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When do you use ernaartoe or erheen in Dutch?

Ernaartoe en erheen are two words that sometimes pop up, mainly when you talk about going somewhere. But.. when do you need to use them? It's not as complicated as you might think.

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Erheen / Ernaartoe in Dutch

When do you use ERHEEN or ERNAARTOE in Dutch?

It's best to explain Dutch grammar by showing you a few examples.

  • Ik ga naar de markt. I go to the market.

  • Ik ga erheen. I go there.

  • Ik ga ernaartoe. I go there

  • Morgen gaan we naar de camping. Tomorrow we go to the camping.

  • Morgen gaan we erheen. Tomorrow we go there.

  • Morgen gaan we ernaartoe. Tomorrow we go there.

  • Jullie gaan nooit naar het gemeentehuis. You never go to the city hall.

  • Jullie gaan er nooit heen. You never go there.

  • Jullie gaan er nooit naartoe. You never go there.

So, when you have a place to go to, but you don't name the actual place (you replace it by "er" for example), you'll have to use heen or naartoe ( read more about "er" used for places).

This happens every time you use an undefined word as a place. For example: er, daar, hier, ergens, nergens.

  • Wij gaan nooit ergens naartoe. We never go anywhere.

  • Kijk, deze stad lijkt me leuk. Daar ga ik heen! Look, this city seems fun to me. I go there!

  • Dit pad leidt nergens naartoe. This path leads nowhere.

What is the difference between erheen and ernaartoe?

There is no difference between erheen and ernaartoe in Dutch. Both words are correct and interchangeable.