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Commonly Used Afrikaans Adjectives

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Afrikaans, a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa and Namibia, has its roots in 17th-century Dutch. Learning Afrikaans can be exciting, and adjectives are a crucial part of daily conversations. Here are some of the most commonly used Afrikaans adjectives, with definitions and examples to help you use them in context.

Mooi – Beautiful or nice
This adjective is used to describe something or someone that is pleasing to the eye or nice in general.
Die sonsondergang is baie mooi. (The sunset is very beautiful.)

Groot – Big or large
“Groot” denotes the size of an object or the extent of an area.
Die olifant is ‘n groot dier. (The elephant is a big animal.)

Klein – Small or little
The opposite of “groot,” this word is used when referring to something of minimal size or stature.
Die kindjie het klein handjies. (The child has small hands.)

Jong – Young
This adjective describes someone who is in the early stages of life or something that is new or recent.
Sy is nog te jonk om skool toe te gaan. (She is still too young to go to school.)

Oud – Old
Used to talk about something or someone that has existed for a long time or is advanced in years.
My ouma is 80 jaar oud. (My grandmother is 80 years old.)

Goed – Good
This word is used to indicate a positive quality, virtue, or well-executed task.
Hy het ‘n goed hart. (He has a good heart.)

Sleg – Bad
“Sleg” refers to something not favorable, undesirable or of poor quality.
Rook is sleg vir jou gesondheid. (Smoking is bad for your health.)

Warm – Warm or hot
Often used to describe the temperature of objects, the weather, or even metaphorically to describe emotions.
Die water is lekker warm. (The water is pleasantly warm.)

Koud – Cold
The direct antonym of “warm,” it is used when referring to lower temperatures.
Die ys is baie koud. (The ice is very cold.)

Besig – Busy or occupied
This adjective is used when a person is actively engaged in an activity or when a place is bustling.
Die restaurant was besig gisteraand. (The restaurant was busy last night.)

Lui – Lazy
“Lui” is attributed to individuals or animals that show a lack of effort or are disinclined to activity.
Die hond lê heeldag omdat hy lui is. (The dog lies all day because he is lazy.)

Stil – Quiet or still
Used when there is a lack of noise, movement, or activity.
Die klas is stil terwyl die onderwyser praat. (The class is quiet while the teacher is speaking.)

Duur – Expensive
This describes something that has a high price or requires a significant amount of resources.
Hierdie horlosie is baie duur. (This watch is very expensive.)

Goedkoop – Cheap
The opposite of “duur,” it refers to items that are low in cost or reasonably priced.
Ons het goedkoop kaartjies vir die konsert gekry. (We got cheap tickets for the concert.)

Gelukkig – Happy or fortunate
An adjective expressing a positive emotional state or good fortune.
Sy is baie gelukkig by haar nuwe werk. (She is very happy at her new job.)

Hartseer – Sad
Used when describing a sense of sorrow or unhappiness.
Na die fliek was almal hartseer. (After the movie, everyone was sad.)

Bang – Scared or frightened
This word is used when someone is feeling fear or apprehension.
Die kinders is bang vir die donderstorm. (The children are scared of the thunderstorm.)

Learning Afrikaans adjectives and understanding their correct usage is essential for building vocabulary and enhancing your communication skills. Moreover, they help to add detail and depth to conversations, making interactions more colorful and expressive. Whether you are a beginner or looking to improve your Afrikaans, incorporating these adjectives in your daily language practice can greatly improve your fluency.

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