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
Modal verbs: hoeven te
The Dutch modal verbs (kunnen, moeten, mogen, willen and zullen) modify the rest of the sentence by expressing certain modulation like possibility, permission and obligation.
Hoeven te is also a modal verb, but is a special case because it used for the negation of the obligation that is expressed by moeten (‘to have to’). Hoeven te is always accompanied by a negative element in the sentence, and means ‘not to have to’ or ‘not to need to’.
Hoeven te + niet / geen
Hoeven te + negative element is used to negate the obligation that is otherwise expressed by the modal verb moeten. The negative element is most likely to be niet or geen and te, followed by an infinitive, is positioned at the end of the sentence. In the examples below, the negative elements are in bold.
|Karin moet vroeg opstaan.||Karin has to get up early.|
|Karin hoeft niet vroeg op te staan.||Karin does not have to (does not need to) get up early.|
Note that te splits up separable verbs. In the example above it affects opstaan.
|Het moeten scharreleieren zijn.||They have to be free range eggs.|
|Het hoeven geen scharreleieren te zijn.||They do not have to (do not need to) be free range eggs.|
|Simone moet met de fiets.||Simone has to go by bike.|
|Simone hoeft niet met de fiets.||Simone does not have to (does not need to) go by bike.|
Hoeven te + other negative elements
There are other negative elements, not just niet or geen, that can be used to negate obligation. In the examples below, these negative elements are in bold.
The inclusion of (alleen) maar and pas may seem strange, but they too express a negative aspect: as explained under discourse particles, (alleen) maar expresses something like ‘nothing else/no more than’. Pas can be paraphrased in a similar way as ‘no earlier/sooner than’.
Note that as with other modal verbs, the infinitive that accompanies hoeven te is not always present. When that is the case, te is also omitted. The last sentence in the examples above (Morgen hoef ik pas om tien uur naar mijn werk) is an example of this.
Moeten + niet / geen
It is possible to use the verb moeten + negative element, instead of a negation with hoeven te, but then the meaning of the sentence is much stronger: not ‘not have to’ or ‘not need to’, but ‘must not’. Consider the following sentences: