vrijdag 29 januari 2016

Common Dutch mistake: dt

Even the best do it: on the Flemish news agency VRT, there's a small 'dt' mistake. For foreigners, it can be very confusing. Can you find it in the picture?
Copyright: De Redactie
The dt-mistakes are often made, even by respected journalists. The 'problem' is that we can't hear the ending's difference between a -d and a -dt. So we have to rely on the grammar. And the grammar can be quite complicated in Dutch!

The easiest way to find out whether it's -dt instead of -t is to use another verb in the same sentence that doesn't end with -d. Instead of for example 'raden', which is to guess in Dutch, try 'zoeken' or 'werken'. If you hear a 't' with those verbs, the conjugated form will be with -dt, in this case 'raadt'.

And for those who rely on grammar rules: the -dt is only used for the second and third singular present. For the second person of the singular, the t is dropped if the pronoun (that's je or jij) is placed after the verb. There are no other uses in modern Dutch. An old-fashioned way for the imperative is used as well, but that's not modern Dutch.

And well... the mistake is 'zwembadverbod vindt ik paniekreactie'. The t is dropped, because the subject is 'ik', and that's the first person of the singular, for which there is never a dt.

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