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Guide to Complimenting People in Dutch

Updated: Feb 10

We all love compliments, don't we? It's a way of being thankful and show appreciation to the other person. Even though we Dutch people are known for the stereotype of being rude and very direct, we still like to give and receive compliments. Trust me, we are actually pretty nice ;)


Whether you want to learn how to compliment your Dutch girlfriend or boyfriend, trying to make a good first impression on your mother-in-law, or you're just about to start a new job and want to know how to be thankful and compliment your colleagues in Dutch, you're at the right place!

 

Table of contents

  1. How to Compliment or be Positive - The Basics

  2. How to Compliment Someone on their Looks

  3. How to Compliment Someone on their Work, Performance and Skills

  4. Replying to Received Compliments

  5. More Examples

 

How to Compliment or be Positive - The Basics

When trying to be nice to someone, it's important to understand the basics. Here are two sentence "templates" that you can fill up with a bunch of different words to give compliments or be positive about something in a wide variety of situations.


Ik vind het ...... - I find it

Dat vind ik ...... - I find that


Here are a couple of words you can use to compliment someone or be positive about something.

  • Leuk - nice

  • Goed - good

  • Geweldig - amazing

  • Super - super /amazing

  • Perfect - perfect

  • Gaaf - awesome

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.


How to Compliment Someone on their Looks

Now let's make this a little more specific and 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. You'd like to start the conversation with a compliment, or let's imagine you're meeting the parents of your Dutch boyfriend or girlfriend for the first time, You'd like to make a good first impression, don't you? 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 / geweldig - You are beautiful / amazing

  • Je ziet er prachtig / uitgerust uit - You look wonderful / well rested

  • 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



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How to Compliment Someone on their Work, Performance and Skills

Now you know how to compliment someone on their looks, 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