Learn Dutch via email

Get to your Dutch Language goals improving regularly

Combined Shape CopyCreated with Sketch.

Boost your progress with a weekly compilation of video lessons, podcast episodes, dutch grammar, stories, exercise pdfs and much more.

Free, cancel anytime

The meaning of even in Dutch

You will see the word "even" a lot! Especially when someone asks you to do something. Let's look a some examples of this little Dutch word.


Learn the theory

A little Dutch particle: what does "even" even mean?

Even means "a short amount of time" / "a short while". Look:

  • A. Ik ga even naar de supermarkt. I am going to the supermarket for a while/for a bit.

  • B. Hij is even op vakantie geweest. He has been on a vacation for a while.

Put the sentences above in Google Translate and translate them to English. You will notice something strange: even will be translated in sentence B, but not in sentence A. It will just be left out. Why? It's because Google Translate recognises it as a particle. A small word that adds a certain mood to a sentence.

The hidden meaning of "even" in Dutch

So, why doesn't Google Translate always translate even into "for a while"? It's because even can also be used as a particle instead of an indicator of time. Let's look a a few examples:

  • Doe jij het raam even dicht?

  • Ik ga even naar het toilet.

  • Ik denk dat wij even moeten praten.

Why would you say that you are going to the bathroom "for a while"? And why would you ask someone to close the window "for a while"? The thing is, even is not used here to indicate how long an action will take, it's put in there to make the sentence nicer, more friendly. That's why you will see it a lot in orders or requests. It will make the order or request sound less harsh. It's like it is not such a big deal!

  • Kun jij me even helpen?

  • Wil jij even boodschappen doen?

  • Ga even zitten!

So, just throw "even" into a sentence to sound more friendly. Just try it!

Related practice books!

See all books

The imperfectum 
(simple past)

With explanations and exercisesGood for:A2B1B2
  • Pages: 30
  • Price: 8
View details

The double infinitive in Dutch [list of auxiliary verbs included]

With explanations and exercisesGood for:A2B1B2
  • Pages: 15
  • Price: 4.95
View details

Word order of adverbs

With explanations and exercisesGood for:A2B1
  • Pages: 12
  • Price: 4.2
View details

Conjunctions in Dutch

With explanations and exercisesGood for:A2B1
  • Pages: 15
  • Price: 5.5
View details