Instead of "beneden", the word "onder" is also often used. They translate to "beneath" and "under" respectively. The difference is only subtle.

1. beneath, down, downstairs [adverb]

– "Gaat deze lift naar beneden?"
("Is this elevator going down?")

– "Ik ga naar beneden om voor jou een lekker ontbijtje te maken!"
("I’m going downstairs to prepare you a nice (little) breakfast!")

– "Wat er beneden ligt…"
("What lies beneath…")

– "Van onderen!"
(Literally "from beneath!" this is what construction workers yell as a warning when throwing down stuff.)

2. beneath, below [preposition]

– "Beneden de grote rivieren spreken de meeste mensen met een zachte ‘g’."
("Beneath the great rivers, most people speak with a ‘soft g’." Even though the Dutch ‘g-sound’ is quite pronounced, in the southern provinces it sounds much softer and a lot more friendly 🙂 .)

– "Dat is beneden mijn standaard."
("That’s below my standard.")

– "Dat is onder mijn niveau."
("That is below my level/standard." This can also be used in a moral context.)

– "Lig jij tijdens het vrijen het liefst onder of boven?"
("When you make love, do you prefer to lie beneath or on top?")

Related words:
– "Onder": under.
– "Ondersteboven": upside down, wrong side up, upset, all shaken up.
This can also be used in a figurative way, as the two next examples

– "Ik ben er niet ondersteboven van!"
("I’m not all that impressed!")

– "Ik ben helemaal ondersteboven van die man/vrouw!"
("I’m completely put off my balance by that man/woman!")