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Categories, Word Types, and Concepts


Say you are helping a doctor during an operation -- you are passing on the tools, but you did not know then name of any tools. Everything was just a "thing" to you. Your experience would be miserable. However, if you knew the name of every tool, you would suddenly become very useful.

Even though I hated the idea of learning terminology as a young student, (and I still do somewhat) I had to admit, knowing at least the basic terms are very helpful. So, I will hold back, and not overdo it with terminology, I encourage you to be very familiar with every one of these terms below, and your experience will be greatly blessed.Sentence Structure:  Subject - Verb - Object

Word Types:

The Two Articles:die and 'n
Ek dink die kat gaan die hond byt. (I think the cat is going to bite the dog.)
Ek dink die kat gaan 'n hond byt. (I think the cat is going to bite a dog.)
Ek dink 'n kat gaan die hond byt. (I think a cat is going to bite the dog.)
Ek dink 'n kat gaan 'n hond byt. (I think the cat is going to bite the dog.)
When « die » is used, the feel is particular, specific. and when « 'n » is used it could be any cat or dog.

Nouns: (The list of nouns in all languages keeps growing)
Let's begin to call them things, stuff you can touch. So, anything you can see is a thing, and they are all nouns. Like tables, trees, bottles, bridges, clouds, lakes, etc. These things can also be abstract, like democracy, liberation, trends, and storms. So, lets's call these «things» mental and physical entities.

You learn about nouns, so that you can understand the next term, pronouns.

Pronouns: (The list of pronouns is closed and it is a short list)

The pronoun is word of convenience to refer to a thing (noun). The examples below will show you a paragraph without and with pronouns.


WITHOUT → Jon thinks the cat is going to bite the dog and Jon wants Jon's dad to put the cat in the cat's cage.

WITH → Jon thinks the cat is going to bite the dog and he wants his dad to put the cat in her cage.

The three most valuable categories of pronouns are subject pronouns, object pronouns and possessive pronouns. In the sentence «She sees him.» The 'she' is a subject pronoun and the 'him' is an object pronoun. In the sentence «The book is mine.», the word 'mine' is a possessive pronoun. 

As one of the first things you do in Afrikaans, learn the subject, object, and possessive pronouns by heart — know them fluidly.

Prepositions: (The list of prepositions is closed and it is a relatively short list)

In the vocabulary section is a list of prepositions. As you can tell by the name, it has something to do with position. Examples would be words like on, under, over, through, behind, next to, above, etc. This is a finite list of words, and knowing them is useful because they combine with verbs to form new verbs, like in English you have the verb TO THROW. but you can add OUT, OVER, or IN to this verb and the meaning changes. Afrikaans does the same.

Verbs-related words and concepts:


Active and Passive Voice

Helping Verbs



Verb Types

Open ended

       one-root verbs e.g. sing, stand, walk
       two-root verbs e.g. throw out, pick up, etc.