Expressing your thoughts with the verb DENKEN
Denken means to think. It’s used as the English to think in Dutch, but not so much as to express your opinion, but more for literally your thoughts. You can, however, also use it to say how you feel in Dutch and to voice your opinion. It’s used alot with the word dat, which starts a cosentence:
Ik denk dat dit beter kan. = I think think this could be done better.
Ik denk dat jij erg aardig bent = I think you’re very nice.
But also without it:
- Ik denk aan jou. = I’m thinking of you.
- Jij denkt heel veel. = You think alot.
- Wij denken aan bloemetjes. = We think of flowers.
Notice how all the verbs in the cosentence with dat move to the end? This is a serious grammatical rule! Practice, practice, practice – force yourself to remember this. It will pay off.
Sharing your opinion with the Dutch verb VINDEN
Vinden is the verb we Dutchies use to express our humble – or not so humble – opinion. Again, this verb can be used with the dat-construction: Ik vind dat jij er erg leuk uit ziet vandaag! = I think you look very nice today!
You could also skip the ‘dat’ and use it as you would in many instances in the English language:
Ik vind jou dom = I find you to be dumb
Zij vinden het huis mooi = They find the house beautiful.
Jij vindt de fiets toch goed? = You find the bike to be good, right?
Can you try and make some of these sentences by yourself with vinden? Go for it!
Telling what you want with the verb WILLEN
It’s nice to not only learn to say how feel in Dutch, but also (maybe even more important) to express what you want. Right?
Ik wil een auto met zeven stoelen. = I want a car with seven chairs.
Wij willen naar Marokko deze zomer. = We want to go to Morocco this summer.
Jij wil toch praten met haar? = You want to talk to her, right?
About the ‘dat’-construction in Dutch..
As you saw with denken and vinden, you can use dat with these verbs too and get the Dutch equivalent for I think that, I want that and I find that, where the that English is not always necessary:
Ik denk dat ik naar huis wil lopen vandaag. = I think that I want to walk home today.
Ik wil dat jij normaal doet nu! = I want you to act normal now!
Ik vind dat de coronapas onzin is. = I find/think the coronapass is rubbish.
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BONUS: say how you feel in Dutch with the verb WORDEN
You might know that worden is used to create passive sentences in Dutch. But did you know you can also use those passive constructions to share how you feel? For example:
Ik word moe van het weer. = I’m getting tired of the weather.
Zij worden boos als je niet komt! =They’ll be angry if you don’t come!
Hij wordt gek van die anti-vaxxers. = He’s going crazy because of those anti-vaxxers.