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Verb Irregularities Recapitulation

Refresh your understanding of Dutch irregular verbs, exceptions to the general verb rules

Strong Verbs
'Zijn'  = 'to Be'
'Hebben'  = 'to Have
'Kunnen'  = 'Can' / 'Mogen'  = 'May
'Zullen'  = 'Shall, Will'

Infinitives Instead of Past Participles
'Willen'  = 'to Want, Desire'
Vowel Lengthening
The V/F and S/Z shift and 't kofschip

'Geworden'  is Dropped Splitting Verbs

Strong Verbs

Almost all irregular verbs are 'strong,'  meaning they have a different vowel in the past tense than in the present tense, and sometimes also a change in the past participle. Some strong verbs also have a consonant change or a consonant added in the past tense and past participle. Three examples:

lopen to walk
ik loop I'm walking
wij lopen we're walking
ik liep I walked
wij liepen we walked
ik ben gelopen I have walked
ik heb gelopen I have walked ‑>>
click to hear 2 more lopen

zoeken to search, to seek
ik zoek I'm searching
wij zoeken we're searching
ik zocht I searched, I sought
wij zochten we searched, we sought
ik heb gezocht I have searched, I have sought
click to hear 2 more zoeken

spreken to speak
ik spreek I speak
wij spreken we speak
ik sprak I spoke
wij spraken we spoke
ik heb gesproken I have spoken
click to hear more spreken

more about strong verbs
- The Changes of Strong Verbs

Zijn = to Be

'Zijn' click to hear ('to be') is rather irregular. Notice how similar to English some of the forms are.

zijn to be
ik ben I am
jij bent you are(singular, informal you)
hij is he is
wij zijn we are
jullie zijn you are(plural, informal you)
zij zijn they are
U bent you are(polite you)
click to hear

(zijn) to be
ik was I was
jij was you were
hij was he was
wij waren we were
jullie waren y'all were
zij waren they were
U was you were
click to hear

Ik ben geweest click to hear I have been
Ik was geweest click to hear 2 I had been

The imperative (commands, suggestions) is 'ben' click to hear 2 but Dutchmen also often say 'wees' click to hear 2
Ben voorzichtig! click to hear 2 'Be careful!' Wees voorzichtig! click to hear 2 'Be careful!' - more 'Wees'

English has 'to have' as the auxiliary verb for the perfect tense; Dutch goes with 'zijn' as the auxiliary verb for the perfect tense of a small number of common verbs - more
(General) 'Zijn'  sample sentences

'Hebben' = to Have

Hebben click to hear is 'to have' - and it's also the auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses of a majority of Dutch verbs. For a very common verb, 'hebben' is rather regular. Most notable irregularity is the third person singular of the simple present time:
hij heeft click to hear 2 he has

hebben to have
ik heb I have
jij hebt you have(singular, informal you)
hij heeft he has
wij hebben we have
jullie hebben you have(plural, informal you)
zij hebben they have
U heeft you have(polite you)
click to hear
'U hebt' click to hear is also said.
Do note that B at the end of a word is pronounced as P, but as B in the middle of a word.
B is also pronounced as P before T.
ik heb click to hear I have
je hebt click to hear 2 you have
wij hebben click to hear 2 we have

(hebben) to have
ik had I had
jij had you had
hij had he had
wij hadden we had
jullie hadden y'all had
zij hadden they had
U had you had
click to hear
Do note that D at the end of a word is pronounced as T, but as D in the middle of a word.
Ik heb gehad click to hear I have had
Ik had gehad click to hear 2 I had had
wij hadden click to hear 2 3 4 we had
(General) 'Hebben'  sample sentences

'Kunnen' = 'Can,' be able to, 'Mogen' = 'May,' be allowed to, and 'Zullen' = 'Will, Shall'

It's most unusual that the simple-present third person singular of 'kunnen' click to hear ('can,' being able to) - 'mogen' click to hear 2 and 'zullen click to hear ('shall, will') have no T- ending, but English doesn't say 'he cans,' 'he mays' or 'he wills' either
hij kan click to hear 2 3 he can, he's able to
hij mag click to hear 2 3 he may, he's allowed to
hij zal click to hear 2 3 he will

Also unusual is the variety of vowels in the simple present tense.

kunnen 'can,' to be able to
ik kan 'I can'
jij kunt 'you (singular, informal you) can'
hij kan 'he can'
wij kunnen 'we can'
jullie kunnen 'you (plural, informal you) can'
zij kunnen 'they can'
U kunt 'you (polite you) can'
click to hear
'Jij kan' click to hear 2 and 'U kan' are also correct.

mogen 'may,' to be allowed to
ik mag 'I may'
jij mag 'you may' (singular, informal you)
hij mag 'he may'
wij mogen 'we may'
jullie mogen 'you may' (plural, informal you)
zij mogen 'they may'
U mag 'you may' (polite you)
click to hear

(zullen click to hear ) shall/will
ik zal I will/shall
jij zult you will (singular, informal you)
hij zal he will
wij zullen we will/shall
jullie zullen you will (plural, informal you)
zij zullen they will
U zult you will (polite you)
click to hear
Jij zal click to hear 2 3 4 ('you will') and U zal are also said
- 'Zullen'  sample sentences

The simple past tense of 'kunnen,'  and 'zullen' have consonants added in the plural; 'mogen'  has a consonant added throughout

(kunnen) 'can,' 'to be able to'
ik kon I could, was able to
jij kon you could, were able to
hij kon he could, was able to
wij konden we could, were able to
jullie konden y'all could, were able to
zij konden they could, were able to
U kon you could, were able to
click to hear
- 'Kunnen'  sample sentences

(mogen) 'may,' 'to be allowed to'
ik mocht I was allowed to
jij mocht you were allowed to
hij mocht he was allowed to
wij mochten we were allowed to
jullie mochten y'all were allowed to
zij mochten they were allowed to
U mocht you were allowed to
click to hear
- 'Mogen'  sample sentences

ik zou I would
jij zou you would
hij zou he would
wij zouden we would
jullie zouden y'all would
zij zouden they would
U zou you would
click to hear
The 'past tense' of the auxiliary verb for the future tense usually indicates a hypothetical situation, something that didn't happen, a polite request or statement, a question of uncertain outcome, or a question that can't be answered or to which no answer is expected - examples

There is no past participle for future-tense 'zullen' and the ge- past participles of 'kunnen' and 'willen' are very unusual. These verbs are usually combined with other verbs, and then both come as infinitives.
Ik had zullen wachten click to hear 2 3 4 5 I was going to wait, the plan was that I would wait (but it didn't happen) Ik heb kunnen voorkomen ... click to hear 2 3 I was able to prevent ... (voorKOmen ‑>>) Ik heb even de eeuwigheid mogen aanschouwen click to hear 2 3 [I have been allowed for a moment to view eternity] - I was allowed a brief glimpse of eternity More in the next chapter

Infinitives Instead of Past Participles

Like kunnen, mogen and zullen mentioned above, the verbs in the group below also appear as infinitives in the perfect tense when combined with other verbs. Combined only with nouns they appear as past participles.

Ik heb de vogels gehoord click to hear 2 3 I've heard the birds Ik heb de vogels horen fluiten click to hear 2 3 I've heard the birds [whistle] sing

kunnen click to hear 'can, being able to'
mogen click to hear 2 'may, be allowed to'
zullen click to hear 'will, shall' (future tense)
willen click to hear 2 'to want to, desire'
moeten click to hear 2 'must, have to'
laten click to hear 'to let, allow'
gaan click to hear 'to go, going to'
doen click to hear 2 3 'to do, make'
blijven click to hear 2 'to remain, stay, continue'
komen click to hear 'to come'
hoeven click to hear 'need to, be necessary'
zien click to hear 'to see'
horen click to hear 2 'to hear'
voelen click to hear 2 'to feel'
The next four verbs are often used in a kind of Dutch Continuous:
'zitten' click to hear (to sit, to be seated),
'liggen' click to hear 2 (to lie, be lying down),
'staan' click to hear (to stand, to be standing) or
'lopen' click to hear 2 (to walk)

More: Verb Combinations in The Perfect Tenses

leren click to hear ('to learn' and 'to teach') can be used as an infinitive or as a past participle:
Ik heb leren zwijgen click to hear 2 3
Ik heb geleerd te zwijgen click to hear 2 3 I've learned to keep silent, keep my mouth shut

'Willen' = 'to want, wish, desire, would like to')

'Willen' click to hear 2 'to want, wish, desire, would like to' is an almost completely regular weak verb - not what you'd expect of such a common verb. The only irregularity is that the third person singular doesn't get a -T ending:
hij wil click to hear 2 3 he wants (etc.)

willen to want (etc.)
ik wil I want
wij willen we want
ik wilde I wanted
wij wilden we wanted
ik heb gewild I have wanted
click to hear

willen to want
ik wil I want
jij wilt you (singular, informal) want
hij wil he wants
wij willen we want
jullie willen you (plural, informal) want
zij willen they
U wilt you (polite) want
click to hear

- 'Willen'  sample sentences

Vowel Lengthening

For almost all strong verbs with an A in the simple past tense (except 'hebben,'  'denken'  and 'brengen')  that A is 'short' click to hear in the singular and 'long' click to hear in the plural, for instance 'komen' click to hear 'to come:'

(komen) (to come)
ik kwam I came
jij kwam you came
hij kwam he came
wij kwamen we came
jullie kwamen y'all came
zij kwamen they came
U kwam you came
click to hear

'Komen' click to hear is also very unusual with that same lengthening in the simple present tense, albeit with O. I can't think of another verb that does that.

(komen) (to come)
ik kom I come
jij komt you come (singular, informal you)
hij komt he comes
wij komen we come
jullie komen you come (plural, informal you)
zij komen they come
U komt you come (polite you)
click to hear
The spelling always correctly shows the 'long' and 'short' vowels
- 'Komen'  sample sentences

The V/F and S/Z shift and 't kofschip

Dutch words 'cannot' end in V or Z. In Dutch, V and Z need to be followed by a vowel. As the last letter of a word or when followed by a consonant, V changes to to F and Z changes to S.
- more about the V/F and S/Z shift
See the simple present tense of 'schrijven' click to hear 2 3 'to write' and 'Lezen' click to hear 2 3 'to read'

schrijven to write
ik schrijf I write
jij schrijft you write (singular, informal you)
hij schrijft he writes
wij schrijven we write
jullie schrijven you write (plural, informal you)
zij schrijven they write
U schrijft you write (polite you)
click to hear more 'schrijven'

lezen to read
ik lees I read, I am reading
jij leest you read (singular, informal you)
hij leest he reads
wij lezen we read
jullie lezen you read (plural, informal you)
zij lezen they read
U leest you read (polite you)
click to hear more 'lezen'

The " 't kofschip" click to hear rule says that weak verbs with a stem ending in T, K, F, S, CH and P have -T, -TE and -TEN endings in the simple past and the past participle, while weak verbs with stems ending in other letters have -D, -DE and -DEN endings in the simple past and the past participle.

Regular "'t kofschip:"

wassen to wash; to do laundry
ik was I'm washing
wij wassen we're washing
ik waste I washed
wij wasten we washed
ik heb gewassen I have washed ‑>>
click to hear

blaffen click to hear 2 to bark
honden blaffen click to hear dogs bark ‑>>

blaffen to bark
hij blaft it barks (a dog)
hij blafte it barked
hij heeft geblaft it has barked
click to hear 2

Advanced Stuff
But note that the " 't kofschip" rule looks at 'raw' stem of the infinitive, before the application of the V/F and Z/S shift rule:

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

verhuizen to move house, relocate
ik verhuis I'm moving
wij verhuizen we're moving
ik verhuisde I moved
wij verhuisden we moved
click to hear 2
Ik ben verhuisd click to hear 2 I have moved (I live in another house, place, country now) Ik heb verhuisd click to hear 2 I have helped someone move (profesionally or as a friend)

'Geworden'  is Often Dropped

'Worden click to hear 2 can mean 'to become,' that is 'begin to be, develop into.'

't Wordt laat click to hear 2 It's getting late 't Is laat geworden click to hear 2 It's gotten late Wat is er van hem geworden? click to hear 'Whatever became of him?' - more sample sentences of 'worden'  as 'to become'

But most of the time 'worden'  is the auxiliary verb for the passive voice.

Ik verf het huis click to hear I'm painting the house 'passive:'
Het huis wordt geverfd click to hear The house is being painted Het huis wordt door mij geverfd click to hear The house is painted by me English 'by' of the passive voice is door click to hear ‑>> in Dutch

In the pasive voice meaning of 'worden,'  the past participle 'geworden'  is dropped in the perfect tense.
In English, 'to be' is the auxiliary verb for the passive voice, while some Dutch verbs have 'zijn' click to hear (otherwise 'to be') as the auxiliary verb for the perfect tense - list. Especially for native speakers of English, this can be very confusing.

Hij wordt door een wesp gestoken! click to hear 'He is being stung by a wasp!' - right this moment Hij is door een wesp gestoken geworden click to hear 'He has been stung by a wasp' - some time ago

geboren worden click to hear 2 to be born
Hij werd geboren in Rotterdam click to hear 2 3 He was born in Rotterdam Ik ben in Nederland geboren geworden click to hear I [have been] was born in Holland - more about dropping 'geworden'

Splitting Verbs

Dutch has many compound verbs. Some do boldly split up in the simple present and simple past tense, for instance:

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 - more 'optillen'

Some Dutch verbs don't split up because they have the 'inseparable prefixes' BE-, ER-, GE-, HER-, ONT-  or VER-. Their past participles also don't get the GE- prefix (interfix?) For instance:

beginnen to start, begin
ik begin I'm starting
wij beginnen we're starting
ik begon I started
wij begonnen we started
ik ben begonnen I have begun
click to hear 2 3 - more 'beginnen'

Other compound verbs split up when the stress in the word is on the preposition, and don't split up when the stress is on the basic verb part, for instance:
overhalen (OVERhalen) click to hear 2 to persuade
overtuigen (overTUIgen) click to hear 2 to convince

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

- more about Compound Verbs

(Advanced Stuff)
'Dat' click to hear ('that') is a word of many meanings. Here I'm talking about saying that, thinking that, hoping that etc.
In sub-sentences starting with dat or the 'condition words' ('conjunctions'?) from the list below verbs do not split up.

als click to hear ('if, when') ‑>>
omdat click to hear ('because') ‑>>
wanneer click to hear ('when' - indicating condition) ‑>>
toen click to hear 2 ('when' - indicating time) ‑>>
waar click to hear ('where') ‑>>
hoe click to hear ('how') ‑>>
wie click to hear 2 ('who') ‑>>
wat click to hear ('what') ‑>>
alsof click to hear ('as if') ‑>>
tenzij click to hear 2 ('unless') ‑>>
terwijl click to hear 2 ('while') ‑>>

De zon ging onder click to hear 2 3 The sun went down Ze gingen weg toen de zon onderging click to hear 2 They [went away] left when the sun went down Ik ga weg click to hear 2 I'm going away, I'm leaving Doe je het licht uit als je weggaat? click to hear Will you please turn off the light when you leave?

Also, when the sentence starts with a 'conditional sub-sentence,' then the verb is placed before the subject in the second part of the line:
Ik zag de sterren click to hear I saw the stars. Toen het licht uitging zag ik de sterren click to hear 2 When the light went out I saw the stars

Ik tilde z'n fiets op click to hear 2 3 I lifted up his bike Hij kan erg hard fietsen click to hear 2 He can ride a bicycle very fast, he [can be] is very fast on a bike. Ik begrijp er niks van click to hear 2 3 [I understand nothing of it] - I don't understand any of it, it's a complete mystery to me Toen ik z'n fiets optilde begreep ik hoe hij zo hard kon rijden click to hear 2 3 4 When I lifted up his bike I understood how he could ride that fast

- more about compound verbs re-attaching

More about Verbs in General:
Smartphone Verbs Pages
- 41 Common Verbs - full conjugation and sample sentences
Verbs in The Lessons - Beginning of Series
Verbs Overview
59 Verbs fully conjugated
Overview of My Grammar Pages

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