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Dutch Grammar Practice: Tips and Resources to Level Up Your Study

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Grammar is a fundamental part of learning any new language but that doesn’t make it any more appealing for many learners. When I first started my journey with Dutch, I purposefully avoided studying grammar whenever I could. I disliked grammar enough in my first language, let alone trying to wrestle with it in a second language. However, over the years, I have come to understand that mastering Dutch grammar practice is about finding the right strategy.

In the article below, we will outline a few tips for approaching your study in a way that is best catered to your interests, skills, goals, and motivation. We will also outline a number of free and paid resources to help you in your studies.

Dutch Grammar Practice Tips

Before we dip into resources, I think it’s always a good idea to consider a few key aspects. Certain resources will benefit you more than others, depending on how you prefer to learn, how much time you have to dedicate to learning, and what level you are aiming for. Taking some time to understand your needs and evaluating them alongside your unique strengths can help you adapt your learning in a way that best suits you.

Understand Your Goal

Knowing why you’re learning will ultimately decide what level you should aim for. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) offers a guideline that splits proficiency into three tiers:

  • Basic – A1/A2 – Beginner to elementary school level.
  • Independent – B1/B2 – High school level.
  • Proficient – C1/C2 – College and university level.

If you are a casual learner interested in basic conversation and making travel in the Netherlands a little easier, then A1/A2 would be an excellent goal. Alternatively, if you’re interested in communicating effectively with Dutch friends or family, or you have an interest in engaging with Dutch media without subtitles or translations, then aiming for a B1/B2 proficiency would be ideal.

Make it Fun (Or At Least Not Painful!)

When I think of grammar, I inevitably picture large, dusty tomes and droning voices. It’s off-putting and in the early days of my learning, often led to procrastination in this area. That is until my parents bought me a Dutch game aimed at helping young students improve their language and grammar skills. Although it was a relatively simple game, it adapted my learning into a format that I found much more engaging and fun, allowing me to tap into my competitive streak in a way that would ultimately benefit my studies.

Although cracking open a textbook may be necessary at times, it’s also important to be honest with yourself. If relying on academic resources leads to procrastination more often than not, I’d highly recommend easing back a little on those study options. Instead, try incorporating more resources you enjoy. Options may include podcasts, videos, novels, TV shows, movies, or apps.

How Do You Learn Best?

If this is your first time learning a new language, the answer to this question may not be immediately obvious. That’s absolutely fine. A large part of the learning process early on is understanding how you prefer studying and finding the resources that work best for you.

Ultimately, when it comes to nailing down a consistent habit around my Dutch grammar practice, I understand that I work best with media as a motivating factor. With that in mind, I use a lot of active listening in my studies. I’m also someone who needs to actively do something before a concept sinks in and I have a competitive streak, so using apps and games to learn is a strong motivator for me.

Take some time to reflect on what you enjoy and where your strengths lie as a student. Knowing those things will give you a good indication of what resources will best benefit you.

Regular Media Consumption and Active Listening

I am a huge advocate for incorporating media into language studies and using active listening as often as possible. Regular media consumption, be it through books, movies, podcasts, or TV shows, is a fantastic way to become acquainted with the unique cadence and sound of Dutch.

When I first started on my learning journey, I watched a lot of Dutch TV. I found that, with time, I was getting a feel for how sentences were structured. Even though I couldn’t explain the rules behind it all, I could get a feel for when certain words felt wrong in a sentence, simply because I’d been listening to so much of it.

If you’re interested in active listening, we recommend the following article, detailing some tips and resources for incorporating it more thoroughly into your studies: A Guide to Dutch Listening Practice.

Set Consistent and Achievable Habits

The best resources in the world are no use if they’re sat in a corner gathering dust. The most important thing to remember when learning any language is that building consistent, sustainable habits will make the biggest difference in your long term success.

It’s better to spend fifteen minutes a day learning than two hours every other week. Unless you are aiming to work or live in the Netherlands and you need to pass the Staatsexamen NT2 by a certain deadline, it’s best to take an honest look at your schedule and reflect on how much time you can realistically spend on your Dutch language studies.

Spending fifteen minutes a day on an app like Clozemaster, where you can drill certain key points of your study, or making a habit of listening to a podcast during your commute, will be far more beneficial to someone with barely a minute to spare than trying to overcommit and burning out on a timed, labor-intensive course. Although committing to a course is always the ideal, sometimes it’s simply not possible when life gets too busy.

Grammar is Important (But It’s Not Everything)

If you’re a perfectionist or prone to beating yourself up for failing to grasp certain grammatical concepts, it’s worth noting that unless you are aiming for a C1/C2 proficiency level, you are permitted a little wiggle room in your understanding of Dutch grammar.

At the end of the day, most people are not masters in the grammar of their first language. So although it can be frustrating, try not to get too caught up in a perfectionistic mindset when it comes to your Dutch grammar practice. Keep listening, keep practicing, and keep engaging with the language. Allow yourself to play with it. With time, concepts that seemed impossible at first will soon feel like second nature to you.

Dutch Grammar Practice: The Fundamentals (Free)

Once you’ve taken time to consider your goals, motivation, learning style, and overall mindset, it’s time to start gathering useful resources. If this is your first time learning a new language, it’s worth trying anything that piques your interest. With time, you will begin to see what types of resources work best for you and what keeps you most engaged.

If you’re looking for an overview of basic Dutch grammar, I’d recommend starting with the following articles:

Alternatively, if you want something more in depth, I can recommend the following:

This comprehensive resource offers a detailed breakdown of Dutch grammar rules. Each of the articles listed is concise and structured in such a way as to allow a natural progression of understanding from one article to the next.


One of the most challenging aspects of Dutch grammar practice can be verb conjugation. When you are working on this area of your Dutch grammar practice, I would highly recommend keeping Verbix close at hand as a reference. Simply type in the infinitive form of the verb in question and it will provide a full breakdown of the conjugated forms, as well as sample sentences. If you don’t know what verb conjugation is or how to find the infinitive form, I recommend the following article, which provides a full breakdown of Dutch tenses.


Dutch articles, also known as lidwoorden, can be another challenging aspect of Dutch grammar practice. Although there are a few rules that can help you to figure out whether a word requires the use of het or de, for the most part this will involve memorization for each new word you encounter. I would highly recommend as a resource in this area.

Reference Apps

If you’re looking for apps to use as reference while on the go, here are two options I can recommend:

Dutch Grammar Practice: The Fundamentals (Paid)

If you want to invest in resources that offer a little more structure, I’d recommend the following textbooks from Uitgeverij Coutinho. This website offers a number of educational resources for adult education, including a selection of textbooks that can help English speakers progress through the CEFR proficiency levels. I have listed below workbooks that will help learners progress from A1 to B2. All textbooks listed offer a book or an ebook along with a code that provides access to further learning resources available on the website.

Each textbook will provide a comprehensive breakdown of grammar relevant to the level you are aiming for.

CEFR Level


A1 – Dutch for Beginners (Part 1)

A2 – Dutch for Beginners (Part 2)


Nederlands in Gang


Nederlands in Actie


Nederlands op Niveau

Dutch Grammar Practice: Embedding the Habit

As part of making your Dutch grammar practice a consistent, sustainable habit, I highly recommend looking into resources that allow for quick bursts of study that you find enjoyable and engaging. On days when you don’t have the energy, motivation, or time to process a full lesson, these types of resources can be a game changer.

An excellent option for embedding a regular, consistent study habit is by using apps that gamify the learning experience. I have found this to be especially useful for Dutch grammar practice. I tend to use these types of apps most when I have a few minutes to fill, particularly during my commute or my lunch break.


I highly recommend Clozemaster for Dutch grammar practice in particular. This option has a dedicated grammar challenges section, giving users the option to either answer with multiple choice (easy mode) or by typing in the answer (hard mode). It relies on using context clues to help strengthen the user’s understanding of verb conjugation, pronouns and articles.


Another app I recommend is Babbel. Although this option is paid, it does provide a structured course, helping learners to progress through a wide variety of language skills through each lesson, including listening, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar.


This popular choice is another good option for people looking to gamify their experience. Duolingo relies on small lessons to help drill learners on a wide variety of language skills, including listening, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar.

Final Thoughts

If you have the time and the resources, I would highly recommend using a combination of all the resources listed above for a rounded learning experience. Using a course alongside regular media consumption and apps that help gamify short bursts of practice will ultimately lead to the fastest development. However, if that’s simply not possible or you just need to keep your skills sharp during a particularly hectic time in your life, then relying on apps or media to keep you practiced are fantastic options.

I wish you the greatest luck with your studies, and, as always, blijf oefenen!

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