Recommended books for learning Dutch

Aimed at beginners and experts alike, we've put a great deal of effort into selecting the following books, which are recommended for everybody learning Dutch, and include introductions to Dutch grammar, grammar workbooks, and phrasebooks.

These books have been reviewed by us thoroughly, and selected for their quality and value — we provided a selection of these books to five Dutch learners to gather their feedback, which we took into account. We also asked a handful of online Dutch-learning communities for their favourite books and suggestions, some of which we've included below.

Without further ado, the eight books you should think about picking up if you're serious about learning Dutch:

The Top 3

These three books are, in our educated opinion, the best books available. If you're serious about learning Dutch and want a firm, solid foundation in the Dutch language, you should consider purchasing these three. We've provided links to Amazon, but you may be able to find them cheaper elsewhere.

  1. Essential Dutch Grammar by Henry R. Stern — This is the most popular Dutch language book on Amazon, and is many learners' first book. Covers Dutch grammar comprehensively, at a level suitable for beginners and advanced learners alike. The first Dutch grammar specifically designed for the adult with limited learning time whose objective is broader, more fluent everyday communication. Avoiding archaic, highly literary and seldom-used forms, this grammar helps those with some knowledge of Dutch use phrases and vocabulary more effectively. For the beginner, it provides all the grammar really needed for speech and comprehension.
  2. Basic Dutch: A Grammar and Workbook by Jenneke Oosterhoff — A very good introduction to Dutch grammar, this book is a little more detailed than its name implies; it provides a general overview of many features of Dutch grammar, including formal and informal/everyday usage. This book comprises an accessible reference grammar and related exercises in a single volume. This Workbook presents twenty-five individual grammar points in realistic contexts, providing a grammatical approach which will allow students not already familiar with these structures to become accustomed to their use. Grammar points are followed by examples and exercises allowing students to reinforce and consolidate their learning.
  3. 201 Dutch Verbs by Henry R. Stern — Verbs can be confusing, and even though Dutch has far fewer irregular verbs than English does, they still trip up many learners. With 201 Dutch Verbs, you can familiarize yourself with verb conjugation in Dutch, including regular and irregular verbs. The most commonly used Dutch verbs are presented, one to a page, completely conjugated, and arranged alphabetically for quick and easy reference. Commonly used Dutch idioms that use a verb are presented at the bottom of the page of the appropriate verb.

With these three books, you will develop an incredibly sturdy foundation of Dutch grammar and syntax; you'll be familiar with everyday Dutch speech, able to hold a conversation beyond that of a beginner, and have a good knowledge of Dutch grammar, including verb conjugation.

Each of the eight books above are fantastic resources for learning Dutch. The above three, however, provide perhaps the best and most comprehensive introduction, for beginners and intermediate learners alike.