What is the meaning of hoor?

Ja, hoor! Nee, hoor! Geen probleem, hoor! You hear "hoor" all the time. But... what does it mean? It's not easy to use "hoor" in a natural way, since it takes practice with intonation and good understanding of the context, but once you know how to use it, you'll sound Dutcher than ever!


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Hoor in Dutch

Of course horen means to hear in Dutch. But if you are around Dutch people, you will hear this word a lot! And translating it as to hear doesn't seem to make much sense. In this article we will explain the use of hoor. It takes some practice to use it well, but once you get the hang of it, you'll sounds super Dutch!
Let's look at a little conversation:
  • Oeps, ik ben mijn portemonnee vergeten. Mag ik 5 euro lenen?
  • Ja, hoor!
The answer could have simply been "ja", but in situations like this one, you will often hear "ja, hoor". What does this word add?
The answer to this question is not so easy: it depends on context and especially intonation.
  • If the tone is happy or normal, it will strengthen the "ja". It's like: it's no problem at all, you didn't even have to ask!
  • If the tone is sarcastic or with disbelief, it will mean something like: "yeah right and I am supposed to believe that?"
  • If the tone is tired or even supported by a sigh, it probably means: "you forgot your wallet again? Well, alright, here you go again, here is 5 euros, but I am tired of it."
This is just an example, but you could express many more feelings with "hoor". Let's look at another situation:
  • Peter stapt de keuken in met een korte broek, een T-shirt en sandalen. Zijn vriendin Carla zit te ontbijten. Ze kijkt naar Peter en zegt: "Het regent en het is 12 graden, hoor".
This means something like: I don't know what you were thinking when you got dressed, I think you need this info!
Another one:
  • Mark heeft uitgebreid gekookt. Zijn huisgenoot komt binnen en kijkt naar de bende (the mess) in de keuken. Het is een chaos. Mark zegt: "Ik ruim alles op, hoor!"
This means something like: Don't worry! I know what you think, but it's going to be okay!
As you can see "hoor" doesn't mean something by itself, it's strengthens the sentence before it with an emotion which completely depends on intonation and context.

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