Characteristics of the Dutch Language in AX Semantics


In Dutch, you need to know the gender of a noun to form (together with number and case) the accompanying adjectives, determiners, numerals, and pronouns correctly.

Dutch has three genders for nouns: masculine, feminine, and neuter. There are two numbers: singular and plural.

Additionally, Dutch only has nominative case for nouns, but includes accusative and dative cases for personal pronouns.

grammatical namevaluesexamples
gendermasculinede oude hond
(the old dog)
femininede oude vrouw
(the old woman)
neuterhet oude huis
(the old house)
numbersingulargroot huis
(big house)
pluralgrote huizen
(big houses)
cases (noun)nominativevrouw (woman)
cases (pronoun)accusativeIk heb hen gisteren gezien.
(I've seen them yesterday.)
dativeHij heeft hun verraden.
(He has betrayed them.)
adjectives (noun)before nounrode appel
(red apple)
verb tensespresenthij gaat
(he goes)
pasthij ging
(he went)

The standard order of a noun phrase in Dutch is the following:

preposition + determiner + numeral + adjective + noun

See for example:

over   deze    drie   populaire  boeken
about  these   three  popular    books[pl]
PREP   DET     NUM    ADJ        NOUN
"about these three popular books"



For Dutch nouns, the lexicon needs to encode gender and determiner and preposition changes. The number x case forms of a noun should be added to the lexicon if they are not regular.

If a lexicon entry is missing, determiners, adjectives, numerals, and pronouns, which would need lexical information to inflect, are omitted.


The basic lexicon entry for huis (house) contains:

  • gender: neuter
  • inflection table for case and number:


If you need lexicon entries for countries, write to the support about that and you will get them for Dutch with automatic handling of prepositions.


In the lexicon, the inflection table for gender, case, and number can be encoded. For adjective position, the default is "before noun";.


The most common verbs are encoded in our software. If a verb inflects the wrong way, you should add it to the lexicon.

Container settings


The AX NLG platform supports the following determiners for Dutch: definite, indefinite, demonstrative, relative, possessive, and quantifier (every).


The noun will automatically agree with the numeral number when a numeral variable is used. Four types of numerals are possible on the AX NLG platform: cardinal, cardinal as digit, ordinal, and ordinal as digit.

textnegen dagen
(nine days)
de negende dag
(the ninth day)
digit9 dagen
(9 days)
de 9e dag
(the 9th day)

For Dutch, both cardinal and ordinal numerals are written out until 100 on the platform, otherwise (above 100) the output is in digit form. Take cardinal numerals for example:

honderd auto's
(one hundred cars)
101 auto's
(101 cars)

Determiner switch

Determiners can be switched according to lexical information. If you set the determiner switch for a specific noun in the lexicon, it will automatically switch to another determiner when you add the determiner you intend to switch in the container. The container setting for Duitsland in the first example is: preposition="in", determiner is unset (blank), and case="nominative".

in Duitsland <no determiner>
(in Germany)

In the second example, the container settings stay the same for Filippijnen. However, the determiner automatically switches from none to definite, because the determiner switch is configured in the lexicon. As the result, the definite determiner de is added to Filippijnen.

in de Filippijnen <switch to definite determiner>
(in the Philippines)


If the lexicon entry of a country includes a switch from none to definite, there is still a way to use the country without the article (e.g. just "Philippines"). The determiner will always remain none by setting determiner=none in the container. Only an unset determiner (blank) triggers the switch from none to another determiner.

Preposition switch

On the AX NLG platform, the settings for the container Duitsland (Germany) are: preposition="in" and case="nom".

in Duitsland
(in Germany)

For the below sentence with a different place (i.e. Sylt), the platform settings are the same as above (preposition="in", case="nom"), but the lexical information changes the preposition and shows a switch from in to op:

op Sylt
(on Sylt)

Language Variants

The AX NLG platform offers 2 variants of the Dutch language:

  • Netherlands
  • Belgium

The differences between these variants are mostly lexical.