to put, to place, to set [verb] [zette, gezet] Iconspeaker_3

"Zetten" is a versatile word. We’ve given three possible translations. There are more translations that you can use though, depending on context. A variety is covered in the Examples. The related noun is "zet", which translates to "move", see the Related words.

Don’t confuse "zetten" with "zitten", which translates to "to sit".Bloemen_op_tafel

-"Liefie, kun je de bloemen op tafel zetten?" 
("Sweetie, can you put the flowers on the table?")

– "Waar heb je mijn fiets gezet?" – "Daar…tegen die boom."
("Where did you put my bike?" – "There…against that tree.")

– "U kunt hier uw handtekening zetten.")
("You can place your signature here.")

– "Zet de wekker maar op half acht, dan kunnen we relaxed ontbijten."
("Just set the alarm clock for seven thirty, then we’ll be able to have a relaxed breakfast.")

– "Zal ik koffie zetten? Of heb je liever thee?"
("Shall I make coffee? Or would you rather have tea?")

– "Zoveel honger in de wereld… dat zet je aan het denken, toch?"
("So much starvation in the world…it makes you think, right?" Lit.: "…it puts you to think…")

– "Heb je het al gehoord? Franks vriendin heeft een aarsgewei laten zetten!!" 
("Have you heard already?? Frank’s girlfriend has gotten an ass cap!!" Lit.: …has let (the tattooguy [impl.]) put an ass cap (on her [impl.])…")

– "Iemand een hak zetten": to put a spoke in someone’s wheel. Lit.: to place someone a cut.

– "Kabelbedrijven zetten KPN een hak met snel internet."
("Cable companies put a spoke in KPN’s wheel with fast internet." Note: KPN is the former national incumbent Dutch telecommunication company. It used to be owned by the state, privatized since 1989.)

– "De/Je hakken in het zand zetten": to put up (a) resistance. Lit.: to put the/your heels in the sand. See also Schoen.
– "De bloemetjes buiten zetten": to party, to go wild. Lit.: to put the flowers outside.
– "Te kakken zetten": (informal) to ridicule, to mock. Lit.: to set to poop.

Related words:
– Zitten: to sit [verb] [zat, gezeten].
– Zet: move [noun] [de zet, de zetten].

– "Dat was een meesterlijke zet van zwart…wit staat schaakmat."
("That was a masterly move by black…white stands checkmate.")

– Gezet: corpulent, stout [adjective].
– "Ontzet": aghast, dismayed at/by [adjective]. Lit. displaced.

2 thoughts on “Zetten

  1. 1)Always find a bit tricky the usage of the words die and/or deze in Dutch.
    In the word of the day: Zetten, you say the following.
    – “Waar heb je mijn fiets gezet?” – “Daar…tegen die boom.”
    (“Where did you put my bike?” – “There…against that tree.”)
    In order to have the equivalent from English “There… against that tree”, should one not say in Dutch: “Daar…tegen deze boom.”? What is exactly the daily usage of die and deze in daily spoken Dutch?
    2)Could you give a sentence/example of the expression below in a sentence?
    – “De bloemetjes buiten zetten”
    – “Te kakken zetten”
    Dank jullie.

  2. Hi Maia,
    We plan to explain the usage of “die, deze, dit, dat” in a separate post.
    Regarding the examples, what about these:
    “Maia zet dit weekend de bloemetjes buiten.”
    (“Maia is going wild/to party this weekend.”)
    “Tijdens de opening van de tentoonstelling zette Maia de galeriehouder te kakken.”
    (“During the opening of the exhibition, Maia mocked the gallery owner.”
    Hope this helps,