Basic phrases

Here are some basic Dutch phrases which you can use in everyday conversation, as well as some common words you will see on signs.

jayes
neeno
misschienmaybe
alsjeblieftplease (familiar)
alstublieftplease (polite)
bedanktthanks
hartelijk dankthanks very much

The following are some polite ways you can reply to someone who thanks you:

graag gedaanyou're welcome
geen moeitedon't mention it
graag gedaannot at all

Saying hello and goodbye

Here are some different ways to greet people:

hoihi (quite informal)
hallohello
goedemorgengood morning (used before noon)
goedemiddaggood afternoon (used between noon and 6pm)
goedeavondgood evening (used after 6pm)

The following expressions, on the other hand, are some different things you can say when saying goodbye:

doeibye
Take care!
daggoodbye
goedenachtgoodnight
tot ziens!see you!
tot snel!see you soon!
fijne dag!have a nice day!
fijn weekend!have a good weekend!

Getting someone's attention and apologising

excuseert u mij or pardonexcuse me (can be used to get someone's attention, to get past someone, or to apologise)
sorrySorry

If someone apologises to you, you can reply using one of the following expressions:

geen probleemNo problem
geeft niksIt's OK
maak je geen zorgenDon't worry about it

Making yourself understood

Spreek je Nederlands?Do you speak Dutch?
Spreekt u Nederlands?Do you speak Dutch?
Ik spreek geen NederlandsI don't speak Dutch
Ik spreek niet zo goed NederlandsI don't speak much Dutch
Ik spreek een beetje NederlandsI speak a little Dutch
Ik spreek een heel klein beetje NederlandsI only speak very little Dutch
spreekt u alstublieft langzamerplease speak more slowly
schrijft u het alstublieft opplease write it down
zou u dat alstublieft kunnen herhalen?could you please repeat that?
ik begrijp hetI understand
ik begrijp het nietI don't understand

Other basic phrases

ik weet hetI know
ik weet het nietI don't know
pardon, waar is het toilet?excuse me, where's the toilet?

Things you might see

IngangEntrance
UitgangExit
NooduitgangEmergency exit
DuwenPush
TrekkenPull
ToilettenToilets
WCWC
HerenGentlemen
DamesLadies
VrijVacant
BezetOccupied
Buiten gebruikOut of order
Niet rokenNo smoking
PrivéPrivate
Geen toegangNo entry
sound

Sound is available for all the Dutch phrases on this page — simply click on any phrase to hear it.