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All About Verb Conjugation in Afrikaans – Your Best Guide!


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:


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:


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! 


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!”

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

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.”
  • Change in sentence – Always precede the second verb with om te. No conjugation.

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.”

  • 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.
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.”

  • 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.”

  • 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.
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.”

  • 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.
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.”

  • 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.”

  • 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.”

  • 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”
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.”

  • 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.)

  • 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.”

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

A bit confused?


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!

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

The Best Afrikaans Verbs List at Your Fingertips!


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”



“Auxiliary Verbs” 



“Linking verbs” 

“Infinitive Verbs” 

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. 


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:



Die kat 

“The cat”



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.”


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! 

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

Best List of Must-Know Afrikaans Pronouns


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, 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
you (formal)u
you (formal plural)u
you (informal plural)julle

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!



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”).


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


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.


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
whatwat / waarvan
about whatwaaroor
with whatwaarmee
whywaarom / hoekom

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


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
anybody / anyoneenigiemand / enigeen
fewmin / enkele


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!

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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!

Your Definitive Guide to Proper Afrikaans Sentence Structure


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

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

1. Structural Patterns in Languages

Improve Pronunciation

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

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

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

1) Subject: I

2) Object: Afrikaans

3) Verb: study.

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

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

Other structural patterns in language include:

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

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

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

1) Subject: Ek (I)

2) Verb: studeer (study)

3) Object: Afrikaans. (Afrikaans.)

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


1) Subject: Ek (I)

2) Verb: hou (like)

3) Object: daarvan. (it.)

Ek hou daarvan. (“I like it.”)

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

Person Confused with Rules

2. Afrikaans Sentence Structure Rules

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

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

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

Questions Starting with a Verb and Command Sentences

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

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


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

It stands for the different parts of the sentence:







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

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

The complete format looks like this:


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





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


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

4. Explanation of the Sentence Elements in Sv1TOMPv2I

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


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

Types of Words Used: 

Nouns, proper nouns, pronouns, and articles.


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

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

2) VERB 1:

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

Samples of Afrikaans Helping Verbs: 

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

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


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

(No English translation for the simple past tense het.

Girl Playing a Computer Game

3) TIME:

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

Types of Words/Phrases Used: 

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


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

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


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

Types of Words/Phrases Used: 

Nouns, pronouns, and articles.


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

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


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

Types of Words Used: 

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


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

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


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

Types of Words Used: 

Prepositions + articles, pronouns, and nouns.


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

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

7) VERB 2:

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


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

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

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


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

Types of Words Used: 

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


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


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

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

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

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

PresentDie vlieënier

The pilot

elke dag

every day
met die vliegtuig

with the airplane

in die lug

in the air

om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
PastDie vlieënier

The pilot

elke dag

every day
met die vliegtuig

with the airplane

in die lug

in the air

om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
FutureDie vlieënier

The pilot

elke dag

every day
met die vliegtuig

with the airplane

in die lug

in the air

om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
PresentElke dag

Every day

die vlieënier

the pilot
met die vliegtuig

with the airplane

in die lug

in the air

om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
PastElke dag

Every day

die vlieënier

the pilot
met die vliegtuig

with the airplane



om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
FutureElke dag

Every day

die vlieënier

the pilot
met die vliegtuig

with the airplane

in die lug

in the air

om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
PresentDie vliegtuig

The airplane

is being
deur die vlieënier

by the pilot
elke dag

every day

in die lug

in the air

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

The airplane

deur die vlieënier

by the pilot
elke dag

every day

with the airplane
in die lug

in the air



FutureDie vliegtuig

The airplane

deur die vlieënier

by the pilot
elke dag

every day

with the airplane
in die lug

in the air
gevlieg word.

be flown.



die vlieënier

the pilot
elke dag

every day
die vliegtuig

the airplane
in die lug

in the air

om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.


die vlieënier

the pilot
elke dag

every day
die vliegtuig

the airplane
in die lug

in the air

om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.


die vlieënier

the pilot

elke dag

every day
die vliegtuig

the airplane
in die lug

in the air
in die lug

in the air
om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
PresentIn die lug

In the air

die vlieënier

the pilot
elke dag

every day
die vliegtuig

the airplane


om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.
PastIn die lug

In the air


die vlieënier

the pilot
elke dag

every day
die vliegtuig

the airplane


om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.

In die lug

In the air

die vlieënier

the pilot
elke dag

every day

die vliegtuig

the airplane



om sy werk te doen.

to do his job.

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

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

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

Afrikaans is a fun language, and it’s actually not that difficult to master. Learn it in entertaining ways with us—

you won’t be sorry! Because you get so much more than just the basics…

Upon signing up, you’ll immediately receive many free learning tools to help you master Afrikaans sentence structure with no hassle and only a bit of effort every day. 

These tools include:

1. An extensive vocabulary list section, regularly updated

2. A new Afrikaans word every day to memorize and use

3. Fast access to an invaluable Afrikaans Core 100 Word List

4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary

5. Culturally relevant lessons and numerous tricks to make your studies easier, such as this lesson on Painless Afrikaans Grammar Tricks.

6. Tips on how to Crack the Afrikaans Writing System easily!
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How to Tell Time in Afrikaans – It’s Easy!


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).  


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


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.”


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.”


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.”


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

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

Afrikaans: Moenie wors in ‘n hondehok soek nie.

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

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

Afrikaans: draaikous

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

Example: Die seun is ‘n regte draaikous!

Meaning: “That boy is a real dawdler!”

Afrikaans: hanna-hanna

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

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

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

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

Afrikaans: Die oggendstond het goud in die mond.

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

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

Afrikaans: hoeka

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

Example: Hy wag hoeka vir daardie verslag. 

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

Afrikaans: gevrek

Translation: “dead”

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

Example: Die diens hier is maar gevrek!

Translation: “The service here is very slow!”

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

Learning with Languagepod

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

Basic Questions

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

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

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

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All About Directions in Afrikaans – Your Best Guide!


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

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

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

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

Basic sentence: Hou regs verby die Uniegeboue.

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

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

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

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

1. Directions in Afrikaans: On the Road

Asking directions

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

ry reguit af — “drive/ride straight down”

Simple Sentence: Ry reguit af met Long Street.

Translation: “Drive straight down Long Street.”

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

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

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

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

gaan af met — “go down with”

Simple Sentence: Gaan af met daardie straat.

Translation: “Go down that street.”

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

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

draai links / regs “turn left / right”

Simple Sentence: Draai regs by die verkeerslig.

Translation: “Turn right at the traffic light.”

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

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

gaan oor — “go over”

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

Simple Sentence: Gaan oor daardie brug.

Translation: “Cross that bridge.”

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

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

Nelson Mandela

oppad na — “on the way to”

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

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

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

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

oorkant — “opposite” 

Simple Sentence: Dis oorkant die apteek.

Translation: “It’s opposite the pharmacy.”

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

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

langs — “next to”

Simple Sentence: Parkeer langs die motorhuis.

Translation: “Park next to the garage.”

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

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

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

Simple Sentence: Ry voor in.

Translation: “Drive in at the front.”

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

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

ver and naby “far” and “close”

Simple Sentence: Dis ver na Muizenberg strand toe.

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

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

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

Cape Town Muizenberg

by die kruising — “at the crossing”

Simple Sentence: Gaan links by die kruising.

Translation: “Go left at the crossing.”

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

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

om die draai — “around the corner”

Simple Sentence: Die kruidenier is net om die draai.

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

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

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

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

binne stapafstand — “within walking distance”

Simple Sentence: Die winkel is binne stapafstand.

Translation: “The shop is within walking distance.”

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

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

gaan terug — “go back”

Simple Sentence: Gaan terug na Gautrein stasie.

Translation: “Go back to Gautrain Station.”

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

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

speeding train

X kilometer ver van — “X kilometers away from”

Simple Sentence: Kaapstad is 1400 kilometer ver van Johannesburg.

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

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

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

2. Directions in Afrikaans: On a Map

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


noord and suid — “north” and “south”

Simple Sentence: Draai noord by die meer.

Translation: “Turn north at the lake.”

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

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

oos and wes — “east” and “west”

Simple Sentence: Oos, wes, tuis bes.

Translation: “East, west, home best.”

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

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

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

noordwes and noordoos — “northwest” and “northeast”

Simple Sentence: Mafikeng is in Noordwes provinsie

Translation: “Mafikeng is in North West Province.”

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

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

suidwes and suidoos “southwest” and “southeast”

Simple Sentence: Namibië word ook Suidwes Afrika genoem.

Translation: “Namibia is also called Southwest Africa.”

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

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

suidwesterlike and suidoosterlike — “southwestern” and “southeastern”

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

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

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

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

noordwestelike and noordoostelike — “northwestern” and “northeastern”

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

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

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

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

Game reserve, antelope

3. Directions in Afrikaans: Survival Questions and Phrases

Example: Waar is die stasie, asseblief?

Translation: “Where is the station, please?”

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

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

Example: Kan ek die trein soontoe neem? 

Translation: “Can I take the train there?”

Example: Wat is die kortste roete na die lughawe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bus station

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Directions in Afrikaans: Landmarks


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

“train station”treinstasie
“bus station”busstasie
“bus stop”busstop
“taxi rank”taxistaanplek
“rental car depot”huurmotor depot
“city center”middestad
“vending machine”vending machine
“theme park”pretpark
“revolving doors”swaaideure / draaideure
“parking lot” / “parkade”parkeerplek / parkade

5. Learn the Best Directions in Afrikaans at AfrikaansPod101!

Basic questions

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

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

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

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Top Compliments in Afrikaans for All Occasions!


Who doesn’t love receiving compliments?! If they’re sincere, they can make our whole being light up like a Christmas tree.

Giving compliments also has benefits, and Afrikaners know this! Praising people makes us feel connected to them, and this improves our own sense of well-being. After all, South Africans believe in and uphold the spirit of ubuntu. This popular philosophy implies that our own humanity is only fulfilled through the recognition and appreciation of another’s uniqueness and humanity.

So, spread ubuntu by learning to give Afrikaans compliments (komplimente) like a native speaker at—we make it fast, easy, and fun!

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Table of Contents

  1. Why is it Important to Know How to Give and Receive Compliments in Afrikaans?
  2. How Can AfrikaansPod101 Help You Learn Important Afrikaans Compliments?

1. Why is it Important to Know How to Give and Receive Compliments in Afrikaans?


Before we start, let’s first look a bit at the importance of giving sincere compliments.

Let’s look at what the research says.

According to studies, compliments and praise can have the following effects:

1) It can boost one’s efficiency at work.
2) It can make you feel more efficient.
3) You will act and work more autonomously if you get praised often.
4) Praise increases a sense of well-being in both the compliment giver and the receiver.
5) Compliments have been shown to be a good incentive for task engagement.
6) Praise and compliments increase motivation, which, in turn, accelerates motor skill performance.
7) We also know that by focusing on the positive in our lives, we feel better about ourselves, others, and the world.

These are seven excellent reasons to start dishing out Afrikaans compliments, isn’t it?

But…and this is an important “but”…

A) Compliments and Praise Must Be Sincere

Most South Africans, including Afrikaners, are gregarious, generous people with big hearts. They love to celebrate good stuff—it’s ingrained in their culture.

Look, for instance, at a movement that’s recently taken South Africa (and the world) by storm!

#ImStaying was started on Facebook as an initiative for South Africans to be consciously and deliberately positive about their country. South Africa is still, even after decades of being a true democracy, in recovery from its very painful past of gross human rights infringements. Even in the face of slow but sure improvement, many still feel negative, even hopeless, about their future and lives.

#ImStaying proved a fast-growing and fast-moving social media phenomenon, with many South Africans from literally everywhere connecting through positive and complimentary attitudes toward each other.

This is because giving compliments in Afrikaans, or in any of the other ten national languages, turns out to come quite naturally for South Africans. Many even report that the group changed their lives.

Yet Afrikaners expect the same transparency and strength of character if you want to win their friendship and trust, and most of all, their respect.

“What you see is what you get” is a fairly common cultural trait, and they expect the same from others.

A Couple Flirting

Also, insincere flattery won’t get you far. In fact, this and other false behaviors are probably the easiest ways to lose an Afrikaner’s trust and respect. They’re not alone in this.

In an interview with Huffingtonpost Australia, Professor Nick Haslam (School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne) explained that false compliments are likely to have the opposite effect as genuine ones.

According to Haslam, those on the receiving end of false flattery will often sense the insincerity and perceive the compliments as ill-intentioned. This will undermine any positive effects a person might feel about being praised, he said.

So, rather stay real!

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s engage in the feel-good stuff. These are the best Afrikaans compliments to memorize.

B) Complimenting Someone’s Appearance

Especially when we’ve taken extra care with our appearance, we want others to notice it and comment favorably. Here are some good compliments (and pick-up lines!) in Afrikaans.

1) Jy lyk goed vandag/vanaand. (“You’re looking good today/tonight.” )

This is an understated and gender-neutral compliment in Afrikaans that any Afrikaner will appreciate. As long as it’s delivered with respect and the appropriate personal distance, you can also use this one at work.

Afrikaner men aren’t used to being complimented on their appearance, but they’re not immune to its mojo! This phrase is probably the one you’d want to use.

Making it Stronger…

One way to make this compliment in Afrikaans stronger is by adding and emphasizing regtig (“really” ) or baie (baie translates literally as “a lot,” but in this case, it means “very” ), as in:

  • Jy lyk regtig goed vandag. (“You look really good today.” )
  • Jy lyk baie goed vandag. (“You look very good today.” )

If you’re truly blown away by the person’s appearance, you could even add both regtig and baie:

  • Jy lyk regtig baie goed vandag. (“You look really very good today.” )

Couple at Work

2) Jy lyk mooi! (“You look pretty!” )

This common Afrikaans compliment can serve well as platonic and romantic praise. The phrase is usually directed at women and/or girls. Female friends and colleagues are more open in their exchange, and they use this compliment often and spontaneously.

Making it Stronger…

To add strength to this compliment, you could again add regtig and baie, just like in the examples above.

  • Jy lyk regtig baie mooi! (“You look really very pretty!” )

Or, you could just say: Jy lyk baie mooi! (“You look very pretty!” )

Other words you can replace mooi (“pretty” ) with include:

  • pragtig (“beautiful” )
  • verruklik (“enchanting” )
  • asemrowend (“breathtaking” )
  • beeldskoon (“gorgeous” )

Note: These adverbs are already the superlative form of mooi (“pretty” ). They’re generally eloquent enough for Afrikaners, so, unlike in English, you won’t use baie (“very” ) to enhance their impact. However, you could add regtig (“really” ), if you prefer.

  • Jy lyk regtig pragtig. (“You look really beautiful.” )

Woman taking a Selfie

3) Being Specific

When someone has taken extra care with a specific aspect of their appearance, it’s only good manners and social etiquette to compliment them on it. Also, it could make their day!

Speak up, for instance, when it’s clear that someone has visited the hairdresser or bought new clothes.

3.1 At Work

It’s necessary to be careful about how you compliment someone at work. Boundaries can be easily overstepped, unfortunately. So, don’t get too personal with your praise, unless you and a colleague are also social buddies.

Yet few things oil the wheels of pleasant working relations like compliments! So here’s how to go about giving compliments in Afrikaans while at work:

It’s best to treat men and women equally by phrasing the compliment in a somewhat muted, almost formal manner.

  • Jou hare lyk goed. (“Your hair looks good.” )
  • Is dit ‘n nuwe uitrusting? Dit pas jou goed. (“Is this a new outfit? It fits you well.” )
  • Ek hou van jou jas. (“I like your coat.” )
  • Jy het ‘n mooi hemp aan. (“You’re wearing a nice shirt.” )
  • Daardie rok lyk goed aan jou. (“That dress looks good on you.” )
3.2 At Home or on a Date

In informal situations, with people you know well, you can be more effusive!

  • Jou hare lyk fantasties! (“Your hair looks fantastic!” )
  • Ek is mal oor jou rok. (“I’m crazy about your dress.” )
  • Jy het die mooiste tande! (“You have the prettiest teeth!” )
  • Jy is die mooiste vrou met wie ek nog ooit uitgegaan het. (“You are the prettiest woman I’ve ever dated.” )
  • Jy ruik lekker. (“You smell good.” )
  • Jy het sulke mooi oë. (“You have such beautiful eyes.” )
  • Jou glimlag is pragtig. (“Your smile is beautiful.” )
  • Wow, jy’t groot spiere! (“Wow, you have big muscles!” ) Note: Avoid telling this to a woman. Unless she’s a bodybuilder, of course.

Body Bulider

C) Afrikaans Compliments for a Job Well Done

The majority of adults spend most of their lives working. Therefore, being complimented for what you’re doing feels really good!

Here are some of the top Afrikaans compliments to use when someone has excelled at their tasks. The compliment is often an expression of gratitude as well.

1) Dankie vir jou werk. (“Thank you for your work.” )

This is a thank-you that also serves as a gender-neutral, understated Afrikaans compliment. It can be delivered either in person, or in a written note.

Making it Stronger…

Adding baie before dankie will strengthen this phrase. In this case, it translates as “very much.” To the same effect, you could also add harde (which means “hard” ) in front of werk.

  • Baie dankie vir jou harde werk. (“Thank you very much for your hard work.” )

Note: This stronger phrase is somewhat nuanced, as it sounds less obligatory, indicating that you really mean it. If you rarely give compliments at work, though, the first, less embellished phrase is perfectly fine.

2) Goeie werk. (“Good/nice job.” )

Depending on how effusive your delivery usually is, and how you compliment other staff, this terse compliment could come across as a veiled insult.

Or, it could simply be a muted but sincerely meant compliment. Gauge the situation wisely, and make it stronger by adding baie, as in:

  • Baie goeie werk. (“Very good job.” )

Baie goeie can be replaced with the following superlatives:

  • uitstekende (“excellent” )
  • fantastiese (“fantastic” )
  • indrukwekkende (“impressive” )
  • uitstaande (“outstanding” )

Smiling Construction Worker

3) Geluk, dis uitstekende werk. (“Congratulations, that’s excellent work.” )

This phrase adds a congratulation, and is quite strong and expressive. Best save this for work that’s exceptionally well-executed.

Again, emphasize your amazement with a brilliant piece of work by adding baie:

  • Baie geluk, dis uitstekende werk.

There’s no common English equivalent for this expression, but it literally translates as: “Many congratulations, it’s excellent work.”

4) Jy’t fantasties goed gedoen. (“You’ve done fantastically well.” )

This is a less formal compliment on a job well done, probably better suited for a more informal work environment.

Also, that Afrikaans friend who attained her medical degree with honors? Or your Afrikaans neighbor’s daughter who performed her first piano concert to great acclaim? Use this phrase to acknowledge and compliment their accomplishments.

Making it Stronger…

If you feel almost overwhelmed with admiration, you could add regtig to this Afrikaans compliment:

  • Jy het regtig fantasties goed gedoen. (“You have really done fantastically well.” )

Depending on your relationship with the receiver, you could add a phrase like: Ek is beïndruk. (“I am impressed.” )

Note: If you’re a parent, lecturer, or teacher complimenting someone on a brilliant assignment or excellent grades, adding this phrase would be a personal touch that can be very encouraging. This is also the case if you have a fairly personal, almost mentoring relationship with the person.

However, be sensitive about how you use it, because some could construe it as patronizing. It’s probably best not to compliment, for instance, your CEO on his work performance with this phrase.

5) Other Commonly Used Afrikaans Compliments for Good Work

  • Wonderlike idee! (“Wonderful idea!” )
  • Ek het gehou van jou presentasie. (“I liked your presentation.” )
  • Goed waargeneem. (“Well observed.” )

D) Complimenting Someone’s Skills in Afrikaans

Sometimes someone exhibits exceptional skills. This is how you show your admiration and compliment them in Afrikaans.

1) In the Kitchen:

  • Jy is ‘n wonderlike kok. (“You are a wonderful cook.” )
  • Die gereg is uitstekend voorberei. (“The dish is excellently prepared.” )
  • Dankie, dit was heerlik! (“Thank you, that was delicious!” ) Note: This can be used formally or informally.
  • Dankie vir die lekker kos! (“Thank you for the tasty food!” ) Note: This is a more informal compliment.
  • Ek het baie lekker geëet, baie dankie! (There’s no direct translation, but it means: “I’ve really enjoyed the meal, thank you very much!” )
  • Jy maak die beste koffie onder die son. (“You make the best coffee under the sun.” ) Note: Replace koffie (“coffee” ) with any beverage or food for a heartwarming compliment.

Chef Carving a Paw Paw

2) In the Garden:

  • Jy het groen vingers! (“You have green fingers!” ) Note: This compliment means exactly the same in English; the person is an exceptional gardener, or they can make any plant grow or flourish.
  • Jy het die gras goed gesny. (“You mowed the lawn well.” )
  • Die blomme is wonderlik gerangskik. (“These flowers are wonderfully arranged.” )

Couple with Flowers

3) In the House:

  • Jy het ‘n slag met binneshuise versiering! (“You have a knack for interior decorating!” )
  • Jy’ het hierdie kamer so mooi reggemaak. (“You fixed this room so beautifully.” )
  • Ek dink jy het baie goeie smaak. (“I think you have very good taste.” )

4) General:

  • Jy praat Afrikaans asof dit jou voertaal is. (“You speak Afrikaans like it’s your mother tongue.” )
  • Jy praat Afrikaans soos ‘n Afrikaner! (“You speak Afrikaans like an Afrikaner!” ) Note: The former is the more formal version of this compliment.
  • Jy tokkel die klavier soos ‘n meester! (“You play the piano masterfully!” ) Note: Tokkel is a casual word that refers to piano playing. It may have been derived from “tickle the keys,” also a reference specific to piano playing. This is a genial, humorous compliment.
  • Jy het vele talente. (“You have many talents.” )
  • Dans jy professioneel? (“Do you dance professionally?” )
  • Jy het ‘n goeie sin vir humor. (“You have a good sense of humor.” )
  • Jy het ‘n slag met woorde. (“You have a way with words.” )

E) Behavior and Body Language

Afrikaners love receiving sincere compliments, as said. Only the most arrogant celebrities are immune to this!

When you deliver a compliment, a warm smile while looking the person in the eye will, in most cases, be the appropriate body language and behavior. Your open admiration or appreciation will probably elicit a shy smile, embarrassed laughter, and muffled self-deprecation from most South Africans. Simply assure them that you mean it, and enjoy feeling good because you made someone else feel great!

Positive Feelings

2. How Can AfrikaansPod101 Help You Learn Important Afrikaans Compliments?

Which is your favorite Afrikaans compliment? Tell us in the comments!

Learning how to give compliments 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 at your fingertips, 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.

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Getting Angry in Afrikaans – the Best Phrases and Vocab!


So, you know how to say “I’m sorry” in Afrikaans, and these are likely of the most important phrases to learn. Because no matter what language you speak, you’re probably going to get angry at some point, say things you don’t mean and then have to apologize for it.

Yet, knowing how to get angry in Afrikaans has benefits too! Read on for more about that, also how it’s all easily done through AfrikaansPod101!

There are some serious upsides to getting angry:

  • When your boundaries are being ignored, and the offender refuses to heed a gentle, civil admonition, showing your anger might be the only way to get your point across with good effect.
  • Anger can give you negotiating power, research has shown.
  • Furthermore can anger be a good motivator. Looking at the world’s history, the driving forces behind revolutions were always anger and frustration. Constructive anger can motivate you to get what you truly desire.
  • Strangely enough, one U.S. field study has shown that angry people were more optimistic about the future! Conducted after the 9/11 attacks, the study demonstrated that the angrier people were about terrorism, the fewer attacks they expected in future.
  • Yet another study has indicated that getting angry with a partner and expressing it immediately may be better for the relationship in the long run. Obviously, it would be best to avoid getting terribly, explosively angry with one another! Also, working constructively towards a solution is what strengthens the bond. If you find that you’re getting angry easily and for no reason, it would be good to seek help.

However, no matter how angry you are, it is never OK to engage in physical assault, unless it is to protect yourself or a vulnerable person.

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Table of Contents

  1. Why is it Necessary to Know Angry Phrases in Afrikaans?
  2. Phrases that Depict Anger in Afrikaans
  3. Constructive Ways to Express Anger in Afrikaans
  4. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You With Being Angry in Afrikaans!

1. Why is it Necessary to Know Angry Phrases in Afrikaans?

1) Well, for all the reasons mentioned above, there are benefits to expressing anger in any language. Also, it’s necessary to know how to express or understand anger for your own survival! If you’re being confronted by an angry Afrikaner, it would help to know what they’re saying or shouting at you. (Usually Afrikaners are temperate and it takes a lot to anger them. But when they lose it…well, you’ll always remember the day!)

2) When you’re watching Afrikaans movies, you will better understand the context.

3) Also, if you’re angry with an Afrikaans speaking person, knowing how to express yourself in their language could work towards problem-solving in most cases.

So, is someone angry with you or you got angry? In Afrikaans, it’s easily and eloquently expressed. Before saying these commonly-used phrases, though, perhaps always remember these wise words by Mark Twain:

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Very angry man shouting and pointing his finger

2. Phrases that Depict Anger in Afrikaans

Anger can be verbally expressed in mainly three ways:

  1. via angry imperatives, which are akin to orders or commands
  2. via angry warnings, or

Like in any other language, voice tone and volume will make a difference to how these expressions are being received. Shouting in anger is only really advisable if you’re competing with a live heavy metal concert or a jackhammer, or if you’re a character on stage in a play. Otherwise shouting and yelling are just communication killers and don’t serve much purpose. Therefore, if you have to use the following phrases, try to keep a civil and calm tone with the person you’re addressing.

A. Angry Imperatives

5 Complaints

So, you’re at the end of your rope, and it’s time to tell someone off. Following are the best phrases to do so in Afrikaans.

Tip: Using Afrikaans phrases, swearing is never a good idea. Using expletives might offer a certain relief, but the consequences are never positive.

1.1 “Shut Up/Keep Quiet!” – Bly Stil!

When To Use: This is a universal command usually uttered in frustration because you’re not allowed to speak. Or, someone is saying or shouting something you don’t want to hear, or they’re talking out of their turn or too loud.

Note: It is possible to firmly tell someone to keep quiet without being too harsh in Afrikaans. Just add “please” (asseblief). In most work environments, Afrikaners prefer to stick to civility and polite interaction. Therefore, a tactful boss or colleague will probably only say, calmly but rather firmly, “Bly stil, asseblief!” Looks will most likely speak volumes.

Really angry looking crying baby

1.2 “Stop It! – Stop Dit! / Hou Op!

When to Use: Someone is crossing a line with their behavior towards you or another person you need to protect? These are good phrases to tell them to stop whatever they’re doing, and to show you’re angry in Afrikaans.

Note: The English expression with the same meaning, “Cut it out!”, literally translates as Sny dit uit! However, the phrase is never used this way in good Afrikaans. You’d use Sny dit uit only in its literal sense, which means you’re demanding that something be excised. “Excise” is a medical term, and it means to remove something surgically, like a wart or a tumor.

The Afrikaans approximate for “Cut it out!” in the context of this article would be Hou op! If you’re really exasperated with behavior that doesn’t stop immediately, like children acting naughtily, you could add the time word nou / “now” for emphasis. Such as: Hou nou op! Also, raise your voice slightly, and add a big frown on your face!

Another expression with the same meaning is Moenie! which means “Don’t!”

Stern woman holding hand up to say stop

Again, adding a polite “asseblief” will somewhat soften these angry commands, such as Hou op, asseblief! Or, Stop, asseblief!

1.3 “Give Back!” / Gee Terug!

When to Use: This phrase is pretty self-explanatory – someone took something that’s yours and you want it back! Now! Firmly holding out your open hand with the palm up, ready to receive, would be the appropriate gesture to add emphasis to your command.

Note: Alternatives to this phrase would be to add a pronoun or time word.
Pronoun: “It”/Dit – Gee dit terug! / “Give it back!”
Time Word: “Now”/Nou – Gee dit nou terug! / “Give it back now!” OR Gee nou terug! / “Give back now!” These additions render the command stronger and more emphatic.

1.4 “Get Lost!” / Gaan Weg!

When To Use: This phrase is appropriate for use when you want someone or something to leave immediately.

Note: Alternatives are Loop nou! or Voetsek! The former, Loop nou! (Lit: “Walk [away] now!”) is more polite and suitable when you’re addressing a person. Voetsek! is most often used to shoo away bothersome animals. It is not a word you’d use to strongly command a person to leave, as this is considered extremely derogatory and insulting.

Photo of a pointing finger

Again, adding the emphasized time word nou (“now”) will add strength and emotion to the command, as in Gaan nou weg! / “Let lost now!” Emphasizing nou (“now”) is common, except in the case of Loop nou! Here, Loop (“Walk”) is emphasized.

1.5 “Leave Me Alone!” / Los My Uit!

When To Use: This is almost the same as the previous angry phrase in Afrikaans, but when you’re using it, the implication is that the person you’re chasing away has been bothering you deliberately.

If you’re being inappropriately addressed, touched or perhaps threatened, and the person doesn’t respond after you’ve quietly asked them to cease and desist their behavior, it’s OK to shout this one out at the top of your lungs! However, do this only if you’re truly feeling unsafe and threatened. You don’t want the reputation of a drama queen who makes scenes over nothing!

Note: Most often, the time word nou is added, as in: Los my nou uit! However, like in the case of Loop nou!, it doesn’t get emphasized here. You would rather emphasize uit, for good effect.

1.6 “Don’t Mess With Me!” / Moenie Met My Skoorsoek Nie!

When To Use: This phrase is well used with Los my nou uit! (“Leave me alone!”), as it implies that the person bothers you purposely to make you angry. Almost like they’re needling you to get a reaction.

Note: Moenie translates as “don’t”, and is a contraction of the words moet nie, which means “do not”.

1.7 “I Forbid You To …” / Ek Verbied Jou om …

When To Use: Same as in English, this is a formal, very strong and specific command. It is best used when you want to make it very clear what a person is not allowed to do, such as in:

Ek verbied jou om in te kom sonder my toestemming! / “I forbid you to enter without my permission.”


Ek verbied jou om aan my te vat! / “I forbid you to touch me!”

Sign with figure forbidding something

B. Angry Warnings

These are phrases you’d hopefully never have to use. And, ideally, never have them directed at you! They are warnings only expressed in real anger or very angry frustration, and usually serve as veiled threats that the next step will be an action…almost invariably of the unpleasant kind.

Again, avoid physical altercation at all cost, unless it is to protect yourself or someone vulnerable.

2.1 “You’re Asking for Trouble!” / Jy Vra Vir Moeilikheid!

When It Is Used: When expressed in anger, this phrase indicates that a person has reached the end of their patience with someone’s behavior. They are indicating very strongly that they’re about to take steps. Such as in this scenario:

Ek verbied jou om aan my te vat! Jy vra vir moeilikheid! (“I forbid you to touch me! You’re asking for trouble!”)

However, it isn’t used only to express anger in Afrikaans. As in English, the phrase also expresses the speaker’s alarm. For instance, in this scenario:

Moenie met daai man uitgaan nie! Jy vra vir moeilikheid! (“Don’t go on a date with that man! You’re asking for trouble!”)

Note: An alternative is: Jy soek vir moeilikheid, which, in English, means “You’re looking for trouble!” Or, as can be heard in some Afrikaner homes with kids: Jy soek vir my! This means literally “You’re looking for me!”, and it implies that, with their behavior, the child is literally “looking” or “calling” for the parent’s anger.

Adult scolding a child

Afrikaners are usually stern parents who take discipline seriously. Yet, many modern parents tend to adhere to gentler forms of disciplining their offspring. Any form of corporal punishment in schools and detention settings is against the law, and was recently made illegal in the home as well, after being decided by the highest court in South Africa (the Constitutional Court, also called the Concourt).

In any case, it would be best to never address a child in great anger.

2.2 “This Is My Last Warning” / Hierdie Is My Laaste Waarskuwing OR Ek Praat Nie Weer Nie!

When To Use: This way of showing you’re angry in Afrikaans can be seen as a veiled threat. It is another way of saying that you’ve reached the end of your tether, and won’t tolerate another transgression.

Hierdie is my laaste waarskuwing is well employed in the workplace, as it is more formal and controlled. Ek praat nie weer nie! is its informal version, and is used more to address naughty children without ears.

2.3 “Do It Again …” / Doen Dit Wéér …

How To Use: This is a very angry phrase that implies trouble is on its way. The latter is signified by the silent threat in the incomplete sentence. It implies that if certain behavior is repeated, there will be severe consequences.

When expressed in anger, with matching aggressive body language, it leaves no doubt about the speaker’s intentions. It is not an angry phrase you’d employ at work or in formal settings, as the inference is that an act of violence could follow.

Man with raised fist looking angry

2.4 “I’m Going To Report You!” / Ek Gaan Jou Aanmeld!

When To Use: So, a shop manager disappoints you with her callous lack of service? Or your manager is not adhering to your explicit boundaries? Voice a threat that’s bound to get their attention. Even if you’re very angry, this is a suitable phrase to use in public, as it means you’re about to turn to an authority higher than the addressee’s.

C. Angry Blames

Negative verbs

These phrases are best shelved under “Need to know”, as they are never good to use in great anger – in any language. Blameful words are always aimed to hurt or harm, which is a weak relationship strategy.

3.1 “What’s Wrong With You?!” / Wat Is Fout Met Jou?!

Meaning: This is a harmless, even caring enquiry, depending on context. In anger, the phrase becomes a rhetorical question that implies there’s something morally or mentally wrong with the person it’s directed at. This is a hurtful insult.

Wat is usually gets contracted to Wat’s, when the phrase is used in a moment of passionate anger.

3.2 “What Were You Thinking?” / Het Jy Nie Gedink Nie?!

Meaning: Again, this is a rhetorical question, often expressing exasperation that borders on the insulting. It implies that someone hasn’t been thinking straight when they did something, or that the person was exceptionally stupid doing something. This may be true about their conduct, but shouting this will add insult to injury. In Afrikaans, this phrase is not as harsh as the previous one, but it can still be hurtful.

Man with hands up, looking exasperated and angry

Note: The literal translation of “What were you thinking?!” is Wat het jy gedink?! That’s not incorrect, but it is seldom used, and then dink (in gedink) needs to be strongly emphasised or it could be misunderstood to be a real question.

3.3 “Are You Out Of Your Mind?!” / Is Jy Mal?!

Meaning: Another very strong rhetorical question questioning someone’s sanity. This gets used when someone has done something irresponsible or inexplicable. The phrase is hugely insulting, though, so it’s better to avoid it.

Note: A variation would be Is jy koekoes? Koekoes is an informal term for “crazy”, and this can sometimes be said in jest.

3.4 “It’s All Your Fault!” / Dis Alles Jou Skuld!

Meaning: This is used by an angry person who is probably unwilling to shoulder any responsibility for the situation. Not cool to use, and brush it off when it’s aimed at you. Nothing is ever only one person’s fault!

Note: The literal translation of “It’s all your fault!” is Dis alles jou fout!, which is also correct, but not popularly used.

Annoyed woman talking on a phone

3.5 “Who Do You Think You Are?!” / Wie Dink Jy is Jy?!

Meaning: This rhetorical question is one of the milder ways to get angry in Afrikaans. Like in English, it is a way of asserting that someone doesn’t have authority over you.

In some circumstances, though, this might be a good reminder to someone who doesn’t respect boundaries.

3.6 “You Made A Mess!” / Jy’t ‘n Gemors Gemaak!

Meaning: This is a very strong way to express your displeasure over something. It’s never a good idea to critique someone’s work when you’re angry with them – in any language! They probably already know they messed up, so by shouting at them, you add insult to injury.

3.7 “You never …!” and “You always …!” / Jy ___ nooit! and Jy ___ altyd!

Meaning: Using gross generalizations in a fight never built any relationship. You’re labeling the person as someone who perpetually makes mistakes, and can do no right in your eyes. No relationship can survive too many of these. Avoid!

These could include phrases like:

Jy praat nooit met my nie! / “You never talk to me!”
Jy skreeu altyd op my! / “You always shout at me!”
Jy doen nooit moeite nie! / “You never make effort with anything!”
Jy werk altyd laat! / “You always work late!”

Couple having a fight

3. Constructive Ways to Express Anger In Afrikaans

As mentioned previously, getting angry and sharing how you feel could strengthen a relationship – if it’s done in a constructive, positive way. Here are some handy Afrikaans phrases to express and discuss your anger once you’ve calmed down.

  1. Ek is baie ontsteld. / “I am very upset.”
  2. Ek voel baie kwaad oor … / “I feel very angry about …”
  3. Wanneer jy so met my praat, voel ek seergemaak. / “When you talk to me like that, I feel hurt.”
  4. Ek hou nie daarvan nie. / “I don’t like that.”
  5. Wat jy doen/sê laat my sleg voel oor myself. / “What you do/say makes me feel bad about myself.”
  6. Ek voel teleurgesteld. / “I feel disappointed.”
  7. My hart is seer daaroor. / “My heart is sore about that.”
  8. Laat ek eers kalmeer, asseblief. Ons kan later hieroor praat. / “Let me calm down first, please. We can talk about this later.”

4. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You With Being Angry in Afrikaans!

Well, hopefully you now know better how to be angry in Afrikaans, after reading our article! Do you feel comfortable using the phrases? Can you understand them well? Why not share it with us using Afrikaans in the comments? Or ask questions? We’d love to hear from you!

Afrikaans is mostly a phonetic language (meaning you mostly pronounce the words as they are written), but then you have to be able to read Afrikaans. AfrikaansPod101 takes the lead with many free learning tools to help you master Afrikaans reading easily, and in fun ways.

These tools include:

  1. An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
  2. A new Afrikaans word to learn every day
  3. Quick access to the Afrikaans Core 100 Word List
  4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary

Learn more efficiently with the help of a personal tutor, who will first let you take an assessment test to personalize and tailor your training. You’ll also be guided to record yourself in Afrikaans!

No need to frustrate yourself – enroll now and get on top of the angry phrases!

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Vryheidsdag: Celebrating Freedom Day in South Africa


Freedom Day is one of the most significant holidays in South Africa, marking the date in 1994 that non-whites and alien residents were allowed to vote freely in an election. In this article, you’ll learn a little bit about the history of this holiday, how it’s celebrated, and more information about Freedom Day.

Let’s get started!

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1. Why is Freedom Day Important?

Black-and-White Image of Nelson Mandela

On National Freedom Day, South Africa celebrates the date in 1994 that the country’s first free and demokraties (“democratic” ) elections were held. This took place after the time of apartheid and marked a nuwe era (“new era” ) for South Africa.

Now, all citizens eighteen or older were allowed to vote in a fair election, regardless of their rasse (“race”), including people who were not native to the country. During the apartheid, non-whites faced major stipulations on voting, making this 1994 election a huge leap forward for the South African people as a whole.

Nelson Mandela won this election, becoming the first black leader of the country, as well as the first president of post-apartheid South Africa. Over the course of three days, approximately 20-million votes were counted, in addition to nearly 200,000 votes that were rejected for being invalid. Of these votes, sixty-two percent went toward the African National Congress, which then joined the National Party and Inkatha Freedom Party, forming the new National Assembly. It was this governing body that elected Nelson Mandela as president.

South African Freedom Day also seeks to commemorate and honor the country’s grondwet (“constitution”).

    → As you probably know, Nelson Mandela was a prominent figure in South Africa. You can read about the July holiday Nelson Mandela Day on

2. When is Freedom Day in South Africa?

People Holding Each Other’s Wrists in Unity

Each year, South Africans celebrate Freedom Day on April 27.

3. How is Freedom Day Celebrated in South Africa?

A Group of People Celebrating

Because this is a national holiday, most people don’t need to go to work or school so they can partake in the Freedom Day events. Many of these events and festivities have to do with the arts, and there are several sporting events and festivals as well.

Another favorite activity is the braai, which is a South African-style barbeque. People enjoy catching up with friends, family, and even strangers over a tasty BBQ meal!

In addition to these Freedom Day celebrations in South Africa, many people simply enjoy taking the day off work. Depending on the weather, people can go to the beach or visit significant historical sites to have fun and reflect upon the country’s history.

    → has a lesson about popular South African Dishes and dining etiquette. If the braai sounded good to you, you should definitely take a look.

4. UnFreedom Day and Pagan Freedom Day

On the same date as Freedom Day, there are actually two other unofficial holidays.

The first is UnFreedom Day. This holiday was intentionally set for the same date as Freedom Day in order to draw more attention to it. It’s a day of mourning, and a time to realize that while there has been lots of progress, there’s still a long way to go. In particular, the aim of UnFreedom Day is to educate South Africans about the plight that poor people still face today.

The second unofficial holiday is Pagan Freedom Day. On this day, pagans living in South Africa honor nature and the cycle of seasons.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Freedom Day

A Silhouette of Someone Dropping a Ballot into a Voting Box

Are you ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Freedom Day!

  • Stem — “Vote” [v.]
  • Verkiesing — “Election” [n.]
  • Saam — “Together” [adv.]
  • Post-apartheid — “Post-apartheid”
  • Demokraties — “Democratic” [adj.]
  • Liberasie — “Liberation” [n.]
  • Grondwet — “Constitution” [n.]
  • Burger — “Citizen” [n.]
  • Feesviering — “Celebration” [n.]
  • Nuwe era — “New era”
  • Rasse — “Race” [n.]

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Afrikaans Freedom Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Freedom Day in South Africa with us.

Did you learn something new today? Is there a similar holiday in your own country? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

If you’re interested in learning more about South African culture or the Afrikaans language, you may find the following pages useful:

To keep learning about the Rainbow Nation and improving your Afrikaans language skills, create your free lifetime account on and start learning with us.

Happy Freedom Day!

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What You Should Know about Prepositions in Afrikaans


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

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.”
Sy weet niks aangaande die brief nie.
“She knows nothing regarding the letter.”
Die besem staan agter die deur.
“The broom stands behind the door.”
Ons bly anderkant daardie koppie.
“We live beyond that hill.”
Dis benede sy waardigheid om so te praat.
“It’s beneath his dignity to talk like that.”
Benewens boeke verkoop ons ook tydskrifte.
Apart from
“Apart from books we also sell magazines.”

Bookshop Women

Daar is baie inligting beskikbaar betreffende aardskuddings in Okinawa.
“There is a lot of information available regarding earthquakes in Okinawa.”
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” ).

“She completed the race within a minute.”
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.”
Die wild staan bokant die wind.
“The game stands above the wind.”
Klim bo-op die skool se dak.
On top of
“Climb on top of the school’s roof.”
Dit is buite sy bereik.
Out of
“It is out of his reach.”
Danie is by die haarsalon.
“Danny is at the hair salon.”
Die kat kruip deur die gras.
“The cat crawls through the grass.”
Die winkel is duskant die rivier.
This side of
“The shop is this side of the river.”
Hy woon digby die strand.
Close by
“He lives close by the beach.”

Man in Beach House

Hulle slaap gedurende die winter.
“They sleep during the winter.”
Sy wag in die sitkamer.
“She waits in the sitting room.”
Die onderwyser is goedgesind jeens die kind.
“The teacher is kind towards the child.”
Kragtens die mag aan my verleen beveel ek jou om op te staan.
“By the power vested in me, I order you to stand up.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Die kaptein het haar namens die hele span gelukgewens.
On behalf of
“The captain congratulated her on behalf of the whole team.”
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 die feit dat dit hard reën, besluit hy om steeds te gaan draf.
“Notwithstanding the fact that it is raining hard, he decides to still go jogging.”
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.”
Hy hardloop oor die besige pad ondanks haar waarskuwing.
“He runs across the busy road despite her warning.”
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.”
Ons loop aan ongeag ons moegheid.
“We walk on despite our fatigue.”
Hy bly net oorkant die pad.
“He lives just across the road.”
Die prosedure sal ongeveer drie dae duur.
“The procedure will take approximately three days.”
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.”
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.”
Hy het die roomys per ongeluk laat val.
Gaan jy per vliegtuig of per trein reis?
“He dropped the icecream by accident.”
“Are you going to travel by air or by rail?”
Regoor ons bly ‘n homeopaat.
Right across
“Right across from us lives a homeopath.”
Hulle loop eenmaal rondom die huis.
“They walk once around the house.”
Sedert jou vertrek het ek die kat nie weer gesien nie.
“Since your departure, I have not seen the cat again.”

Cat Hiding

Jy kan nie vandag sonder jou jas aan buite gaan stap nie.
“You can’t walk outside today without your coat on.”
Ons sal te vliegtuig reis.
My motor is te koop.
By / For
“We’ll travel by air.”
“My car is for sale.”
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.”
Hy is baie vriendelik teenoor my.
“He is very friendly towards me.”

Friendly Men

Hy kon haar ten minste gebel het.
“He could have at least called her.”
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.

“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.

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.”
Toe tref dit my tussen die oë – ek het die lotto gewen!
“Then it hit me between the eyes—I won the lotto!”

Surprised Woman

Moenie tydens sy toespraak slaap nie.
“Don’t sleep during his speech.”
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.”
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.”
Ons loop verby die wonderlikste winkels.
“We’re walking past the most wonderful shops.”
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 Paul het dit baie gesneeu.
According to
“According to Paul, it snowed a lot.”
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 ‘n kansellasie kon ons ‘n tafel kry.
Because of
“Because of a cancellation, we could get a table.”

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