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Archive for the 'Afrikaans Grammar' Category

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. 

Don’t hesitate—enroll with AfrikaansPod101 now!

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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!

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!

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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

Our goal is to help you learn a new language as easily and with as much fun as possible! Our focus is also on usefulness. For instance, learn your culturally-relevant and topic-related Afrikaans nouns through hundreds of lessons, such as the Top 20 Words You’ll Need for the Internet and Back to School Essentials. Or, prepare yourself for a night out with this relevant restaurant vocabulary lesson. Then blow your Afrikaans friends’ minds with your mastery of the 100 Core Afrikaans Words!

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What You Should Know about Prepositions in Afrikaans

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Prepositions in Afrikaans (called voorsetsels), like those in English, have one function only: to clarify the relationship between different concepts or words in a sentence.

Look, for instance, at this one:

“The girl stood under the umbrella.”

Umbrella Girl

Here, the relationship between the concepts “the girl stood” and “the umbrella” is explained by the preposition “under.” This is important, because prepositions impact meaning—the girl didn’t stand “on top of,” “next to,” or “over” the umbrella (all of these are prepositions, too); she stood “under” it.

In both English and Afrikaans, prepositions are easily confused with conjunctions (or voegwoorde). However, the differences between them are easy to discern once you know what to look out for.

Prepositions link together, or connect, mainly nouns with other nouns, verbs, etc. On the other hand, conjunctions can connect two sentences, words, concepts, or verbs.

In English, if the sentence contains two verbs or more, you’re most likely looking at a conjunction and not a preposition! Also note that prepositions or conjunctions don’t always stand between words or sentences, thus obviously “connecting” them. They can be found anywhere in a sentence, except right at the end.

See if you can spot the conjunction vs. the preposition in these sentences.

1) “After they ate, she went back to work.”

2) “After the movie, we decided to go ice-skating.”

3) “We didn’t leave, since the dishes still needed to be done.”

4) “They’ve been sitting there since this morning.”

Which two sentences have the prepositions? Let us know in the comments!

However, in Afrikaans, the above rule doesn’t always apply. Prepositions can be used to connect both verbs and nouns, and can even connect clauses with verbs or nouns. The best thing is to just practice until you master these!

For your easy reference, we’ve compiled an alphabetical, comprehensive list of prepositions in Afrikaans. We’ll also show you how to use them in sentences.

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Table of Contents

  1. Prepositions in Afrikaans
  2. Why AfrikaansPod101 is an Excellent Choice to Study Prepositions in Afrikaans!

1. Prepositions in Afrikaans

AFRIKAANS ENGLISH
Aan
Hy rapporteer aan my.
Die prent hang aan die muur.
Ons loop hand aan hand.
Wie sit al aan tafel om te eet?
Ek dink aan jou die hele tyd.
Die ou man ly aan tering.
To / On / In / At / About / From
“He reports to me.”
“The picture hangs on the wall.”
“We walk hand in hand.”
“Who already sits at the table to eat?”
“I think about you all the time.”
“The old man suffers from tuberculosis.”
Aangaande
Sy weet niks aangaande die brief nie.
Regarding
“She knows nothing regarding the letter.”
Agter
Die besem staan agter die deur.
Behind
“The broom stands behind the door.”
Anderkant
Ons bly anderkant daardie koppie.
Beyond
“We live beyond that hill.”
Benede
Dis benede sy waardigheid om so te praat.
Beneath
“It’s beneath his dignity to talk like that.”
Benewens
Benewens boeke verkoop ons ook tydskrifte.
Apart from
“Apart from books we also sell magazines.”

Bookshop Women

Betreffende
Daar is baie inligting beskikbaar betreffende aardskuddings in Okinawa.
Regarding
“There is a lot of information available regarding earthquakes in Okinawa.”
Binne
Sy het die wedloop binne ‘n minuut afgelê.

Note: This particular preposition (binne) is always followed by a determiner article: ‘n (“a” ) or die (“the” ).

Within
“She completed the race within a minute.”
Bo
Enigiets bo $100 vir die kaartjies is te duur.
Rocco verkies tee bo koffie.
Above / Over
“Anything above $100 for the tickets is too expensive.”
“Rocco prefers tea over coffee.”
Bokant
Die wild staan bokant die wind.
Above
“The game stands above the wind.”
Bo-op
Klim bo-op die skool se dak.
On top of
“Climb on top of the school’s roof.”
Buite
Dit is buite sy bereik.
Out of
“It is out of his reach.”
By
Danie is by die haarsalon.
At
“Danny is at the hair salon.”
Deur
Die kat kruip deur die gras.
Through
“The cat crawls through the grass.”
Duskant
Die winkel is duskant die rivier.
This side of
“The shop is this side of the river.”
Digby
Hy woon digby die strand.
Close by
“He lives close by the beach.”

Man in Beach House

Gedurende
Hulle slaap gedurende die winter.
During
“They sleep during the winter.”
In
Sy wag in die sitkamer.
In
“She waits in the sitting room.”
Jeens
Die onderwyser is goedgesind jeens die kind.
Towards
“The teacher is kind towards the child.”
Kragtens
Kragtens die mag aan my verleen beveel ek jou om op te staan.
By
“By the power vested in me, I order you to stand up.”
Langs
Hy ontmoet my langs die pad.
Hy kom sit langs my.
By / Next to
“He meets me by the roadside.”
“He comes and sits next to me.”
Met
Clint praat met my.
Ons is met vakansie by die kus.
Die hond groet my met sy poot.
To / On / With
“Clint talks to me.”
“We’re on holiday at the coast.”
“The dog greets me with its paw.”
Na
Ons gaan vlieg na die eiland toe.
Na ontbyt gaan ons oefen.
Die au pair kyk na hom.
Jy aard na jou pa.
Ek verlang na jou.
Dag na dag waai die wind.
To / After / Of
“We will fly to the island.”
“After breakfast, we will exercise.”
“The au pair is taking care of him.”
“You take after your father.”
“I miss you.” (No preposition here in English!)
“Day after day, the wind blows.”
Naaste aan
Die skons naaste aan my lyk lekker.
Closest to
“The muffin closest to me looks tasty.”
Namens
Die kaptein het haar namens die hele span gelukgewens.
On behalf of
“The captain congratulated her on behalf of the whole team.”
Naby/Neffens
Die gereg naby my ruik goed.

Note: Neffens is no longer used very often.

Close to
“The dish close to me smells good.”

Chef Restaurant

Nieteenstaande
Nieteenstaande die feit dat dit hard reën, besluit hy om steeds te gaan draf.
Notwithstanding
“Notwithstanding the fact that it is raining hard, he decides to still go jogging.”
Om
Die bal rol om die hoek.
Daar is roosblare om die koek gestrooi.
Wees om agtuur by die werk.
Ons dra die kind om die beurt.
Around / Round / At
“The ball rolls round the corner.”
“There are rose petals strewn around the cake.”
“Be at work at eight o’clock.”
“We take turns to carry the child.” (Nope, well spotted—translated to English, this sentence contains a conjunction, not a preposition!)
Omstreeks / Omtrent
Ons verwag die vleigtuig omstreeks nege uur.
Die groep is omtrent twintig in getal.
Around / About
“We are expecting the plane around nine o’clock.”
“The group is about twenty in number.”
Ondanks
Hy hardloop oor die besige pad ondanks haar waarskuwing.
Despite
“He runs across the busy road despite her warning.”
Onder
Ek lê onder komberse.
Onder daardie groep hulle sal jy ‘n goeie skrywer kry.
Die polisie het die misdadiger onder skoot gehad.
Under / Among / In
“I am lying under blankets.”
“Among that group, you’ll find a good writer.”
“The police had the criminal in their crosshair.”
Ongeag
Ons loop aan ongeag ons moegheid.
Despite
“We walk on despite our fatigue.”
Oorkant
Hy bly net oorkant die pad.
Across
“He lives just across the road.”
Ongeveer
Die prosedure sal ongeveer drie dae duur.
Approximately
“The procedure will take approximately three days.”
Oor
Die hen loop oor die pad.
Gooi die bal oor die net.
Dis nou kwart oor tien.
Ek is baie gelukkig oor die goeie uitslae.
Hierdie pad loop oor Robertson na McGregor toe.
Across / Over / Past / About / Over
“The hen walks across the road.”
“Throw the ball over the net.”
“It’s now a quarter past ten.”
“I’m very happy about the good results.”
“This road goes over Robertson to McGregor.”
Op
Die kind hop rond op een been.
Op die ou end was dit ‘n baie aangename ete.
Sy het musiek op skool geleer.
Ek is trots op my seun.
Die speurder skiet op die misdadiger.
On / In / At / Of
“The child hops around on one leg.”
“In the end, it was a very pleasant meal.”
“She learned music at school.”
“I am proud of my son.”
“The detective shoots at the criminal.”
Per
Hy het die roomys per ongeluk laat val.
Gaan jy per vliegtuig of per trein reis?
By
“He dropped the icecream by accident.”
“Are you going to travel by air or by rail?”
Regoor
Regoor ons bly ‘n homeopaat.
Right across
“Right across from us lives a homeopath.”
Rondom
Hulle loop eenmaal rondom die huis.
Around
“They walk once around the house.”
Sedert
Sedert jou vertrek het ek die kat nie weer gesien nie.
Since
“Since your departure, I have not seen the cat again.”

Cat Hiding

Sonder
Jy kan nie vandag sonder jou jas aan buite gaan stap nie.
Without
“You can’t walk outside today without your coat on.”
Te
Ons sal te vliegtuig reis.
My motor is te koop.
By / For
“We’ll travel by air.”
“My car is for sale.”
Teen
Die slaperige kind loop teen die tafel vas.
Teen watter tyd verwag jy hom terug?
Jy kan hierdie teen ‘n beter prys by Starbucks kry.
Into / By / At
“The sleepy child walks into the table.”
“By what time do you expect him back?”
“You can get these at a better price at Starbucks.”
Teenoor
Hy is baie vriendelik teenoor my.
Towards
“He is very friendly towards me.”

Friendly Men

Ten
Hy kon haar ten minste gebel het.
At
“He could have at least called her.”
Ter
Ons het ter elfder uur daar opgedaag.

Note: This is a fixed expression, as in English, to indicate that someone arrived very late for an event.

Aangeheg, die brief ter insae.

At
“We arrived there at the eleventh hour.”

Note: It’s not possible to translate this sentence directly, but it means: “Attached, find the letter for (your) information.” It’s used mostly in formal correspondence (such as legal letters, notices, etc.) and speech.

Tot
Hulle het tot sesuur gespeel.
Daardie restaurant was, tot ons verligting, nog oop.
Till / To
“They played till six o’clock.”
“That restaurant was, to our relief, still open.”
Tussen
Toe tref dit my tussen die oë – ek het die lotto gewen!
Between
“Then it hit me between the eyes—I won the lotto!”

Surprised Woman

Tydens
Moenie tydens sy toespraak slaap nie.
During
“Don’t sleep during his speech.”
Uit
Die boek is uit Afrikaans vertaal.
Sy help hom uit die goedheid van haar hart.
From / Because of
“The book was translated from Afrikaans.”
“She helped him because of the goodness of her heart.”
Van
Ek het uiteindelik ‘n epos van hom gekry.
Sy huil van blydskap.
Hulle is van water en kos voorsien.
From / With
“At last I received an email from him.”
“She’s crying with joy.”
“They have been supplied with water and food.”
Verby
Ons loop verby die wonderlikste winkels.
Past
“We’re walking past the most wonderful shops.”
Vir
Ek het lank genoeg vir jou gewag.
Die kind is kwaad vir sy ma.
Sy is lief vir my.
Vra vir my as jy iets nodig het.
For / With
“I waited long enough for you.”
“The child is angry with his mom.”

Note: In English, these Afrikaans vir prepositions examples don’t have prepositions!
“She loves me.”
“Ask me if you need anything.” (Here, “if” is a conjunction.)

Volgens
Volgens Paul het dit baie gesneeu.
According to
“According to Paul, it snowed a lot.”
Voor
Daar staan ‘n nuwe motor voor my huis.
Ek wil gaan stort voor etenstyd.
Ons moet kwart voor sewe daar wees.
In front of / Before / To
“There’s a new car standing in front of my house.”
“I want to shower before mealtime.”
“We must be there at a quarter to seven.”
Weens
Weens ‘n kansellasie kon ons ‘n tafel kry.
Because of
“Because of a cancellation, we could get a table.”

Learn about prepositions in the Afrikaans language in easy, fun ways! What’s stopping you? There are so many advantages to enrolling with AfrikaansPod101 today…

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Life Event Messages: “Happy Birthday” in Afrikaans & More!

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Want to have easy access to your Afrikaans friend’s hearth and heart? Learn which holidays they observe and the life events they celebrate, and you’re nearly there! Then, it will be good to know what messages they use on these occasions, including how to say “Happy Birthday” in Afrikaans, for instance. Another important one to know is “Happy New Year!” in Afrikaans.

We teach you these and many more at AfrikaansPod101, ideal for learning without stress or struggle! Celebrating these life events is an excellent way to practice your Afrikaans and learn how to pronounce these phrases like native speakers do.

Improve your vocabulary and overall speaking skills with these handy phrases. Using these, and engaging with your Afrikaans friend when wishing them well, you’ll pick up key vocabulary, sayings, and phrases, as well as cultural insights that you won’t find in any travel guide.

In this article, we share with you the key phrases popularly used in South Africa to celebrate life events and South African holidays. Adapt these for social media, or hand-written cards to go with gifts. The best way, though, would be to deliver them in person, using your own voice!

But before we continue, tell us in the comments below how to say “Happy birthday” in your native language! And “Merry Christmas?” In fact, let us know any important life event message you can think of!

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Table of Contents

  1. Congratulations in Afrikaans for Birthdays
  2. Baby Showers and Christenings/Baptisms
  3. Holiday Greetings in Afrikaans
  4. Other Special Occasions & Greetings in Afrikaans
  5. How Can AfrikaansPod101 Help You Learn Important Life Event Messages?

1. Congratulations in Afrikaans for Birthdays

Happy Birthday

Like in most other cultures, birthdays are special events. The traditions followed in South Africa are mostly Anglo-American, with some sort of celebration marking the day whose birthday is being observed. Traditionally, children get parties with lots of special treats, while older children and adults get to dictate what type of celebration they prefer—small and quiet, or large and loud!

What’s your favorite way of celebrating a birthday? Share with us in the comments…

Gelukkige verjaarsdag! is a direct translation of “Happy birthday.” While it won’t be incorrect to use as is, it’s probably a more suitable message for that Afrikaans colleague or friend you don’t know very well. It’s an informal phrase.

Lots of creative license is allowed here, though, as most Afrikaners enjoy originality, especially if you know the birthday person well.

How to say “Happy birthday” in Afrikaans is easy. It has a few permutations, but the traditional one is still the most popularly used. All of the following are suitable for use in any format you prefer, whether it be writing, texting, or a verbal congratulations in Afrikaans.

Boy Blowing Out Candles on Birthday Cake

1- Informal Birthday Wishes

Afrikaans: Baie geluk met jou verjaarsdag!
Translation: “Congratulations on your birthday!”
Notes: This wish is the traditional “Happy birthday” in Afrikaans, and is suitable for use in any situation and for any person, no matter how well you know them. Replace the informal pronoun jou (you) with the more formal u. The latter is used when addressing people much older than yourself, a dignitary, or a person senior to you in position at work. This is especially necessary in large corporations with a more formal work environment.

Afrikaans: Baie geluk en hoop jou dag is spesiaal!
Translation: “Congratulations and hope your day is special!”

Afrikaans: Geluk en mag jou verjaarsdag wonderlik wees!
Translation: “Congratulations, and may your birthday be wonderful.”

2- Formal Birthday Wishes

Afrikaans: Baie geluk met u verjaarsdag. Mag die lewensjaar wat voorlê baie voorspoedig wees.
Translation: “Congratulations on your birthday. May the (life) year ahead be very prosperous.”

Afrikaans: Baie geluk en beste wense op u verjaarsdag.
Translation: “Congratulations and best wishes on your birthday.”

Also, if you’ve missed a birthday, rectify it with this phrase:

Afrikaans: Laat verjaarsdagwense! Hoop dit was ‘n wonderlike dag gewees.
Translation: “Belated birthday wishes! Hope it was a wonderful day.”

2. Baby Showers and Christenings/Baptisms

Talking About Age

Babies and kids are big news among Afrikaners. News of a new one on its way will almost always elicit “Aaaaaw!”s and many congratulations from friends and strangers alike! Most often, the pregnant mom gets a surprise “baby shower” (ooievaarstee) from her close female family, friends, and colleagues. The event normally involves a lavish tea party with gift-giving to spoil both Mom and new Baby, obviously accompanied by many good wishes.

Once the little one has arrived, many religious Afrikaans parents choose to observe the well-known Christian blessing ceremony, A.K.A. a christening (also called “baptism” ) or a doop. The event is usually celebrated in style, with a huge family lunch after the church ceremony. Giving gifts on this occasion isn’t common, but still welcome.

Baby Christening

All these well-wishes can be adapted for texting, delivered in person, or expressed in a hand-written card or letter. Also, these are such intimate events in the lives of families that all heartfelt, sincere messages are appropriate and welcome. This means there’s normally no distinction between formal and informal messages. If you’re addressing a very senior person, you could perhaps replace the informal pronouns (jou; julle / “you” ) with the formal u in Afrikaans.

1- Baby Shower

Afrikaans: Baie geluk met die nuweling! Mag hy/sy jou net vreuge bring!
Translation: “Congratulations on the new baby! May he/she bring you only joy!”
Note: Obviously, use the gender pronoun only if you know it.

Afrikaans: Baie gelukwense met julle/jou bondeltjie vreugde!
Translation: “Many congratulations on your bundle of joy!”
Note: Jou = singular and julle = plural for “you.”

Afrikaans: Welkom by ons, Kleinding!
Translation: “Welcome, Little One!”

Newborn Baby with Mother

2- Christenings

Afrikaans: Liefde en seënwense aan almal op (baby’s name) se doopdag.
Translation: “Love and wishes of blessings to everyone on (baby’s name)’s day of christening.”

Afrikaans: Mag julle kleinding se lewe geseënd en voorspoedig wees.
Translation: “May your little one’s life be blessed and prosperous.”

Afrikaans: Wense van seën, voorspoed en liefde aan julle kleinding en die familie op hierdie spesiale dag!
Translation: “Wishes of blessings, prosperity, and love to your little one and the family on this special day!”

3- Social Media Posts for Baby Showers and Christenings

If you like keeping your social media friends and followers updated on big life events, you could consider these posts, preferably with a photo or two:

Afrikaans: My spesiale ooievaarstee..! Baie dankie, almal!
Translation: “My special baby shower…! Thank you so much, everyone!”

Afrikaans: Soveel spesiale geskenke van spesiale mense. Het nie woorde nie…!
Translation: “So many special gifts from special people. Have no words…!”

Afrikaans: Die doop seremonie was pragtig en geseënd. Dankie vir mooi herinneringe.
Translation: “The christening ceremony was special and blessed. Thank you for beautiful memories.”

Afrikaans: Wonderlike bymekaarkom na die doop. (Baby’s name) loved it!
Translation: “Wonderful get-together after the christening. (Baby’s name) loved it!”

3. Holiday Greetings in Afrikaans

Wishing someone a happy holiday in Afrikaans mostly involves religious days observed by Christians, especially Christmas (Kersfees) and Easter (Paasfees). The only other holiday greeting worth noting is “Happy New Year” in Afrikaans. This is celebrated on the first day of January each year, based on the Gregorian calendar. Of course, other religions’ festivals are also observed, such as Jewish Hanukkah, the Indian Dipawali (Indian Festival of Light), and the Chinese Lunar New Year, but these are not public holidays in South Africa.

The most simple greetings, such as “Merry Christmas” in Afrikaans, are still the most popular and used formally and informally, in any format. This could be formulated by simply adding a Geseënde (blessed) or a Gelukkige (happy/merry) in front of the festival or holiday’s name. Such as in:

Afrikaans: Gelukkige Nuwe Jaar!
Translation: “Happy New Year!”

Afrikaans: Geseënde Hanukkah!
Translation: “Blessed Hanukkah!”

Couple at a Party

If you need to be a bit more creative, you can use the following holiday greetings in Afrikaans.

Afrikaans: Geseënde Kersfees! Mag dit ‘n vreugdevolle tyd vir almal wees.
Translation: “Blessed Christmas! May it be a merry time for everyone.”

Afrikaans: Mag die nuwe jaar propvol goeie verrassings wees!
Translation: “May the new year be full of good surprises!”

Afrikaans: Gelukkige Nuwe Jaar vir jou en jou geliefdes!
Translation: “Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!”

Afrikaans: Geseënde vakansie hierdie jaar!
Translation: “Happy holidays this year!”

Afrikaans: Beste wense vir die nuwe jaar!
Translation: “Best wishes for the new year!”

Other best wishes in Afrikaans are appropriate for events such as funerals, graduations, landing a new job, and so forth.

These are the most widely-celebrated occasions, but of course, there are others too.

4. Other Special Occasions & Greetings in Afrikaans

Let’s take a look at other special events and their messages.

1- Condolences: Funerals, Illnesses, etc.

Any heartfelt condolences in Afrikaans will go down well—the Afrikaners appreciate real and sincere more than socially or grammatically correct! Your well-wishes from the heart in times of death, illness, or anything stressful will be much appreciated.

Tip: These Afrikaans condolences messages themselves can be used formally or informally. Here, they’re all written for informal address. Change it to formal address by replacing all pronouns (jy; jou; julle) that refer to the person being addressed, to u in Afrikaans.

Afrikaans Condolences: Funeral and Bereavement

Afrikaans: Innige simpatie met jou verlies. Ons hou jou in ons harte.
Translation: “Sincere condolences for your loss. We hold you in our hearts.”

Afrikaans: Diepe meegevoel met julle groot hartseer. Julle is in ons gebede en gedagtes.
Translation: “Sincere condolences for your huge sadness. You are in our prayers and thoughts.”
Note: This “you,” or julle, refers to more than one person. Change it to the singular “you” by simply replacing julle with jou in the first sentence, and jy in the second.

Afrikaans: Woorde is ontoereikend in hierdie tyd van hartseer en verlies. Mag jy omring word met vrede en liefde.
Translation: “Words are inadequate in this time of sadness and bereavement. May you be surrounded with peace and love.”
Note: This “you,” or jy, refers to a single person. Change it to the plural “you” by simply replacing jy with julle.

Afrikaans Condolences: Illness and Operations

Doctor with Patient

Afrikaans: Mag jy gou aansterk en vinnig op die been wees na die operasie!
Translation: “May you recover quickly after the operation!”

Afrikaans: Beste wense met ‘n vinnige herstel! Laat weet as ek met enigiets kan help.
Translation: “Best wishes for a quick recovery! Let me know if I can help with anything.”

Afrikaans: Baie voorspoed en liefde in hierdie tyd van siekte en swaarkry. Jy is in my gedagtes en gebede.
Translation: “Best wishes and love in this time of illness and suffering. You are in my thoughts and prayers.”
Note: This message is suitable if you want to wish someone well after a bad diagnosis of a dreaded disease such as cancer.

2- Best Wishes: Weddings, Job Promotions, Graduations, etc

Marriage Proposal

Afrikaans Wedding Congratulations

Afrikaans: Hiermee net die mooiste wense vir die mooiste paartjie! Mag julle huwelik geseënd wees met geluk en voorspoed.
Translation: “With this, only the most beautiful wishes for the most beautiful couple! May your marriage be blessed with happiness and prosperity.”

Afrikaans: Uiteindelik – die troue waarvoor almal gewag en na uitgesien het! Mag die dag wonderlik wees met ‘n leeftyd van geluk wat voorlê.
Translation: “At last—the wedding everyone waited for and looked forward to! May the day be wonderful, with a lifetime of happiness ahead of you.”

Afrikaans: Geluk met julle huwelik, en hoop die jare vorentoe is vol vreugde en seën.
Translation: “Congratulations on your marriage and may the years ahead be filled with joy and blessings.”

Promotion, New Job, etc

Afrikaans: Baie geluk met die nuwe werk/promosie!
Translation: “Congratulations on the new job/promotion!”

Afrikaans: Veels geluk met die promosie! Jy het dit verdien.
Translation: “Congratulations on the promotion! You deserved it.”

Afrikaans: Geluk met die nuwe werk – hulle kon nie ‘n beter persoon aangestel het nie…
Translation: “Congratulations on the new job—they couldn’t have chosen a better person…”

Graduation

Basic Questions

Afrikaans: Baie geluk met jou graduering!
Translation: “Congratulations on your graduation!”

Afrikaans: Dit was nooit ‘n geheim dat jy kon nie! Baie gelukwense met jou prestasie.
Translation: “It was never a secret that you could! Many congratulations on your accomplishment.”

Afrikaans: Geluk met jou graduering; ons is trots op jou!
Translation: “Congratulations on your graduation; we are proud of you!”

How Can AfrikaansPod101 Help You Learn Important Life Event Messages?

Learning how to say “Happy New Year!” in Afrikaans is easy and fun, just as we designed it to be! With over a decade of experience, we draw on expert knowledge of online language-learning techniques to offer you a unique learning space. Thousands of Afrikaans lessons are available, together with free resources such as Apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, and Kindle Fire. With AfrikaansPod101, you can also create your own collection of vocab lists, learn the Afrikaans alphabet, and so much more!

Many enrollment options are available to suit your personal needs. For instance, don’t be alone in your learning—sign up for your personal tutor with Premium Plus. Our friendly hosts are available 24/7 online to help you master Afrikaans easily. With a bit of effort and perseverance, you could do so in record time. So, don’t wait—sign up now and wish your Afrikaans friends well in their own language during their next big life event!

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The Essential Afrikaans Adjectives List

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In sentences, adjectives are used to describe nouns, such as: “the brave boy.” (“Brave” is the adjective, and “boy” is the noun in this clause.) These words, like adverbs, make any spoken or written language come alive, as they paint pictures that help us better understand what we read or hear.

AfrikaansPod101 provides you with multiple lists of adjectives in Afrikaans, in both text and sound formats, and with context! With practice, and by applying what you learn in these lessons, you’ll soon know how to use adjectives in Afrikaans.

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Table of Contents

  1. What are Adjectives in Afrikaans?
  2. List of the Top 100+ Afrikaans Adjectives
  3. Short Exercise to Spot Afrikaans Adjectives
  4. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Use Afrikaans Adjectives Like a Boss!

1. What are Adjectives in Afrikaans?

Most Common Adjectives

Adjectives in Afrikaans (translation: byvoeglike naamwoorde) have the same function as English adjectives. Furthermore, they’re fairly simple to use, since, like all other Afrikaans word forms, they don’t have grammatical gender. Pretty straightforward, they always remain the same while beautifully describing things, objects, people, and concepts—in other words, nouns.

Here, we provide you with essential Afrikaans adjectives to use, for quick reference at your fingertips!

Also avail yourself to our lessons below, where we demonstrate how to pronounce these Afrikaans adjectives as well. With these, and all the other helpful tools on AfrikaansPod101, your learning will be very easy!

Tip: Like in English, adjectives with opposite meanings are used in exactly the same way.

For instance:
Die gelukkige / ongelukkige seun.
“The happy / unhappy boy.”

Before we start our Afrikaans adjectives list, what is an adjective called in your language? Do they have grammatical gender? Explain this to us in the comments!

2. List of the Top 100+ Afrikaans Adjectives

1- Describing People and their Personalities, Talents, and Traits

This list is not exhaustive, but here you have the core Afrikaans adjectives to describe a person.

Afrikaans Adjective: gelukkig and ongelukkig
Translation: “happy” and “unhappy”
Use: ‘n gelukkige kind
Translation: “a happy child”

Happy Sad Drawings

Afrikaans Adjective: slim
Translation: “clever” or “intelligent”
Use: die slim meisiekind
Translation: “the clever girl”

Afrikaans Adjective: vriendelik
Translation: “friendly”
Use: ‘n vriendelike man
Translation: “a friendly man”

Afrikaans Adjective: vrolike or opgewekte
Translation: “cheerful”
Use: my vrolike Ouma or die opgewekte vrou
Translation: “my cheerful Grandma” or “the cheerful woman”

Afrikaans Adjective: jong and ou
Translation: “young” and “old”
Use: die jong vrou
Translation: “the young woman”

Afrikaans Adjective: tevrede
Translation: “content”
Use: ‘n tevrede baba
Translation: “a content baby”

Happy Baby

Afrikaans Adjective: eerlike
Translation: “honest”
Use: ons eerlike opinie
Translation: “our honest opinion”

Afrikaans Adjective: beleefde
Translation: “polite”
Use: die beleefde manier
Translation: “the polite way”

Afrikaans Adjective: kunssinnige
Translation: “artistic”
Use: my kunssinnige vriend
Translation: “my artistic friend”

Afrikaans Adjective: begaafde or talentvolle
Translation: “gifted” or “talented”
Use: haar begaafde seun or die talentvolle pianis
Translation: “her gifted son” or “the talented pianist”

Artistic Percussionist

Afrikaans Adjective: vrygewig
Translation: “generous”
Use: sy vrygewige natuur
Translation: “his generous nature”

Afrikaans Adjective: geduldige
Translation: “patient”
Use: ‘n geduldige ouer
Translation: “a patient parent”

Afrikaans Adjective: kwaai or woedende
Translation: “stern” or “very angry”
Use: die kwaai onderwyser or ‘n woedende persoon
Translation: “the stern teacher” or “a very angry person”

Afrikaans Adjective: skaam
Translation: “shy”
Use: die skaam dogter
Translation: “the shy daughter”

Girl Scared School

Afrikaans Adjective: onbeskofte
Translation: “rude”
Use: onbeskofte toeskouers
Translation: “rude audience”

Afrikaans Adjective: aggressiewe
Translation: “aggressive”
Use: sy aggressiewe houding
Translation: “his aggressive attitude”

Afrikaans Adjective: swaarmoedig or depressiewe
Translation: “depressed; heavy” or “depressive”
Use: ‘n swaarmoedige gees or die depressiewe man
Translation: “a depressed, heavy spirit” or “the depressive man”

Afrikaans Adjective: angstig
Translation: “anxious”
Use: ‘n angstige geaardheid
Translation: “an anxious personality”

Anxious, Nervous Bride

Afrikaans Adjective: aangename and onaangename
Translation: “pleasant” and “unpleasant”
Use: aangename vrou
Translation: “pleasant woman”

Afrikaans Adjective: lui
Translation: “lazy”
Use: die lui namiddag
Translation: “the lazy afternoon”

Afrikaans Adjective: onvriendelike
Translation: “unfriendly”
Use: die onvriendelike kassier
Translation: “the unfriendly cashier

Afrikaans Adjective: hardwerkende
Translation: “hardworking”
Use: my hardwerkende man
Translation: “my hardworking husband”

Afrikaans Adjective: mooi and lelik
Translation: “pretty” and “ugly”
Use: my mooi vrou and die lelike merk
Translation: “my pretty wife” and “the ugly mark”

Pretty Woman Taking Selfie

Afrikaans Adjective: stil and lawaaierige
Translation: “quiet” and “noisy”
Use: die stil man and die lawaaierige kinders
Translation: “the quiet man” and “the noisy children”

2- Describing Shape, Size, Distance, Quantity, Texture, etc.

Afrikaans Adjective: groot and klein
Translation: “big” and “small”
Use: Die groot man met die klein hartjie
Translation: “The big guy with the tender heart”
Interesting Note: In this Afrikaans idiomatic expression, “small” refers to a tenderhearted person, and not to the literal size of a person’s heart (or the English expression “small-hearted”).

Afrikaans Adjective: hoë and lae
Translation: “tall” and “low”
Use: Die hoë toring met die lae vensters
Translation: “The tall tower with the low windows”

Tall Tower

Afrikaans Adjective: boonste and onderste
Translation: “top” and “lower/bottom”
Use: die boonste kas and die onderste laai
Translation: “the top cupboard” and “the bottom drawer”

Afrikaans Adjective: linker and regter
Translation: “left” and “right”
Use: my linker hand en regter voet
Translation: “my left hand and right foot”

Afrikaans Adjective: min and baie
Translation: “few” and “lots/a lot of”
Use: min dae and baie suiker
Translation: “few days” and “lots of sugar”

Sugars

Afrikaans Adjective: bietjie
Translation: “little bit”
Use: bietjie suiker
Translation: “little bit of sugar”

Afrikaans Adjective: enige
Translation: “any”
Use: enige tyd
Translation: “any time”

Afrikaans Adjective: alle and geen
Translation: “all” and “no”
Use: alle mense
Translation: “all people”

Afrikaans Adjective: sommige
Translation: “some”
Use: sommige mense
Translation: “some people”

Afrikaans Adjective: ver and naby
Translation: “far” and “close”
Use: die ver dorp and die naby winkel
Translation: “the far town” and “the close store”

Afrikaans Adjective: plat
Translation: “flat”
Use: plat vloere
Translation: “flat floors”
Interesting Note: Platvloerse (different from plat vloere) is an Afrikaans idiomatic expression that means the same as “vulgar” or “obscene.” It is never used in a positive way!
Example: Jou platvloerse gedrag word nie waardeer nie / “Your vulgar behavior is not appreciated.”

Afrikaans Adjective: ronde
Translation: “round”
Use: ‘n ronde nul
Translation: “a round zero”

Round Green Ball

Afrikaans Adjective: vierkantige
Translation: “square”
Use: vierkantige huise
Translation: “square houses”

Afrikaans Adjective: driehoekige
Translation: “triangular”
Use: driehoekige vorm
Translation: “triangular form”

Afrikaans Adjective: lang
Translation: “long” or “tall”
Use: die lang pad or die lang vrou
Translation: “the long road” or “the tall woman”

Afrikaans Adjective: kort
Translation: “short”
Use: kortpad
Translation: “short road”
Interesting Note: In Afrikaans, there’s an adverbial expression, kort-kort. This means the same as “frequently.”

Afrikaans Adjective: langwerpig
Translation: “long”
Use: langwerpige doos
Translation: “long box”

Afrikaans Adjective: gewone and ongewone
Translation: “usual/common” and “unusual”
Use: die gewone dinge
Translation: “the usual stuff”

Golden Egg

Afrikaans Adjective: hobbelrige
Translation: “bumpy”
Use: hobbelrige oppervlakte
Translation: “bumpy surface”

Afrikaans Adjective: sagte and harde
Translation: “soft” and “hard”
Use: sagte vel and harde klippe
Translation: “soft skin” and “hard rocks”

Afrikaans Adjective: glad and growwe
Translation: “smooth” and “rough”
Use: gladde bek and growwe taal
Translation: “smooth talker” and “rough language”

Afrikaans Adjective: blink and dowwe
Translation: “shiny” and “dull/muffled”
Use: die blink oë and ‘n dowwe geluid and die dowwe metaal
Translation: “the shiny eyes” and “a muffled noise” and “the dull metal”

Afrikaans Adjective: ligte and swaar
Translation: “light” and “heavy”
Use: die ligte bries and die swaar tafel
Translation: “the light breeze” and “the heavy table”

Tunnel

Afrikaans Adjective: wye and nou/noue
Translation: “wide” and “narrow”
Use: Iwye glimlag and noue ontkoming and die nou gang
Translation: “wide smile” and “narrow escape” and “the narrow corridor”

3- Describing the Weather

Afrikaans Adjective: bedompige
Translation: “stuffy”
Use: bedompige dag
Translation: “stuffy day”

Afrikaans Adjective: bewolkte
Translation: “cloudy”
Use: bewolkte weer
Translation: “cloudy weather”

Afrikaans Adjective: stormagtige
Translation: “stormy”
Use: stormagtige see
Translation: “stormy sea”

Stormy Sea

When the weather is described using an adverb, it’s mostly with the above-mentioned nouns: dag, weer, see / “day, weather, sea.” Following is a list of useful Afrikaans adjectives you can use to describe the weather with these nouns:

helder – “bright”

Sample: Dis ‘n helder dag.
Translation: “It’s a bright day.”

koue and warm – “cold” and “hot”

Sample: Op koue dae dra ons warm klere.
Translation: “On cold days, we wear warm clothes.”

nat and droë – “wet” and “dry”

Sample: Maak die nat vloer met ‘n droë lap droog.
Translation: “Dry up the wet floor with a dry cloth.”

oop and skoon – “open” and “clear”

Sample: Die dag is oop en skoon.
Translation: “The day is open and clear.”

sonnige – “sunny”

Sample: Die sonnige stoep is warm.
Translation: “The sunny porch is warm.”

koel – “cool”

Sample: Dis koel buitekant.
Translation: “It’s cool outside.”

mistige – “misty”

Sample: Kyk na die mistige bergtoppe.
Translation: “Look at the misty mountaintops.”

winderige – “windy”

Sample: Longbeach is nie ‘n winderige strand nie.
Translation: “Longbeach is not a windy beach.”

windstil – “quiet”

Sample: Dis ‘n windstil middag.
Translation: “It’s a quiet afternoon.”
Note: Here, windstil specifically means that there’s no wind blowing.

winters and somers and lente and herfs – “winter” and “summer” and “spring” and “autumn”

Sample: Ons winters klere is nie geskik vir somers dae nie.
Translation: “Our winter clothes are unsuitable for summer days.”
Sample: Die lentedae is koel en vars, amper soos herfsdae.
Translation: “Spring days are cool and fresh, almost like autumn days.”

4- Using Colors to Describe Things

Colors in Afrikaans are used to describe things, like in English. Such as:

Afrikaans Adjective and Sample Phrase: blou — die blou Maandag
Translation: “blue” — “the blue Monday”

Afrikaans Adjective and Sample Phrase: bruin — ‘n bruin skoen
Translation: “brown” — “a brown shoe”

As adverbs, all color words are used the same way as in these examples.

Colored Powder

  • rooi — “red”
  • geel — “yellow”
  • groen — “green”
  • oranje — “orange”
  • pers — “purple”
  • bruin — “brown”
  • wit — “white”
  • swart — “black”
  • grys — “gray”

3. Short Exercise to Spot Afrikaans Adjectives

Improve Pronunciation

Now that you have some good Afrikaans adjectives under your belt, read the following paragraph in easy Afrikaans, and write down all the adjectives you can find in the comments below! Ask your teacher if your answers are correct…

Die stil man staan op. Hy kyk na die jong vrou in die rooi jas. Sy is lank, met gladde, bruin hare. Hy wil met haar praat, maar voel skaam. Hy gaan sit weer stadig en kyk net na haar mooi profiel.

“The quiet man stands up. He looks at the young woman in the red coat. She is tall, with smooth, brown hair. He wants to talk with her, but feels shy. He slowly sits down again and just looks at her pretty profile.”

4. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Use Afrikaans Adjectives Like a Boss!

Reading

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Sign up for a free lifetime account with AfrikaansPod101, and you’ll immediately have access to other tools, such as helpful flashcards, and space to create your own personalized Word Bank.

With application, 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.

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Showmax South Africa and Afrikaans Movies & Shows

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What better way to learn a language than through movies and TV shows?! At AfrikaansPod101, we encourage you to binge-watch these—a fantastic way to train your ear to Afrikaans dialects and accents, get used to how it’s spoken by native speakers, and learn about the culture!

Fortunately, these days it’s not so difficult to find Afrikaans shows and movies, using Showmax. Showmax South Africa is an online video-streaming service similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, with a great collection of Afrikaans gems of the screen. Further, Showmax Afrikaans content covers a wide variety of genres and storylines.

Subscription works the same as it does on other online streaming services. The only drawback is that it may not be available where you live. It is, for instance, not yet available in Japan or other Asian countries. Fortunately, Showmax South Africa subscription reach keeps expanding, so soon you could well have dozens of Afrikaans films and TV shows at your fingertips!

In this article, we discuss some of the best Afrikaans movies and TV shows currently available on Showmax—there’s truly something for everyone’s taste. So book off your next weekend and prepare to remain entertained as you binge-watch with friends (or by yourself). You can stay in, keep your pajamas on, and prepare all your favorite snack supplies…!

Tip: To better learn Afrikaans on Showmax, keep a notebook by your side and take note of language questions you may have for your AfrikaansPod101 host or teacher. Learn from a native speaker, and you’ll soon sound like one yourself!

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Table of Contents

  1. Afrikaans Films and TV Shows on Showmax
  2. AfrikaansPod101 Teaches Culturally Relevant Lessons

1. Afrikaans Films and TV Shows on Showmax

Movie Genres

As mentioned earlier, you’ll be spoiled for choice, since the Showmax selection of Afrikaans movies and shows is probably the largest collection you’ll find anywhere.

Let’s start with the lighthearted Afrikaans programs on Showmax!

1- Afrikaans Comedy Movie Shows

Laughter is good for you! Start with funny Afrikaans movies to lift your spirit and keep learning easy!

1.1 Fanie Fourie’s Lobola / “Fanie Fourie’s Dowry”

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola is one of those romantic comedies that entertains while simultaneously warming the cockles of the heart.

Fanie Fourie, a young man who loves restoring old cars—and the proverbial black sheep of his family—battles to launch financially. Dinky, a gorgeous Zulu entrepreneur with big dreams, sees something in this oddball with a golden heart, and a romance develops. The plot centers around this interracial romance and Fanie Fourie’s woes with “dowry” or lobola, when he finally proposes to Dinky.

This is one of the best Showmax Afrikaans movies and is a genuinely funny study of cultural differences that manages to avoid saccharine, improbable dialogue and plotlines. Thematically, the film tackles difficult racial issues and views, still painfully prominent in South African culture and society. Yet, it does so with honesty, gentleness, and humor.

The cast includes well-known singer and musician Chris Chameleon, and Jerry Mofokeng, a prominent South African actor. Chameleon plays Fanie’s older brother in a wonderful parody of himself, while Mofokeng is perfectly cast as Dinky’s slightly goofy dad. Eduan van Jaarsveldt shines as the hapless yet endearing Fanie Fourie, while stunning Zethu Dlomo often steals the show as the headstrong, clever Dinky Magubane. All actors excel in their roles under Henk Pretorius’ skillful directing.

This Afrikaans movie on Showmax won a local award, as well as the Golden Space Needle Audience Award for Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival in 2013. It’s furthermore shot in English, Afrikaans, and Zulu, so a fairly easy, entertaining watch!

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • trou — “marry”
  • ruk jouself reg — “pull yourself together”
  • Ek ken daai een — “I know that one”

1.2 Boetie Gaan Border Toe / “Little Brother Goes to the Border”

This golden oldie comedy-satire was a huge hit among the South African Afrikaner public in the Eighties. Directed by well-known South African actor-director Richard Van Den Bergh, it also launched the career of lead actor Arnold Vosloo. Vosloo, who later became well-known in the U.S. for his role as Imhotep in the Mummy franchise, also featured in Darkman I and II, Blood Diamonds, Hard Target, GI Joe, and other international productions.

In Boetie gaan border toe, a young Vosloo plays the title role as a spoiled brat who gets paid by his stepdad to join the army. Very resistant, though—and therefore devising schemes to avoid enlisting—Boetie eventually does land up in the army, and learns the few positive lessons the military often does teach young men and women: the value of cameradie, loyalty, endurance, and bravery. Set in Angola during the war, it’s a lighthearted take on a young man’s coming of age.

The movie, which was followed by a sequel, Boetie Op Manoeuvres, was not without its critics. Literary analyst Monica Popescu criticized what she felt was the romanticization of the Afrikaner Boer War, and exaggeration of South African soldiers’ chivalrous conduct. An academic from the University of Johannesburg called the movie “propagandistic.”

Apart from Vosloo, the film also sports Afrikaans actor heavyweights like Jana Cilliers, comedy man Frank Opperman, and Guys de Villiers.

So, as long as you don’t take the movie’s aggrandizing of the erstwhile South African soldiers and the war seriously, it’s an easy, entertaining watch for the more advanced Afrikaans student (the film doesn’t have English subtitles).

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • grens — “border”
  • soldate — “soldiers”
  • Veg — “fight”
  • geveg — “battle”

1.3 Konfetti / “Confetti”

Konfetti, while funny, is far from the standard fare of wedding rom-coms. Less loaded in political content, it tells the tale of a well-meaning, but bungling and very flawed best man, Lukas, played by Louw Venter. He tries to hold his own chaotic stuff together so as to ensure an at least civil wedding for his best friends Sheryl (Casey B. Dolan) and Jean (handsome Nico Panagio). But, well, human nature gets in the way.

While not five-star material, it does avoid a pat, Disney handling of the subject matter. In fact, it manages to fairly successfully, sympathetically, and humorously showcase the messiness of being human and very flawed in relationships and in life. A worthwhile watch, despite its unfairly low ratings by some critics.

Veteran comedian Casper de Vries plays a role in Konfetti.

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • Ek is jammer — “I am sorry”
  • so maklik soos dit — “as easy as that”
  • tent — “tent”
  • bruid — “bride”
  • bruidegom — “bridegroom”

1.4 Snaaks Genoeg / “Funny Enough”

Looking for Afrikaans films on Showmax that are funny, but not necessarily light? To round off our selection of funny movies, Snaaks Genoeg has quite the macabre offering.

Touted by one critic to be “an entertaining and poignant dark comedy,” the movie “explores the pain inflicted by humor on the average human being.”

If you think that’s a bizarre theme synopsis, wait for the plot. It revolves around down-on-his-luck comedian Casper de Vries, played by himself. Over the years, the showman has alienated audiences with his too-acidic insults and crudeness, so now he travels around in the remote countryside, doing shows in exchange for food and lodging.

Then a series of very funny murders take place—all involving the sadistic torturing and murders of successful South African comedians, one after the other. But why? And is Casper a target, despite being unsuccessful?

Watch and find out, while being entertained by renowned South African actors and comedy stalwarts like Tobie Cronje, Sandra Prinsloo, and Shaleen Surtie-Richards, all playing themselves in some way. Expect the unexpected in this rather surprising movie, which was shot in the atmospheric, arid Karoo and Northern Cape regions of the country.

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • wat gebeur het is ongelooflik — “what happened is unbelievable”
  • komediant — “comedian”
  • komedie — “comedy”

2- Afrikaans Dramas and Thrillers

Improve Pronunciation

If your taste is for the more serious and dark, Afrikaans Showmax in South Africa has a selection of choices.

2.1. Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey / “The Rebellion of Lafras Verwey”

In Afrikaans, there’s the saying: Stille waters, diepe grond. Onder draai die duiwel rond. Literally, it translates as “Quiet waters, deep bottom, where the devil circles below.” This is commonly used to refer to suspicious conduct by a normal-looking, quiet, and unassuming person. Such a person was the civil servant and office worker Lafras Verwey…

Verwey, masterfully depicted by renowned South African actor Tobie Cronje, is more than a little bit mad in his secret hatred of the establishment. Appearing normal and run-of-the-mill to office colleagues, he’s also a courier of secret parcels for a clandestine rebellion movement.

He takes a hapless pregnant woman under his wing, and this seems to mark the start of his mental unraveling.

The somewhat disturbing drama, based on a script written by famous South African author Chris Barnard, showcases the acting skills of Cronje. But, according to some critics, this movie fails to convince or impress otherwise. Decide for yourself…!

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • kantoor — “office”
  • Jy trek nou jou sokkies op, en jy ruk jouself reg. — “You pull up your socks and gather yourself.”
  • Ja Meneer — “Yes Sir”

2.2 Fiela se Kind / “Fiela’s Child”

This gripping, poignant tale of identity, family, and belonging takes place in the nineteenth century against the lush backdrop of the Knysna forest in the Eastern Cape region of the country. The screenplay is based on a hugely popular Afrikaans book of the same name, written by Dalene Matthee.

On one side of the mountain, Fiela Komoetie, a woman of color, wakes up one night to the pitiful sobbing of a child. At the door of their humble home stands a white blue-eyed boy child, clearly lost and afraid, so she takes him in and opens more than her home to this foundling. He becomes a member of their humble household, and is raised with the name Benjamin Komoetie.

On the other side of the mountain, the white wife of woodcutter Elias Van Rooyen experiences the heartbreak of losing her three-year-old son, Lukas Van Rooyen.

Nine years later, a census worker discovers blue-eyed Benjamin and demands that he be returned home to his white parents, the Van Rooyens.

Sensitively directed by veteran actor-director Katinka Heyns, the movie adaptation proved as popular and successful as the book. It won an award for its editing at the All African Film Award in 1988.

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • God vergewe ons baie, maar God vergewe ons nie die kwaad wat ons ‘n kind aandoen nie. — “God forgives us a lot, but not the harm done to a child.”
  • woud — “forest”
  • verlore kind — “lost child”

2.3 Die Wonderwerker / “The Miracle Worker”

Another Heyns-directed drama of great acclaim is Die Wonderwerker, which is loosely based on a fictional event in the life of famous South African poet, scientist, naturalist, ethologist, lawyer, and champion of Afrikaans, Eugene Marais. Marais, a complex, somewhat tortured man, was also addicted to morphine and opium. These addictions ultimately cost him his life.

The film is a character drama, focusing on the intricacies of Marais’ enigmatic character and his tangled interactions with two women in a remote setting. Without giving away too much, the quote from Bizzcommunity aptly sums up the main theme of this beautifully executed and highly acclaimed Afrikaans movie:

“Emotionally challenging and evocative, it provokes the imagination and shows that, indeed, extraordinary things can materialise out of ordinary circumstances.”

A must-watch for movie aficionados and those liking substance and nuance in their theater fare!

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • digter — “poet”
  • gedigte — “poems”
  • wonderwerke — “miracles”
  • verslaafde — “addict”

2.4 Die Spreeus / “The Sparrows”

If your taste is for mystery, the supernatural, and suspense, don’t miss out on Die Spreeus. This short Showmax Afrikaans series revolves around two police detectives, investigators Bas Koorts and Beatrice Mack from the Spreeus unit, who are tasked by Brigadier Rosa Scheffers to investigate murders with a twist. Their searches lead them to places way beyond the world they’re familiar and comfortable with.

Old South African ghost stories and other hair-raising tales of the supernatural are used as the backbone of each episode’s plot. These get tweaked with plot twists and stunning visual effects for modern times and current viewers’ taste for the macabre and horrific. Add to that the complex characters of two police officers, each with their own tale of sorrow and regret, and you have a concoction readymade to chill.

The two main characters, Bas and Beatrice, are played by soapie stars Monique Rockman and Chris Vorster, with Sandi Schultz playing the Brigadier. The actors insist that the series is about more than special effects and cheap thrills, with a breathtaking secret to be revealed…

Says Chris, talking to Channel24: “We are telling well-known stories from South Africa’s many cultures. We have everything, from myths and fables to ghost stories and goblins, like the Ghost of Uniondale and the Tokoloshe (a dwarf-like water sprite revered in the Zulu culture for its mischief and evil powers).”

Don’t miss out on Showmax Afrikaans shows like this one that can teach you an interesting lesson in cultural mythology!

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • speurder — “detective”
  • ondersoek — “investigate”
  • moord — “murder”
  • bonatuurlik — “supernatural”

2.5 Die Siener / “The Seer”

Still in the vein of the supernatural and otherworldly, this reality Afrikaans series is nothing like fiction, though.

Woman in White, Ghost

Gerald Burger is one of South Africa’s most prominent seers and so-called fortune tellers. Living a simple life in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, this gentleman feels it his duty and calling from God to help the living and the dead in any way he can with his gift.

Gerald grew up in very difficult circumstances, and was brutally abused by a sadistic foster care father and later, his step dad. He was seven years old when he had his first vision. Fortunately, he had protective women in his life who loved him and taught him to be wise about his gift.

Over the years, Gerald has predicted major national disasters and events, such as the Laingsburg Flood of 1981, which took the lives of at least 100 people. His true work and calling, though, is helping people by looking at their current lives and how their choices are shaping their future. He offers wise counsel and support, especially helping his clients to gain closure when a loved one has passed. Gerald also clears dwellings of ghosts, entities, and poltergeists, with exceptional insight into their being and origin.

What strikes most is his compassion, which is extended not only to people and animals (he has seven dogs!), but the souls of the departed. He deeply feels the unresolved pain of those who have passed over, but not moved on, and helps them with ritual and prayer to leave the earth plane and rest. A truly uncommon philanthropist!

Every week, Gerald stuns viewers and clients alike with uncanny knowledge and insight into personal details. Hoe’t hy dit geweet?! / “How did he know that?!” is gasped in every episode.

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • spook or gees — “ghost” or “spirit”
  • bang — “scared”
  • die toekoms — “the future”

2.6 Dwaalster / “Roaming Star”

For something uncommon and magical, yet not necessarily scary, Dwaalster is a good choice. This drama series tells of the lives of many eccentric, kooky characters living in Maanhaarsdrif, a small town in the dry Karoo region.

Small Town

Maanhaarsdrift is also the home of a giant observatory and astronomical telescope on the outskirts, and in that, it’s similar to a real, rather famous Karoo town—Sutherland. (A few kilometers outside of Sutherland lives the Southern African Large Telescope, a.k.a. SALT. It’s the southern hemisphere’s largest single optical telescope, and one of the largest worldwide.)

However, the series was inspired by a different area, the Hoeko Valley in Ladismith in the far western reaches of the Klein Karoo. The area is also known for its colorful, magical characters and mystical events. Yet the script deals with a lot more than weird. It also explores very human and universal themes such as social integration, homosexuality, interracial relationships, environmental protection, and so forth, making it a pot with something for everyone.

Showmax South Africa offers a wide variety of superb offerings in Afrikaans, ready to be enjoyed if you love the language!

Before we finish, what are your favorite TV shows and movies in your own language? Tell us about these in the comments!

2. AfrikaansPod101 Teaches Culturally Relevant Lessons

Best Ways to Learn

AfrikaansPod101 stands head and shoulders above other online learning platforms, with many free learning tools to help you master Afrikaans easily.

For instance, sharpen your comprehension skills with audio conversations, such as this one about going to the movies! Also, gain cultural understanding in multiple lessons, such as with this introduction to South African pop culture.

Other tools include:

  1. Quick, easy access to the Afrikaans Core 100 Word List
  2. A new Afrikaans word to learn every day!
  3. An extensive vocabulary list section, regularly updated
  4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary
  5. Key phrases in Afrikaans you must master!

Sign up now! We’ll assist you every step of the way to make this a wonderful learning experience.

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