The Alphabet 3
The Dutch alphabet has 26 letters, which are divided into vowels (klinkers) and consonants (medeklinkers).
Spelling of long vowel sounds
If a long vowel is followed by one or more consonants in the same syllable, it is written double. E.g. naam (‘name’), in which the letters stand for the long vowel /a:/. Other examples:
If these vowel sounds occur as the long vowel in the configuration long vowel-single consonant-any vowel (long V-C-V) in the same word (e.g. in the plural of nouns or verbs), they are written as a single letter:
|naam||→ namen||name – names|
|studeer||→ studeren||study – to study|
|woon||→ wonen||live – to live|
|buur||→ buren||neighbour – neighbours|
As a general rule you can say that the following sequence is NOT allowed in Dutch spelling: *V-V-C-V
According to this rule the plural of the word buur could never be *buuren. The only exception to this is the word tweede (‘second’).
The letter <e> is the only long vowel that can appear as a double identical letter at the end of a word:
The long vowel sound /i:/ is written <ie>: