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
Some Dutch verbs have a complex structure, e.g.: oversteken, voorstellen, plaatsvinden, aankomen. Verbs which are structured like this are called separable verbs, because the first element, the so-called prefix, can be separated from the verb. The prefix of each of these verbs (over-, af-, plaats- and aan-) are also words in their own right (mainly prepositions or adverbs but also nouns or adjectives).
In these verbs the prefix carries the main stress. In the infinitive these stressed prefixes are joined to the verbs, but in their finite forms (the conjugated form of the verb) they can be separated from the verb. This happens in particular in main clauses, where the separable prefix occurs towards the end of the sentence, usually in the final but sometimes in the penultimate position.
Look at the examples below. In each first sentence the infinitive of the separable verb appears (so the verb is not separated). In each second sentence the prefix has been separated from the verb and appears in final or penultimate position.
Je moet hier het kruispunt oversteken.
You have to cross the crossroads here.
Je steekt hier het kruispunt over.
You cross the crossroads here.
Zal ik me even voorstellen?
Shall I introduce myself?
Hanna stelt Karin voor aan Alan.
Hanna introduces Karin to Alan.
Waar zal het Filmfestival plaatsvinden?
Where will the Film Festival take place?
Het Filmfestival vindt rond de Kruiskade plaats.
The Film Festival takes place around the Kruiskade.
Wanneer zullen ze aankomen?
When will they arrive?
Ze komen altijd te laat aan.
They always arrive late.
Note that in the formation of the past participle, the prefix and the verb become one word again; -ge- is inserted between the prefix and the verb:
Wanneer zijn ze aangekomen?
When have they arrived?
In subclauses the finite separable verb occurs at the end of the subclause and is connected to the separable prefix (see Sentence structure):
Ik denk dat ik om tien uur aankom.
I think I will arrive at ten o’clock.
Steek het plein over.
Cross the square.
Nodig je jouw broer ook uit?
Do you invite your brother as well?