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
The basics: SoFT KeTCHuP
This is the most regular type of verb. The rules for forming the present tense, the past tense and the past participle of the perfect tense are the same. Examples of weak verbs are wonen, bellen, fietsen and koken.
|infinitive||stem||imperfect (singular, plural)||past participle||type||meaning|
|wonen||woon||woonde, woonden||gewoond||weak||to live, inhabit|
|bellen||bel||belde, belden||gebeld||weak||to ring|
|fietsen||fiets||fietste, fietsten||gefietst||weak||to cycle|
|koken||kook||kookte, kookten||gekookt||weak||to cook|
The past tense (imperfect) of the weak regular verbs is formed by adding a suffix to the stem of the verb. This takes either the form -de (plural -den) or the form -te (plural -ten), depending on the last sound of the stem. The rule that determines the choice between -de(n) or -te(n) is the same rule that is applied to determine the ending of the past participle of the (weak) perfect tense:
|stem + te(n) and past participle ending in -t|| if stem ends in a consonant from
|stem + de(n) and past participle ending in -d||in all other cases||wonen, bellen|
You have to comply with the rules for spelling when forming the past tense and past participle. It is very important to determine what the stem is. For example:
|infinitive||stem:||past tense suffix||past participle||translation|
Taking into account the spelling rules
Single and double letters
The stem of wonen is woon, with double <o> (a long /o:/ sound in pronunciation), which we find back in the forms of the past tense and the past participle. The past tense forms of zetten and wedden have double consonants, with the result that the plural past tense forms look exactly the same as those of the present tense (zetten, wedden). This applies to all verbs whose stem ends in /d/ or /t/. The past participles of these verbs are written with just one consonant (<d> or <t>).
/z/ → -s and /v/ → -f
When determining the ending of the past tense or the past participle, it is the final letter of the stem before spelling rules are applied that is important. Take for example the verb reizen (‘to travel’). It may look as if the stem would be reis, and following the SoFT KeTCHuP rule you would expect the past tense reiste. However, it is the /z/ of the infinitive that matters here. The same applies to weak verbs where the stem before spelling rules are applied ends in /v/, e.g. leven (‘to live’). Therefore:
|infinitive||take the stem||give it the past tense suffix -de(n)||add the past participle prefix ge- and suffix -d or -t:||apply spelling rules|