Buiten regent het“Buiten” is an example of a word with the typically Dutch sound “ui” in it. This combination of the vowels “u” and “i” lies somewhere between the english “oy”, “ow”, “ay” and “aw” :-). Most non-Dutch speakers find this a difficult sound to produce. Ask a native Dutch speaker for the exact pronunciation. By the way, “ui” is a word in itself!

1. outside, out, outdoors [adverb]

-“Mevrouw, mag John buiten komen spelen?”
(“Madam, is it okay for John to come and play (outside)?” Literally: “…,
may John come play outside?” Dutch children distinguish between “binnen spelen” and “buiten spelen”.)

– “Met dit mooie lenteweer gaan veel mensen naar buiten.”
(“During this lovely spring weather, a lot of people go outside/outdoors.” Literally: “…to (the) outside.”)

– “Ik heb frisse lucht nodig, ik ga even naar buiten.”
(“I need some fresh air, I’m going outside for a moment.”)

Related word:
– “Binnen”: inside, within.

2. outside, beyond, out of, outside of, except (for), without [preposition]

– “De lift is buiten werking.”
(“The elevator is out of service.”)

– “Dat staat buiten kijf.”
(“That is without dispute.”)

– “Hou je erbuiten!”
(“Keep out of it!”)

– “Buiten haar bestaat niets voor hem.”
(“Except for her, nothing exists for him.”)

– “Ik ken de Duitse vervoegingen van buiten.”
(“I know the German conjugations by heart.”)

– “Dat ligt buiten de scope van dit project.”
(“That lies outside the scope of this project.”)

– “Waar is Frank?” – “Hij is vandaag buiten de deur.”
(“Where’s Frank?” – “He’s out of the office today.” Literally: “…outside the door.”)

– “Zullen we vanavond buiten de deur eten?”
(“Shall we go out for dinner tonight?”)

One thought on “Buiten

  1. Very interesting. In the region where I grew up, the ui sound (in surnames, at least) is Americanized in two ways, a long i where it appears before the last syllable, and a sort of ou (as in house – with a Canadian accent) where it appears in the last syllable of the word.
    At any rate, I like your site, and I’ll recommend it to others.

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