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Questions and question words

Questions and question words

In Dutch we distinguish between ‘yes and no’ questions and questions beginning with a question word. Both are characterized by the inversion of subject and verb.

Examples for ‘yes and no’ questions 

These questions begin with the conjugated verb, followed by the subject: 

  • Heeft u vanavond tijd? Do you have time tonight? 
  • Ga je mee naar de bioscoop? Are you going to the cinema with me/us? 
  • Is dit de trein naar Arnhem? Is this the train to Arnhem?

Start with the verb

Learn how to form questions in Dutch. It is easy, you follow the following sentence structure:

Verb + subject + rest + rest of verbs


  • Wil je naar mijn feestje komen?
  • Drink je koffie?
  • Heb je het koud?
  • Zijn jullie blij?
  • Is het lekker weer?

Questions beginning with a question word (or interrogative) 

These questions begin with a question word, followed by the conjugated verb, while the subject takes the third position in the sentence. 

  • Hoe heet je? What is your name? 
  • Waar woont u? Where do you live? 
  • Wat willen jullie vanavond eten? What would you like to eat tonight?

Question words

who wie where waar
what wat where to waar... naartoe
why waarom where from waar... vandaan
when wanneer which welk / welke
how hoe Isn't it?, etc. niet waar?


  • What - Wat:
    • What are you doing? - Wat ben je aan het doen?
  • Who - Wie:
    • Who is that? - Wie is dat?
  • Where - Waar:
    • Where were you yesterday? - Waar was je gisteren?
  • Which - Welke:
    • Which one is the best? - Welke is de beste?
  • Why - Waarom:
    • Why did she do that? - Waarom deed ze dat?
  • When - Wanneer:
    • When did this happen? - Wanneer is dit gebeurd?
  • How (much) - Hoe(veel):
    • How is that possible? - Hoe is dat mogelijk?
    • How much does this cost? - Hoeveel kost dit?

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