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Dutch Verb 'Moeten' (to Have to, 'be obliged to,' 'Ought to,' 'Should,' 'Must') - Smartphones Page

There are many words for moeten click to hear 2 in English: 'need,' "must," 'to have to,' 'got to,' 'should,' 'is due' 'ought to,' 'to be obliged to,' 'want' - an obligation or a necessity, or sometimes just something that happened, could not be avoided - it may be that the Dutch describing this concept is easier, but then also less precise. I may not get the English exactly right.

Conjugation
Sample Sentences - Present Tense
Past Tense
Perfect Tense
'Hoeven'
Related Words

Moeten is a very unusual strong verb: it's not the vowel/diphthong that changes for the past tense, but a consonant is added (I can't think of any other Dutch strong verb that only has a consonant change)

moeten
to have to
- moest
had to
- (gemoeten)
had to
click to hear
moeten to have to (etc.)
ik moet I have to
wij moeten we have to
ik moest I had to
wij moesten we had to
click to hear 2
The perfect tense 'ik heb gemoeten' click to hear 2 'I had to' is very unusual. Actually, I can't think of any example that uses the past participle 'gemoeten.' A more common construction is 'ik heb moeten' click to hear 2 followed by a verb infinitive - more below

moeten to have to (etc.)
ik moet I have to
jij moet you have to (singular, informal you)
hij moet he has to
wij moeten we have to
jullie moeten you have to (plural, informal you)
zij moeten they have to
U moet you have to (polite you)
click to hear
The verb root moet click to hear 2 3 already ends in T - there is no T added for the second and third person singular

ik moest I had to
jij moest you had to
hij moest he had to
wij moesten we had to
jullie moesten y'all had to
zij moesten they had to
U moest you had to
click to hear

Sample Sentences - Present Tense

Er moet nog hard gewerkt worden click to hear
It still needs a lot of [hard working] work
('worden' is usually dropped from this standard phrase)

We moeten met de trein terug naar Amsterdam click to hear 2
We need to catch the train back to Amsterdam

Je moet wel willen click to hear 2
Je moet 't wel willen click to hear
[You really have to want (it)] - You need a strong desire (for it) - It's only going to work -or- I'm only going to help you if you have a strong wish for it ('fire in the belly')

Ik moet toch weten wat er gebeurt in de wereld click to hear 2 3
I really need to know what's going on in the world

Je moet 't zelf weten click to hear 2 3
["You need to 'know' it yourself"] - It's up to you, you must take the decision yourself (with a strong undertone that it never was the speaker's responsibility, the addressee is ignoring his advice: it's not my problem, I wash my hands of it, "It's your funeral"

Je moet stil zijn click to hear
You have to be quiet

Als het concert begint moet je stil zijn click to hear
When the concert starts you have to be quiet
Als de muziek begint moet je stil zijn click to hear
When the music starts you have to be quiet

Iemand zal een oplossing moeten vinden click to hear
Someone will have to find a solution

Als het licht rood wordt moet je stoppen click to hear 2 3
When the light turns red you have to stop
Als het licht rood is moet je stoppen click to hear 2 3
When the light is red you have to stop

Als 't moet click to hear 2
If it has to be

Er moet ergens een lek zijn click to hear
There has to be a leak somewhere

Die week moet ik werken click to hear
That week I have to work, that week I'm working

Hoe laat moet je opstaan? click to hear 2
What time do you have to get up?

'Dan moet je vroeger opstaan' click to hear 2 3
(saying) 'Then you'll have to get up earlier' - i.e. for that you'll have to be more alert and more active

Ik moet om acht uur weg click to hear
I have to leave at eight o'clock

... dat ik zei 'Nou moet ik gaan' click to hear 2
... that I said 'now I have to [go] leave'

Ik moet om acht uur op m'n werk zijn click to hear 2 3
I have to be at work at 8

Moet je nog eten? click to hear 2 3
Do you still have to eat? Have you not eaten yet?

Vandaag moet ik een boom omzagen in Heelsum click to hear
Today I have to cut down a tree in Heelsum

We moeten doorgaan click to hear 2 3
We have to continue (with what we're doing) - we can't give up

Waarom moet het zo moeilijk zijn? click to hear 2
Why does it have to be so difficult?
Waarom kan 't niet gemakkelijk zijn? click to hear 2
Why can't it be easy?

't Moet wel leuk blijven click to hear 2 3
[It has to stay nice] - Keep it nice, don't let it become unpleasant

Je moet 't goed in de gaten houden click to hear 2 3
(saying) You have to watch it closely

Je moet de sokken d'r in zetten click to hear 2 3
(saying) ["You have to put the socks in it"] - 'run faster,' 'speed up'

Wie niet sterk is moet slim zijn click to hear
(saying) ['Those who are not strong (powerful) ...'] - 'If you're not strong you have to be clever'

Moet je overstappen? click to hear
Do you have to change trains? (buses, planes)

Ik moet in Zwolle overstappen click to hear 2
I have to change trains in Zwolle

Ik moet er vandoor click to hear 2
I gotta go, I have to get going, I have to leave now

Er moet iets veranderen click to hear 2
Something got to change

Vis moet zwemmen click to hear 2 3 4
Fish got to swim (When you're eating fish you should drink)

Hoe laat moet ik je wakker maken? click to hear
What time should I wake you up?

Moeten we de dijken nog verder verhogen? click to hear
Should we, do we have to raise the dikes still further?

Je moet wat drinken click to hear 2 3
You should drink something (hydrate)

Als je vis eet moet je ook wat drinken click to hear 2 3 4
When you're [eating] having fish, you should also drink (something)

Je moet ijzer smeden als 't heet is click to hear 2 3
You should ['smith'] forge iron when it's hot

Je moet je ontspannen click to hear 2 3
You should relax. Relax!

Je moet met je tijd meegaan click to hear 2 3 slow
You should [go along with] adapt to the (changing) times

Daar moet je mee ophouden click to hear 2
You should stop doing that, Stop that!

Je moet niet flauw worden click to hear 2 3
["You shouldn't start feeling weak"] ~You should eat something

Je moet niet overdrijven click to hear 2
You shouldn't exaggerate

Je moet je d'r niet mee bemoeien click to hear 2
You shouldn't meddle, you should stay out of it

We moeten er wat aan doen click to hear 2
We should do something about it
We kunnen niet zo doorgaan click to hear 2 3
We can't go on like this
Je moet er wat aan doen click to hear 2 3 4
You should do something about it

Ik moet naar de kapper click to hear 2
I should go to [see] the hairdresser, I should get a haircut

Ik moet met 't eten aan de gang click to hear
['I should get going with the food'] - I should start cooking

Dat moet eerst op click to hear 2 3 4
[That should first be finished] - We should use (or eat) that first

Ik weet niet wat ik moet doen click to hear 2
I don't know what I should do, what to do

Weet jij hoe je het moet zeggen? click to hear
Do you know how you should say it, how to say it?

Je moet een gegeven paard niet in de bek kijken click to hear 2 3
You shouldn't look into the mouth of a gift horse - Do not inspect gifts

Daar moet je mee oppassen click to hear 2 3 4
You should be careful with that, You'd better be careful with that

Moet je niet doen! click to hear
You shouldn't do that, don't do that, not a good idea to do that

Moet kunnen! click to hear 2
It should be possible! There shouldn't be a problem with it

Ik moet er niet aan denken click to hear 2
I don't want to think about it, it's too horrible to contemplate

Ik moet naar ... click to hear 2 3
I want to go to ... (travel destination)

The Past Tense of 'Moeten'

Ik moest gras maaien click to hear
I had to mow [grass] the lawn

Ik moest rennen om de bus te halen click to hear 2 3
I had to run to catch the bus

Moest je overstappen? click to hear 2 3
Did you have to change trains? (buses, planes)

Moest je lang wachten? click to hear 2 3 4
Did you have to wait long?

Ik moest me overgeven click to hear 2 3
I had to surrender

We moesten hard werken click to hear
We had to work hard

't Moest niet mogen click to hear 2 3 4
It shouldn't be allowed, how can a thing like that happen, 'How does the Lord allow?'
But usually this is said in the slang version:

't Most niet magge click to hear 2

There's not always an obligation, necessity or something that couldn't be avoided, moeten is sometimes used for things that just happen, like

Ik moest overgeven click to hear
'I had to throw up'
is not much different from:

Ik heb overgegeven click to hear 2 3 4 5
I have thrown up

Sometimes English doesn't use a word like 'moeten'
Hij zei dat ik het aan Jan moest geven click to hear 2 3
He said to give it to John

The Perfect Tense of 'Moeten'

As briefly mentioned in the verb declination overview, modal verbs like 'moeten' do not employ past participles in the perfect tense but infinitives. The perfect tense is not Ik heb gemoeten click to hear 2 (recorded without thinking) but ik heb moeten click to hear 2

Ik heb moeten leren click to hear 2
I've had to learn

Ik heb moeten leren lezen click to hear
I've had to learn to read

Ik heb moeten leren improviseren click to hear 2
I've had to learn to improvise, improvisation

Ik heb moeten laten zien click to hear
I've had to [let see] show

Ik heb moeten constateren dat ... click to hear
I've had to find out that ... (and I'm not happy with it)
[I've had to observe] - I have unfortunately found out that ... (I'm not happy about it)

Dat had ik niet moeten zeggen click to hear 2
I should not have said that (an apology or recognition of a mistake)

Dàt had ik moeten zeggen click to hear 2 3
Thàt's what I should have said (finding the right phrase too late)

Ik had moeten weten dat ... click to hear
I should have known that ... (something I forgot to think of)

Je zou beter moeten weten click to hear 2
You should know better, You should have known better (Are you ignorant? I'm disappointed in you)

Daar had je aan moeten denken click to hear 2 (3 4)
You should have thought of that

Dat had ik veel eerder moeten doen click to hear 2 (3 4)
I should have done that [much earlier] long ago

Ik had geschiedenis moeten gaan studeren click to hear
I should have studied history in college (or university,) I should have chosen history as a student

het moeten toegeven van fouten click to hear
(the) having to admit to mistakes

het moeten toegeven fouten gemaakt te hebben click to hear 2 3
(the) having to admit to having made mistakes

'het heilige moeten' click to hear 2 3
'the sacred duty' - a very strong urge to perform a certain task

(de) moet click to hear 2 3 is a technical term for the impression made in the paper in old-fashioned printing, 'dent'
In Dutch, D's at the end of words are pronounced as T's, so (de) moed click to hear sounds exactly the same as 'moet' but it means 'courage' - moedig click to hear 2 is 'brave, courageous'
(het) moetje click to hear 2 is a marriage forced by pregnancy

'Moet' click to hear 2 3 is also part of several compound words but without the 'obligation' meaning, for instance ontmoeten click to hear 2 ('to meet' - to come across one or more people by chance or arrangement) ->>
- de) ontmoeting click to hear 2 - a meeting of that kind
and tegemoet click to hear ('towards,' "to meet ")
- (de) tegemoetkoming click to hear 2 ('compensation')
Een onzekere toekomst tegemoet click to hear 2 3
Towards an uncertain future
English 'to meet' can also mean people sitting around a table discussing things like business, science or government. The Dutch word for that is vergaderen click to hear - think of 'gathering' for deliberations. A meeting of that kind is (de) vergadering click to hear

'Hoeven'

Dutch 'hoeven' click to hear is usually used with the negatives niet click to hear 2 ('not, do not') or geen click to hear ('no, zero quantity') and then means 'don't need, no need, not necessary, don't want, don't have to'
ik hoef click to hear 2 - wij hoeven click to hear 2 - ik hoefde click to hear 2
(You could think it should be 'hoefte' because F is in the " 't kofschip" - but the verb is 'hoeven' - the weak verbs of the V/F and Z/S shift get D in the simple past tense and the past participle - more)

Ik hoef geen bonnetje click to hear 2
I don't need a (cash register) receipt

Hij hoefde zich niet te bewijzen click to hear
He didn't have to prove himself

Van mij hoeft 't niet click to hear 2
For me it's not necessary (I don't care)

Je hoeft niet weg te gaan click to hear 2 3
You don't have to [go away] leave (you can stay, for example for dinner)

Je hoeft niet bang te zijn click to hear 2 3
You don't have to be afraid, there's no reason to be afraid

't Hoeft niet grappig te zijn click to hear 2 3 4
It doesn't have to be funny
't Moet wel interessant zijn click to hear 2
[But] it has to be interesting

Ik hoef helemaal niks click to hear 2 3
Literally: 'I don't need anything at all' but usually meaning 'I don't need to do anything' (you can't make me do anything and/or I shouldn't feel any obligations, I only do what I want myself)

(de) behoefte click to hear 'need (for) - want (of)'
de behoefte aan warmte click to hear
the need for warmth

(het) gebrek click to hear 2 lack of, want (of) - shortage, deficiency - plural: gebreken click to hear 2
gebrek aan click to hear lack of, want (of)
(het) spraakgebrek click to hear 2
speech impediment
een vitamine-D gebrek click to hear
a vitamin D deficiency
bij gebrek aan beter click to hear
lacking a better alternative, in the absence of something better

(De) hoef click to hear plural: hoeven click to hear (hoef / hoeven click to hear 2 3) is 'hoof,' the horn at the end of horses' (and some other animals') feet.
(Het) hoefijzer click to hear 2 is 'horseshoe' and the 'farrier' who puts it on is (de) hoefsmid click to hear 2 3 - more

(De) plicht click to hear 2 - plural: plichten click to hear is 'a duty, an obligation, something required' like (de) dienstplicht click to hear 2 - the 'draft,' the obligation of all healthy young men (or all young adults) to serve in their country's military for some time (there is no more obligation in Holland) and (de) stemplicht click to hear the legal obligation to vote, failure to vote was punishable by a fine (abolished in Holland in the sixties) - compare: (het) stemrecht click to hear 2 ('the right to vote') ->>
(het) plichtsverzuim click to hear 2 'dereliction of duty,' failure to do what's expected of you, failure to fulfill your obligations
plichtsgetrouw click to hear ['faithful to obligations'] - dutiful
(De) verplichting click to hear 2 is a more formal word than 'plicht' - verplicht click to hear 2 'mandatory'
'Rechten en plichten' click to hear 2 3 rights and obligations (duties)

'To want to' meaning 'to wish, to desire' is usually translated as willen click to hear 2 - see the 'willen' page
Ik wil een nieuwe fiets click to hear 2
I want a new bicycle

nodig click to hear necessary, needed
onnodig click to hear 2 3 4 5 unnecessary, not necessary
zonodig click to hear 2 if necessary, when needed

Dat was niet nodig click to hear 2
That was not necessary, there was no need for that

Dat was nergens voor nodig click to hear 2
[That was necessary for nowhere] - That was not necessary at all, there was absolutely no need for that (why did you do that?)

Ik vind 't niet nodig click to hear 2 3
[I find it not necessary] - I don't think it's necessary, I think there's no need for it

'To need' meaning feeling a necessity (to have, possess) is 'nodig hebben' click to hear 2

We hebben veel ijs nodig click to hear
We need a lot of ice

Ik koop soms dingen die ik niet nodig heb click to hear 2
Sometimes I buy things I don't need

Ik heb meer tijd nodig click to hear 2
I need more time

Precies wat ik nodig had click to hear 2 3
Exactly what I needed

Ik heb hulp nodig click to hear 2
I need help

Als gehandicapte heb ik soms hulp nodig click to hear 2 3
As a person with a disability I sometimes need help

benodigdheden click to hear ['things needed'] - necessities, requirements

uitnodigen click to hear 2 to invite
(de) uitnodiging click to hear 2 invitation

te eten uitnodigen click to hear 2
to invite for [eating] dinner

See also '(de) behoefte' - '(the) need' above

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Gij zult niet stelen click to hear 'Thou shalt not steal'