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Dutch Verbs: The Perfect Tenses - Smartphones Page

Like in English, the perfect tenses use the auxiliary verb 'hebben click to hear ('to have') ->> with the past participle of the main verb - though a minority of Dutch verbs use zijn click to hear ('to be') ->>. It's mostly verbs of motion and stong verbs that use zijn for the perfect tenses but there are no absolute rules - you'll have to memorize which verbs take zijn in the perfect tenses.
Some verbs of motion take 'hebben when it's about the time in motion, and zijn when it's about the destination.
The Dutch past participle is usually formed by adding a GE- prefix and a -D, -T or -EN suffix to the verb stem. Strong verbs have a vowel and occasionally a consonant change for a new 'past-tense-stem' and the past participle.
The 'present perfect tense' uses the simple present tense of 'hebben or zijn and the 'past perfect time' uses their simple past time.

Compound verbs were mentioned on the Present Tense page. Some have a complication in their past participles. - more below.
Like in English, the past participle can often be used as an adjective.

Weak Verbs
Strong Verbs
Compound Verbs
To Be or to Have
Past Participle as Adjective

(het) hulpwerkwoord click to hear ['helping verb'] - auxiliary verb
(de) voltooide tijd click to hear 2 3 perfect tense
The present perfect tense:
(de) voltooid tegenwoordige tijd click to hear 2
('finished present tense') - vtt click to hear
The perfect past tense:
(de) voltooid verleden tijd click to hear 2
('finished past tense') - vvt click to hear
(het) voltooid deelwoord click to hear past participle
(het) bijvoeglijk naamwoord click to hear 2 adjective

Weak Verbs

The past participle of weak verbs is usually formed by adding the prefix ge- click to hear to the verb stem we know and love and a -D or -T ending according to the 't kofschip-rules: verbs with stems ending in T, K, F, S, CH and P have an -T ending for the past participle, while verbs with stems ending in other letters have -D ending.
Unfortunately, there are several exceptions with an -EN ending.
't kofschip click to hear
meaning infinitive stem perfect tense
to cry,
weep
huilen
click to hear
huil ik heb gehuild click to hear
I have cried, wept
to flee vluchten
click to hear
vlucht
click to hear
ik ben gevlucht click to hear 2
I have fled
to thank bedanken
click to hear 2
bedank ik heb bedankt click to hear 2
I have thanked
(no GE-: >> )
The spelling rules for long and short vowels apply to the stem formation:
  • A double consonant after a single vowel will become a single consonant
    for instance: schoppen click to hear / schop click to hear
    (short vowel)
  • A single vowel before a single consonant will become a double vowel
    for instance: hopen click to hear 2 / hoop click to hear 2
    (long vowel) - more
to vote stemmen
click to hear 2
stem
click to hear
ik heb gestemd click to hear 2
I have voted
to want to willen
click to hear 2
wil
click to hear
ik had gewild click to hear 2
I had wanted
to make maken
click to hear
maak ik heb gemaakt click to hear
I have made
to hope hopen
click to hear 2
hoop
click to hear 2
ik had gehoopt click to hear
I had hoped
to kick schoppen
click to hear
schop
click to hear
ik heb geschopt click to hear
I have kicked
to hear horen
click to hear 2
hoor
click to hear
ik heb gehoord click to hear
I have heard
'UW' click to hear is always 'long'
to push duwen
click to hear
duw
click to hear
ik heb geduwd click to hear
I have pushed
Verbs stems ending in D or T do not add an extra D or T
to lead leiden
click to hear
leid ik heb geleid click to hear 2
I have led
to wait wachten
click to hear
wacht
click to hear
ik heb gewacht click to hear
I have waited
to talk,
chat
praten
click to hear
praat ik heb gepraat click to hear 2
I have talked
Verbs with a V or Z before the -EN ending of the infinitive will in stem endings change V to F or Z to S - but it doesn't make them 't-kofschip-verbs - their past participle will end in D
to promise beloven
click to hear 2 3
beloof ik heb beloofd click to hear
I have promised
(no GE-: >> )
to fear vrezen
click to hear 2
vrees
click to hear
ik had gevreesd click to hear 2
I had feared,
I was afraid
A few weak verbs have a past participle ending in -EN, which is usually found in strong verbs. For instance:
lachen to laugh
ik lach I laugh
ik lachte I laughed
ik heb gelachen I have laughed
click to hear
bakken to bake
ik bak I bake, I'm baking
ik bakte I baked
ik heb gebakken I have baked
click to hear 2

Strong Verbs

Strong verbs also usually have a ge--prefix for their past participle, and often an -EN ending; most strong verbs have a vowel or diphthong change for the past participle: sometimes it's the same vowel as for the past tense, sometimes it's the same as for the present tense, or it can be a different vowel or diphtong altogether. Though there are patterns, there are no good rules for these changes, you'll just have to memorize the verb forms.

A few examples of strong verbs that have changes similar to English:

verb
infinitive
simple
past tense
past
participle
to fall
vallen
fell
viel
fallen
gevallen click to hear
to stand
staan
stood
stond
stood
gestaan click to hear
to forget
vergeten
forgot
vergat
forgotten
vergeten click to hear
to break
breken
broke
brak
broken
gebroken click to hear
to eat
eten
ate
at
eaten
gegeten click to hear
to see
zien
saw
zag
seen
gezien click to hear
to speak
spreken
spoke
sprak
spoken
gesproken click to hear
to steal
stelen
stole
stal
stolen
gestolen click to hear 2
verb
infinitive
simple
past tense
past
participle
to seek (search)
zoeken
sought
zocht
sought
gezocht click to hear 2
to find
vinden
found
vond
found
gevonden click to hear
to bring
brengen
brought
bracht
brought
gebracht click to hear
to think
denken
thought
dacht
thought
gedacht click to hear
to fight
vechten
fought
vocht
fought
gevochten click to hear
to fly
vliegen
flew
vloog
flown
gevlogen click to hear
to bite
bijten
bit
beet
bitten
gebeten click to hear 2
to give
geven
gave
gaf
given
gegeven click to hear
verb
infinitive
simple
past tense
past
participle
to sit
zitten
sat
zat
sat
gezeten click to hear
to win
winnen
won
won
won
gewonnen click to hear
to sing
zingen
sang
zong
sung
gezongen click to hear
to begin
beginnen
began
begon
begun
begonnen click to hear 2
to shoot
schieten
shot
schoot
shot
geschoten click to hear
to do
doen
did
deed
done
gedaan click to hear
to come
komen
came
kwam
come
gekomen click to hear
A list of Dutch strong verbs: smartphone - desktop

The Past Participle of Compound Verbs

Some Dutch verbs are compound words, usually with prepositions. In the present and past tense, those prepostions or other words often separate from the verb, but not always, and there is a group of 'inseparable prefixes.'
When the preposition or other word separates from the root verb in the simple present and simple past tense, the past participle's GE- prefix is placed between the preposition or other word and the root verb; when the compound verb does not split, there is no GE- added in the past participle.

schoonmaken to clean ['to make clean']
ik maak schoon I clean
wij maken schoon we clean
ik maakte schoon I cleaned
wij maakten schoon we cleaned
ik heb schoongemaakt I have cleaned
click to hear

optillen to lift (up)
ik til op I lift
wij tillen op we lift
ik tilde op I lifted
wij tilden op we lifted
ik heb opgetild I have lifted
click to hear

a strong verb:
weggaan to leave ['go away']
ik ga weg I'm leaving
ik ging weg I left
ik ben weggegaan I have left
click to hear

Some prepositions either stay with the main verb, or they may separate. The non-splitting verbs don't insert GE- in the past participle.
The rule may be that the preposition separates when the stress of the word is on preposition, but when the stress is on the main verb part the word does not split.

a strong verb:
achterlaten to leave behind
ik laat achter I'm leaving behind
ik liet achter I left behind
ik heb achtergelaten I have left behind
click to hear

achterhalen to retrieve, find out
ik achterhaal I'm finding out
ik achterhaalde I found out
ik heb achterhaald I have found out
click to hear

overhalen to persuade
ik haal over I'm persuading
ik haalde over I persuaded
ik heb overgehaald I have persaded
click to hear

overtuigen to convince
ik overtuig I convince
ik overtuigde I convinced
ik heb overtuigd I have convinced
click to hear

Finally, BE-, ER-, GE-, HER-, ONT- and VER- are 'inseparable prefixes.' They don't come off in the simple present and past tenses and don't insert GE- in their past participles.

beloven to promise
ik beloofde I promised
ik heb beloofd I have promised
click to hear

betalen to pay
ik betaalde I paid
ik heb betaald I have paid
click to hear

erkennen to acknowledge
ik erkende I acknowledge
ik heb erkend I have acknowledge
click to hear

geloven to believe
ik geloof I believe
wij geloven we believe
ik geloofde I believed
wij geloofden we believed
ik heb geloofd I have believed
click to hear 2

herhalen to repeat
ik herhaalde I repeated
ik heb herhaald I have repeated
click to hear

ontdekken to discover
ik ontdekte I discovered
ik heb ontdekt I have discovered
click to hear

(a strong verb)
vergeten to forget
ik vergat I forgot
ik ben vergeten I have forgotten
click to hear

verhuizen to move, relocate
ik verhuisde I moved
ik ben verhuisd I have moved
click to hear

See gaan for another example

To Have and To Be

Many verbs of motion can have a perfect tense with either hebben ('to have') or with zijn ('to be') as the auxiliary verb.
For these verbs, hebben is used when it's about the time spent in motion, and zijn is used when it's about the destination.
ik heb een uur gelopen click to hear 2
'I walked for an hour'
ik ben naar huis gelopen click to hear 2
'I walked home'
ik ben naar Amsterdam gelopen click to hear 2
'I walked to Amsterdam'
ik ben naar Veenendaal gefietst click to hear 2
'I rode a bike to Veenendaal'
ik heb een uur gefietst click to hear 2
'I rode a bike for an hour'

The Past Participle as an Adjective

The past participle can often be used as an adjective. See also: Adjectives' E-ending

koken click to hear 2 to boil; to cook
gekookt click to hear boiled
gekookt ei click to hear 'boiled egg'
de gekookte aardappels click to hear 'the boiled potatoes'
Ik heb de aardappelen gekookt click to hear 2
'I have boiled the potatoes'

[boiled egg, cut]
gekookt ei click to
 hear

roosteren click to hear to roast, to grill
geroosterd click to hear roasted, toasted, grilled
geroosterd brood click to hear [roasted bread] 'toast'

[toast (roasted bread)]
geroosterd brood click to hear - many Dutchmen just say 'toast'

roken click to hear 2 to smoke
gerookt click to hear smoked
gerookte paling click to hear 2 'smoked eel'

stoven click to hear 2 to stew, slow-cook
gestoofd click to hear 2 stewed
gestoofde peertjes click to hear stewed pears

Note that a D as the last letter of a word is pronounced as T, but as D when the -E ending is added ->>

bakken click to hear to bake, to fry, to sauté
gebakken click to hear baked, fried, sautéed
gebakken ei click to hear 'fried egg'
gebakken champignons click to hear 2 3 sautéed mushrooms
ik heb brood gebakken click to hear I have baked bread
ik heb de aardappelen gebakken click to hear
'I have [baked] fried the potatoes'

[fried egg, 'sunny side up']
gebakken ei click to hear (spiegelei click to hear 2)
[sauteed mushrooms]
gebakken champignons click to hear 2 3
[a loaf of bread]
een brood click to hear
ik heb brood gebakken click to hear

As you may have noted in some of the examples above, Dutch usually puts the past participles at the end of the line >>
Jan heeft een boek aan Piet gegeven. click to hear 2
Jan has given a book to Piet.

A List of Strong Verbs and Their Changes

<< the simple past tense - the future tense >>

Smartphone Verbs Home

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