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Cases are rare in Dutch. Look at the word de (the) in this sample phrase:

De medewerker van de bakker bakt de broden in de oven.
The assistent of the baker bakes the loaves in the oven.

The word de is written down four times, and spelled the same every time. This is the normal situation in the Dutch language.

Old phrases which are still in use

Some phrases that are still in use have remains of cases in them. These remains do not not influence the way these phrases are used.

The phrase ’s avonds means in the evening. It is an abbreviation of the obsolete des avonds. An s was added to de and to avond. But de avond is still in use and means the evening.
The phrase ter plaatse means at the spot, while plaats means location or town.

s morgens - in the morning
s ochtends - in the morning
s middags - in the afternoon
s avonds - in the evening
s nachts - at night
Den Haag - The Hague
Koninkrijk der Nederlanden - Kingdom of the Netherlands

Ik kom morgen. - I will come tomorrow.
Ik kom ’s morgens. - I will come in the morning.
Ik kom vanmorgen. - I will come this morning.
Ik kom ’s avonds. - I will come in the evening.
Ik kom vanavond. - I will come tonight (this evening).

Dutch family-names

Old surnames remind us of cases used in the past. There are names like
Van den Berg
Van der Laan


Geographical names normally change very slowly. The Hague has two names. The first means literally “Of the hedge” and the second “Of the hedge of the Count”.
Den Haag - The Hague
’s-Gravenhage - The Hague


You can use the genitive to say somebody possesses something.
Peters fiets - Peter’s bike.
You can also say in Dutch:
De fiets van Peter - The bike of Peter.
Peter zijn fiets - Peter’s bike (literally: Peter his bike)

The s appears in spoken language.
Ik heb iets lekkers voor je. - I have something delicious for you.
Mijn zoontje wil iets leuks doen. - My little son wants to do something fun.
Ik wil iets gemakkelijks lezen. - I want to read something easy.
Ik wil iets makkelijks lezen. - I want to read something easy.
Dan trek ik iets mooiers aan. - Then I will put on something more beautiful.
Iets beters hebben we niet. - We don’t have anything better.

When you want to avoid the s, you can use wat... is.
Ik heb iets voor je wat lekker is. - I have something delicious for you.
Mijn zoontje wil iets doen wat leuk is. - My little son wants to do something fun.

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