Diminutives

The diminutives are fromed by adding a  suffix like -je

Some diminutives have a distinct meaning, which is different than the meaning of the initial form.

het brood (bread) → het broodje (bread roll)
de telefoon (phone) → het telefoontje (phone call)

All the diminutives have het as their definitive article.


Now the hard part about the diminutives: there are quite a few different suffixes to form the diminutives. Each suffix is used in a particular case. So here are the cases:


1. If a noun ends in a voiceless consonant -je is added:
het brood → het broodje
het huis → het huisje
de kop → het kopje
het stuk→ het stukje
de poes→ het poesje


2a. If a noun ends in a vowel -tje is added (a, o, u are doubled):
de koe (cow) → het koetje
de sla → het slaatje

2b. or in a diphthong:
de rij (row, queue) → het rijtje
de trui (jumper) → het truitje

2c. or when a noun ends in -l, -n or -r, preceded by a long vowel, diphthong or a weak vowel:
het paar → het paartje
de tafel → het tafeltje
de trein → het treintje


3. Short vowel + -l, -m, -n, -r or -ng results in -etje
The final consonant always doubles except in case of -ng:

bal → het balletje
de kam (comb) → het kammetje
de man → het mannetje
de ster (star) → het sterretje
de ring → het ringetje


4. -pje:

long vowel + -m: boom → boompje

diphthong + -m:  rijm → rijmpje

weak vowel + -m:  bodem → bodempje

l or r + -m:
film
 → het filmpje
arm → het armpje


5. In a nouns ends in -ing and the syllable before the last is stressed, then -kje is added and g is removed from the spelling:
de woning (flat) → het woninkje

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