Verbs according to function 4
Verbs according to meaning 7
Verbs according to form 3
Verbs according to conjugation 6
For purposes of conjugation Dutch verbs can be divided into regular and irregular verbs. Regular verbs follow a certain pattern in the way they are conjugated, whereas irregular verbs do not follow a pattern at all. The group of regular verbs is the largest, and this group can be divided further into weak verbs and strong verbs. The conjugation of a new verb (e.g. a verb borrowed from English) normally follows the rules of weak verbs.
Revision exercises: verbs 1
In Dutch, there is no separate tense which expresses future events. However, it is possible to express that things are going to happen in the future. This can be done in three different ways:
- by simply using the present tense accompanied by an indication of a future time;
- by using the present tense of the verb gaan (‘to go’), normally accompanied by an indication of a future time;
- by using the auxiliary verb zullen.
Future with present tense
It is possible to express the future using the present tense of any lexical verb with a compulsory indication of the future (e.g. an adverb of time). The temporal element is underlined in the examples below. Note how these sentences are rendered in different ways in English:
|Morgen vliegen we naar Zweden.||Tomorrow we fly/we’re flying to Sweden.|
|Bel je me dinsdag terug?||Will you call/Are you calling me back on Tuesday?|
|Volgende week vertel ik je meer!||I’ll tell you more next week.|
Future with present tense of gaan
The present tense of the verb gaan indicates that something will definitely happen in the future. Usually an indication of time (e.g. an adverb of time) is also added, but this is not compulsory. Here, gaan is an auxiliary verb and therefore requires the infinitive of another verb (also in bold in the examples below; the temporal element is underlined):
|present tense||future aspect|
|Kenny maakt een Indonesische rijsttafel.
Kenny is cooking a an Indonesian rice table.
|Kenny gaat vanavond een Indonesische rijsttafel maken.
Kenny is going to cook an Indonesian rice table tonight.
|Alan zoekt een baantje.
Alan is looking for a job.
|Alan gaat een baanje zoeken.
Alan is going to look for a job.
|Wij kamperen in Schotland.
We camp in Scotland.
|Wij gaan in de zomer in Schotland kamperen.
In the summer we are going camping in Scotland.
|Ik ga naar de dierentuin.
I go to the zoo.
|Morgen ga ik naar de dierentuin.
Tomorrow I’m going to the zoo.
Note that where the main verb is also gaan, as in the last example, the auxiliary gaan is not added again to express future, although it can occur in some regional varieties of Dutch. So you would not normally hear, for example: “Morgen ga ik naar de dierentuin gaan“.
Future with present tense of zullen
The use of zullen to talk about the future is mostly (but not exclusively) limited to the first person (singular or plural). Note that in a declarative sentence this implies a promise, prediction or intention, rather than being simply a future. In interrogatives it carries the meaning of a suggestion. A temporal element (e.g. an adverb of time) is optional here. Note that zullen is a modal verb, so there is also an infinitive in the sentence (underlined):
|Ik zal op de boekwinkel passen.||I will look after the bookshop.|
|Zal ik morgen een taart meebrengen?||Shall I bring a cake tomorrow?|
|Zullen wij ook naar de fitness gaan?||Shall we also go to the gym?|
|Ik denk dat ze beroemd zullen worden.||I think they will become famous.|
|Zullen we daar op drinken?||Shall we drink to that?|
Note that zullen is an irregular verb:
|ik||zal||I will / shall|
|jij||zal||you (informal) will|
|u||zal / zult||you (formal) will|
|wij||zullen||we will /shall|
|jullie||zullen||you (informal) will|
|u||zal / zult||you (formal) will|