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All About Verb Conjugation in Afrikaans – Your Best Guide!

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

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

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

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

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

1. Inflection vs. Conjugation

Top Verbs

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

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

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

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

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

ENGLISH

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

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

Afrikaans, in contrast, is totally easy:

AFRIKAANS

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

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

KOALA BEAR

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

2. Afrikaans Verb Inflections and Conjugations

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

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

Table I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A bit confused?

WOMAN SHRUGGING HER SHOULDERS WITH PALMS FACING UP

That’s totally okay!

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

3. Quiz – Which Ones are Conjugations?

More Essential Verbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Your Conjugations!

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

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

These tools include:

1. An extensive vocabulary list, updated regularly.

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

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

4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary.

5. An excellent 100 Core Afrikaans Words list!

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

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

Don’t hesitate—enroll with AfrikaansPod101 now!

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

The Best Afrikaans Verbs List at Your Fingertips!

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

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

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

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

Great, right?!

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

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

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

1. Types of Verbs

Top Verbs

There are four types of verbs in Afrikaans.

TYPE OF VERB“Independent Verbs”

Selfstandige 

OR 

Hoofwerkwoorde
“Auxiliary Verbs” 

Hulpwerkwoorde 

OR 

Medewerkwoorde
“Linking verbs” 

Koppelwerkwoorde
“Infinitive Verbs” 

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

Let’s take a closer look at these types!

A. “Independent Verbs” / Selfstandige OR Hoofwerkwoorde

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

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

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

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

Example: bring / “brings”

Afrikaans: Hy bring die sushi. 

Translation: “He brings the sushi.”

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

Man Holding Sushi Trays in Each Hand

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

Example: sing / “sings”

Afrikaans: Sy sing.

Translation: “She sings.”

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

Example: praat / “talk”

Afrikaans: Sy praat te sag op die verhoog.

Translation: “She talks too softly on stage.”

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

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

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

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

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

2- “Reciprocal verbs” / Wederkerende hoofwerkwoorde

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

a) Toevallig wederkerende hoofwerkwoord / “Incidental reciprocal verb”

b) Noodsaaklik wederkerende hoofwerkwoord / “Imperative reciprocal verb”

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

Example: was / “washes”

Afrikaans: Hy was hom.

Translation: “He washes him.”

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

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

Example: verheug / “rejoices”

Afrikaans: Sy verheug haar oor die nuus.

Translation: “She rejoices over the news.”

Happy woman with Face in Hands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • beywer

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

  • aanmatig / “presumes”
  • steur

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

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

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

3- “Impersonal verbs” / Onpersoonlike hoofwerkwoorde

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

List:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man Peeking from behind Table

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

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

B. “Auxiliary Verbs” / Hulpwerkwoorde

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other modal auxiliary verbs in Afrikaans:

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

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

  • behoort / “should”
  • hoef

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

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

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

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

C. Koppelwerkwoorde / “Linking Verbs”

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

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

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

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

D. Infinitiewe / “Infinitive Verbs”

Negative Verbs

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

a) Te and a verb

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

b) Om te and a verb

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

c) Omitting om te (but still implicating it)

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

Hopefully you’re not too confused! 

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

2. Afrikaans Verbs and Sentence Construction

More Essential Verbs

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

Now, to unpack STOMPI!

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

Subject or Who/What

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

Examples of a subject:

Sy

“She”

Die kat 

“The cat”

Marie

“Mary”

Silent V1 or Verb 1:

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

Time word or When:

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

Object or Who/What:

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

Manner – Adverbs (bywoorde):

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

Silent V2 or Verb 2:

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

Place or location:

These are words that indicate a place. 

Also called plekwoorde or “place words.”

Infinitive:

To do an action.

A. Example of STOMPI in action!

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

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

Subject: die kat (“the cat”)

Silent verb 1: eet (“eats”)

Time word: vandag (“today”)

Object: die kos (“the food”)

Manner: gretig (“eagerly”)

Place: uit die bak (“from the bowl”)

Infinitive: om te oorleef (“to survive”)

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

Here’s another example:

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

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

Subject: Stefan (“Stephen”)

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

Time word: gister (“yesterday”)

Object: die bal (“the ball”)

Manner: baie hard (“very hard”)

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

Silent verb 2: geslaan (“hit”)

Infinitive: om te wen (“to win”)

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

3. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Afrikaans Verbs!

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t wait—enroll today!

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

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

Best List of Must-Know Afrikaans Pronouns

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

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

An example of a sentence without pronouns:

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Personal Pronouns / Persoonlike Voornaamwoorde

Introducing Yourself

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

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

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

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

Examples:

Cellphone

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

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

Afrikaans: Hy will by julle aansluit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Impersonal Pronouns / Onpersoonlike Voornaamwoorde

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

Examples:

Afrikaans: Dit reën buite. 

Translation: “It’s raining outside.” 

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

Man with Umbrella Rain

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

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

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

3. Possessive Pronoun / Besitlike Voornaamwoord

As the name suggests, Afrikaans possessive pronouns indicate possession.

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

Examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afrikaans: Julle hond is julle s’n.

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

A Puppy

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

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

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

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

4. Relative Pronouns / Betreklike Voornaamwoorde

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

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

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

Examples:

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

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

Afrikaans: Die onderwerp waaroor sy praat is belangrik.

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

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

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

Afrikaans: Die drama waarin hy optree begin vanaand.

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

5.  Interrogative Pronouns / Vraende Voornaamwoorde

Basic Questions

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

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

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

Examples:

Afrikaans: Wie het die Lotto gewen?

Translation: “Who won the Lotto?”

Woman Standinding in Money

Afrikaans: Wat gaan jy met die geld doen?

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

Afrikaans: Waarvan hou jy die meeste?

Translation: “What do you like the most?”

Afrikaans: Waaroor wil jy skryf?

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

Afrikaans: Waarmee wil jy die koffie roer?

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

Afrikaans: Waarvoor gebruik mens hierdie ding?

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

Afrikaans: Watter take gaan jy nou aanpak?

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

Afrikaans: Wanneer is ons reis na Skotland?

Translation: “When is our trip to Scotland?”

Afrikaans: Waarom huil jy?

Translation: “Why are you crying?”

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

6. Indefinite Pronouns / Onbepaalde Voornaamwoorde

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

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

Examples:

Afrikaans: Laat hulle enige troeteldiere hier toe?

Translation: “Do they allow any pets here?”

A Cat and Dog

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

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

Afrikaans: Niemand mag ingaan nie.

Translation: “Nobody may enter.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afrikaans: Daar is verskeie resepte wat enigeen kan kook.

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

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

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

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

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

Mother with Two Kids

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

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

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

Examples of Reflexive Pronouns / Noodsaaklik Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde:

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

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

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

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

Afrikaans: Ons het ons gelukkig nie vasgeloop nie.

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

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

Examples of Intensive Pronouns / Toevallig Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde:

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

Afrikaans: Hy was homself.

Translation: “He washes himself.”

Afrikaans: Hulle prys hulself.

Translation: “They praise themselves.”

Afrikaans: Sy trek haarself aan.

Translation: “She dresses herself.”

8. Reciprocal Pronouns / Wederkerige Voornaamwoorde

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

Group Meeting Work

Afrikaans: Ons staan mekaar by met die werk .

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

Afrikaans: Ons help die een die ander met opruim.

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

9. Demonstrative Pronouns / Aanwysende Voornaamwoorde

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

Afrikaans: Hierdie vlug gaan aangenaam wees.

Translation: “This flight will be pleasant.”

Afrikaans: Daardie paartjie is gelukkig.

Translation: “That couple is happy.”

Happy Couple

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

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

Improve Listening

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

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

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

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

Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

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Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Afrikaans quickly and effectively?

Then you need a Afrikaans tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
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As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

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Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

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Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

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A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

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The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

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Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

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An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

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With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

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My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

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After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

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

All About Directions in Afrikaans – Your Best Guide!

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

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

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

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

Basic sentence: Hou regs verby die Uniegeboue.

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

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

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

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

1. Directions in Afrikaans: On the Road

Asking directions

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

ry reguit af — “drive/ride straight down”

Simple Sentence: Ry reguit af met Long Street.

Translation: “Drive straight down Long Street.”

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

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

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

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

gaan af met — “go down with”

Simple Sentence: Gaan af met daardie straat.

Translation: “Go down that street.”

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

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

draai links / regs “turn left / right”

Simple Sentence: Draai regs by die verkeerslig.

Translation: “Turn right at the traffic light.”

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

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

gaan oor — “go over”

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

Simple Sentence: Gaan oor daardie brug.

Translation: “Cross that bridge.”

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

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

Nelson Mandela

oppad na — “on the way to”

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

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

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

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

oorkant — “opposite” 

Simple Sentence: Dis oorkant die apteek.

Translation: “It’s opposite the pharmacy.”

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

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

langs — “next to”

Simple Sentence: Parkeer langs die motorhuis.

Translation: “Park next to the garage.”

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

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

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

Simple Sentence: Ry voor in.

Translation: “Drive in at the front.”

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

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

ver and naby “far” and “close”

Simple Sentence: Dis ver na Muizenberg strand toe.

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

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

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

Cape Town Muizenberg

by die kruising — “at the crossing”

Simple Sentence: Gaan links by die kruising.

Translation: “Go left at the crossing.”

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

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

om die draai — “around the corner”

Simple Sentence: Die kruidenier is net om die draai.

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

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

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

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

binne stapafstand — “within walking distance”

Simple Sentence: Die winkel is binne stapafstand.

Translation: “The shop is within walking distance.”

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

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

gaan terug — “go back”

Simple Sentence: Gaan terug na Gautrein stasie.

Translation: “Go back to Gautrain Station.”

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

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

speeding train

X kilometer ver van — “X kilometers away from”

Simple Sentence: Kaapstad is 1400 kilometer ver van Johannesburg.

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

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

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

2. Directions in Afrikaans: On a Map

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

map

noord and suid — “north” and “south”

Simple Sentence: Draai noord by die meer.

Translation: “Turn north at the lake.”

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

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

oos and wes — “east” and “west”

Simple Sentence: Oos, wes, tuis bes.

Translation: “East, west, home best.”

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

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

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

noordwes and noordoos — “northwest” and “northeast”

Simple Sentence: Mafikeng is in Noordwes provinsie

Translation: “Mafikeng is in North West Province.”

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

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

suidwes and suidoos “southwest” and “southeast”

Simple Sentence: Namibië word ook Suidwes Afrika genoem.

Translation: “Namibia is also called Southwest Africa.”

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

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

suidwesterlike and suidoosterlike — “southwestern” and “southeastern”

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

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

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

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

noordwestelike and noordoostelike — “northwestern” and “northeastern”

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

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

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

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

Game reserve, antelope

3. Directions in Afrikaans: Survival Questions and Phrases

Example: Waar is die stasie, asseblief?

Translation: “Where is the station, please?”

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

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

Example: Kan ek die trein soontoe neem? 

Translation: “Can I take the train there?”

Example: Wat is die kortste roete na die lughawe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bus station

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Directions in Afrikaans: Landmarks

Directions

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

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

5. Learn the Best Directions in Afrikaans at AfrikaansPod101!

Basic questions

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

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

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

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Learn the 100 Most Common Nouns in Afrikaans



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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Appliances

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

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

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

Coffeemaker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fan appliance

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

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

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

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

2. Nouns in Afrikaans: Technology (tegnologie)


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

Television

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Telephone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Nouns in Afrikaans: Transport (vervoer)


Nouns 1

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

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

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

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

Airplanes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

London Red Bus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nouns 2

4. Nouns in Afrikaans: Services (dienste)


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

Noun: dokter and hospitaal
Translation: “doctor” and “hospital”
Use: Ek moet ‘n dokter by die hospitaal gaan sien.
Translation: “I need to see a doctor at the hospital.”
Note: Dokter is used for both male and female physicians.

Doctor with Patient

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

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

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

Female Pharmacist

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

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

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


Nouns 3

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

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

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

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

Pilot Airforce

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

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

 Singer

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

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

6. Nouns in Afrikaans: Animals


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

Kitten

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

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

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

Parrot

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

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

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

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


Nouns 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. Congratulations in Afrikaans for Birthdays

Happy Birthday

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

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

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

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

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

Boy Blowing Out Candles on Birthday Cake

1- Informal Birthday Wishes

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

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

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

2- Formal Birthday Wishes

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

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

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

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

2. Baby Showers and Christenings/Baptisms

Talking About Age

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

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

Baby Christening

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

1- Baby Shower

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

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

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

Newborn Baby with Mother

2- Christenings

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

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

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

3- Social Media Posts for Baby Showers and Christenings

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

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

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

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

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

3. Holiday Greetings in Afrikaans

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

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

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

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

Couple at a Party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Other Special Occasions & Greetings in Afrikaans

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

1- Condolences: Funerals, Illnesses, etc.

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

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

Afrikaans Condolences: Funeral and Bereavement

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

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

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

Afrikaans Condolences: Illness and Operations

Doctor with Patient

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

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

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

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

Marriage Proposal

Afrikaans Wedding Congratulations

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

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

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

Promotion, New Job, etc

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

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

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

Graduation

Basic Questions

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

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

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

How Can AfrikaansPod101 Help You Learn Important Life Event Messages?

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

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

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Secret Revealed: The Best Way to Learn a Language on Your Own

Learning A Language on Your Own

Can You Really Learn Afrikaans Alone?

Learning a language on your own or without traditional classroom instruction may seem quite daunting at first. What if you run into questions? How do you stay motivated and on track to achieving goals?

Don’t worry, not only is it possible to learn Afrikaans or any language without traditional classroom instruction: AfrikaansPod101 has created the world’s most advanced and extensive online language learning system. Not only is AfrikaansPod101 specifically designed to help you with learning a language on your own, it’s actually faster, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom options!

Let’s look at some of the benefits of learning Afrikaans or any language alone.

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3 Reasons to Learn a Language Alone

Learning Alone

1. Learn at Your Own Pace and On Your Schedule

In today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t time for traditional classroom instruction. Between getting to class and studying on some professor or teacher’s schedule, traditional classroom learning is simply impossible to fit in. But when you learn Afrikaans alone, you can study in bed if you like and whenever suits your schedule best, making it far easier to actually reach your goal of learning and mastering the language.

2. Learning a Language on Your Own Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Speaking in front of a class, pop quizzes, and tests are just a few of the stressors you will encounter when you learn a language in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, these are external stressors that often derail most people’s dream of learning a new language. But when you learn Afrikaans alone, there are no external stressors. Without the external stress and anxiety, it becomes much easier and more exciting to study Afrikaans and reach your very own goals—all on your own!

3. Learning Afrikaans Alone Helps Improve Cognitive Function and Overall Success

Learning a language on your own is indeed more challenging in some ways than being taught in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, while classroom instruction requires more rote memorization and following instructions, studying a language on your own requires more problem-solving and higher cognitive function to self-teach lessons and hit goals. So while it’s more challenging and requires higher levels of cognition, teaching yourself a language pays dividends throughout life by better preparing you for social/work opportunities that arise.

How to Learn a Language on Your Own with AfrikaansPod101

Learning with AfrikaansPod101

1. Access to the World’s Largest Collection of Afrikaans Audio & Video Lessons

The best way to learn a language on your own is to study from native speaking instructors. Ideally, you want audio and/or video lessons that teach vocabulary, grammar, and provide actual Afrikaans conversations and dialogue to help you with pronunciation. AfrikaansPod101 has hundreds of hours of HD audio and video lessons created by real Afrikaans instructors and every lesson is presented by professional Afrikaans actors for perfect pronunciation. Plus, all lessons can be accessed 24/7 via any mobile device with Internet access. And, if you download the PDF versions of each lesson, you can even study without Internet access once the lesson is stored on your device!

2. “Learning Paths” with Afrikaans Courses Based Upon Your Exact Needs & Goals

Although AfrikaansPod101 has more than thousands of video and audio lessons, you need not review each and every one to learn the language. In fact, AfrikaansPod101 has developed a feature called “Learning Paths”. You simply tell us your goals and we will identify the best courses and study plan to help you reach them in the shortest time possible. So even though you are technically learning a language on your own, our team is always here to help and make sure you reach your goals FAST!

3. Advanced Learning Tools Reduce Learning Time and Boost Retention

When you have the right tools and Afrikaans learning resources, it’s actually easy to teach yourself a language! In the past 10+ years, AfrikaansPod101 has developed, tested, and refined more than 20 advanced learning tools to boost retention and reduce learning time, including:

  • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
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Armed with our growing collection of advanced learning tools, it’s truly a breeze to learn Afrikaans alone and reach your goals!

Conclusion

Learning a language on your own is not only possible, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for you than traditional classroom instruction. In fact, when you learn Afrikaans on your own you can study at your own pace, eliminate stress, and actually increase cognitive function.

AfrikaansPod101 is the world’s most advanced online language learning system and a great resource to help you teach yourself a new language. With the world’s largest collection of HD audio and video lessons, more than 20 advanced learning tools, and customized “Learning Paths”, AfrikaansPod101 makes learning a new language easier, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom instruction.

And the best part is: With AfrikaansPod101, you can study in bed, your car, or wherever you have a few spare minutes of time. Create your Free Lifetime Account now and get a FREE ebook to help “kickstart” your dream of learning a language on your own below!

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