Separable verbs

I mentioned the inseparable verbs earlier. For example, vertrekken. The prefix ver- is never separated from the rest of the word. But now it’s time for the opposite type — the separable verbs. The prefixes of these verbs separate and move around a sentence.

The infinitive form is always a single word. The added prefix change the meaning of the base verb:
gaan
— to go
meegaan
  — to go along (with)
uitgaan — to go out
weggaan — to go away

In the present tense the verb remains in the second position in a sentence, while prefix goes to the final position:

weggaan: Zij gaat vandaag weg. — She’s going away today.

To form a question the subject and the verb should be swapped:
meegaan: Ga je vanavond met on mee? — Are you coming with us tonight?

The past participle has -ge- inserted between the prefix and the verb:
meegegaan
uitgegaan
weggegaan

opbellen: Ik heb hem gisteren opgebeld — I called him yesterday.
aankomen: Zij zijn vanochtend op het station aangekomen. — They arrived at the station this morning.

The prefixes in the table below are always separable:

prefix infinitive past participle translation
 af- afmaken afgemaakt to finish
 in-  inbreken ingebroken to break in
 mee-  meenemen meegenomen to take along
 op-  opeten opgegeten to eat up
 tegen-  tegenkomen tegengekomen to meet, to run into
 toe-  toenemen toegenomen to increase, to grow
 uit-  uitsteken uitgestoken to hold out one’s hand

The following prefixes are separable when stressed but inseparable when unstressed: aan-, door-, om-, onder-, over-, voor-

Stressed and separable

prefix infinitive past participle translation
 aan- aankomen aangekomen to arrive
 om- ombrengen omgebracht to kill
 voor- voorstellen voorgesteld to represent, to propose, to suggest

Unstressed and inseparable

prefix infinitive past participle translation
 aan- aanvaarden aanvaard to accept
 om- omarmen omarmd to embrace
 voor- voorkomen voorkomen to prevent
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