Mar 5 / Koen Kleinstra

Complimenten geven in het Nederlands

Do you want to make people feel like this good boy here? Then you should give them a nice compliment. And trust me, it works better in Dutch 😉

That's why in this article, I'm going to show you how to easily compliment people in Dutch.
Iedereen houdt van complimenten, toch? (right?)
Het is een manier (a way) om dankbaar te zijn (to be thankful)

Even thought we Dutch people are known for being very direct, we still like to give and receive compliments. We can actually be pretty nice ;)

Express your opinion

In Dutch we use to verb "vinden" to express our opinion. For example:

  1. Ik vind het ...... - I find it  / I think it's
  2. Dat vind ik ...... - I find that / I think that's
  3. Ik vind jou ...... - I find you / I think you're

Here are hand full of words you can use to compliment someone or say something positive.

  • Leuk - nice
  • Geweldig - amazing
  • Super - super /amazing
  • Perfect - perfect
  • Gaaf - awesome
  • Aardig - kind
  • Lief - sweet
  • Indrukwekkend - impressive

So, if someone asks you about their idea to start learning a new language, you could say:

  • Ik vind het leuk
  • Ik vind het een leuk idee.

Complimenting on looks

A little more personal. What should you say when you want to compliment someone on their looks?

Imagine yourself walking to the park where your Dutch date is waiting for you (Let's hope they don't send a Tikkie). You'd like to start the conversation with a compliment. Here are four sentences to cover a lot of different situations.

  • Je bent _____- You are _____
  • Je ziet er _____ uit - You look _____
  • Ik vind je ogen echt _____ - I think your eyes are really _____
  • Die _____ staat je _____ - That _____ looks _____ on you

Some examples with the sentences above:
  • Je bent mooi - You are beautiful
  • Je ziet er prachtig / geweldig uit - You look wonderful / amazing
  • Ik vind je ogen echt heel mooi - I think your eyes are really beautiful
  • Die bril staat je echt enig / heel goed - These glasses look really cute / very nice on you

Complementing on work, performance and skills

Now it’s time to move on to complimenting people on their work, performance and skills. Here are a couple basic sentences that can be used in a wide variety of situations.

  • Goed gedaan - Well done
  • Goed werk - Nice work
  • Goed bezig / lekker bezig - You go
  • Gefeliciteerd - congratulations
  • Wat een top prestatie - Such an excellent performance

Now a bit more specific compliments about someone’s performance:
  • Je kennis over het onderwerp is indrukwekkend - Your knowledge on the subject is impressive
  • Je hebt alle verwachtingen overtroffen - You have exceeded all expectations
  • Je onderzoek was erg goed! - Your research was really good!

And another important thing, is to know how to compliment someone on their skills. If you want to compliment someone on their language speaking you could say:

  • Je spreekt heel goed Nederlands. (It's a dream that will come true 😉)

  • Je bent echt een heel goede schilder. Ik hou van je schilderijen. (Schilder = painter)
  • Je bent een uitstekende kok. Het eten smaakt heerlijk.
  • Je bent goed in basketbal! Je speelde die wedstrijd echt uitstekend.
  • Je bent de beste pianist die ik ken. Ik kan uren naar je muziek luisteren.

Replying to received compliments

If you get a compliment, you also should know how to reply. Look at these 4 ways:
Bedankt - Thank you
Dank je wel - Thank you
Wat lief van je - That's so sweet of you
Wat aardig van je - That's so kind of you
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