The Alphabet 3
The Dutch alphabet has 26 letters, which are divided into vowels (klinkers) and consonants (medeklinkers).
Spelling of short vowel sounds
Short vowels are always written as a single letter. When the short vowel is followed by consonants and another vowel, the spelling rule that applies is:
short vowel – consonant – consonant – vowel (short V-C-C-V).
According to this rule consonants must be doubled after short vowels in the plurals of nouns with –en, or in the conjugation of verbs, or in the formation of comparatives.
Some examples are:
|vak||→ vakken||subject – subjects|
|adres||→ adressen||address – addresses|
|(ik) tennis||→ (wij) tennissen||(I) play tennis – (we) play tennis|
|(ik) heb||→ (jullie) hebben||(I) have – (you) have|
|gek||→ gekker||carzy – crazier|
It follows that if the short vowel in a word is already followed by two or more different consonants, no doubling of the last consonant is required, because the criterion ‘short V–C–C–V’ has been met. E.g.:
|krant||→ kranten, not *krantten||newspaper – newspapers|