| How to Say "Excuse Me" in Dutch

How to Say “Excuse Me” in Dutch

How to Say “Excuse Me” in Dutch Audio


If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful Netherlands, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how to be polite and courteous. A crucial phrase to have in your vocabulary is “Excuse me.” In this guide, we will explore various ways to say “Excuse me” in Dutch, allowing you to navigate social interactions with ease during your visit.

Why Learning “Excuse Me” Matters

Before delving into the Dutch phrases, it’s essential to understand why learning how to say “Excuse me” is so important. Politeness is a universal language, and showing respect to locals by using their native phrases can go a long way in building positive interactions.

The Basics: “Excuse Me” in Dutch

1. “Pardon”

One of the most common and versatile phrases to use in Dutch is “Pardon.” It can be used in various situations, whether you’re trying to get someone’s attention or apologizing for a minor inconvenience.

2. “Sorry” or “Sorry hoor”

Similar to English, you can simply say “Sorry” in Dutch to express your regret or to get someone’s attention. Adding “hoor” at the end adds a touch of emphasis, making it even more polite.

3. “Mag ik er even langs?”

When in a crowded place and you need to pass through, this phrase, which translates to “May I pass through?” will come in handy. It’s a polite way to navigate through a busy street or a crowded venue.

4. “Neem me niet kwalijk”

For a more formal tone, “Neem me niet kwalijk” means “Pardon me” or “Excuse me.” This is suitable for situations where a higher level of formality is required.

Specific Scenarios: “Excuse Me” in Dutch

5. “Excuseer mevrouw/heer”

When addressing someone with respect, especially in a formal setting, you can say “Excuseer mevrouw” for a woman or “Excuseer heer” for a man. This is a courteous way to get their attention or apologize.

6. “Sorry voor de overlast”

In case you’ve caused any inconvenience, saying “Sorry voor de overlast” shows your consideration for others. It means “Sorry for the inconvenience” and is appreciated in various situations.

7. “Kan ik er even langs?”

Similar to “Mag ik er even langs?” but slightly different in phrasing, this phrase also means “Can I pass through?” Use it interchangeably depending on your preference.

The Art of Being Polite

8. “Alstublieft”

When asking for a favor or help, adding “Alstublieft” at the end of your request makes it more polite. It translates to “Please” and adds a touch of courtesy to your sentence.

9. “Dank u wel”

Expressing gratitude is essential, and saying “Dank u wel” means “Thank you very much.” Using this phrase after someone helps you is a polite way to show appreciation.


In the Netherlands, being polite and respectful is highly valued. Learning how to say “Excuse me” in Dutch is a simple yet powerful way to connect with the locals and ensure a pleasant experience during your visit. Remember to use these phrases with a smile, and you’ll find that Dutch people are warm and welcoming to tourists who make an effort to speak their language.


1. Is it necessary to learn Dutch when visiting the Netherlands?

While many Dutch people speak English fluently, making an effort to learn a few Dutch phrases, including “Excuse me,” can enhance your travel experience and show respect for the local culture.

2. Can I use “Excuse me” in Dutch in any situation?

Yes, you can use “Excuse me” in Dutch in various situations, from getting someone’s attention to apologizing for minor inconveniences. It’s a versatile phrase that will serve you well.

3. Are Dutch people friendly to tourists?

Absolutely! Dutch people are known for their friendliness and hospitality towards tourists. Speaking a bit of Dutch, including “Excuse me,” will only enhance your interactions.

4. How do I practice these phrases before my trip?

There are numerous online resources, language learning apps, and language exchange partners that can help you practice Dutch phrases before your trip.

5. Can I get by in the Netherlands with just English?

Yes, you can get by with just English, especially in tourist areas. However, learning some Dutch phrases will enrich your cultural experience and make your interactions more enjoyable.

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Shawn Stolting

Shawn Stolting

A proud Dutch speaker from Suriname. Nestled on the northern coast of South America, Suriname is where my heart and heritage reside. I call the charming capital city of Paramaribo my home.