to be frightened, to be shocked, to be scared [verb] [schrok, geschrokken] [‘schrik-kun’]  Iconspeaker_klein

The Dutch verb "schrikken" is intransitive (cannot have a direct object) and is translated as "to be frightened". Another Dutch verb with the same meaning and resembling the English construction with "to be" is "bang zijn". The former verb refers to a short, unexpected event, whereas the latter verb refers to a continued state of being. The girl in the picture is scared ("bang") possibly since something gave her a fright ("ze is geschrokken van iets").


– "Waarom sluip je zo naar me toe? Je laat me schrikken!"
("Why do you sneak up to me like that? You’re giving me a fright!")

– "Ik ben bang voor spinnen."
("I’m afraid of spiders.")

– "Opeens zat er een muis voor me op de keukentafel, ik schrok me rot/kapot/dood."
("All of a sudden, there was a mouse in front of me on the kitchen table, I was scared stiff/I was scared to death/it frightened the life out of me.")

– "Schrik je ook altijd zo van de wekker ‘s ochtends?"
("Does the alarm clock also always give you a fright in the morning?")

– "De menigte schrok van de geweerschoten".
("The gunshots gave the crowd a fright.")

– "Hij schrok wakker toen zijn telefoon ging."
("He woke with a start when his phone rang.")

– "Het was wel even schrikken toen we hoorden dat oma naar het ziekenhuis moest maar gelukkig was haar gezondheid beter dan we verwachtten."
("It gave us something of a shock when we heard that grandma had to be admitted to hospital, but fortunately her health turned out to be better than expected.")

– "Ik wist niet dat je achter me stond, ik schrok me een hoedje."
("I didn’t know you were standing behind me, I was scared out of my wits.")

– "Toen ik bekomen was van de eerste schrik, heb ik de politie gebeld."
("As soon as I had recovered from the initial shock, I called the police.")

– "Je moet gekookte eieren laten schrikken anders zijn ze moeilijk te pellen."
("You should plunge boileds egg into cold water otherwise it’s difficult to peel them.")

Don’t confuse ‘schrikken’ with another Dutch verb: ‘schrokken’, which means to gobble/to cram/to gulp/to wolf. An example of the use of this verb is given below:
– "Zit niet zo te schrokken."
("Stop making a pig of yourself.")

The verb ‘schrokken’ is not as often used as schrikken, and only when referring to food, so when you hear or read ‘wij schrokken’, it will probably be the past tense of ‘schrikken’ instead of the present tense of ‘schrokken’.

Related words:
– "Afschrikken": to deter, to scare off.
– "Opschrikken": to startle, to jump.
– "Bang zijn": to be frightened.
– "Schrik": terror, shock, fright.
– "Angst": fear.

3 thoughts on “Schrikken

  1. I benefit greatly both in dutch and english by each lesson here.
    well…how do i say “I benefit by…” in dutch? 😀

  2. Hi Veronica,
    we’re always in for requests, so this one’ll be on your screen soon 😉

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