April 2014


"Oude koeien uit de sloot halen: Get old cows out of the ditch = Go back over old arguments"

Dear ,

In this newsletter, I will explain the basics on how to make the past of "weak" verbs (verbs that have a regular form in the past tense), so you can "oude koeien uit de sloot halen". But I know from experience that reading about grammar is something completely different than being able to use it. Therefore, I will give a FREE INTERACTIVE WEBINAR about this subject on Tuesday, April 29th. Mark your calendar!

1) First, take -EN off the verb:

werken - werk / rennen - renn

2) Pronounce the last letter, does it sound "soft"? Or does it sound "harsh"?
All harsh (voiceless) letters are s, f, t, k, ch, p (think of the word SoFT KeTCHuP if that would make it easier for you). Softer (voiced) letters are for example l, m, n, d.

3) After a harsh ending, we use a T, after a soft ending, we use the softer D in the past tense. In general, you will get something like this:

ik/jij/hij/u werkte
wij/jullie/zij werkten

ik/jij/hij/u rende
wij/jullie/zij renden (the extra n from the stem is not necessary for the pronunciation, so we got rid of that first ;-)

4) To make "the other" past tense, you place "ge" in front of the stem, and following hte same rule as mentioned above, a T or a D at the end. Only then you apply the spelling rules if necessary.

5) Extra rules will be discussed in the next news letter.

If you wish, you can download some flashcards to practise this theory. Feel free to mail me if you have questions about this.


Last week, my friend Anh, a Vietnamese tour guide, showed us (me and the students who were in her Dutch class) around AmsterdamAmsterdam. We were on the train, on a boat, walking in the streets and we ended in a very good Vietnamese restaurant, speaking Dutch all the time!

Everybody had so much fun that we decided to do this kind of thing more often: Dutch Adventures was born!

See the pictures of this Dutch Adventure here. Anh knows so much about Holland (and the rest of Europe)!

You can book Anh for Vietnamese, English or Dutch speaking groups. (Nice idea when you have family coming over?) If you would like to combine a tour with a Dutch Conversation Lesson, you can book Anh and me together.

To know when future Dutch Adventures are scheduled, you can go to my Face Book Page, like the page AND choose the option to get notifications, or look regularly on my home page for the new dates.

These Dutch Adventures are already planned:

With Anh & me
April 24th, 2 p.m.-8.30 p.m., starts at Bussum Station.
Train, coffee, boat tour, dinner & Dutch conversation.
3-10 participants
€99,95 p.p. all in

horsing aroundHORSING AROUND
With 2PK (Linda & Asta plus their horses) and me
Meet a horse and discover more about yourself! Experience the power of working with horses. A horse is like a mirror! Horses can teach us the skills that move us beyond our current reality into a greater level of consciousness and connection to all things.

If there is any fear for horses, no worries, we will deal with that first. This training doesn't involve horseback riding. You will work with the horse from the ground. Asta, Linda and their horses will give you a warm welcome.
May 8th 10-12 a.m.
€30,- p.p.

With Anh & me
May 27th, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., starts at Bussum Station.
Train, coffee, clog making demonstration, cheese farm, lunch, windmills & Dutch conversation.
3-10 participants
€99,95 p.p. all in

With dog Mister, horse Morpheus, me and maybe volunteers Daphne & Anh as well.
Would you like to meet the team behind Learn Dutch Fast? Join me and the rest of my team. Brush Morpheus and walk with Mister and me in the forest while speaking Dutch.
Friday, May 30th.
10-12 a.m.

You can find the "normal" courses here.


Learn Dutch Fast is now a partner of Wellness-Kadobon, which means that if you give one of their vouchers as a present, it can be used for varies treatments, but also for Dutch lessons at Learn Dutch Fast ;-)

Tot ziens!

Sylvia Clements
LEARN DUTCH FAST     www.learndutchfast.nl