g’ at the beginning and end, should be pronounced as a very soft ‘g’ and the ‘ig’ at the end is pronounced as ‘ug’ How to use this word in different situations:
Wat een leuk verhaal. What a nice story. Wat grappig.
Ik dacht precies hetzelfde. I thought exactly the same. Wat grappig!
Waarom lach je? Why are you laughing? Ik vind het helemaal niet grappig.


Again, soft pronunciation of the ‘sch’ in the beginning and the ‘ug’ at the end. This word means ‘cute’. How to use this word in different situations:
Wat een lief cadeautje, wat schattig! What a sweet present, how cute!
O, wat een schattige baby! Oh, what a cute baby!
Ik vind alle jonge dieren schattig. I find all young animals cute. Heel schattig!

Are these words hard to pronounce? Always keep in mind that long sounding vowels are very important in the Dutch language. It is far more important than the consonants that you perhaps see as most difficult and unpronounceable obstacles. Just jump lightly over the consonants and dive into the vowels. Language is like music, get the tone, the rhythm and off you go! Would you like more context on how to use these words? Book a session with one of our tutors and share your super, fantastic, hilarious situations! Geweldig leuk!

written by: Flowently

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