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Your Most Comprehensive List of 100 Adverbs in Afrikaans

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So, you’re keen to tell your Afrikaans friends what you’ve been up to. And you have all the right werkwoorde (“verbs“) to manage this well! But if you are, for instance, really excited about something you did, or about something that happened, verbs alone will be inadequate. You’ll have to use an adverb in Afrikaans here. It’s the difference between saying: “The group laughs” and “The group laughs happily.”

In the last sentence, “happily” is the adverb, and its omission could affect the meaning of the sentence, won’t you agree? For this reason, we consider adverbs important at AfrikaansPod101, so let us help you master them easily! In fact, why not start with our blog post that tells you almost everything about Afrikaans verbs? Then, dare to dive into the deep end with these tricky Afrikaans conjugations

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Why is Mastering Adverbs in Afrikaans Important?
  2. Definition of an Adverb in Afrikaans
  3. Adverbs as Adjectives and Vice Versa
  4. Lists of Adverbs in Afrikaans
  5. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Ace Your Adverbs in Afrikaans!

1. Why is Mastering Adverbs in Afrikaans Important?

As mentioned, an adverb can affect the meaning of what’s being expressed. Accuracy when reporting something could be especially crucial in situations like the following (underlined words are bywoorde):

1) When visiting the doctor, it would help if you could say: My elmboog beweeg glad nie. (“My elbow doesn’t move at all.”) Or maybe: Ek sluk moeilik. (“I swallow with difficulty.”) Knowing how to use Afrikaans adverbs properly can help a medical professional help you better!

2) When visiting the police or appearing in court, it would help if you could report: Hy het my baie hard geslaan. (“He hit me very hard.”) Or: Die kar het te vinnig gery. (“The car drove too fast.”)

3) When you have to give directions, it would help if you could instruct: Draai links by die verkeerslig. (“Turn left at the traffic light.”) Or: Stop hier. (“Stop here.”)

MAN TAKING DIRECTIONS FROM WOMAN

4) When you talk to your Afrikaans-speaking manager or employer, it would help if you could say: Ek het gister gewerk. (“I worked yesterday.”) Or: Hy het laat aangekom. (“He arrived late.”)

These are only a few examples, but it should be clear that adverbs are important to know and master!

2. Definition of an Adverb in Afrikaans

As mentioned, an adverb in Afrikaans is called a bywoord. Like in English, it describes or says something about the verb (werkwoord) in a sentence.

According to Wikipedia, adverbs usually give more information about manner, place, time, frequency, degree, and so on. They answer questions about how, when, where, and why something happened, and an adverb can be composed of one word or many words (called an adverbial phrase or clause). 

3. Adverbs as Adjectives and Vice Versa

Did you know that all adjectives can be used as adverbs too?

For instance:

i) Die gelukkige kind lag. (“The happy child laughs.”) 

The bolded words are adjectives. Do you know the grammar rule here? Why is gelukkige considered an adjective? Let us know in the comments!

ii) Hy voel gelukkig. (“He feels happy.”) 

This time, the bolded words are adverbs, because they describe or say more about the action (voel means “feel”).

HAPPY GIRL LAUGHING

4. Lists of Adverbs in Afrikaans

There are several types of adverbs in Afrikaans, grouped according to their functions:

1. Time (Tyd)

2. Place (Plek)

3. Manner (Wyse)

4. Degree and Frequency (Graad / Hoeveelheid)

5. Modality (Modaliteit)

6. Causality (Oorsaak)

7. Circumstance (Omstandigheid)

8. Relation and Restriction (Verhouding en Beperking)

9. Reason (Rede)

10. Measurement (Maat)

11. Purpose (Doel)

12. Inquiring (Vraend)

As you work through these, you will find that the adverbs often overlap in function. 

CLOCK
EnglishAfrikaans
Adverbs of TimeBywoorde van Tyd
“Early” / “Earlier” / “Earliest”
“The rooster crows early. It wakes up the earliest.”
Vroeg / Vroeër / Vroegste
Die haan kraai vroeg. Dit word die vroegste wakker.
“Late” / “Later” / “Latest”
“This train leaves the latest.” / “Rather go later.”
Laat / Later / Laatste
Hierdie trein vertrek die laatste. / Gaan liewer later.
“Next”
“You can go next.”
Volgende
Jy kan volgende gaan.
“Previously”
“He lived in the UK previously.”
Vroeër / voorheen
Hy’t vroeër/voorheen in die VK gebly.
“By day”
“I work by day.”
Bedags
Ek werk bedags.
“At night”
“I sleep at night.”
Snags
Ek slaap snags.
“In time”
“They left in time.”
Betyds
Hulle het betyds vertrek.
“Nowadays”
“Nowadays, we sing.”
Deesdae
Deesdae sing ons.
“In the afternoons”
“We play in the afternoons.”
Smiddae / Smiddags
Ons speel smiddae.
“Seldom”
“The cat seldom eats.”
Selde
Die kat eet selde.
“Quickly”
“Come quickly.”
Gou / gou-gou
Kom gou-gou.
“Soon” / “One of these days”
“He’ll fly soon.”
Eersdaags / Binnekort
Hy sal binnekort vlieg.
“First”
“We first lived here.”
Eers
Ons het eers hier gebly.
“At last”
“At last, he replies.”
Uiteindelik
Uiteindelik antwoord hy.
“Sometimes”
“Sometimes the child cries.”
Soms
Soms huil die kind.
“Henceforth”
“Henceforth, you must drive.”
Voortaan
Voortaan moet jy bestuur.
“Often”
“The girl often dances.”
Gereeld
Die meisie dans gereeld.
“Time and again”
“We are being warned time and again.”
Telkens
Ons word telkens gewaarsku.
“Long”
“I finished long ago.”
Lankal
Ek is lankal klaar.
“Suddenly”
“We suddenly stop.”
Skielik / Meteens
Ons stop skielik.
“Immediately”
“Drink immediately.”
Dadelik / Onmiddelik
Drink dadelik.
“Forever”
“They left forever.”
Vergoed
Hulle is vergoed weg.
“Once”
“Once there was a witch.”
Eenmaal
Eenmaal was daar ‘n heks.
“Meanwhile”
“Meanwhile, he laughed.”
Intussen
Intussen lag hy.
“Yet”
“She is yet to come.”
Nog
Sy moet nog kom.
“Then”
“Then I will write.”
Dan
Dan sal ek skryf.
“Never”
“He never showed up.”
Nooit
Hy het nooit opgedaag nie.
“Always”
“I will always love you.”
Altyd
Ek sal jou altyd liefhê.
MAP OF AFRICA

Adverbs of Place / Bywoorde van Plek

EnglishAfrikaans
“Outside” (1)
“The parrot flies (to the) outside.”
Buitentoe
Die papegaai vlieg buitentoe.
“Outside” (2)
“We barbeque outside.”
Buite
Ons braai buite.
“Inside” (1)
“It’s cold; stay inside.”
Binne
Dis koud – bly binne.
“Inside” (2)
“Look inside.”
Binnekant
Kyk in die binnekant.
“Around”
“He looks around.”
Rond
Hy kyk rond.
“There” (1)
“We will go there.”
Daarheen / Daarnatoe (Used when going somewhere.)
Ons sal daarheen gaan.
“There” (2)
“Look there.”
Daar. (Used when referring to directions.)
Kyk daar.
“Internally”
“He was wounded internally.”
Inwendig
Hy is inwendig gewond.
“Left” & “Right”
“First turn left, then right.”
Links & Regs
Draai eers links, dan regs.
“Up”/”Upwards” & “Down”/”Downwards”
“Look up, then down.”
Op/Opwaarts & Af/Afwaarts
Kyk op, dan af.
“Here” (1)
“Come here.”
Hier/Hiernatoe
Kom hier.
“Here” (2)
“We moved here.”
Hierheen
Ons het hierheen getrek.
“Forwards” & “Backwards”
“First walk forwards, and then backwards.”
Voerentoe & Agtertoe
Loop eers vorentoe, en dan agtertoe.
“All together”
“All together, there were four.”
Als tesame
Als tesame was daar vier.
“There” (3)
“Are you going there?”
Soontoe
Gaan jy soontoe?
“Everywhere”
“I search everywhere.”
Orals
Ek soek orals.
“Together”
“We all stand together.”
Saam
Ons almal staan saam.
Adverbs of Manner Bywoorde van Wyse
DESSERT
“Different”
“He is different.”
Anders
Hy is anders.
“Quietly”
“The snake moves quietly.”
Suutjies / Saggies
Die slang beweeg suutjies.
“Silent” / “Quiet”
“The mouse keeps quiet.”
Stil
Die muis bly stil.
“Delicious”
“The dessert tastes delicious.”
Heerlik
Die nagereg smaak heerlik.
“Beautiful”
“The flowers are beautiful.”
Pragtig
Die blomme is pragtig.
“Pretty”
“The bedroom looks pretty.”
Mooi
Die slaapkamer lyk mooi.
“Bad”
“The bathroom looks bad.”
Sleg
Die badkamer lyk sleg.
“Off”
“The atmosphere feels off.”
Af
Die atmosfeer voel af.
“Blindly”
“He flees blindly.”
Blindelings
Hy vlug blindelings.
“Curtly”
“She replies curtly.”
Kortaf
Sy antwoord kortaf.
“A bit” / “A little”
“It drips a bit.”
Effens
Dit drup effens.
“Wonderfully”
“The orchestra plays wonderfully.”
Wonderlik
Die orkes speel wonderlik.
“Clearly”
“Please speak clearly.”
Duidelik
Asseblief praat duidelik.
“Rather”
“You should rather go home.”
Liewer
Jy moet liewer huistoe gaan.
“Diligently”
“The girl works diligently.”
Fluks
Die meisie werk fluks.
“Upside-down”
“The truck lies upside-down.”
Onderstebo
Die trok lê onderstebo.
“Slowly”
“The old man walks slowly.”
Stadig / Langsaam
Die ou man loop stadig.
Lit. “rest-rest.” Meaning: resting intermittently
“She moves along, resting often.”
Rus-rus
Sy vorder rus-rus.
Lit. “searching-searching.” Meaning: searching around.
“The cat moves (while) searching around.”

Note: The last two are examples of double-adverbs, a speech convention in Afrikaans that denotes and emphasizes continuous action. Other adverbs that can be used like this are:

Laugh
Cry
Sing
Jump
Look
Play

Soek-soek
Die kat beweeg soek-soek rond.







Lag-lag
Huil-huil
Sing-sing
Jump-jump
Kyk-kyk
Speel-speel
“Searchingly”
“He looks searchingly.”
Soekend
Hy kyk soekend.
Adverbs of Degree and Frequency / Bywoorde van Graad en Hoeveelheid
MONEY COINS
“Very”
“The day is very beautiful.”
Baie
Die dag is baie mooi.
“Way too”
“You’re paying way too much for it.”
Veels
Jy betaal veels te veel daarvoor.
“Approximately”
“There are approximately ten places left.”
Ongeveer
Daar is ongeveer tien plekke oor.
“More or less”
“The play is more or less finished.”
Byna
Die opvoering is byna klaar.
“Only”
“He is only five years old.”
Net
Hy is net vyf jaar oud.
“Terribly”
“The test was terribly difficult.”
Vreeslik
Die toets was vreeslik moeilik.
“Fairly”
“We were fairly early.”
Taamlik
Ons was taamlik vroeg.
“Scarcely”
“The old dog can scarcely walk.”
Skaars
Die ou hond kan skaars loop.
“Not at all”
“That is not at all difficult.”
Gladnie
Dit is gladnie moeilik nie.
“Highly”(Very)
“I’m highly pleased with the results.”
Hoogs
Ek is hoogs tevrede met die resultate.
“Totally”
“The movie’s plot was totally outrageous.”
Heeltemal
Die film se plot was heeltemal verregaande.
“Not really”
“They are not really accommodating.”
Nie juis
Hulle is nie juis tegemoetkomend nie.
“Especially”
“The boy, especially, is clever.”
Veral
Die seun veral is slim.
“Mainly”
“We sell mainly software.”
Meestal
Ons verkoop meestal sagteware.
“So”
“He was so happy.”
So
Hy was so gelukkig.
“Almost”
“He almost cried.”
Amper
Hy het amper gehuil.
“Enough”
“Have you had enough?”
Genoeg
Het julle genoeg gehad?
“By far”
“She is, by far, the prettiest.”
Verreweg
Sy is verreweg die mooiste.
“Moreover”
“The priest was moreover late.”
Boonop
Die priester was boonop laat.
Adverbs of Modality / Bywoorde van Modaliteit

DANCING COUPLE


These adverbs in Afrikaans are divided into six categories:
1. Confirmation
2. Denial
3. Doubt
4. Wish
5. Concession
6. Conditional

Note: Don’t break your head too much over these at first! They’re for more advanced Afrikaans studies.
Confirmation:

“Really” (1): “I really don’t know who he is.”
“Really” (2): “He really tried.”
“Indeed”: “We are indeed grateful.”
“Definitely”: “The guy is definitely talented.”
“Truly”: “They are truly good dancers.”

Untranslatable confirmation adverbs of modality:
Bevestiging:

Werklik: Ek weet werklik nie wie hy is nie.
Regtig: Hy het regtig probeer.
Inderdaad: Ons is inderdaad dankbaar.
Beslis: Die ou is beslis talentvol.
Gewis: Hulle is gewis goeie dansers.

immers, mos, bepaald, tog, stellig
Denial:

“Never” (or “never ever”): “I would never do that.”
“Not at all”: “That is not at all what she means.”
“Impossible”: “The task felt impossible.”
“In vain”: “He tries in vain.”
“Yet” / “Not”: “Yet, not all was in vain.”
“(Not) at all”: “Mila doesn’t mind at all.”
“Never even”: “She never even saw it coming.”
“(Not) completely”: “I don’t trust them completely.”
“Absolutely” / “Completely”: “They absolutely refuse to leave.”
Ontkenning:

Nog nooit … nie: Ek sal dit nooit doen nie.
Gladnie … nie: Dit is gladnie wat sy bedoel nie.
Onmoontlik: Die taak het onmoontlik gevoel.
Tevergeefs: Hy probeer tevergeefs.
Tog nie: Alles was tog nie verniet nie.
Geensins: Mila gee geensins om nie.
Nooit eens: Sy het dit nooit eens sien kom nie.
Nie heeltemal nie: Ek vertrou hulle nie heeltemal nie.
Volstrek: Hulle weier volstrek om te gaan.
Doubt:

“Maybe”: “Maybe we’ll go next year.”
“Perhaps”: “Perhaps Paul will join us.”
“Presumably”: “The girl is presumably his daughter.”
“Sure” / “Unsure”: “He is sure this time.”
“Probably”: “The plane is probably leaving on time.”
Twyfel:

Miskien: Miskien gaan ons volgende jaar.
Dalk: Dalk kom Paul saam met ons.
Vermoedelik: Die meisie is vermoedelik sy dogter.
Seker / Onseker: Hy is seker hierdie keer.
Waarskynlik: Die vliegtuig vertrek waarskynlik betyds.
Wish:

“Please”: “Come over, please.”
“Please-please”: “Let him play longer, please-please!”
“If only”: “If only she’d leave!”
Wens:

Asseblief: Kom oor, asseblief.
Asseblieftog: Laat hom langer speel, asseblieftog!
Tog maar … net: As sy tog maar net sal gaan!
Concession: 

“However”: “However, we won’t stay long.”
“Still”: “Still, don’t hurry.”
“Nevertheless”: “He nevertheless left too early.”


Other concession adverbs of modality:
Toegewing:

Egter: Ons sal egter nie lank bly nie.
Nogtans: Moet nogtans nie haastig wees nie.
Desnieteenstaande / Nietemin: Hy het nietemin te gou geloop.

darem, tog, intussen
Conditional:

“Preferably”: “Preferably, be early.”
“Otherwise”: “Otherwise, you’ll have to go see the doctor.”
“Only:” “She will agree only if he asks.”
Voorwaardelik:

Verkieslik: Wees verkieslik vroeg.
Anders: Anders moet jy die dokter gaan sien.

Slegs: Sy sal instem slegs as hy vra.
Adverbs of Causality / Bywoorde van Oorsaaklikheid

MAN TALKING ON THE PHONE

“Therefore”
“He therefore failed.”
Daarom
Hy het daarom misluk.
“About this”
“We need to talk about this.”
Hieroor
Ons moet hieroor praat.
“Through this”
“It was salvaged through this.”
Daardeur
Dit is daardeur gered.
“Hereby”
“I hereby declare you husband and wife.”
Hierdeur
Ek verklaar julle hierdeur man en vrou.
Adverbs of Circumstance / Bywoorde van Omstandigheid
“Incessantly”
“They talk incessantly.”
Onophoudelik
Hulle praat onophoudelik.
“Unexpectedly”
“He returned unexpectedly.”
Onverwags
Hy het onverwags teruggekom.
“Suddenly”
“The night is suddenly quiet.”
Meteens
Die nag is meteens stil.
“Alone”
“The wolf walks alone.”
Alleen
Die wolf loop alleen.
“Together”
“We walk together.”
Saam
Ons loop saam.
“In vain”
“The man knocks in vain.”
Vergeefs
Die man klop vergeefs.
“Playfully”
“She taps his hand playfully.”
Speelsgewys
Sy tik sy hand speelsgewys.
“Unconditionally”
“The woman promises unconditionally.”
Onvoorwaardelik
Die vrou belowe onvoorwaardelik.
Adverbs of Relation and Restriction / Bywoorde van Verhouding en Beperking
“Only” (1)
“The cat only blinks.”
Net
Die kat knip net (sy oë).
“Only” (2)
“It only moves if you touch it.”
Alleen
Dit beweeg alleen as jy dit aanraak.
“Only” (3)
“Three were only wounded.”
Slegs
Drie was slegs gewond.
“In part”
“The finger moves in part.”
Gedeeltelik
Die vinger beweeg gedeeltelik.
“About this”
“The teacher talks about this.”
Hieroor
Die onderwyser praat hieroor.
Adverbs of Reason / Bywoorde van Rede
“Therefore” (1)
“Therefore, she wouldn’t sleep.”
Daarom / Daaroor
Daarom wou sy nie slaap nie.
“Therefore” (2)
“They therefore turn.”
Dus
Hulle draai dus.
“For this reason”
“She came for this reason.”
Hieroor
Sy het hieroor gekom.
Adverbs of Means / Bywoorde van Middel
“With this” / “Herewith”
“I eat with this.”
Hiermee
Ek eet hiermee.
“With (that)”
“The puppy plays with that.”
Daarmee
Die hondjie speel daarmee.
Adverbs of Measurement / Bywoorde van Maat
“Little” (1) / “Less” / “The least”
“The cook dishes up less.”
Min / Minder / Die minste
Die kok skep minder op.
“A lot”
“She drinks a lot.”
Baie
Sy drink baie.
“Little by little”
“The money accumulates little by little.”
Bietjie-bietjie
Die geld vermeerder bietjie-bietjie.
“More” / “The most”
“They want more.”
Meer / Die meeste
Hulle wil meer hê.
“Little” (2)
“The boy gives little.”
Weinig
Die seun gee weinig.
Adverbs of Purpose / Bywoorde van Doel
POURING MEDICINE INTO A SPOON

“For this”
“For this, we use a spoon.”
Hiervoor
Hiervoor gebruik ons ‘n lepel.
“For that”
“For that, we use a knife.”
Daarvoor
Daarvoor gebruik ons ‘n mes.
“With this”
“She rubs the oil with this.”
Hiermee
Sy vryf die olie hiermee.
“With that”
“The car moves with that.”
Daarmee
Die kar beweeg daarmee.
Inquiring or Asking Adverbs / Vraende Bywoorde
These are also adverbs of time, manner, measurement, etc. Each can be used as a question on its own, as well (as long as the context is clear, of course).
“When?”
“When do they arrive?”
Wanneer?
Wanneer kom hulle?
“Why?”
“Why does he laugh?”
Hoekom? / Waarom?
Hoekom lag hy?
“Who?”
“Who walks there?”
Wie?
Wie loop daar?
“Where … from?”
“Where is the lady from?”
Waarvandaan?
Waarvandaan kom die dame?
“Where … to?”
“Where are you going to?”
Waarheen?
Waarheen gaan jy?
“What time?”
“What time does the plane leave?”
Hoe laat?
Hoe laat vertrek die vliegtuig?
“How many?”
“How many guests drink coffee?”
Hoeveel?
Hoeveel gaste drink koffie?
“How big?”
“How big is the snake?”
Hoe groot?
Hoe groot is die slang?
“How tall?” (1)
“How tall is the tower?”
Hoe hoog?
Hoe hoog is die toring?
“How tall?” (2)
“How tall are you?”
Hoe lank? (1)
Hoe lank is jy?
“How long?”
“How long has it been?”
Hoe lank? (2)
Hoe lank is dit nou?
“Which?”
“Which radio plays?”
Watter?
Watter radio speel?
Top Verbs

5. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Ace Your Adverbs in Afrikaans!

With us, you get to learn these adverbs and how to use them in easy, fun ways, and from a native Afrikaans speaker, too! Also, if you sign up with us, you’ll get immediate access to free tools, such as hundreds of vocabulary lists, a comprehensive core word list, a key phrase list, and a word of the day every day. That’s a bargain!

So, sign up now for a free lifetime account, and you’ll immediately be able to use other tools too, such as these hugely helpful Flashcards. You’ll also get space to create your own personalized Word Bank.

With application and persistence, and the help of our fantastic team, you’ll be able to speak Afrikaans like  a native in no time at all! Enroll today.

Before you leave, let us know in the comments if we missed any important adverb in Afrikaans that you still want to know! We’ll be glad to help.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Afrikaans

All About Verb Conjugation in Afrikaans – Your Best Guide!

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So, you know all about verbs in Afrikaans, but you’re still unsure about conjugations. No problem! Let’s learn about Afrikaans verb conjugation together.

In Afrikaans, it’s pretty simple, as verbs conjugate (vervoeg) in only a few instances. In other words, with most Afrikaans tenses, there are some changes to sentence structure and words, but not to the verb. The only exceptions are in the case of past tenses and the present participle. 

Fantastically easy, right? Yes! With AfrikaansPod101, this is definitely the case.

Let’s unpack this grammar rule in more detail, starting with some definitions.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Inflection vs. Conjugation
  2. Afrikaans Verb Inflections and Conjugations
  3. Quiz – Which Ones are Conjugations?
  4. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Your Conjugations!

1. Inflection vs. Conjugation

Top Verbs

These two terms are often confused, which is understandable. They’re very closely related. Fortunately, they’re not difficult to distinguish and can, in many instances, be used interchangeably. 

“Inflections” (verbuigings) is a general term that refers to form changes that can occur to sentences, verbs, nouns, etc., based on a number of variables. 

“Conjugations” (vervoegings) is a subset of inflections that applies only to verbs. Its counterpart for nouns is called “declensions.” So, all conjugations are inflections, but not all inflections are conjugations. Also, strictly speaking, calling them “Afrikaans verb conjugations” is a tautology, meaning that the use of “verb” is redundant. This is because, by definition, only verbs can be conjugated! (Think: “The frozen ice is cold!”)

Afrikaans verbs are conjugated for time only, as previously stated. They don’t inflect (change), for instance, for nouns and pronouns, meaning the verb stays the same no matter which noun or pronoun you use. This differs from English and some other Germanic languages, where the verb does change or inflect according to the noun or pronoun.

To illustrate this unique facet of Afrikaans conjugation, take a look at the English and Afrikaans tables below:

ENGLISH

Singular Nouns and Pronouns – Present TensePlural Nouns and Pronouns + “I” – Present Tense
he sits; she sits; it sits; the child sitsI sit; you sit; they sit; we sit; the children sit
he eats; she eats; it eats; the koala bear eatsI eat; you eat; they eat; we eat; the koala bears eat
Singular Nouns and Pronouns – Past TensePlural Nouns and Pronouns + “I” – Past Tense
he sat; she sat; it sat; the child satI sat; you sat; they sat; we sat; the children sat
he ate; she ate; it ate; the koala bear ateI ate; you ate; they ate; we ate; the koala bears ate

From the table above, you should notice that the verbs “sit” and “eat” inflect with an “-s” at the end for singular nouns and pronouns. For plural nouns and pronouns, only the base forms of the verbs are used, meaning the “-s” is omitted. All these changes take place when you’re using the present tense. For past tense use, they inflect again…can you spot the differences? Let us know in the comments! 

Afrikaans, in contrast, is totally easy:

AFRIKAANS

Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns – Present Tense
ek sit; sy sit; hy sit; hulle sit; ons sit; die kind sit; die kinders sit
ek eet; sy eet; hy eet; hulle eet; ons eet; die koalabeer eet; die koalabere eet

Here, it’s clear that the verbs (“sit” and “eat”) don’t inflect at all for any of the pronouns and nouns. Super easy! 

KOALA BEAR

With past tenses, as well as the present participle, conjugation in Afrikaans is a different story.

2. Afrikaans Verb Inflections and Conjugations

For the sake of good understanding, let’s take a look at when and how conjugations and verb inflections happen in different types of Afrikaans sentences.

Important Note for Table I: Just a reminder that “inflection” refers to changes that were made to the sentence and any words other than verbs. “Conjugation” refers to changes to verbs only.

Table I

Type of SentenceExamples of Verb Inflections (incl. Conjugations)
Imperative (orders and commands)1. Verb: Kniel / “Bow”
Example: Kniel! / “Bow (down)!”

2. Verb: Praat / “Talk”
Example: Praat sagter! / Lit: “Talk softer!”

Rule: 
  • There is no conjugation. 
  • Sag is inflected with the suffix -er

QUIET WOMAN IN MOVIE THEATER
Infinitive (ongoing action)Present
1. Verbs: Sukkel and Loop / “Battles” and “Walk”
Example: Die man sukkel om te loop. / “The man battles to walk.”

2. Verbs: Hou (daar)van and Lag / “Likes” and “Laugh”
Example: Ek hou daarvan om te lag. / Lit: “I enjoy it to laugh.”
 
Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Always precede the second verb with om te. No conjugation.

Past:
1. Verbs: Sukkel and Loop / “Battles” and “Walk”
Example: Die man het gesukkel om te loop. / “The man battled to walk.”

2. Verbs: Hou (daar)van and Lag / “Likes” and “Laugh”
Example: Ek het daarvan gehou om te lag. / Lit: “I enjoyed it to laugh.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Precede the first verb with the time word het, and the second one with om te
  • Conjugation – Add the prefix ge- to the first verb.
Future: 
1. Verbs: Sukkel and Loop / “Battles” and “Walk”
Example: Die man sal sukkel om te loop. / “The man will battle to walk.”

2. Verbs: Hou (daar)van and Lag / “Likes (to)” and “Laugh”
Example: Ek gaan hou daarvan om te lag. / Lit: “I am going to like it to laugh.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Precede the first verb with the time word gaan / sal / wil, and the second one with om te
  • No conjugation.
Conditional Past, Present, and FuturePast
1. Verb: Wen / “Win” and Be-verbs
Example: Hy sou gewen het as hy fikser was. / “He would’ve won if he had been/was fitter.” 

2. Verb: Werk / “Work”
Example: Hulle sou gewerk het as dit nodig was. / “They would’ve worked if it had been/was necessary.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Always precede the first verb with sou and follow it with het as + conditional clause + appropriate be-verb (in this case, was). 
  • Conjugation – Add the prefix ge- to the verb.
Present: 
1. Verb: Eet / “Eat” and Be-verbs
Example: Die hond sou eet as daar kos was. / “The dog would eat if there were food.”

2. Verb: Dans / “Dance”
Example: Die vrou sou dans as daar musiek was. / “The woman would dance if there were music.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Always precede the first verb with sou, and follow it with as + conditional clause + appropriate be-verb (was, in this case). 
  • No conjugation.
Future: 
1. Verb: Slaap / “Sleep” 
Example: Die baba sal slaap as die kamer donker genoeg is. / “The baby will sleep if the room is dark enough.”

2. Verb: Vertrek / “Leave”
Example: Ons sal vanaand vertrek as die motor reg is. / “We’ll leave tonight if the car is ready.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Always precede the first verb with a time word like sal / gaan / wil and follow it with as + conditional clause + appropriate be-verb (in this case, is). 
  • No conjugation.
Present1. Verb: Val / “Falls”
Example: Die reën val saggies. / “The rain falls quietly.”

2. Verb: Hardloop / “Run”
Example: Hulle hardloop weg. / “They run away.”

Rule: 
  • No conjugation.
Present Participle (forms perfect and passive tenses)1. Verb: Vra / “Ask”
Example: Hy kyk vraend na die vrou. / Lit: “He looks inquiringly (lit. askingly) at the woman.”

2. Verb: Hardloop / “Run”
Example: Die hardlopende bok beweeg na links. / “The running antelope moves to the left.”

Rule: 
  • Conjugation – In the first example, the suffix -end is added to the second verb, which changes its word function to that of an adverb.
  • The second example shows a conjugation with the suffix -ende on the first verb that, in this case, changes its function to that of an adjective. It’s also an example of an irregular conjugation that changes the spelling of the word.
 
Here are other examples of irregular conjugations that change the verb into an adjective or adverb:
  • verloor to verlore / “lost”
  • aankom to aankomende / “coming”
  • vertrek to vertrekkende / “leaving” or “going”
  • beloof to belowende / “promising”
  • skryf to skrywende / “writing”
  • lag to laggende / “laughing”
    loop to lopende / “walking”
    sit to sittende / “sitting”
  • vlieg to vlieënde / “flying”
BOY HOLDING A TOY AIRPLANE
Past1. Verb: Vlieg / “Fly”
Example: Ons het gevlieg. / “We flew.”

2. Verb: Kook / “Cook”
Example: Die kok het vir ons gekook. / “The chef cooked for us.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Add the time word het before the verb. 
  • Conjugation – Add the prefix ge- to the verb.
Past Participle (forms perfect and passive tenses)1. Verb: Vra / “Ask”
Example: Hy het vraend na die vrou gekyk. / “He looked inquiringly at the woman.” (First verb changes function to an adverb.)

2. Verb: Hardloop / “Run”
Example: Die hardlopende bok het na links beweeg. / “The running antelope moved to the left.” (The first verb changes function to an adjective.)

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Add the time word het before the second verb. 
  • Conjugation – Add end orende to the first verb, changing its function to adverb or adjective. If the first verb changes to an adverb, add the prefix ge- to the second verb. As explained above, the second example shows an irregular conjugation.
Future1. Verb: Slaap / “Sleep”
Example: Sy sal slaap. / “She will sleep.” 

2. Verb: Blaf / “Bark”
Example: Die hond gaan blaf. / “The dog will bark.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Add the time words sal / gaan / wil before the first verb. 
  • No conjugation.

A bit confused?

WOMAN SHRUGGING HER SHOULDERS WITH PALMS FACING UP

That’s totally okay!

Let’s quickly test your knowledge with an easy quiz…

3. Quiz – Which Ones are Conjugations?

More Essential Verbs

Identify the inflected verb (conjugation) in the following sentences and let us know your answers in the comment section!

1. Die man het geëet. / “The man ate.”

2. Ons sal weer lag. / “We will laugh again.”

3. ‘n Perd het kouend gestaan by die dammetjie. / “A horse stood chewing by the pond.”

4. Die mooi vrou praat sag. / “The pretty woman speaks softly.”

5. Die motor het vinnig gery. / “The car drove fast.”

6. Al die blomme is geurig. / “All the flowers smell good.”

In any language, grammar usually takes some time to master. For this reason, it’s best if you team up with…well, the best teachers you possibly can!

4. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Your Conjugations!

We hope you enjoyed learning about Afrikaans verbs and their conjugations with us. Are you ready to start practicing, or do you still have questions? Let us know in the comments!

Again, AfrikaansPod101 takes the lead with many excellent Afrikaans learning tools to help you master conjugations, inflections, and so much more—easily and almost effortlessly! While you’re learning about verb conjugations in Afrikaans, lessons like these are helpful, but we have so many more learning options for you, too! 

These tools include:

1. An extensive vocabulary list, updated regularly.

2. A new Afrikaans word to learn everyday. Master these words easily with our recordings and flashcards!

3. Access to numerous recordings, such as this Afrikaans Vocab Builder.

4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary.

5. An excellent 100 Core Afrikaans Words list!

Learn much faster with the help of a personal tutor, who will first let you take an assessment test to personalize your training.

They’re very helpful when you bump into challenges during your studies. Your very own friendly, Afrikaans-speaking teacher will be only a text away on a special app, anywhere, anytime. Using a guided learning system, which was developed by experts in language and online education, they’ll be giving you personal feedback and constant support so you can learn and improve quickly. You’ll also be tasked with weekly assignments in reading, writing, and speaking, to really hone your Afrikaans language skills. 

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The Best Afrikaans Verbs List at Your Fingertips!

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Verbs are those words in a sentence that tell us what’s being done (or if it’s being done). In other words, a verb refers to an action. 

Afrikaans verbs are, in some ways, easier to master than those in other languages. For instance, in Afrikaans, verb conjugation depends only on time! This means that the verb form remains the same for all pronouns: 

  • Hy eet, ek eet, hulle eet, almal eet!

“He eats, I eat, they eat, everyone eats!”

Great, right?!

At AfrikaansPod101, we’re going to make sure that you understand Afrikaans verbs and their classification with our Afrikaans verbs list. In this blog, we explain the basic types of verbs found in Afrikaans, and offer you easy-to-use lists at your fingertips! 

Let’s not dally, but get busy and jump right in!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Types of Verbs
  2. Afrikaans Verbs and Sentence Construction
  3. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Afrikaans Verbs!

1. Types of Verbs

Top Verbs

There are four types of verbs in Afrikaans.

TYPE OF VERB“Independent Verbs”

Selfstandige 

OR 

Hoofwerkwoorde
“Auxiliary Verbs” 

Hulpwerkwoorde 

OR 

Medewerkwoorde
“Linking verbs” 

Koppelwerkwoorde
“Infinitive Verbs” 

Infinitiewe
DESCRIPTIONThese are “doing” words that can only be used in the simple, incomplete present tense. There are four types of independent verbs.Afrikaans auxiliary verbs, which can never stand alone, help independent verbs express time, modality, and form. There are, therefore, three types of auxiliary verbs in Afrikaans.These verbs can also never stand alone. They’re used to link nouns, adjectives, or pronouns with nouns.The infinitive is a verb that’s used together with te or om te. These verbs can be used on their own in a sentence as well.

Let’s take a closer look at these types!

A. “Independent Verbs” / Selfstandige OR Hoofwerkwoorde

Hoofwerkwoorde can stand alone in a sentence. As mentioned in the table above, there are four types of hoofwerkwoorde, also called selfstandige werkwoorde, or “independent verbs” in Afrikaans. They are:

  • “Transitive verbs” (Oorganklike hoofwerkwoorde) AND “Intransitive verbs” (Onoorganklike hoofwerkwoorde)
  • “Reciprocal verbs” (Wederkerende hoofwerkwoorde)
  • “Impersonal verbs” (Onpersoonlike hoofwerkwoorde)

1- “Transitive & Intransitive Verbs” / Oorganklike & Onoorganklike Werkwoorde

Like in English, oorganklike hoofwerkwoorde are always followed by an object in a sentence. Or, in other words, it’s always clear that the action (depicted by the verb) is “transferred” upon a person or object.

Example: bring / “brings”

Afrikaans: Hy bring die sushi. 

Translation: “He brings the sushi.”

Another easy way to identify these types of independent verbs is by trying to answer the “what?” question. As in: “What does he bring?” (Wat bring hy?) If you can’t answer this question with a noun or pronoun, the verb is not transitive.

Man Holding Sushi Trays in Each Hand

Sentences with “intransitive verbs” (onoorganklike hoofwerkwoorde) don’t need an object—usually a noun or a pronoun—to make sense. Or, in other words, there’s no “recipient” of the action.

Example: sing / “sings”

Afrikaans: Sy sing.

Translation: “She sings.”

Also, an intransitive verb can be identified by a clause that tells more about how the action takes place.

Example: praat / “talk”

Afrikaans: Sy praat te sag op die verhoog.

Translation: “She talks too softly on stage.”

However, don’t break your head too much about these two types of independent verbs! Most transitive verbs in Afrikaans can be used as intransitive verbs too. 

In fact, there are very few true transitive verbs in Afrikaans! Here are some of them: 

  • Bring / “Bring”
  • Haak / “Hook”
  • Dra / “Carry”

All of the following independent verbs in Afrikaans can be used either as transitives or intransitives.

Gee / “Give”
Ontvang / “Receive”
– Gooi / “Throw”
Eet / “Eat”
Skink / “Pour”
Sny / “Cut”
Hoor / “Hear”
Skiet / “Shoot”
Lees / “Read”
Brei / “Knit”
Was / “Wash”
Bel / “Phone”
Verloor / “Lose”
Wen / “Win”
Sit / “Sit”
Hardloop / “Run”
Loop / “Walk”
Ry / “Ride”
Bestuur / “Drive”
Vlieg / “Fly”
Swem / “Swim”
Staan / “Stand”
Spring / “Jump”
Slaap / “Sleep”
Skryf / “Write”
Tik / “Type”
Verf / “Paint”
Speel / “Play”
Girl Jumping in Air

2- “Reciprocal verbs” / Wederkerende hoofwerkwoorde

We find these in English too, but they’re slightly different in function in Afrikaans. There are two types of reciprocal verbs in Afrikaans: 

a) Toevallig wederkerende hoofwerkwoord / “Incidental reciprocal verb”

b) Noodsaaklik wederkerende hoofwerkwoord / “Imperative reciprocal verb”

A toevallig wederkerende hoofwerkwoord can be transitive. This means that the verb will always be sandwiched between a subject and an object that can, but does not necessarily, refer to the same person. 

Example: was / “washes”

Afrikaans: Hy was hom.

Translation: “He washes him.”

In this sentence, the verb was (“wash”) can refer to a man who washes himself, or it can refer to a father washing his son, for instance. In other words, it could mean that the action is being done to a second party, which means that the verb is transitive.

The noodsaaklike wederkerende hoofwerkwoord (“imperative reciprocal verb”), however, is always sandwiched between an object and a subject that refers to the same person. There’s no doubt that only one person is being referred to here.

Example: verheug / “rejoices”

Afrikaans: Sy verheug haar oor die nuus.

Translation: “She rejoices over the news.”

Happy woman with Face in Hands

There aren’t many of these verbs in Afrikaans, and please note that their English translations aren’t always used reciprocally. Below is an Afrikaans verbs list to give you a better idea of these words. Afrikaans verbs with no direct translation to English are bolded.

  • vererg / “annoyed”
  • berus / “acquiesces” or “accepts” or “resigns”
  • beroep / “appeals to”
  • bekommer / “worry”
  • bemoei 

There’s no direct translation for this word in English. Bemoei can denote interference or inappropriate meddling with something. But it can also refer to taking action or interest in something one is not expected to, such as a charity.

  • verkyk / “gawks” or “stares in amazement”
  • verlustig

There’s no direct translation for this word either, but it means to take exquisite delight in something, truly savoring the experience.

  • verstom / “stunned”
  • begewe / “to embark on” or “to enter into”

Begewe denotes an action with a certain risk, meaning that you’re embarking on something potentially dangerous or something that could have a negative outcome.

  • bevind / “finds”
  • Misgis / “misjudges”
  • ontferm / “takes care of” (As in little animals, children, anything vulnerable)
  • verstout / “ventures to” (Taking bold action that’s slightly risky, perhaps even a bit naughty!)
  • beroem 

This word doesn’t have an English translation, and is difficult to describe! It denotes that you have a certain skill you’re proud of, almost to the point of being famous for that skill.

  • beywer

This word means something between “to work” and “to campaign” with fervor. It denotes that you put in special, dedicated, and passionate effort into doing something.

  • aanmatig / “presumes”
  • steur

No direct translation, but the closest English approximation is probably “to be bothered.” Steur means to take notice of something, or to pay attention to it. The word is usually used in this sentence: Moet jou nie daaraan steur nie. / “Don’t be bothered by it.” or “Pay it no heed.”

  • bedink / “devise”
  • gedra / “behave”
  • skaam 

This doesn’t have a direct English translation, but it means that you’re ashamed of something or someone.

3- “Impersonal verbs” / Onpersoonlike hoofwerkwoorde

Impersonal verbs are, as the name suggests, verbs that don’t refer to a specific person or place. 

List:

1. Dit reën en blits. (“There’s rain and lightning.”)

2. Dit sneeu in die berge. (“It’s snowing in the mountains.”)

3. Dit hael selde hier by ons. (“It seldom hails here.”)

4. Dit spook in daardie huis. (“The house is haunted.”)

5. Dit wasem op in die kar. (“Condensation is forming in the car.”)

6. Dit word nooit koud nie. (“It never gets cold.”)

7. Dit gaan goed. (“It’s going well.”)

8. Dit is onnodig. (“It’s unnecessary.”)

An easy way to identify impersonal verbs is by the subject in the sentence, which will always be the impersonal pronoun dit (“it”).

Confused and scared yet? Wait until you see the rest! 

Man Peeking from behind Table

No worries, though, because with a bit of consistent practice and some help from AfrikaansPod101, you’ll master all of these eventually. There are so many benefits of learning a new language—it’s worth sticking with it!

Also, for your convenience, here are other informative blog posts to expand your knowledge of Afrikaans grammar: 

B. “Auxiliary Verbs” / Hulpwerkwoorde

As the name suggests, these verbs help the selfstandige werkwoorde (“independent verbs”) in sentences. They help to express time, modality, and form.

1- Hulpwerkwoorde van Tyd / “Auxiliary Verbs of Time”

This is simple. There’s only one auxiliary verb in this category: het. Also, the other verb(s) in the sentence gets conjugated with the prefix ge-, such as in gepraat (“spoke”).

  • Ek het gewerk. (“I worked.”)
  • Hulle het fietsgery. (“They cycled.”)
  • Ons het gevlieg. (“We flew.”)

2- Hulpwerkwoorde van Wyse OR Modaliteit / “Modal Auxiliary Verbs”

Afrikaans modal verbs modulate the meaning of a sentence in regard to the probability, possibility, necessity, or need of the action taken.

  • Die vrou kan dit doen. (“The woman can do it.”)
  • Ons mag saam wees. (“We are allowed to be together.” OR “We could be together.”)
  • The man moet kosmaak. (“The man must prepare food.”)
  • Hulle probeer ‘n vlieër maak. (“They try to make a kite.”)

Other modal auxiliary verbs in Afrikaans:

  • sal / “shall”
  • wil / “will”
  • moes

This verb is used to indicate the past tense of moet, and the other verb also gets conjugated with ge-. For example: Hy moes kosgemaak het. (“He should have cooked.”)

  • behoort / “should”
  • hoef

This Afrikaans verb is always used together with nie, a verbal clause that means “needn’t.” For example: Julle hoef nie vroeg te kom nie. (“You [plural] don’t need to come early.”)

3- Hulpwerkwoorde van Vorm / “Auxiliary Verbs of Form”

There are only two of these auxiliary verbs: word and is. They’re used to indicate the passive voice.

  • Die motor word gewas. (“The car is being washed.”)
  • Daardie huis is verkoop. (“The house was sold.”)
Kite on a Nice Day

C. Koppelwerkwoorde / “Linking Verbs”

These verbs are used to link nouns, adjectives, or pronouns with other nouns. If used alone in a sentence, the latter won’t make sense. For instance:

  • Die kat is mooi. (“The cat is pretty.”)
  • Hy word groot. (“He is growing up.”)
  • Dit lyk goed. (“That looks good.”)
  • Jy bly mooi. (“You remain attractive.”)

Take note: This is not to be confused with bly, which means “live,” as in a house. Ons bly lekker in hierdie plekkie literally translates as “We live nicely in this little place,” and it means you enjoy living there. This bly is a main or independent verb, since the sentence will still make since if lekker in hierdie plekkie is removed.

  • Die kind klink moeg. (“The child sounds tired.”)
  • Dit wil voorkom asof sy skuldig is. (“It appears she might be guilty.”)

D. Infinitiewe / “Infinitive Verbs”

Negative Verbs

The infinitive form in Afrikaans is indicated with the use of te and om te together with the verb. The verb can be used alone too, where the infinitive is then implicated.

a) Te and a verb

  • Die rok is te koop. (“The dress is for sale.”)
  • Die motor is te huur. (“The car is for hire.”)
  • Hulle behoort hulle te skaam. (“They should be ashamed of themselves.”)

b) Om te and a verb

  • Die sanger hou daarvan om te jodel. (“The singer likes to yodel.”)
  • Sy vra hom om wyn te koop. (“She asks him to buy wine.”)
  • Ek is lief om te droom. (“I love dreaming.”)

c) Omitting om te (but still implicating it)

  • Swem is goed. (Instead of Om te swem is goed.) / “Exercise is good.”
  • Die kind leer klavierspeel. (Instead of Die kind leer om klavier te speel.) / “The child learns to play the piano.”
  • Help my die blomme plant. (Instead of Help my om die blomme te plant.) / “Help me plant the flowers.”
Someone Planting Flowers

Hopefully you’re not too confused! 

Now let’s take a look at the basic word order of an Afrikaans sentence to understand where verbs should take their place. 

2. Afrikaans Verbs and Sentence Construction

More Essential Verbs

The popular way to explain this is with the acronym STOMPI. But before you start, the golden rule to remember is this: In any DECLARATIVE sentence (stelsin) in Afrikaans, the first verb follows the subject

Now, to unpack STOMPI!

Note: While shortcut learning tools like STOMPI always seem more simple than they are, you’ll never be wrong if you stick to this formula! Obviously, the rules change slightly with interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences, but let’s start with declaratives. 

Subject or Who/What

This is the word indicating the person or thing taking the action, meaning pronouns, nouns, or proper nouns (voornaamwoorde, selfstandige naamwoorde en eiename). Or, in other words, the subject describes who or what is busy acting/doing something. 

Examples of a subject:

Sy

“She”

Die kat 

“The cat”

Marie

“Mary”

Silent V1 or Verb 1:

This one didn’t fit into the acronym, ergo its “silent” status! But it’s very important to remember that all declarative sentences in Afrikaans have this first verb AFTER the subject. This verb can be an auxiliary verb or a regular or conjugated verb (hulpwerkwoorde, en werkwoorde).

Time word or When:

This always comes after Verb 1, and answers the question “When?” It always mentions a time of day or a number.

Object or Who/What:

This is a noun or something upon which the action is performed. 

Manner – Adverbs (bywoorde):

These describe how something happens. In other words, they describe the action taking place.

Silent V2 or Verb 2:

This verb will mostly appear in future or past tense sentences.

Place or location:

These are words that indicate a place. 

Also called plekwoorde or “place words.”

Infinitive:

To do an action.

A. Example of STOMPI in action!

Die kat eet vandag die kos gretig uit die bak om te oorleef.

“Today the cat eagerly eats the food from the bowl to survive.”

Subject: die kat (“the cat”)

Silent verb 1: eet (“eats”)

Time word: vandag (“today”)

Object: die kos (“the food”)

Manner: gretig (“eagerly”)

Place: uit die bak (“from the bowl”)

Infinitive: om te oorleef (“to survive”)

Do you notice how the verb (Silent Verb 1) follows the subject in this sentence? (The Silent Verb 2 is omitted because this is set in the simple present tense.)

Here’s another example:

Stefan het gister die bal baie hard op die tennisbaan geslaan om te wen. 

“Yesterday, Stephen hit the ball very hard on the tennis court to win.”

Subject: Stefan (“Stephen”)

Silent verb 1: het (The word literally translates as “has,” but the sentence is written in the simple past tense. “Has” only gets used in one of the perfect past tenses in English, so it’s omitted from this sentence.)

Time word: gister (“yesterday”)

Object: die bal (“the ball”)

Manner: baie hard (“very hard”)

Place: op die tennisbaan (“on the tennis court”)

Silent verb 2: geslaan (“hit”)

Infinitive: om te wen (“to win”)

The sentence above is a simple past tense sentence. As you should see, it contains both Silent Verbs.

3. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Afrikaans Verbs!

Like any language, all this may seem very daunting to master. Don’t fear! We have your back!

Also—why study in ways that are boring and demotivating, when you can learn Afrikaans while having fun?!

That’s our entire aim at AfrikaansPod101. Get access to thousands of enjoyable, culturally relevant, and very interesting lessons

For instance, check out our page on cracking the Afrikaans writing system in minutes! 

You can also explore and expand your Afrikaans vocabulary with extensive vocab lists, a free online dictionary, and a handy Word of the Day feature. Once you have the 100 Core Afrikaans Words under your belt, buckle up to master the Afrikaans Key Phrase List.

Don’t wait—enroll today!

Before you go, let us know in the comments if you think we missed any common Afrikaans verbs in our list, or if you have any questions about conjugation. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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Best List of Must-Know Afrikaans Pronouns

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The word “pronoun” in Afrikaans is voornaamwoord. Like pronouns in most languages, Afrikaans pronouns are very necessary words to use and master. Without pronouns, a language could sound clumsy and be much more difficult to understand! But with AfrikaansPod101.com, this doesn’t have to be a problem. We help you learn not only the relevant vocabulary, but also the grammar and proper use of pronouns in Afrikaans—easily and excellently!

Let’s start with the purpose of pronouns. Basically, these are words that take the place of nouns (the very word “pronoun” should give that away!) in a sentence. This keeps us from repeating the same word or words over and over again. Also, as mentioned earlier, they ensure elegant and smooth speech and writing.

An example of a sentence without pronouns:

“Not only is Peter Pan a boy, but Peter Pan is also a fairytale character.”

The meaning of the sentence is correct, but it doesn’t sound very good, right? Here’s the same sentence with a personal pronoun. Can you spot it?

“Not only is Peter Pan a boy, but he is also a fairytale character.”

Yup, in this sentence, “he” is the personal pronoun that takes the place of “Peter Pan,” the proper noun. You can also learn the basics about nouns in Afrikaans in our blog post: Learn the 100 Most Common Nouns in Afrikaans.

Now that we’re on the same page regarding the nature of a pronoun, let’s dig into different examples of pronouns in Afrikaans! In Afrikaans, we classify nine types of pronouns.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Personal Pronouns / Persoonlike Voornaamwoorde
  2. Impersonal Pronouns / Onpersoonlike Voornaamwoorde
  3. Possessive Pronoun / Besitlike Voornaamwoord
  4. Relative Pronouns / Betreklike Voornaamwoorde
  5. Interrogative Pronouns / Vraende Voornaamwoorde
  6. Indefinite Pronouns / Onbepaalde Voornaamwoorde
  7. Reflexive & Intensive Pronouns / Noodsaaklike & Toevallige Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde
  8. Reciprocal Pronouns / Wederkerige Voornaamwoorde
  9. Demonstrative Pronouns / Aanwysende Voornaamwoorde
  10. AfrikaansPod101 and Afrikaans Pronouns—Why We’re the Best!

1. Personal Pronouns / Persoonlike Voornaamwoorde

Introducing Yourself

As the name suggests, Afrikaans personal pronouns specifically take the place of the names of people, places, and things in a sentence.

Personal Pronoun: EnglishPersoonlike Voornaamwoord: Afrikaans
Iek
ekjy
you (formal)u
shesy
hehy
weons
you (formal plural)u
you (informal plural)julle
theyhulle
itdit

Note: Unlike in English, the Afrikaans pronoun used when you refer to yourself (ek / “I”) isn’t always written in capital letters. Ek is written with a capital letter only at the start of a sentence.

See if you can identify every personal pronoun in Afrikaans in the following sentences!

Examples:

Cellphone

Afrikaans: Ek het my selfoon by die huis vergeet. My vriendin het gesê dat sy dit vir my sal bring.

Translation: “I forgot my cell-phone at home. My friend said she would bring it to me.”

Afrikaans: Hy will by julle aansluit.

Translation: “He wants to join you.” (Plural, informal “you”)

Afrikaans: My vriende is hier; ons gaan nou eet.

Translation: “My friends are here; we’re going to eat now.”

Afrikaans: Meneer, kan u Afrikaans praat? U vrou sê sy kan nie.

Translation: “Sir, can you speak Afrikaans? Your wife says she can’t.” (Singular, formal “you”)

Afrikaans: Hulle het ‘n nuwe kar. Dit is baie spoggerig. 

Translation: “They have a new car. It is very grand.”

2. Impersonal Pronouns / Onpersoonlike Voornaamwoorde

There are only two impersonal pronouns in Afrikaans: dit (“it”) and daar (“there”).

Examples:

Afrikaans: Dit reën buite. 

Translation: “It’s raining outside.” 

Note: This dit is used mostly in reference to natural phenomena like the weather.

Man with Umbrella Rain

Afrikaans: Daar is niks wat mens hieraan kan doen nie.

Translation: “There’s nothing one can do about it.”

Note: This Afrikaans pronoun is mostly used in the passive voice. Don’t confuse it with daardie! Read on to learn more about this.

3. Possessive Pronoun / Besitlike Voornaamwoord

As the name suggests, Afrikaans possessive pronouns indicate possession.

Possessive Pronoun: EnglishBesitlike Voornaamwoord: Afrikaans
my / minemy / myne
your / yoursjou / joune
her / hershaar / hare
hissy / syne
our / oursons / ons s’n
your / yours (plural informal)julle / julle s’n
your / yours (plural formal)u / u s’n
their / theirshulle / hulle s’n

Examples:

Afrikaans: Die kaartjie is myne. Dis vir my vlug na London.

Translation: “The ticket is mine. It’s for my flight to London.”

Afrikaans: Dis jou nuwe iPad. Die nuwe skootrekenaar is ook joune.

Translation: “That is your new iPad. The new laptop is also yours.”

Afrikaans: Haar sitplek is hare; sy sitplek is syne.

Translation: “Her seat is hers; his seat is his.”

Afrikaans: Julle hond is julle s’n.

Translation: “Your dog is yours.” (Informal, plural)

A Puppy

Afrikaans: Hulle tafel is hulle s’n. Ons gaan by ons s’n sit.

Translation: “That table is theirs. We’re going to sit at ours.”

Afrikaans: U ete is voorberei. Die vegetariese disse is u s’n.

Translation: “Your meal is prepared. The vegetarian dishes are yours.” (Formal, singular or plural)

4. Relative Pronouns / Betreklike Voornaamwoorde

Afrikaans relative pronouns are relative to, or have to do with, a noun that occurs first in the sentence. They’re used to connect a phrase or a clause to a noun. 

There are four pronouns in this category: wat, wie se, waaroor, and waarin. The literal translations for these pronouns are not used in the same way they are in English. 

In the example sentences below, the noun which is being referred to is underlined.

Examples:

Afrikaans: Die persoon wat praat is die kind se ma.

Translation: “The person who’s speaking is the child’s mother.”

Afrikaans: Die onderwerp waaroor sy praat is belangrik.

Translation: “The topic that she is discussing is important.”

Afrikaans: Die kind wie se tas gevind is, is nie hier nie.

Translation: “The child whose suitcase was found is not here.”

Afrikaans: Die drama waarin hy optree begin vanaand.

Translation: “The drama in which he performs is opening tonight.”

5.  Interrogative Pronouns / Vraende Voornaamwoorde

Basic Questions

As the name suggests, these Afrikaans pronouns are used to ask questions. You’ll see that most of them can be used as relative pronouns too.

Interrogative Pronouns: EnglishVraende Voornaamwoorde: Afrikaans
whowie
whatwat / waarvan
about whatwaaroor
with whatwaarmee
what…forwaarvoor
whichwatter
whichwanneer
whywaarom / hoekom

Tip: If you can answer the question with a noun, then you know there’s a vraende voornaamwoord in the sentence!

Examples:

Afrikaans: Wie het die Lotto gewen?

Translation: “Who won the Lotto?”

Woman Standinding in Money

Afrikaans: Wat gaan jy met die geld doen?

Translation: “What are you going to do with the money?”

Afrikaans: Waarvan hou jy die meeste?

Translation: “What do you like the most?”

Afrikaans: Waaroor wil jy skryf?

Translation: “About what do you want to write?”

Afrikaans: Waarmee wil jy die koffie roer?

Translation: “With what do you want to stir the coffee?”

Afrikaans: Waarvoor gebruik mens hierdie ding?

Translation: “What do you use this thing for?”

Afrikaans: Watter take gaan jy nou aanpak?

Translation: “Which tasks are you going to tackle now?”

Afrikaans: Wanneer is ons reis na Skotland?

Translation: “When is our trip to Scotland?”

Afrikaans: Waarom huil jy?

Translation: “Why are you crying?”

Note: Waarom can be used interchangeably with hoekom. They’re similar in meaning.

6. Indefinite Pronouns / Onbepaalde Voornaamwoorde

These pronouns in Afrikaans don’t refer to any specific thing, place, or person. 

Indefinite Pronouns: EnglishOnbepaalde Voornaamwoorde: Afrikaans
anyenige
anybody / anyoneenigiemand / enigeen
nobodyniemand
somesommige
everybodyalmal
fewmin / enkele
everythingalles
severalverskeie
nogeen
allalle
bothalbei
eachelkeen
enoughgenoeg
muchbaie

Examples:

Afrikaans: Laat hulle enige troeteldiere hier toe?

Translation: “Do they allow any pets here?”

A Cat and Dog

Afrikaans: Vra enigiemand, dis ‘n aangename plek hierdie.

Translation: “Ask anybody, this is a pleasant place.”

Afrikaans: Niemand mag ingaan nie.

Translation: “Nobody may enter.”

Afrikaans: Sommige mense hou van oefening, maar net enkeles neem deel aan professionele sport.

Translation: “Some people like to exercise, but few participate in professional sport.”

Afrikaans: Dis goed ons het baie kos gemaak, want min het oorgebly.

Translation: “It’s good we made a lot of food, because little was left.”

Afrikaans: Die orkaan het almal geaffekteer maar gelukkig het niemand alles verloor nie.

Translation: “The hurricane affected everyone, but fortunately no one lost everything.”

Afrikaans: Daar is verskeie resepte wat enigeen kan kook.

Translation: “There are several recipes that anyone can cook.”

Afrikaans: Geen persoon kan na agtuur inkom nie want alle deure is dan toegesluit.

Translation: “No person can enter after eight o’clock because all doors will be locked then.”

Afrikaans: Albei is my kinders, en ek het genoeg liefde vir elkeen.

Translation: “Both are my children, and I have enough love for each.”

Mother with Two Kids

7. Reflexive & Intensive Pronouns / Noodsaaklike & Toevallige Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde

These pronouns are used when both the subject and object of a verb refer to the same person or thing.
There are two categories of reflexive pronouns in Afrikaans: noodsaaklik wederkerend (reflexive) and toevallig wederkerend (intensive). It’s clear that the former (reflexive) refers to the same subject in a sentence, so that’s easy. However, it’s possible for the latter (intensive) to refer to any person or object, so the –self suffix is added for clarification.

Reflexive & Intensive Pronouns: EnglishWederkerende Voornaamwoord: Afrikaans
I – myselfEk – my
He – himselfHy – hom
She – herselfSy – haar
We – ourselvesOns – ons
They – themselvesHulle – hul

Examples of Reflexive Pronouns / Noodsaaklik Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde:

Afrikaans: Ek verwonder my aan hoe hy hom verspreek het.

Translation: “I am amazed by his slip of the tongue.”

Afrikaans: Sy het haar misgis met hoeveel hulle hul bekommer het.

Translation: “She misjudged how much they worried themselves.”

Afrikaans: Ons het ons gelukkig nie vasgeloop nie.

Meaning: “Fortunately, we didn’t encounter obstacles.” (There is no literal translation for this phrase!)

Tip: The astute will notice the lack of the self suffix! This is omitted when it’s clear who performs the action.

Examples of Intensive Pronouns / Toevallig Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde:

Here, the suffix –self is added for the sake of clarity. This means that, in a sentence, it’s possible that the action can be performed on another object or person.

Afrikaans: Hy was homself.

Translation: “He washes himself.”

Afrikaans: Hulle prys hulself.

Translation: “They praise themselves.”

Afrikaans: Sy trek haarself aan.

Translation: “She dresses herself.”

8. Reciprocal Pronouns / Wederkerige Voornaamwoorde

These pronouns are used to indicate that two or more people are carrying out, or have carried out, a specific action. Only two Afrikaans pronoun forms exist in this category: mekaar (“one another”) and die een die ander (“each other”).

Group Meeting Work

Afrikaans: Ons staan mekaar by met die werk .

Translation: “We support each other with the work.”

Afrikaans: Ons help die een die ander met opruim.

Translation: “We help one another to clean up.”

9. Demonstrative Pronouns / Aanwysende Voornaamwoorde

These pronouns don’t take the place of nouns, but are always used together with the noun. Again, only two words are used as aanwysende voornaamwoorde: hierdie (“this”) and daardie (“that”).

Afrikaans: Hierdie vlug gaan aangenaam wees.

Translation: “This flight will be pleasant.”

Afrikaans: Daardie paartjie is gelukkig.

Translation: “That couple is happy.”

Happy Couple

Well done! Now the question: “What is a pronoun in Afrikaans?” need not mystify you any longer! Also be sure to check out our other blog post, the Essential Afrikaans Adjectives List

10. AfrikaansPod101 and Afrikaans Pronouns—Why We’re the Best!

Improve Listening

With us, you get to learn these pronouns and so much more in easy, fun ways from a native Afrikaans speaker! Also, you get access to free tools, such as hundreds of vocabulary lists, a comprehensive Core Word List, a Key Phrase List, and a Word of the Day every day! 

Sign up for a free lifetime account, and you’ll immediately have access to other tools, including hugely helpful flashcards and space to create your own personalized Word Bank.

With application and persistence—and the help of our fantastic team—you’ll be able to speak Afrikaans like  a native in no time at all! Enroll today.

But before you leave: Which pronouns do you have in your native language? Share three with us in the comments!

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어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

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도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

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eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

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Subscribe to Posted by AfrikaansPod101.com in Afrikaans Language, Afrikaans Online, Feature Spotlight, Learn Afrikaans, Site Features, Team AfrikaansPod101

Your Definitive Guide to Proper Afrikaans Sentence Structure

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Word order, or syntax, in any language is often a challenging thing to master, and Afrikaans is no exception. But once you’re familiar with the most basic Afrikaans sentence structure rules, you’ll find that the rest comes with less difficulty. At AfrikaansPod101.com, we know how to make it easy for you, so with a bit of effort, you’ll have Afrikaans word order under your belt in no time!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Structural Patterns in Languages
  2. Afrikaans Sentence Structure Rules
  3. STOMPI
  4. Explanation of the Sentence Elements in Sv1TOMPv2I
  5. More Examples of the Basic Afrikaans Sentence Structure: STOMPI
  6. Why AfrikaansPod101 is the Best Choice to Learn Afrikaans Sentence Structures!

1. Structural Patterns in Languages

Improve Pronunciation

To briefly explain what we’re looking at: In linguistic typology as a field of study, the structural and functional features of all languages are studied and compared. 

Syntactic typology, dealing with the order, form, grammar, and choice of words, is a subset of this discipline, and is also the one we’re dealing with here. 

In the largest number of languages in the world, all of the simplest, most basic statement sentences have the following word order pattern:

1) Subject: I

2) Object: Afrikaans

3) Verb: study.

Or: “I Afrikaans study.” (Obviously, neither English nor Afrikaans follow this pattern!)

This Subject – Object – Verb (SOV) sentence pattern or word order gets used in languages such as Japanese,  Korean, Mongolian, Turkish, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, the Dravidian languages, and more.

Other structural patterns in language include:

  • Subject – Verb – Object (SVO)
  • Verb – Object – Subject (VOS) 

Many synthetic languages (including Latin, Greek, Persian, Romanian, Assyrian, Russian, Turkish, Korean, Japanese, Finnish, and Basque) have no strict word order. Rather, the sentence structure is flexible and reflects the practical aspects of what’s being said, according to Wikipedia.

In this sense, then, word order in Afrikaans follows the SVO pattern, meaning that the most basic statement sentence will always look like this:

1) Subject: Ek (I)

2) Verb: studeer (study)

3) Object: Afrikaans. (Afrikaans.)

Ek studeer Afrikaans. (“I study Afrikaans.”)

or

1) Subject: Ek (I)

2) Verb: hou (like)

3) Object: daarvan. (it.)

Ek hou daarvan. (“I like it.”)

If you can manage to remember this, you’ve covered a lot! Also, English follows the same pattern for many basic statement sentences.

Person Confused with Rules

2. Afrikaans Sentence Structure Rules

There’s only one rule concerning Afrikaans sentences – no matter the type of sentence, the first verb, or Verb 1, will always take the second place.

Except for two types of sentences: questions starting with a verb and commands.

Here are some samples. Notice the position of Verb 1.

Questions Starting with a Verb and Command Sentences

Question SentencesTranslationCommand SentencesTranslation
Eet die man vinnig?“Eats the man fast?” / “Does the man eat fast?”Eet vinniger!“Eat faster!”
Skenk hulle geld?“Donate they money?” / “Do they donate money?”Skenk die geld, asseblief.“Donate the money, please.”
Oefen jy jou Afrikaans? Lit. “Practice you your Afrikaans?” / “Do you practice your Afrikaans”Oefen nou jou Afrikaans.“Practice your Afrikaans now.”

Not too difficult, right? And it gets easier – all because of STOMPI.

3. STOMPI

Afrikaans sentence structure is most often illustrated with this acronym, which is very commonly used in language studies. If you’ve been studying Afrikaans sentence structure rules at all, then you’ve probably encountered the famous STOMPI by now. 

It stands for the different parts of the sentence:

Subject

Time

Object

Manner

Place

Infinitive

Note: A stompie in Afrikaans means “short” or “a little piece of.” We also use it to refer to a cigarette butt. Or a really short person. Cute, hey?

If this format seems to lack a thing or two, don’t worry. We use STOMPI because the word falls nicely on the tongue, making it easy to remember! But you’re right—where are the verbs in this format?

The complete format looks like this:

Subject

V1 – Verb 1 (Some call this the Invisible Verb 1!)

Time

Object

Manner

Place

V2 – Verb 2 (And this is the Invisible Verb 2.)

Infinitive

Note: Not all sentences contain all the elements. That would be a much-expanded sentence. However, the acronym is helpful because it shows you exactly where the elements belong, no matter which you use in your sentence.

4. Explanation of the Sentence Elements in Sv1TOMPv2I

Before we proceed to look at how STOMPI is employed in Afrikaans, let’s recap what the different elements mean.

1) SUBJECT:

  • The subject is what the sentence is all about.
  • It’s the answer to the question “Who?” or “What?”
  • The subject is usually found at the beginning of the sentence.

Types of Words Used: 

Nouns, proper nouns, pronouns, and articles.

Example: 

Die kinders het altyd die rekenaarspeletjie luidrugtig in die kamer gespeel om te ontspan.

Lit: “The children always played the computer game loudly in the room to relax.”

2) VERB 1:

  • It’s called “Verb 1” because it’s the first verb of the sentence.
  • All Verb 1s fall into one of two groups:
    • 1) Present Tense: Here, Verb 1 is the main and only verb in the sentence.
    • 2) Past and Future Tenses: Here, Verb 1 is always a helping verb or a hulpwerkwoord.

Samples of Afrikaans Helping Verbs: 

Past tenses: het, wou, sou, kon, moes (“have/has, would, could, should have”)

Future tenses: sal, wil, kan, moet (“shall, will, can, must”)

Example: 

Die kinders het altyd die rekenaarspeletjie luidrugtig in die kamer gespeel om te ontspan.

(No English translation for the simple past tense het.

Girl Playing a Computer Game

3) TIME:

  • This word or phrase is always the answer to the question “When?”

Types of Words/Phrases Used: 

Adverbs of time such as gister (“yesterday”); more (“tomorrow”); elke dag (“every day”); gewoonlik / (“usually”); oor tien minute / (“in ten minutes”); etc.

Example: 

Die kinders het altyd die rekenaarspeletjie luidrugtig in die kamer gespeel om te ontspan.

“The children always played the computer game loudly in the room to relax.”

4) OBJECT:

  • This word or phrase can be identified as the thing upon which the action (indicated by the verb) is transferred. For instance, in a sentence such as “The boy kicks the ball,” the ball is the object. This is because the boy is performing an action (kicking) on the ball. Or, the ball is the receiver of the action, so to speak.
  • Sometimes the subject and the object can look the same, depending on what voice is used: Passive or Active.

Types of Words/Phrases Used: 

Nouns, pronouns, and articles.

Example: 

Die kinders het altyd die rekenaarspeletjie luidrugtig in die kamer gespeel om te ontspan.

“The children always played the computer game loudly in the room to relax.”

5) MANNER:

  • This is the word or phrase that answers the question: “How?”
  • Manner words can have degrees of comparison (e.g. “hard – harder – hardest”).

Types of Words Used: 

This is always an adverb, as it describes Verb 1 or 2 (i.e. the action).

Example: 

Die kinders het altyd die rekenaarspeletjie luidrugtig in die kamer gespeel om te ontspan.

“The children always played the computer game loudly in the room to relax.”

6) PLACE:

  • The word or clause you can answer the question “Where?” with is your place word.
  • The place word is always accompanied by a preposition (voorsetsel) such as in (“in”), agter (“behind”), voor (“in front” OR “ahead of”), oor (“over”), bo-op (“on top of”), onder (“under”), etc.

Types of Words Used: 

Prepositions + articles, pronouns, and nouns.

Example: 

Die kinders het altyd die rekenaarspeletjie luidrugtig in die kamer gespeel om te ontspan.

“The children always played the computer game loudly in the room to relax.”

7) VERB 2:

  • No present tense sentence contains a second verb.
  • Only the future and past tenses have a Verb 2, which is always the main verb.
  • In the past and some future tense sentences, this verb is always conjugated with the prefix ge.

Example: 

Die kinders het altyd die rekenaarspeletjie luidrugtig in die kamer gespeel om te ontspan.

“The children always played the computer game loudly in the room to relax.”

(Read about Afrikaans verb conjugation in this blog post!)

8) INFINITIVE:

  • The infinitive is always a phrase in Afrikaans, and it’s the easiest to identify. 
  • It answers the question “Why?” as it explains the reason for the action taken.

Types of Words Used: 

Always includes the words om te (“to”) in some way. In addition: articles, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs.

Example: 

Die kinders het altyd die rekenaarspeletjie luidrugtig in die kamer gespeel om te ontspan.“The children always played the computer game loudly in the room to relax.”

Verbs

Easy, isn’t it? Using the acronyms mentioned under A above, see if you can spot the sentence structure now. Then post it in the comments!

5. More Examples of the Basic Afrikaans Sentence Structure: STOMPI

Improve Listening

When you start sentences with different words, the basic Afrikaans sentence structure (and type!) is modified, but not a lot. In these columns, you should be able to see this very clearly.

Note, however, how Verb 1 is ALWAYS in the second place.

TENSESSubjectverb1TimeObjectMannerPlaceverb2Infinitives
STARTING WITH THE SUBJECT – Sv1TOMPv2I
PresentDie vlieënier


The pilot
vlieg



flies
elke dag



every day
met die vliegtuig


with the airplane
hoog



high
in die lug



in the air
/



/
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
PastDie vlieënier


The pilot
het



/
elke dag



every day
met die vliegtuig


with the airplane
hoog



high
in die lug



in the air
gevlieg



flew
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
FutureDie vlieënier


The pilot
sal



will
elke dag



every day
met die vliegtuig


with the airplane
hoog



high
in die lug



in the air
vlieg



fly
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
TENSESTimeverb1SubjectObjectMannerPlaceverb2Infinitives
STARTING WITH THE TIME – Tv1SOMPv2I
PresentElke dag



Every day
vlieg



flies
die vlieënier


the pilot
met die vliegtuig


with the airplane
hoog



high
in die lug



in the air
/



/
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
PastElke dag



Every day
het



/
die vlieënier


the pilot
met die vliegtuig


with the airplane
hoog



high
hoog



high
gevlieg



flew
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
FutureElke dag



Every day
sal



will
die vlieënier


the pilot
met die vliegtuig


with the airplane
hoog



high
in die lug



in the air
vlieg



fly
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
TENSESObjectverb1SubjectTimeMannerPlaceverb2Infinitives
STARTING WITH THE OBJECT – Ov1STMPv2I
PresentDie vliegtuig

The airplane
word


is being
deur die vlieënier

by the pilot
elke dag


every day
hoog


high
in die lug


in the air
gevlieg


flown
Note: With this sample sentence, the particular infinitive phrase will be confusing!
PastDie vliegtuig

The airplane
was


has
deur die vlieënier

by the pilot
elke dag


every day
hoog


with the airplane
in die lug


in the air

gevlieg.


flown.
/


/
FutureDie vliegtuig

The airplane
sal



will
deur die vlieënier


by the pilot
elke dag



every day
hoog



with the airplane
in die lug



in the air
gevlieg word.


be flown.
/



/
TENSESMannerverb1SubjectTimeObjectPlaceverb2Infinitives
STARTING WITH THE MANNER – Mv1STOPv2I
PresentHoog



High
vlieg



flies
die vlieënier


the pilot
elke dag



every day
die vliegtuig


the airplane
in die lug



in the air
/



/
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
Past
Hoog



High
het



/
die vlieënier


the pilot
elke dag



every day
die vliegtuig


the airplane
in die lug



in the air
gevlieg



flew
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
FutureHoog



High
sal



will
die vlieënier


the pilot

elke dag



every day
die vliegtuig


the airplane
in die lug



in the air
in die lug



in the air
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
TENSESPlaceverb1SubjectTimeObjectMannerverb2Infinitives
STARTING WITH THE PLACE – Pv1STOMv2I
PresentIn die lug



In the air
vlieg



flies
die vlieënier


the pilot
elke dag



every day
die vliegtuig


the airplane
hoog



high
/



/
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
PastIn die lug



In the air
het



/

die vlieënier


the pilot
elke dag



every day
die vliegtuig


the airplane
hoog



high
gevlieg



flew
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
Future

In die lug



In the air
sal



will
die vlieënier


the pilot
elke dag



every day


die vliegtuig


the airplane

hoog



high
vlieg



fly
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
Pilot

6. Why AfrikaansPod101 is the Best Choice to Learn Afrikaans Sentence Structures!

We hope you enjoyed this article! Hopefully you feel more knowledgeable about Afrikaans sentence structure rules, and learned something you can use soon.

In fact, why not write out a simple Afrikaans sentence, using STOMPI and the tips you learned in this lesson? Come on, you know you can! Then share with us in the comments. 😀

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How to Tell Time in Afrikaans – It’s Easy!

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Like knowing your way around dates in Afrikaans (learn about that in our blog!), being able to tell time in Afrikaans is an equally important conversational skill to master. Also, it could save you a lot of embarrassment. 

What good would it be if you knew you had to pitch somewhere on Dinsdag (Tuesday), but you didn’t know the meaning of agtuur (“eight o’clock”)? Or which agtuur of the day was being referred to? 

Let AfrikaansPod101 make it easy for you. If you want, you can start with recorded vocabulary lessons like Talking about Time and dialogue examples such as Arriving at the Right Time in South Africa

First, let’s quickly get clarity on the two ways we tell time. Both are used to indicate time in Afrikaans.

Twelve-Hour Clock

This way of telling the time divides the twenty-four-hour day into two twelve-hour periods. These are referred to as a.m. (ante meridiem) and p.m. (post meridiem).  

Wristwatch

Afrikaners use this clock the most. The terms commonly used are voormiddag or the abbreviation v.m. (to indicate “ante meridiem/a.m.”), and namiddag or its abbreviation n.m. (to indicate “post meridiem/p.m.”).

These are most employed in writing, such as in: elf v.m. (“eleven a.m.)” or 09h00 n.m. (“09h00 p.m.”). 

In conversations, though, you’ll most likely use other adjectives that indicate p.m. or a.m. in Afrikaans. Read on for more about this.

Twenty-Four-Hour Clock

The twenty-four-hour clock is also called military or astronomical time. This time format is based on the entire twenty-four-hour period, with each hour of the day having its own number. 

When keeping time this way, the day starts at midnight and is indicated like this: 00:00. The last minute of the day is written as 23:59, or one minute before the next midnight. This system is clever and efficient. Therefore, it’s used by armed forces, pilots and airlines, astronomists, governments, hospitals, emergency services, and so forth. 

Apple Watch

In South Africa, this way of indicating the time isn’t commonly used colloquially, but more in writing.

How to write time in Afrikaans depends on the type of document you’re writing it down for. If you’re indicating the time in a non-fiction document, such as in a formal report, statement, or legal document, you can use either 12h00 or 12:00. Depending on which clock you use, you’ll either omit or add p.m. or a.m. in Afrikaans.

If you’re noting the time in a work of fiction, such as part of a dialogue, you’ll write it out in full, such as in “six o’clock” (sesuur).

Let’s get cracking on how to ask what time it is in Afrikaans, and how to tell it!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time in Afrikaans
  2. Hours / Ure
  3. Minutes / Minute
  4. Periods of Time in Afrikaans
  5. General Time References
  6. Adverbs of Time in Afrikaans
  7. BONUS! Time Proverbs, Sayings, and Odd Terms in Afrikaans
  8. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Tell the Time in Afrikaans in No Time!

1. How to Ask for the Time in Afrikaans

Time

1- Formal

The following are polite and socially refined ways of asking the time in excellent Afrikaans. Use it if you want to impress someone! 

Afrikaans: Kan u my sê wat die tyd is, asseblief?

Translation: “Could you tell me the time, please?”

Note: The u (“you”) in Afrikaans is the formal type of address, mostly used when talking to complete strangers, dignitaries, or older people you don’t know well. You can also use this sentence with the informal “you,” which is jy.

Afrikaans: Mag ek verneem wat die tyd is, asseblief?

Translation: “May I ask the time, please?”

2- Informal

Afrikaans: Hoe laat is dit nou, ‘seblief?

Translation: “What’s the time now, please?”

Note: “How late is it now, please?” is the literal translation of this Afrikaans sentence, but in English, you’d ask the question in a specific context. You’d use it, for instance, if you wanted to know how late at night it is, to which an answer could be: “very late” or “still early.”

In Afrikaans, though, this question is a common way of asking the time. Also note the contraction of asseblief (“please”). If you don’t know the person very well, or if you’re addressing a parent or older family member, it’s polite to use ‘seblief. If it’s your mate and you’re comfortable with one another, it’s okay to omit this word when asking for the time.

Afrikaans: Wat’s die tyd?

Translation: “What’s the time?”

Note: The same applies for ‘seblief as above. Also note the contraction for wat is to wat’s. (Like “what is” becomes “what’s.”)

Afrikaans: Hoe lank gaan dit neem om daar te kom?

Translation: “How long will it take to get there?”

Passengers Walking at Airport

Afrikaans: Hoe laat/Watter tyd moet ons by die lughawe wees?

Translation: “How late/What time must we be at the airport?”

What would the reply look like to questions like these?

2. Hours / Ure

There’s no distinction between a formal and informal way of telling time in Afrikaans. Keep in mind that you can also use an approximation with adverbs or adjectives.

Afrikaans: Dis nou presies agtuur.

Translation: “It’s now exactly eight o’clock.”

Afrikaans: Dit neem ongeveer ‘n uur om daar te kom.

Translation: “It takes approximately an hour to get there.”

Afrikaans: Ons vlieg nege-uur vanaand. So ons moet om-en-by sewe by die lughawe wees.

Translation: “We’re flying at nine o’clock tonight. So we must be at the airport around seven.”

Note: Just like with “o’clock,” the uur is sometimes omitted in casual conversations.

3. Minutes / Minute

Like in most casual and conversational English, noting the precise number of minutes isn’t very common in Afrikaans. Simply add the appropriate number to minuut (singular) or minute (plural). 

Afrikaans: Hy hardloop vir ‘n minuut.

Translation: “He runs for a minute.”

Afrikaans: Ek gaan vir so twintig minute stort.

Translation: “I’m going to shower for approximately twenty minutes.”

Afrikaans: Die winkel is nog oop vir ‘n uur en vyftien minute.

Translation:The shop is still open for an hour and fifteen minutes.”

Frustration, Payphone Wristwatch

Afrikaans: Sy praat nou al vir ses-en-dertig minute!

Translation: “She’s been talking for thirty-six minutes already!”

4. Periods of Time in Afrikaans

Improve Listening

This has got nothing to do with Downton Abbey or Outlander. It refers to the divisions of an hour into quarters and halves. 

This is how we say it in Afrikaans:

Afrikaans: kwart oor drie and kwart voor vyf

Translation: “quarter past three” and “quarter to five”

Note: Here, “quarter” and kwart are contractions of “quarter of an hour” and kwartier. It is, of course, a fifteen-minute increment.

Afrikaans: half vier

Translation: “half past three”

Note: Nope, it’s not wrong, and it can seem confusing. But it’s very easily explained. In English, talking about half of an hour (“half past three”) literally means: “It’s now a half-an-hour past/after three o’clock.” In Afrikaans, instead, talking about half of an hour (half vier) means: “It is now a half-an-hour to/before four o’clock.” Same thing, different angles, so to speak! It takes a bit of practice if you’re not used to it, but once you understand the concept, it’s very easy.

Afrikaans: Ons vertrek oor ‘n halfuur van die huis af.

Translation: “We’re leaving home in half an hour.”

Taxi

Afrikaans: Die taxi gaan oor ‘n driekwartier hier wees.

Translation: “The taxi will be here in three quarters of an hour/forty-five minutes.”

5. General Time References

The following time words in Afrikaans are common references pertaining to time.

Afrikaans: oggend and aand

Translation: “morning” and “evening”

Example: Die oggend is koel, net soos die aand. 

Translation: “The morning is cool, just like the evening.”

Afrikaans: nag and middernag

Translation: “night” and “midnight”

Example: Die nag is stil en middernag is donker.

Translation: “The night is quiet and midnight is dark.”

Afrikaans: vroegoggend and laataand

Translation: “early morning” and “late in the evening”

Example: Ons vertrek vroegoggend en keer laataand terug.

Translation: “We leave early in the morning and will return late in the evening.”

Afrikaans: laatnag

Translation: “late at night”

Example: Hy verkies dit om laatnag te ry.

Translation: “He prefers driving late at night.”

Afrikaans: sonsopkoms

Translation: “sunrise”

Example: Die sonsopkoms is asemrowend mooi. 

Translation: “The sunrise is breathtakingly beautiful.”

Sunrise or Sunset

Afrikaans: sonsondergang

Translation: “sunset”

Example: Die sonsondergang is net so mooi.

Translation: “The sunset is equally beautiful.”

Afrikaans: vanmiddag

Translation: “afternoon”

Example: Wat gaan ons vanmiddag eet? 

Translation: “What are we eating this afternoon?”

Afrikaans: middag

Translation: “midday”

Example: Teen die middag was hy gesond. 

Translation: “By midday, he was well.”

6. Adverbs of Time in Afrikaans

Afrikaans: onmiddelik

Translation: “right now” or “immediately”

Example: Hy wil sy kos onmiddelik hê. 

Translation: “He wants his food right now.”

Man Eating Food

Afrikaans: oombliklik

Translation: “instantly” 

Example: Die kos is oombliklik reg.

Translation: “The food is instantly ready.”

Afrikaans: ‘n oomblik

Translation: “momentarily”

Example: Sy bly ‘n oomblik stil.

Translation: “She pauses momentarily.”

Afrikaans: tans

Translation: “currently”

Example: Dis tans winter by ons.

Translation: “It’s currently winter here.”

Afrikaans: intussen 

Translation: “meanwhile”

Example: Intussen, neem die pynstillers tot die dokter beskikbaar is.

Translation: “Meanwhile, take the painkillers until the doctor is available.”

Afrikaans: voor en na

Translation: “before” and “after” OR “afterward”

Example: Moenie die pille neem voor jy geëet het nie. Neem dit na die tyd.

Translation: “Don’t take the pills before you’ve eaten. Take them afterward.”

Pills

Afrikaans: terselfdertyd OR die selfde tyd

Translation: “simultaneously”

Example: Moenie pille en drank terselfdertyd neem nie.

Translation: “Don’t take pills and alcohol simultaneously.”

Afrikaans: binnekort and amper 

Translation: “soon” and “almost”

Example: Ons gaan binnekort ry. Ek is amper reg.

Translation: “We’re leaving soon. I’m almost ready.”

Afrikaans: nou-nou

Translation: “in a while”

Example: Die taxi is nou-nou hier.

Translation: “The taxi will be here in a while.”

Afrikaans: vir ‘n lang tyd

Translation: “for a long time”

Example: Gaan julle ‘n lang tyd weg?

Translation: “Are you going away for a long time?”

Afrikaans: lankal

Translation: “for a long time already/now”

Example: Ons is al lankal hier.

Translation: “We’ve been here for a long time already.”

Afrikaans: enige tyd 

Translation: “anytime”

Example: Bel my enige tyd.

Translation: “Call me anytime.”

Afrikaans: so gou as moontlik

Translation: “as soon as possible”

Example: Ek sal jou so gou as moontlik kontak.

Translation: “I will call you as soon as possible.”

Phonecall

7. BONUS! Time Proverbs, Sayings, and Odd Terms in Afrikaans

Afrikaans is a colorful, literal language, and some of its sayings about time are very quaint. Here are the most common and interesting Afrikaans time sayings! 

Afrikaans: Moenie wors in ‘n hondehok soek nie.

Translation: “Don’t look for sausage in a kennel.”

Meaning: Don’t waste time on a lost cause!

Afrikaans: draaikous

Translation: Literally, this translates as “turn sock.” Nope, we don’t know either! But it means the same thing as “dawdler.”

Example: Die seun is ‘n regte draaikous!

Meaning: “That boy is a real dawdler!”

Afrikaans: hanna-hanna

Translation: There’s not a literal translation for this term.

Meaning: It’s an old Cape-Afrikaans saying that gets used when someone takes their time doing something.

Example: Jy hanna-hanna nou lekker met jou huiswerk, nê?

Translation: Approximation – “You’re dawdling with your homework, hey?”

Afrikaans: Die oggendstond het goud in die mond.

Translation: “Early dawn has gold in the mouth.”

Meaning: This means that those who rise early get more done.

Afrikaans: hoeka

Translation: Another one without a translation! An approximation would be “for a while now,” which means almost the same as lankal (discussed under the previous heading).

Example: Hy wag hoeka vir daardie verslag. 

Translation: “He’s been waiting a while already for the report.”

Afrikaans: gevrek

Translation: “dead”

Meaning: Literally, it means something is dead, but it’s often used to indicate that someone is very slow and takes their time. It’s not a very flattering or polite way to describe a person, though!

Example: Die diens hier is maar gevrek!

Translation: “The service here is very slow!”

Do you have a favorite proverb or saying about time in your language? Share with us in the comments!

Learning with Languagepod

8. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Tell the Time in Afrikaans in No Time!

Basic Questions

Don’t be a draaikous and waste precious time—enrol now with AfrikaansPod101! As a beginner, you’ll get access to helpful audio lessons, such as Choosing a Delivery Time in South Africa. Intermediate learners get access to dialogue examples such as What Time is it in South Africa? All of our lessons are designed to teach you how to sound like a native speaker from the word “go!”

That’s not all—you’ll have plenty of FREE learning tools at your disposal, such as many culturally-relevant vocabulary lists, a fantastic online Afrikaans Dictionary, and thousands of lessons in different formats!

Easily learn and practice Afrikaans grammar, vocabulary, reading & writing, comprehension, and much more with AfrikaansPod101!

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All About Directions in Afrikaans – Your Best Guide!

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Getting lost is never fun, even less so in a foreign country. Knowing how to give or ask for directions in Afrikaans is therefore a very helpful skill to have when visiting South Africa! Fortunately, most South Africans speak English, Afrikaans, and/or Zulu, three of the country’s eleven national languages. They’re normally a helpful, friendly people. So, if you know all about asking for directions in Afrikaans, you won’t easily get lost!

Learn the basics about how to give directions in Afrikaans (and ask for them), and more, at AfrikaansPod101. It’s our goal to keep your learning fun and easy!

Let’s start with the basic vocabulary you need to master. Whether you’re asking or giving directions in Afrikaans, knowing certain words and how native speakers pronounce them will make your life much easier on South African roads. For instance, “left” in Afrikaans is links, while “right” in Afrikaans is regs. There—you already know two of the most important direction words in the language! 

Here’s an example of directions in Afrikaans to show you how you would use them in a sentence:

Basic sentence: Hou regs verby die Uniegeboue.

Translation: “Keep right (as you pass) the Union Buildings.”

Complex: Hou regs verby die Uniegeboue, en kyk uit links vir die hospitaal.

Translation: “Keep right as you pass the Union Buildings, and look out for the hospital on the left.”
“Straight” in Afrikaans is reguit, which is where we’re heading now—to vocabulary and phrases!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Directions in Afrikaans: On the Road
  2. Directions in Afrikaans: On a Map
  3. Directions in Afrikaans: Survival Questions and Phrases
  4. Directions in Afrikaans: Landmarks
  5. Learn the Best Directions in Afrikaans at AfrikaansPod101!

1. Directions in Afrikaans: On the Road

Asking directions

Fortunately, Afrikaans and English are both Germanic languages. This means that they use the same alphabet; most Afrikaans can be translated literally into English and vice-versa.

ry reguit af — “drive/ride straight down”

Simple Sentence: Ry reguit af met Long Street.

Translation: “Drive straight down Long Street.”

Complex Sentence: Draai links en ry dan reguit af met Long Street.

Translation: “Turn left and then drive straight down Long Street.”

Note: The two languages share an expression that has to do with direction: “As the crow flies” / Soos die kraai vlieg. This means that something moves in a straight line from point A to point B. The expression allegedly originated in Scotland, with reference to a turnpike, or the so-called “crow road,” which denoted a direct route without detours. 

The reference to a crow’s flight is somewhat mysterious, though. The bird can certainly be observed flying in a very straight and steady line at times. Yet this behavior isn’t particular only to crows or ravens, and they do circle a lot too. Some say it may refer to an ancient sailing practice, when ravens were released to point the sailors to land, but this can’t be historically confirmed.

gaan af met — “go down with”

Simple Sentence: Gaan af met daardie straat.

Translation: “Go down that street.”

Complex Sentence: Gaan af met daardie straat om die V & A Waterfront se ingang op links te kry.

Translation: “Go down that street for the entrance to the V & A Waterfront on your left.”

draai links / regs “turn left / right”

Simple Sentence: Draai regs by die verkeerslig.

Translation: “Turn right at the traffic light.”

Complex Sentence: Draai regs by die verkeerslig en dan onmiddelik links by die ingang van die Voortrekker Monument.

Translation: “Turn right at the traffic light and then immediately left at the entrance of the Voortrekker Monument.”

gaan oor — “go over”

Note: Here, “go over” isn’t used literally. In English, we say “cross.”

Simple Sentence: Gaan oor daardie brug.

Translation: “Cross that bridge.”

Complex Sentence: Gaan oor daardie brug om by die Nelson Mandela Museum te kom.

Translation: “Cross that bridge to get to the Nelson Mandela Museum.”

Nelson Mandela

oppad na — “on the way to”

Simple Sentence: Clarens is oppad na die Golden Gate Highland National Park.

Translation: “Clarens is on the way to the Golden Gate Highland National Park.”

Complex Sentence: Clarens is oppad na die Golden Gate Highland National Park, so draai links af van die hoofweg soontoe.

Translation: “Clarence is on the way to the Golden Gate Highland National Park, so turn left off the highway to go there.”

oorkant — “opposite” 

Simple Sentence: Dis oorkant die apteek.

Translation: “It’s opposite the pharmacy.”

Complex Sentence: Dis oorkant die apteek wat jy moet regs draai en dan weer onmiddelik links.

Translation: “It’s opposite the pharmacy so you have to turn right and then immediately left again.”

langs — “next to”

Simple Sentence: Parkeer langs die motorhuis.

Translation: “Park next to the garage.”

Complex Sentence: Draai in by die tweede hek en parkeer langs die motorhuis.

Translation: “Turn in at the second gate and park next to the garage.”

voor and agter — “in front of” and “behind”

Simple Sentence: Ry voor in.

Translation: “Drive in at the front.”

Complex Sentence: Ry voor in en parkeer dan agter die huis.

Translation: “Drive in at the front and then park behind the house.”

ver and naby “far” and “close”

Simple Sentence: Dis ver na Muizenberg strand toe.

Translation: “It’s far to Muizenberg Beach.”

Complex Sentence: Jy gaan ver ry om naby Muizenberg strand te kom.

Translation: “You’re going to drive far to get close to Muizenberg Beach.”

Cape Town Muizenberg

by die kruising — “at the crossing”

Simple Sentence: Gaan links by die kruising.

Translation: “Go left at the crossing.”

Complex Sentence: Gaan links by die kruising en hou reguit aan tot by die eerste verkeerslig.

Translation: “Go left at the crossing and keep straight until the first traffic light.”

om die draai — “around the corner”

Simple Sentence: Die kruidenier is net om die draai.

Translation: “The grocer is just around the corner.”

Complex Sentence: Die kruidenier is net om die draai van die publieke swembad.

Translation: “The grocer is just around the corner of the public swimming pool.”

Note: In both Afrikaans and English, this sentence can be an expression that means that something isn’t far from another thing. It could also serve as a literal direction in both languages.

binne stapafstand — “within walking distance”

Simple Sentence: Die winkel is binne stapafstand.

Translation: “The shop is within walking distance.”

Complex Sentence: Die winkel is binne stapafstand van die polisie stasie wat net oorkant die stadsaal is.

Translation: “The shop is within walking distance of the police station which is just opposite the city hall.”

gaan terug — “go back”

Simple Sentence: Gaan terug na Gautrein stasie.

Translation: “Go back to Gautrain Station.”

Complex Sentence: Gaan terug na Gautrein stasie se hoofingang en neem ‘n taxi na die middestad.

Translation: “Go back to Gautrain Station’s main entrance and take a taxi to the city center.”

speeding train

X kilometer ver van — “X kilometers away from”

Simple Sentence: Kaapstad is 1400 kilometer ver van Johannesburg.

Translation:Cape Town is 1400 kilometers away from Johannesburg.”

Complex Sentence: Dis beter om te vlieg as jy haastig is want Kaapstad is 1400 kilometer ver van Johannesburg.

Translation: “It’s better to fly if you’re in a hurry because Cape Town is 1400 kilometres away from Johannesburg.”

2. Directions in Afrikaans: On a Map

Fortunately, all the directions stay the same on a map, no matter where in the world you find yourself. Giving directions in Afrikaans could be made much easier when you have one of these in front of you—geared with the correct Afrikaans vocabulary, of course!

map

noord and suid — “north” and “south”

Simple Sentence: Draai noord by die meer.

Translation: “Turn north at the lake.”

Complex Sentence: Hou reguit aan met die grondpad en draai dan noord by die meer.

Translation: “Keep straight on with the gravel road and turn north at the lake.”

oos and wes — “east” and “west”

Simple Sentence: Oos, wes, tuis bes.

Translation: “East, west, home best.”

Note: This is an Afrikaans expression that means what it says: no matter how far and wide you travel, home remains the best place to return to.

Complex Sentence: By die stopstraat, kyk wes om die Tafelberg kabelkar te sien.

Translation: “At the stop street, look west to see the Table Mountain cable car.”

noordwes and noordoos — “northwest” and “northeast”

Simple Sentence: Mafikeng is in Noordwes provinsie

Translation: “Mafikeng is in North West Province.”

Complex Sentence: Zimbabwe is noordwes van Johannesburg, maar noordoos van Maputo.

Translation: “Zimbabwe is northwest of Johannesburg but northeast of Maputo.”

suidwes and suidoos “southwest” and “southeast”

Simple Sentence: Namibië word ook Suidwes Afrika genoem.

Translation: “Namibia is also called Southwest Africa.”

Complex Sentence: Die Uil Huis is in Nieu Bethesda, wat suidoos lê van De Aar.

Translation: “The Owl House is in Nieu Bethesda, which lies southeast of De Aar.”

suidwesterlike and suidoosterlike — “southwestern” and “southeastern”

Simple Sentence: Die suidwesterlike deel van Suid Afrika is meestal woestynland.

Translation: “The southwestern part of South Africa is mostly desert land.”

Complex Sentence: Die Kaapse Dokter is ‘n sterk, droë suidoosterlike wind wat Kaapstad se besoedelde lug skoonmaak elke September.

Translation: “The Cape Doctor is a strong, dry southeastern wind that cleans Cape Town’s polluted air every September.”

noordwestelike and noordoostelike — “northwestern” and “northeastern”

Simple Sentence: Richardsbaai Wildreservaat lê in ‘n noordoostelike rigting vanaf Pietermaritzburg.

Translation: “Richard’s Bay Game Reserve lays in a northeastern direction from Pietermaritzburg.”

Complex Sentence: Gaborone, die hoofstad van Botswana, lê in ‘n noordwestelike rigting redelik naby aan Johannesburg.

Translation: “Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, lays in a northwestern direction fairly close to Johannesburg.”

Game reserve, antelope

3. Directions in Afrikaans: Survival Questions and Phrases

Example: Waar is die stasie, asseblief?

Translation: “Where is the station, please?”

Example: Hoe kom ek by die hoofweg uit van hier af?

Translation: “How do I get to the highway from here?”

Example: Kan ek die trein soontoe neem? 

Translation: “Can I take the train there?”

Example: Wat is die kortste roete na die lughawe?

Translation: “What is the shortest route to the airport?”

Note: Unfortunately, like most countries, South African cities have their dangerous spots. It could sometimes be prudent to ask for the safest route somewhere, as in: Wat is die veiligste roete na XXX? / “What is the safest route to XXX?” Or, before heading out on your own somewhere, you could ask: Is dit ‘n veilige area om te besoek? / “Is it a safe area to visit?”

Example: Ek het verdwaal. Kan u my help, asseblief? (Here the formal “you” is a polite, safe way to address strangers!)

Translation: “I am lost. Could you help me, please?”

Example: Hoe vêr is is dit te voet na die busstasie van hier af?

Translation: “How far is it by foot from here to the bus station?”

Bus station

Example: Verskoon my, waar is die ruskamer, asseblief?

Translation: “Excuse me, where is the restroom, please?”

Example: Kan u my wys hoe om by die restaurant uit te kom, asseblief?

Translation: “Could you show me how to get to the restaurant, please?” 

Example: Baie dankie vir u hulp! Ek waardeer dit baie.

Translation: “Thank you very much for your assistance! I really appreciate it.”

4. Directions in Afrikaans: Landmarks

Directions

When a map is either unavailable or useless, a landmark could make all the difference in finding your way in a strange city. Many landmarks have been used in the sentences above, but for your convenience, here’s a handy vocabulary list of the most common landmarks found anywhere.

EnglishAfrikaans
“airport”lughawe
“train station”treinstasie
“bus station”busstasie
“bus stop”busstop
“taxi rank”taxistaanplek
“rental car depot”huurmotor depot
“harbor”hawe
“city center”middestad
“suburb”buurt
“park”park
“museum”museum
“aquarium”akwarium
“cinema”rolprentteater
“vending machine”vending machine
“theme park”pretpark
“hospital”hospitaal
“church”kerk
“zoo”dieretuin
“garden”tuin
“fountain”spuitfontein
“waterpark”waterpark
“elevator”hysbak
“escalator”roltrap
“revolving doors”swaaideure / draaideure
“bathroom”badkamer
“parking lot” / “parkade”parkeerplek / parkade
“gate”hek
“statue”standbeeld

5. Learn the Best Directions in Afrikaans at AfrikaansPod101!

Basic questions

So, reader, how do you feel about giving or asking for directions in Afrikaans now? Is there anything you still want to know about directions in Afrikaans? Let us know in the comments; we’ll be glad to help! 

Learning with us, you’ll be thoroughly trained to ask for and give directions in Afrikaans. We teach Afrikaans directions with vocab lessons that use listening comprehension, hundreds of vocab lists, many Afrikaans reading exercises, lessons with slideshows and recorded audio (such as this The Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Travel lesson), and so much more! Arm yourself with an online Afrikaans dictionary, thousands of Afrikaans key phrases, and a Word of the Day to stay at the top of your game. 

Never get lost anywhere in South Africa with AfrikaansPod101. Sign up today!

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Learn the 100 Most Common Nouns in Afrikaans



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A noun in Afrikaans is called a selfstandige naamwoord, which literally translates as “independent name word.” That makes sense, considering that nouns are the names of people, places, animals, things, and ideas or concepts. Yet, when looking at any sentence, what is a noun in Afrikaans?

The answer to that isn’t overly simple, like in any other language, but that’s the nature of grammar for you. That said, it’s not impossibly difficult, so why not learn the difference between a common noun in Afrikaans and a collective noun in Afrikaans at AfrikaansPod101? We make it easy for you!

Take a look at this list of the Fifty Most Common Nouns in Afrikaans, for instance. It’s possible to speak like a native Afrikaner with our help!

For this article, we won’t venture into the classification of nouns in Afrikaans grammar, but rather supply you with an excellent list of the most useful ones.

Tip: Here’s a trick to identify common nouns easily in any sentence. If you can meaningfully use the word together with an article (a, the / ‘n, die), it’s a noun!

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Table of Contents
  1. Nouns in Afrikaans: Home Appliances (huis toestelle)
  2. Nouns in Afrikaans: Technology (tegnologie)
  3. Nouns in Afrikaans: Transport (vervoer)
  4. Nouns in Afrikaans: Services (dienste)
  5. Nouns in Afrikaans: Careers and Jobs (loopbane and werk)
  6. Nouns in Afrikaans: Animals
  7. AfrikaansPod101 Teaches You the Best Nouns – Easily and Fast!


1. Nouns in Afrikaans: Home Appliances (huis toestelle)


Appliances

Noun: yskas and vrieskas
Translation: “fridge” and “freezer”
Use: Die yskas is splinternuut, maar die vrieskas is nie.
Translation: “The fridge is brand new, but the freezer is not.”

Noun: stoof and oond
Translation: “stove” and “oven”
Use: Gebruik jy die stoof of die oond?
Translation: “Do you use the stove or the oven?”

Noun: ketel
Translation: “kettle”
Use: Skakel die ketel af, asseblief.
Translation: “Please switch off the kettle.”

Coffeemaker

Noun: koffiemasjien
Translation:coffee maker” / “coffee machine”
Use: Ek verkies koffie wat met die koffiemasjien gemaak is.
Translation: “I prefer coffee made with the coffee machine.”

Noun: broodrooster
Translation: “bread toaster”
Use: Die broodrooster is ‘n handige toestel.
Translation: “The bread toaster is a handy appliance.”

Noun: elektriese kosmenger
Translation:electric food mixer
Use: ‘n Elektriese kosmenger maak kosmaak maklik.
Translation: “An electric food mixer makes food preparation easy.”

Noun: blikoopmaker
Translation: “can opener”
Use: Gebruik die blikoopmaker op daardie blikkie tuna.
Translation: “Use the can opener on that tin of tuna.”

Noun: skottelgoedwasser
Translation: “dishwasher”
Use: Ek is baie dankbaar om ‘n skottelgoedwasser te hê.
Translation: “I’m very grateful to have a dishwasher.”

Noun: mikrogolf oond
Translation: “microwave oven”
Use: Daardie mikrogolf oond is skoon.
Translation: “That microwave oven is clean.”

Noun: haardroër
Translation: “hair dryer”
Use: Sy gebruik ‘n goeie haardroër.
Translation: “She uses a good hair dryer.”

Noun: lugverkoeler or lugversorger
Translation: “air conditioner”
Use: Die huis het ‘n nuwe lugverkoeler nodig.
Translation: “The house needs a new air conditioner.”

Fan appliance

Noun: waaier
Translation: “fan”
Use: Dis warm, sit die waaier aan, asseblief.
Translation: “It’s hot, switch on the fan, please.”
Note: Dis is a contraction of dit is—exactly the same as “it’s” is a contraction of “it is.”

Noun: verwarmer
Translation: “heater”
Use: Ons gebruik die verwarmer net in die winter.
Translation: “We use the heater only during the winter.”

Noun: wasmasjien
Translation: “washing machine”
Use: Gebruik jy ooit jou wasmasjien?
Translation: “Do you ever use your washing machine?”

Noun: tuimeldroër
Translation: “tumble dryer”
Use: Die klere in die tuimeldroër is droog.
Translation: “The clothes in the tumble dryer are dry.”

2. Nouns in Afrikaans: Technology (tegnologie)


Noun: televisie
Translation: “television”
Use: Ons het ‘n groot televisie.
Translation: “We have a large television.”

Television

Noun: DVD speler
Translation: “DVD player”
Use: Hy skakel die DVD speler aan.
Translation: “He switches on the DVD player.”

Noun: afstandbeheerder
Translation: “remote controller”
Use: Waar is die afstandbeheerder?
Translation: “Where is the remote controller?”

Noun: rekenaar
Translation: “computer”
Use: Hierdie is ‘n ou rekenaar.
Translation: “This is an old computer.”

Noun: skootrekenaar
Translation: “laptop”
Use: Ek verkies skootrekenaars.
Translation: “I prefer laptops.”

Noun: slimfoon
Translation: “smartphone”
Use: iPhone is my gunsteling slimfoon.
Translation: “The iPhone is my favorite smartphone.”

Noun: faksmasjien
Translation: “fax machine”
Use: Weet jy hoe die faksmasjien werk?
Translation: “Do you know how the fax machine works?”

Noun: fotokopiëerder/fotokopiëerapparaat
Translation: “photocopier”
Use: Daar is nie papier in die fotokopiëerder nie.
Translation: “There’s no paper in the photocopier.”

Telephone

Noun: telefoon
Translation: “telephone”
Use: Die telefoon lui.
Translation: “The telephone rings.”

Noun: selfoon
Translation: “cell phone”
Use: Dit is ‘n duur selfoon daardie.
Translation: “That is an expensive cell phone.”

Noun: batterylaaier
Translation: “battery charger”
Use: Die batterylaaier is op die rak.
Translation: “The battery charger is on the shelf.”

Noun: oorfone
Translation: “headphone” / “earphones”
Use: Daardie is goeie oorfone.
Translation: “Those are good earphones.”

Noun: webwerf
Translation: “website”
Use: Hy het sy eie webwerf.
Translation: “He has his own website.”

Noun: wifi; internet; account; file; image/pi; app
Note: For use in reference to web-technology, these words don’t have Afrikaans translations. Sometimes foto (photo) is used for “image/pic.” However, almost every Afrikaans-speaking person will understand you if you use these English terms in context!

Noun: wagwoord
Translation: “password”
Use: Wat is jou wagwoord vir hierdie app?
Translation: “What is your password for this app?”

Noun: wifi konneksie
Translation: “wifi connection”
Use: Dis ‘n uitstekende wifi konneksie hierdie.
Translation: “It’s an excellent wifi connection.”
Note: Again, dis is a contraction of dit is. Exactly the same as “it’s” is a contraction of “it is.”

3. Nouns in Afrikaans: Transport (vervoer)


Nouns 1

Noun: motorkar
Translation: “motor car”
Use: Sy ry ‘n rooi motorkar.
Translation: “She drives a red motor car.”
Note: As in English, motorkar is most often abbreviated to just motor or kar.

Noun: voertuig and trok
Translation: “vehicle” and “truck”
Use: ‘n Trok is ‘n groot voertuig.
Translation: “A truck is a large vehicle.”

Noun: trein
Translation: “train”
Use: Die Blou Trein is die mees luukse treindiens in Suid Afrika.
Translation: “The Blue Train is the most luxurious train service in South Africa.”

Noun: treinspoor and stasie
Translation: “railroad” and “station”
Use: Daardie treinspoor lei nie na die stasie nie.
Translation: “That railroad doesn’t lead to the station.”

Airplanes

Noun: vliegtuig
Translation: “airplane”
Use: Ons vliegtuig styg binnekort op.
Translation: “Our airplane takes off soon.”

Noun: lughawe
Translation: “airport”
Use: OR Tambo is Suid Afrika se grootste lughawe.
Translation: “OR Tambo is South Africa’s largest airport.”

Noun: boot
Translation: “boat”
Use: Die boot seil vinnig.
Translation: “The boat sails fast.”

Noun: hawe
Translation: “harbor”
Use: Dis winderig by die hawe.
Translation: “It’s windy at the harbor.”
Note: Can you spot the contraction…?!

Noun: motorfiets
Translation: “motorbike”
Use: My pa het ‘n groot motorfiets.
Translation: “My dad has a large motorbike.”

Noun: huurmotor and taxi
Translation: “rental car” and “taxi”
Use: Moet ons ‘n huurmotor of ‘n taxi kry?
Translation: “Shall we get a rental car or a taxi?”

Noun: taxistaanplek
Translation: “taxi rank”
Use: Die taxistaanplek is nie veilig laat in die nag nie.
Translation: “It’s not safe at the taxi rank late at night.”

London Red Bus

Noun: bus and busstop
Translation: “bus” and “bus stop”
Use: Neem die groot, rooi bus by die busstop.
Translation: “Take the large, red bus at the bus stop.”

Noun: fiets
Translation: “bike”
Use: Om met die fiets te ry hou jou fiks.
Translation: “Riding a bike keeps you fit.”

Noun: verkeerslig or robot
Translation: “traffic light”
Use: Die verkeerslig/robot is groen; jy kan gaan.
Translation: “The traffic light is green; you can go.”
Note: Even English-speaking South Africans refer to a traffic light as a “robot!” This term was apparently carried over from a time when policemen regulated traffic. Their stilted, unnatural movements earned them the nickname of “robot policemen,” eventually shortened to just “robot.”

Noun: pad and hoofweg
Translation: “road” and “highway”
Use: Hierdie is die pad na die hoofweg.
Translation: “This is the road to the highway.”

Noun: kruising
Translation: “intersection”
Use: Draai regs by die eerste kruising.
Translation: “Turn right at the first intersection.”

Noun: brug and duikweg
Translation: “bridge” and “subway”
Use: Die duikweg onder daardie brug was oorspoel na die reën.
Translation: “The subway underneath that bridge was flooded after the rain.”

Nouns 2

4. Nouns in Afrikaans: Services (dienste)


Afrikaans nouns distinguish between the masculine and the feminine for words pertaining to people and animals, with some exceptions. Keep this in mind as you read through this Afrikaans nouns list.

Noun: dokter and hospitaal
Translation: “doctor” and “hospital”

Use: Ek moet ‘n dokter by die hospitaal gaan sien.

Translation: “I need to see a doctor at the hospital.”
Note: Dokter is used for both male and female physicians.

Doctor with Patient

Noun: noodvoertuig and ambulans
Translation: “emergency vehicle” and “ambulance”
Use: Daar was ‘n ambulans en ‘n ander noodvoertuig.
Translation: “There was an ambulance and another emergency vehicle.”

Noun: tandarts and tandpyn
Translation: “dentist” and “toothache”
Use: Hy het tandpyn en moet ‘n tandaarts gaan sien.
Translation: “He has a toothache and must see a dentist.”
Note: Tandarts is used for both male and female dentists.

Noun: brandweer and vuur
Translation: “fire department” and “fire”
Use: Bel die brandweer oor die vuur in die berge.
Translation: “Call the fire department about the fire in the mountains.”
Note: Male firefighter: brandweerman. Female firefighter: brandweervrou.

Female Pharmacist

Noun: apteekster and apteek
Translation: “pharmacist” and “pharmacy”
Use: My tannie is ‘n apteekster. Haar apteek is in die hoofstraat.
Translation: “My aunt is a pharmacist. Her pharmacy is in the main street.”
Note: Male pharmacist: apteker. Female pharmacist: apteekster.

Noun: polisie and polisiestasie
Translation: “police” and “police station”
Use: Die polisie werk by die polisie stasie.
Translation: “The police works at the police station.”
Note: Policeman: polisieman. Police woman: polisievrou.

5. Nouns in Afrikaans: Careers and Jobs (loopbane and werk)


Nouns 3

Noun: prokureur
Translation: “lawyer”
Use: Sy wil ‘n prokureur word.
Translation: “She wants to become a lawyer.”
Note: There’s no gender differentiation between male and female lawyers in Afrikaans.

Noun: elektrisiën
Translation: “electrician”
Use: Bel die elektrisiën, ons krag is af.
Translation: “Call the electrician, our electricity is down.”
Note: Elektrisiën is used for both male and female electricians.

Noun: loodgieter
Translation: “plumber”
Use: Die loodgieter het die lek reggemaak.
Translation: “The plumber fixed the leak.”
Note: As in English, there’s no distinction between a male and a female plumber in Afrikaans.

Noun: onderwyser (male) and onderwyseres (female) and skool
Translation: “teacher” and “school”
Use: Daardie onderwyser en onderwyseres by my skool is getroud.
Translation: “Those two teachers at my school are married.”
Note: Onderwyser is a male teacher in Afrikaans, and onderwyseres is a female teacher.

Pilot Airforce

Noun: vlieënier
Translation: “pilot”
Use: My man is ‘n vlieënier in die lugmag.
Translation: “My husband is a pilot in the air force.”
Note: Vlieënier is used for both genders in Afrikaans.

Noun: akteur and aktrise
Translation: “actor” and “actress”
Use: Die mooi aktrise is getroud met die goed-geboude akteur.
Translation: “The pretty actress is married to the well-built actor.”
Note: Aktrise is “actress” and akteur is “actor.”

 Singer

Noun: sanger and sangeres
Translation: “singer” and “songstress”
Use: Die sanger het ‘n diep stem, en die sangeres het ‘n hoë een.
Translation: “The singer has a deep voice, and the songstress has a high one.”
Note: Sangeres is “songstress” and sanger is “singer.”

Noun: kunstenaar and kunstenares
Translation: “artist”
Use: Die kunstenaar se baard is lank, terwyl die kunstenares se hare lank is.
Translation: “The (male) artist’s beard is long, while the (female) artist’s hair is long.”
Note: Kunstenaar is the male artist, and kunstenares is the female artist.

6. Nouns in Afrikaans: Animals


Noun: mannetjie and wyfie and klein katjies
Translation: “male” and “female” animals and “kittens”
Use: Dis ‘n mooi wyfie en groot mannetjie kat. Hulle gaan lieflike klein katjies hê.
Translation: “It’s a pretty molly and a large tom cat. They will have lovely kittens.”
Note: These terms, mannetjie and wyfie, are used to describe gender in many animal species where no specific names exist in Afrikaans.

Kitten

Noun: hen and haan and kuikens
Translation: “hen” and “rooster” and “chicks”
Use: Die haan kraai terwyl die hen en kuikens rondloop.
Translation: “The rooster crows while the hen and chicks roam about.”
Note: In Afrikaans, hen is “hen” and haan is “rooster.”

Noun: teef/tefie and reun
Translation: “female dog” and “male dog”
Use: Hierdie tefie en reun het klein hondjies.
Translation: “This female dog and male dog have puppies.”
Note: In Afrikaans, teef or tefie is a female “dog” and reun is a male “dog.”

Noun: hings and merrie and stal
Translation: “stallion” and “mare” and “stable”
Use: Die hings en merrie slaap in die stal.
Translation: “The stallion and mare sleep in the stable.”
Note: In Afrikaans, hings is “stallion” and merrie is “mare.”

Parrot

Noun: papegaai
Translation: “parrot”
Use: My papegaai kan praat..
Translation: “My parrot can talk.”
Note: There is no gender-specific names for papegaai in Afrikaans. To differentiate, you could refer to a mannetjie papegaai (male parrot) and a wyfie papegaai (female parrot), like with cats.

Noun: volstruis
Translation: “ostrich”
Use: Moenie dat ‘n volstruis jou jaag nie.
Translation: “Don’t let an ostrich chase you.”
Note: There’s no gender differentiation for volstruise.

What’s your favorite pet or animal? Share with us in the comments!

7. AfrikaansPod101 Teaches You the Best Nouns – Easily and Fast!


Nouns 4

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Jeugdag: Celebrating Youth Day in South Africa

A Stack of Books with an Apple on Top Every child deserves the right and the means to have a proper education and pursue their dreams, but for a long time, the education system in South Africa didn’t allow this. Apartheid caused great inequality in terms of education, meaning that not every South African child was able to receive a good education or attend a decent school.

In this article, you’ll learn a little about the events that led to a better South African education system, some interesting facts about Youth Day in South Africa, and essential vocabulary for talking about this holiday.

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1. What is Youth Day?

A Stack of Books with an Apple on Top Youth Day in South Africa is a holiday set aside to onthou (“remember”) the 1976 Soweto oproering (“uprising”). This uprising was the result of an attempt by the Apartheid regime, through the Bantu Education Act, to make Afrikaans the only language used to teach in schools. This would have made a proper onderwys (“education”) difficult, or even impossible, to attain for many youths in South Africa. There were two key issues with this Act that led to the uprising:

1) Because the South African education sisteem (“system”) would now put greater focus on language, there was little room for critical thinking.

2) This Act also caused for there to be separate black and white schools—a massive breach of equality. The schools for black students were notoriously of poor quality and were very divisive.

The Soweto Uprising consisted of thousands of South Africans, mainly students, who protested the Bantu Education Act. They marched toward the Orlando Stadium in what they intended to be a peaceful protest, though police soon barricaded their path, and the protest ended in violence. The police killed several of the protesters, and many more lost their lives in the weeks that followed.

This uprising eventually led to a series of events that ended Apartheid, thus creating more equality in South Africa. Youth Day both commemorates this tragic event and encourages people to honor today’s youth.



2. When is Youth Day in South Africa?

A Man Remembering Something Important Each year, South Africans celebrate Youth Day on June 16, the date on which the Soweto Uprising took place.



3. How is Youth Day Celebrated in South Africa?

A Group of People Raising Their Arms in Celebration While the South African Youth Day commemorates a tragic event, don’t let this fool you into thinking it’s a completely sad day. On the contrary: In addition to the mourning and the solemn atmosphere, there’s hope and joy over the bevry (“liberation”) that the Soweto Uprising helped set in motion.

The most popular Youth Day celebration in South Africa is attending music festivals. People dance, sing, and spend time with loved ones during these festivals, which are held in celebration of today’s youth.

Some years, there are special Youth Day themes that encourage the population to focus on a specific element of youth. One year, the theme was about creating a “drug-free South Africa” and promoting proper youth development.

On National Youth Day, South Africans often take part in marches or rallies to promote children’s rights or demonstrate against related injustices. In addition, they may visit the gravesites or memorials of those who lost their lives in the Soweto Uprising and learn more about this event in museums or by attending educational events.



4. Hector Pieterson

This may be the most well-known name associated with the Soweto Uprising, and for a good reason. Hector Pieterson was a twelve-year-old boy involved in the uprising, who was tragically shot to death by a police officer. Pieterson became the face of this movement, inspiring South Africans to continue fighting for equal rights and schooling.

In Soweto, there’s a Hector Pieterson memorial and museum, which many South Africans visit on Youth Day.

5. Must-Know Youth Day Vocabulary

Someone Drawing Mechanical Gears on a Blackboard Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list!

  • Onderwyser — “Teacher” [n.]
  • Skool — “School” [n.]
  • Onthou — “Remember” [v.]
  • Oproering — “Uprising” [n.]
  • Fier — “Celebrate” [v.]
  • Herken — “Recognize” [v.]
  • Bevry — “Liberation” [n.]
  • Onderwys — “Education” [n.]
  • Skiet — “Shoot” [v.]
  • Sisteem — “System” [n.]


If you want to hear the pronunciation of each word, be sure to visit our Afrikaans Youth Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Youth Day in South Africa is a time of mournful commemoration—and, at the same time, a day of hope. Through resilience and the desire for a better world, South Africans are able to look past the despair of this holiday and see into a brighter future led by today’s youth.

What are your thoughts on this holiday? Do you celebrate a holiday similar to Youth Day in your country?

If you’re interested in learning more about South African culture and the Afrikaans language, AfrikaansPod101.com has several free resources for you, straight from our blog:

  • Celebrating Cultural Heritage Day in South Africa
  • Vryheidsdag: Celebrating Freedom Day in South Africa
  • The Most Commonly Used Nonverbal Gestures in South Africa
  • Life Event Messages: “Happy Birthday” in Afrikaans & More!
  • Afrikaans Etiquette in South Africa: What You Need to Know


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    We hope to see you around, and Happy Youth Day! Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans