Past tense

Weak verbs

Past tense of the weak verbs should be formed in the following way:
verb stem + te(n)/de(n)

The stems ending in p, t, k, s, f, ch add -te(n) (see the “pocket fish” rule),
all the rest add -de(n).

te(n): hopen:
ik hoopte
jij hoopte
u hoopte
hij hoopte
wij hoopten
jullie hoopten
u hoopte
zij hoopten

de(n): betalen:
ik betaalde
jij betaalde
u betaalde
hij betaalde
wij betaalden
jullie betaalden
u betaalde
zij betaalden


If a stem ends in -t or -d, it remains in the past tense form when -te/de is added:
1. pratenpraat(stem) – praatte(sing.) – praatten(pl.)
2. reddenred(stem) – redde(sing.) – redden(pl.)

Pronouncuation: though the spelling is different, these three are pronounced almost identically: praten, praatte, praatten


Infinitives with v and z which turn into -f and -s when stems are formed, have f and s in the past tense as well, however they should be still pronounced like v and z:

1. levenleef(stem) – leefde(sing.) – leefden(pl.)
2. verhuizenverhuis(stem) – verhuisde(sing.) – verhuisden(pl.)


Separable verbs behave in the same way in the past as in present.
Verb and prefix are separate in a main clause and joined in a subclause:
Hij belde gisteren op. – He called yesterday.
Hij zei dat zij gisteren opbelde. – He said that she called yesterday.

Strong verbs

1. In singular the strong verbs change a vowel in the stem and do not add any additional endings.
2. In plural -en is added and the consonant before -en is changed if needed
(f→v, s→z, etc).

zingen: zong, zongen
schrijven: schreef, schreven (f→v)
dragen: droeg, droegen
hangen: hing, hingen
slapen: sliep, sliepen
lezen: las, lazen (s→z)

The past tense form of the strong verbs should be learnt by heart as the change of the vowel cannot be predicted.

Irregular verbs

The past tense forms of the irregular verbs should be learnt by heart.
Examples:
brengen: bracht, brachten
doen: deed, deden
kopen: kocht, kochten

Modal verbs

moeten: moest, moesten
kunnen: kon, konden
mogen: mocht, mochten
willen: wou/wilde, wilden


Here’s a list of some of the strong and irregular verbs and their past tense and part participle forms.


Hebben en zijn

hebben
ik had
jij had
u had
hij had
wij hadden
jullie hadden
u had
zij hadden

zijn
ik was
jij was
u was
hij was
wij waren
jullie waren
u was
zij waren


Usage of past tense

The past tense is not used as often in Dutch as in English.

1. It’s used when narrating a series of events:
Ik ging de stad in, kocht een cd, ging op een terrasje zitten, en daarna liep ik naar huis.
I went into town, bought a CD, went to seat on a terrace and after than I walked home.

2. It’s always used after subordinating conjunction toen:
Toen ik in Amsterdam woonde, ging ik vaak naar het theater.
When I lived in Amsterdam, I often went to the theater.

3. hebben and zijn are used more often in the past tense than in the perfect, however the perfect is not wrong in most cases:

Ik was in de stad. I was in the town.
Ik ben in de stad geweest. I was in the town.

4. The past tense must be used if hebben and zijn indicate a permanent state.

Hij is voor zijn examen geslaagd, maar hij was ook altijd knapper dan ik.
He passed his exam, but he always was cleverer than me.

Dutch -baar for English -able

Suffix -baar (“-able”)  is used to derive adjectives from the transitive verbs:

drinkbaar – drinkable (verb: drinken)
haalbaar – feasible, doable (verb: halen – to pull, to drag)
afbreekbaar – decomposable (verb: afbreken – to decompose)
denkbaar  – imaginable (“thinkable”) (verb: denken)
blijkbaar – 1. evident, obvious 2. apparently, obviously (verb: blijken – to prove, to turn out)

Expressing an action in progress

The following construction is used to express a progressive action like “I am doing”, “They are reading”, etc.

zijn + aan + het + infinitive

Examples:
Zij zijn aan het spelen. – They are playing.
Ik ben een boek aan het lezen. – I am reading a book.
Welk boek ben je nu aan het lezen? – What book are you reading?

This construction is not used with the verbs of motion and position:
Hij gaat naar huis. – He’s going home.
De spiegel hangt aan de muur. – The mirror is hanging on the wall.

Word order in subclauses

Mijn zus zegt dat zij een nieuwe computer heeft.
Main clause + subordinating conjunction + subclause

In the subclause the verb should be in the final position (see where “heeft” is).

If there’s a separable prefix, it is joined to the verb:
Normal sentence: zij gaat weg
Subclause: … dat zij weggaat


Perfect tense and infinitive constructions in subclause

In case of perfect tense past participle and the auxiliary are both in the end of the subclause and their order does not matter.
Both are correct:
1. Mijn zus zegt dat zij een nieuwe computer heeft gekocht.
2. Mijn zus zegt dat zij een nieuwe computer gekocht heeft.
My sister says that she has bought a new computer.

In the infinitive constuctions (future tense, modal+infinitive and such) the order of the items in the end is either infinitive + auxiliary or  auxiliary + infinitive:

Mijn zus zegt dat zij een nieuwe computer zal kopen / kopen zal.
Mijn zus zegt dat zij een nieuwe computer moet kopen / kopen moet.
Mijn zus zegt dat zij een nieuwe computer gaat kopen / kopen gaat.

When the perfect tense of the infinitive construction is required, there are three words at the end of the subclause. The order is hebben/zijn + auxiliary + infinitive:

Mijn zus zegt dat zij een nieuwe computer heeft moeten kopen.
Mijn zus zegt dat zij een nieuwe computer is gaan kopen.


In case if the subclause precedes the main clause in the sentence, the following word order should be used:

Wanneer de zon schijnt voel ik me gelukkig.

The whole subclause is considered to be the first item in the sentence. The main verb (voel) always has to be in the second position,  then the rest of the items come in their usual order.

Common verbs as auxiliary verbs

Many common verbs in Dutch can serve as auxiliary verbs. In such a case they are used together with an infinitive form of some other verb. The auxiliary verb takes the second place in a sentence and agrees with the subject. The infinitive is always in the last place and may or may not be preceded by te:

Hij probeert te werken. — He is trying to work.

1. When the verbs from the list below are used as auxiliaries, no te is required before the infinitive.

blijven
doen
gaan
helpen
horen
komen
laten
leren
vinden
voelen
zien
Examples:
Hij blijft staan. — He is standing still.
Het doet me lachen. — It makes me laugh.

Like modals, to form the perfect tense the verbs of this type use infinitives instead of the past participles.

Ik heb mijn schoenen laten repareren. — I have had my shoes repared.
Zij is komen helpen. — She came to help.


2. The list below contains the most important auxiliary verbs which requre te before the infinitives.

beginnen begin
durven dare
hoeven is used as negative of moeten, for example: Dat hoef je niet te doen. You don’t have to do that.
hopen hope
liggen when used as auxiliary, often has a meaning of the English verb “to be”, for example: Zij ligt te slapen. — She is sleeping.
proberen try
staan often means “to be”, for example: Zij staan in de keuken te praten. — They are talking in the kitchen.
vergeten forget
weten know. Sometimes is translated as “to manage to”
zitten often is translated as “to be”

Perfect tense
The regular formula for the perfect tense is :
hebben/zijn + past participle + te + infinitive

Ik ben vergetten te schrijven. — I forgot to write.
Hij heeft geprobeerd me op te bellen. — He tried to call me.

op te bellen  — the infinitive of a separable word becomes separated with te.


In case of perfect tense the following verbs have exceptional behaviour:
durven, hoeven, liggen, staan and zitten.

They form the perfect tense the same way as modals — the past participle is replaced by the infinitive and te is dropped:

Wij hebben naar de radio zitten luisteren. — We were (sitting) listening to the radio.

The future tense

To talk about future a construction of auxiliary verb zullen + infinitive is used: Zij zullen lezen. — The will read. In Dutch zullen is used for both shall and will.

ik zal wij zullen
jij zal/zult jullie zullen
u zal/zult u zal/zult
hij zal zij zullen

In case of inversion: jij zultzul jij

Zullen behaves much like kunnen, moeten, mogen and willen: it agrees with the subject and occupies the second place in the sentence, while infinitive goes in the end of a sentence.

Ik zal het vandaag lezen. — I shall read this today.
Je zult dat boek nergens krijgen. — You will not get that book anywhere.

Zullen often implies an intention or a promise:
Ik zal morgen thuis blijven. — I will stay home tomorrow.


The future in Dutch can also be expressed using gaan.
Ik ga morgen een nieuwe boek kopen. — I am going to buy a new book tomorrow.
Gaat u in Rotterdam wonen? — Are you going to live in Rotterdam?


Another way of expressing the future is to use the present with words, pointing to the future:
Ik ben morgen op werk. — Tomorrow I am at work.

Adjectives as nouns

1. When referring to people: de + adjective + e
rijk (rich) → de rijke (the rich person/man/woman/etc)
dik (fat) → de dikke (the fat person/man/woman/etc)

2. When talking about abstract: het + adjective + e
leuk (nice) → het leuke (the nice thing)
goed (good) → het goede (the good thing, the good)
kwaad (bad) → het kwade (the evil)

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Here’s a little post about two types verbs. They exist in the other languages as well. Understanding these two types is required to get through the vocabulary of week 8 in Di3M.

  1. The player hit the ball.
  2. The bird sang.

What are transitive verbs?
Transitive verbs are action verbs that have an object to receive that action. In the first sentence above, the direct object ball received the action of the verb hit.
Some more examples of transitive verbs: I rode the bicycle. I moved the chair.

What are intransitive verbs?
Intransitive verbs are action verbs but unlike transitive verbs, the do not have an object receiving the action. Notice there are no words after the verb sang.
Some more examples of intransitive verbs: I laughed. The sun set.

This post was based on http://www.k12reader.com/transitive-and-intransitive-verbs/.
Click the link above for more details and examples.

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