290. Graag

please, gladly, with pleasure, eager, willingly [adverb] [‘graag‘]

"Graag" is a very common word but notoriously difficult to pronounce due to the double ‘g’. Clean your throat with the examples below 🙂

"Graag" has a few translations, all related, and it’s best to study the examples.

– "Zullen we een bakkie koffie doen?" – "Ja graag!"
("Shall we have some coffee?" – "Yes, please!" Note that the example is very informal. A "bak" is a like a bin or a container and "bakkie" the informal diminutive.)

– "Hé, nog bedankt voor het meehelpen verhuizen hè!" – "Tuurlijk makker, graag gedaan!"
("Hey, thanks again for helping me move (, eh)!") – "Sure mate/dude, you’re welcome!" Here, "tuurlijk" is the informal abbreviation of "natuurlijk": of course, sure.)

– "Ik ga graag naar de film, het liefst in het filmhuis."
("I enjoy going to the cinema/movies, preferably the art cinema.")

– "Goedemiddag meneer, ik zou graag willen informeren hoe laat de trein naar Amsterdam vertrekt."
("Good afternoon sir, I would like to enquire at what time the train for Amsterdam departs.")

– "Sander en Marc willen heel erg graag dat alle expats Nederlands leren."
("Sander and Marc would really like all expats to learn Dutch.")

– "Kun je deze brief van commentaar voorzien? Graag voor het einde van de middag."
("Can you comment on this letter? Before the end of the day please.")

– "Je moet mijn moeder maar niet al te serieus nemen, ze overdrijft graag!"
("You shouldn’t take my mother too seriously, she likes to exaggerate!")

– "Begrijp me niet verkeerd, ik wil je graag helpen met je huiswerk, maar vanavond kan ik echt niet!"
("Don’t get me wrong, I would like to help you with your homework, but tonight I really can’t make it!" Literally: "Don’t understand me incorrectly…")

– "Kan ik uw bestelling opnemen?" – "Ja, twee bier graag."
("Can I take your order?" – "Yes, two beers please.")

– "Mevrouw, kan ik u helpen oversteken?" – "Graag, dankuwel!"
("Madam, can I help you cross the street?" – "Yes, please, thank you!")

– "Dat geloof ik graag! / Dat wil ik graag geloven!": "I am not surprised" or "I’m willing to believe that".
– "Een graag geziene gast": a popular guest, a welcome guest. Literally a ‘seen with pleasure’ guest. You can replace guest with another applicable noun.
– "Graag of niet (hoor)!": this is said when you offer somebody an opportunity or a good deal and the other has doubts accepting it or defers too much. Usually it expresses some annoyance. It is a bit like the phrase "take it or leave it".

"Zeg, wil je nou nog dat ik je help met je computer? Graag of niet hoor!"
("So, do you still want me to help you with your computer? Take it or leave it you know!")

Related words:
– "Gaarne": this is a common more formal alternative for "graag" in a request.
– "Volgaarne": with great pleasure, most willingly.
– "Alstublieft/alsjeblieft": please.

The Dutch rap formation "Opgezwolle" wrote a song called "Gekke Gerrit" in which there is a fun line with the word "graag".
It goes like this:

"Gekke Gerrit, je wilt te graag, gekke Gerrit het is beter als je chillt vandaag."

This translates to:

"Crazy Gerrit, you are too eager, crazy Gerrit, you had better chill today."

Note that Gerrit is a bit of an old-fashioned name and probably chosen for the alliteration. Then, there is the word "chillt", a Dutch conjugation of the English "to chill". This is quite common in Dutch speech: foreign verbs, especially English, are incorporated by adding the required ‘en’ at the end, and then conjugate the Dutch way.

There is a bit more to say about "Opgezwolle". The advanced learners might think that there is an ‘n’ missing since it should be "opgezwollen" ("swollen"), but this is a deliberate pun since the group is from the town of "Zwolle".

One thought on “290. Graag

  1. I noticed that “graag” is used much like “gern” in German, and that you cite “gaarne” which I assume is related to “gern.”
    I find the translation that works most often for “graag” is “gladly.”

Comments are closed.