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Dutch Verb Doen ('to Do') - Smartphones Page

Conjugation
'Doen' and 'to Do' - Dutch and English Use
Sample Sentences
Translated by Other Verbs
Compound 'Doen' Verbs
Other Combinations
Related Words

Conjugation

Note the similarities in the conjugation of Dutch 'doen' and English 'to do' - they show the shared origin and close relation of the languages.
Doen click to hear 2 3 is a strong verb, meaning it has vowel changes, and like in English, 'doen' even has consonant changes in the past and perfect tenses:
doen
to do
deed
did
gedaan
done
click to hear
Overview:
doen to do
ik doe I do
wij doen we do
ik deed I did
wij deden we did
ik heb gedaan I have done
click to hear 2
The Simple Present Tense:
doen to do
ik doe I do
jij doet you (singular, informal you) do
hij doet he does
wij doen we do
jullie doen you (plural, informal you) do
zij doen they do
U doet you (polite you) do
click to hear

The Simple Past Tense:

(doen) to do
ik deed I did
jij deed you did
hij deed he did
wij deden we did
jullie deden y'all did
zij deden they did
U deed you did
click to hear

The Perfect Tense:
ik heb gedaan click to hear I have done - hebben
auxiliary verb hebben

When in the perfect tense combined with other verbs, doen is not in the form of the past participle but as an infinitive:
ik heb doen ... click to hear 2 3 4 I have made ... ik heb doen inzien ... click to hear 2 3 I have made see, I have created an understanding ... Ik heb de mensen doen inzien ... click to hear 2 3 I have made the people see, understand

'Doen' and 'to Do' - Dutch and English Use

There are many similarities in the use of 'doen' and 'to do,' but Dutch does not use 'to do' as an auxiliary verb in questions, in negative statements or for emphasis like English.
Heb je hoofdpijn? click to hear 2 Do you have a headache?
Heeft Jan een auto? click to hear 2 Does John have a car?
Weet jij wie hij is? click to hear Do you know who he is?
Vraag niet waarom click to hear Do not ask why
Niet storen click to hear 2 Do not disturb

Weet jij hoe laat het is? click to hear 2 Do you know what time it is?

In the next examples, this use of 'to do' as an auxiliary verb in English may be confusing when comparing with Dutch translations.

Hoe doe je dat? click to hear How do you do that?
Hoe heb je dat gedaan? click to hear How did you do that?
Doe dat nou niet! click to hear 2 3 4 Don't do that!

Doe voortaan de deur op slot! click to hear 2 3 4 From now on, do lock the door - see also below

Sample Sentences

Dutch 'doen' and English 'to do' usually mean 'to perform an action or task'

Hoe heb je dat gedaan? click to hear 'How did you do that?'
Zó doe je dat click to hear 2 3 That's the way to do it
Doe-het-zelf click to hear Do-it-yourself (DIY)

Waarom doe je dat? click to hear 2 3 Why do you do that? Why are you doing that?

Ze weten niet wat ze doen click to hear 2 3 They don't know what they're doing (like in Luke 23:34)

Doe je best! click to hear 2 [Do your best] - Give it your best!

Ze doen hun best click to hear 2 3 They do their best, they do what they can

Doe 't maar click to hear 2 [Just do it] - Go ahead, do it
Wat ben je aan 't doen? click to hear What are you doing? What are you busy with?

Heb je wat leuks gedaan in het weekend? click to hear Did you do something nice in the weekend? Wat doe je met Pasen? click to hear 2 3 What are you doing at Easter? Any plans for the Easter holiday?

Dat deed ik vroeger ook click to hear 2 3 [I also did that in the past] - I used to do that too

Ze deden alles samen click to hear They did everything together

Als je 't nu niet doet, wanneer dan wel? click to hear 2 [If you don't do it now, when are you?] - If not now, when?

Wat doe je, als je dingen ziet die niemand ooit heeft gezien? click to hear 2 What do you do, when you see things no-one has ever seen before? >>

Wat kan ik voor U doen? click to hear 2 [What can I do for you?] - 'How can I help you?'

Ik heb 't niet gedaan click to hear
'I [have] did not do it'
Ik heb 't gedaan click to hear 2 I have done it
Ik heb 't wel gedaan click to hear I did do it (said when there was some doubt) Wij hebben 't niet gedaan click to hear 'We [have not done] did not do it' (It wasn't us who did it)
Je hebt 't goed gedaan click to hear You have done it [good] well
Jullie hebben 't goed gedaan click to hear You guys have done it well
Dat is indertijd niet goed gedaan click to hear 2 That was not done correctly at the time
Hij heeft het verkeerd gedaan click to hear He's done it in the wrong way
Zij hebben 't verkeerd gedaan click to hear They have done it in the wrong way
Ik heb de was gedaan click to hear 2 I've done the laundry

Jong geleerd, oud gedaan click to hear 2 3 4 ['Learned young, still doing it at old age'] - what's learned young will still be easy at old age

Graag gedaan click to hear [a pleasure to have done] - You're welcome, my pleasure

Dan is 't gedaan met de pret click to hear 2 3 'Then the fun is [done] over'

Al de domme dingen die ik gedaan heb click to hear 2 3 All the stupid things I've done Wat heb ik gedaan? click to hear 2 3 What have I done? (realizing you've made a terrible mistake)

Er moet nog zoveel gedaan worden! click to hear 2 Thers is still so much that needs to be done!

April doet wat-ie wil click to hear 2 ['April does [what] as [he] it likes'] - April weather is unpredictable

Hij doet ook maar click to hear 2 3 4 5 [He just does something] - He does as he pleases
Die mensen doen ook maar click to hear 2 [Those people just do whatever] - They just do whatever comes to mind

Hij doet maar wat click to hear 2 3 [He just does ... something] - He's not making a serious effort, he's not doing what's expected of him

Hoe doen je kinderen 't op school? click to hear 'how are your kids doing in school?'

Dat zou je ook kunnen doen click to hear 2 3 You could do that too
Zou je dat nou wel doen? click to hear 2 3 Should you do that? Are you sure it's a good idea? Moet je niet doen! click to hear Don't do that! Not a good idea to do that

Dat had ik veel eerder moeten doen click to hear 2 I should have done that long ago Dat heb ik nog nooit gedaan click to hear 2 3 I've never done that yet

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

Hij doet toch wat-ie wil click to hear 2 He does as he likes anyway

Ik heb wel wat beters te doen click to hear 2 3 I have something better to do
Er is nog veel te doen click to hear 2 There is still much to do
Er is nog zo veel te doen click to hear 2 3 There is still so much to do
Doe iets! click to hear 2 3 4 5 6 7 Do something! Take action!
Ik wil 't goed doen click to hear 2 3 I want to do it well
Laat ik dat eerst even doen click to hear 2 Let me do that first

Al die dingen doen dat nou click to hear 2 3 4 [All those things do that now] - All those gadgets now have that feature

Heb je niks beters te doen? click to hear 2 3 [Have you nothing ...] - Don't you have something better to do?

Ik heb toch niks te doen click to hear 2 3 4 I have nothing to do anyway (I have time)

doen aan click to hear 2 to 'do,' engage in, go in for We doen niet aan liefdadigheid click to hear 2 3 We don't do charity

iets doen aan click to hear to do something about something, to take action to remedy ergens iets aan doen click to hear 2 3 to do something about something, to take action to remedy Je moet er wat aan doen click to hear 2 3 4 You have to do something about it We moeten er wat aan doen click to hear 2 We should do something about it

Er is niks aan te doen click to hear ['there is nothing to be done (about it)'] - 'nothing can be done about it, it can't be helped' short: Niks aan te doen! click to hear 2 3
Daar kun je niks aan doen click to hear 2 3 [You can do nothing ...] You can't do anything about that Ik kan er niks aan doen click to hear ['I can't do anything about it']
1. 'I can't help it,'
2. I can't fix it

Kun je er wat aan doen? click to hear 2 3 Can you do something about it? Wat kun je d'r aan doen? click to hear 2 3 4 What can you do about it? "Die achterop doet er niks aan!" click to hear 2 3 The one in back is not helping (a common call to tandem bicycle riders)

Sometimes Dutch 'doen' is translated in English by other verbs like 'to behave, act (like)'

Doe normaal! click to hear 2 Act normally! Behave!
also: Doe een beetje normaal! click to hear 2

Doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg click to hear 2 Just do like you always do, that's enough craziness already

Doe even serieus! click to hear 2 3 Be serious (for a moment) - stop the joking around, it's no joke, it's a serious matter

Doe niet zo raar! click to hear 2 Don't be weird!
Doe niet zo stoer! click to hear Don't pretend to be brave

Niet moeilijk doen! click to hear 2 3 Don't be difficult!

Het is zo voorspelbaar wat-ie doet click to hear [It is so predictable what he does] - his behavior is so predictable

Hoe kan iemand zoiets doen? click to hear How can someone do a thing like that?
Wat bezielt die mensen om dat te doen? click to hear 2 3 What's in those people's minds doing that? What drives those people to do those (horrible) things?

Translated by Other Verbs

Dutch 'doen' often functions as a multipurpose word for actions that in English are represented by other verbs like 'to put,' 'to take,' 'to make' and others.

Doe het in een zakje click to hear 2 3 Put it in a (small) bag
Doe de aardappels in de pan click to hear 2 3 Put the potatoes in the pan
Doe het brood in de diepvries click to hear 2 3 Put the bread in the freezer
Hij deed talk in de band click to hear 2 He put baby powder in the tire. (Obsolete procedure! Not recommended!)
Doe er een postzegel op click to hear 2 3 Put a stamp on it (mail)
Water bij de wijn doen click to hear 2 3 [Put water with the wine] - Dilute wine with water, expression meaning 'to compromise'

Het deed me denken aan een boek ... click to hear 2 It made me think of a book ... 't Doet me denken aan een boek van Mulisch click to hear 2 It makes me think of a book by Mulisch
De druppel die de emmer deed overlopen click to hear 2 3 ['The drop that made the bucket spill over'] - 'The straw that broke the camel's back'
Hoop doet leven click to hear ['Hope makes you live'] - Hope fuels life
Verandering van spijs doet eten click to hear 2 [Change of food makes people eat] - Food variety helps the appetite ‑>>
(de) spijs click to hear is an old-fashioned word for 'food' ‑>>

"Je mag drie wensen doen" click to hear 2 3 You can (may?) make 3 wishes

't Heeft me doen nadenken click to hear 2 3 It has made me think (about ...) 't Heeft me doen inzien click to hear 2 3 it has made me understand, it gave me the insight

De motor doet het weer! click to hear The engine is running again!

... and vice versa:

Hoe maakt U het? click to hear How are you? How do you do?

Ik wil er niks mee te maken hebben click to hear 2 3 [I want nothing ...] - I don't want to have anything to do with it

Usually, Dutch 'maken' click to hear means 'to make, to prepare' ‑>>

Compound 'Doen' Verbs

'Doen' is often combined with prepositions to compound verbs. Compound verbs often, but not always split up in the simple present and past tense:
voordoen to demonstrate
ik doe voor I demonstrate
ik deed voor I demonstrated
ik heb voorgedaan I have demonstrated
click to hear more

Compound verbs often have a variety of meanings. Find below a few 'doen' examples with their most common meanings:

'Voordoen' click to hear 2 means 'to show, to demonstrate something'

De sergeant deed het schoonmaken voor click to hear 2 3 The sergeant showed the cleaning procedure

'Nadoen' click to hear 2 3 ['to do after'] means to imitate, usually in parody

Hij deed the president na click to hear 2 3 He was imitating the president

'Aandoen' click to hear 2 can be 'to turn on' lights or mechanisms, and also 'to put on' clothes, footwear and things like that.

Doe 't licht aan click to hear 2 3 Turn on the light

Toen ik het licht aandeed sloegen de stoppen door click to hear When I turned on the light the fuses blew

Doe de verwarming aan click to hear 2
(de) centrale verwarming click to hear
Turn on the heater
central heating
Doe laarzen aan click to hear 2 3 Put on boots

Another common meaning of 'aandoen' is 'to cause grief or trouble.'

Wat doe je me aan! click to hear 2 You're causing me much grief

Dat kun je me niet aandoen! click to hear 2 3 You can't do that to me! (You're going to hurt my feelings)

aandoenlijk click to hear 2 'touching,' endearing, affecting een aandoenlijke vertelling click to hear 2 3 an affecting narrative, a moving, gripping story

The opposite 'uitdoen' click to hear 2 3 means 'turning off' lights and mechanisms etc., and also 'taking off' clothes etc.
Doe het licht uit click to hear 2 Turn off the light Doe je het licht uit als je weggaat? click to hear Please turn off the light when you leave We waren vergeten 't uit te doen click to hear We had forgotten to turn it off

Doe je jas uit click to hear 2 3 Take off your coat

As you could guess, 'opendoen' click to hear means 'to open.'

Doe de deur open click to hear 2 Open the door

Ik heb het raam opengedaan click to hear I've opened the window

The opposite is 'dichtdoen' click to hear 2 3 - 'to close'

Doe alsjeblieft de deur dicht! click to hear 2 Please close the door! (more annoyed than polite)

Ik heb geen oog dichtgedaan click to hear 2 3 ['I have not closed an eye'] - I didn't get any sleep, I didn't get any shut-eye

'Meedoen' click to hear is something like 'to join in' or 'do something together.'

Wie doet er mee? click to hear Who'll join us? Who's in?
Doe je mee? click to hear Are you taking part? Are you in?

'Mee' click to hear and the somewhat old-fashioned 'mede' click to hear 2 probably are variations of met click to hear ('with') - but 'mee' and 'mede' are not interchangeable - see also

(het) medelijden click to hear [co-suffering] pity
(de) medewerking click to hear 2 cooperation
(de) medemens click to hear fellow man
meewerken click to hear 2 to co-operate

wind mee click to hear 2 3 the wind in your back (on a bike) - tailwind (de) tegenwind click to hear wind-against, headwind
Ga je mee? click to hear Are you coming with us?
Als jullie niet willen meewerken ... click to hear 2 If you guys don't want to cooperate ...
Willen jullie meezingen? click to hear Would y'all like to sing along?

'Terugdoen' means 'to put back.'
Doe 't terug in de doos click to hear 2 3 Put it back in the box

'Overdoen' click to hear 2 means 'to do again, to repeat'

een klas overdoen click to hear to repeat a grade (in school) blijven zitten click to hear [to stay put] - failing to advance to the next grade

English 'to overdo,' meaning 'to exaggerate, do too much, too much effort' is 'overdrijven' click to hear 2 - a strong, compound verb from the root verb drijven: drijven/dreef/gedreven click to hear 2

Je moet niet overdrijven click to hear 2 You shouldn't exaggerate 't Is zo overdreven! click to hear 2 It's so exaggerated, over the top Dat is schromelijk overdreven! click to hear 2 3 That's grossly exaggerated

Other Combinations

'Doen' is also often used in combination with nouns or other words to form phrases that English sometimes has a specialized verb for, like for instance:

boodschappen doen click to hear 2 to shop (for groceries) ->>
Ik ga boodschappen doen click to hear 2 I'm going to do shopping

op slot doen click to hear 2 to lock
Doe voortaan de deur op slot! click to hear 2 3 4 From now on, in the future, lock the door

pijn doen click to hear to hurt (both 'to be in pain' and 'to hurt someone')
Doet 't pijn? click to hear 2 Does it hurt?
Waar doet 't pijn? click to hear Where does it hurt? ->>
slikken doet pijn click to hear 2 swallowing hurts
Doet 't zeer? click to hear 2 Does it hurt?

een stap doen click to hear 'to [do] take a step'

op de bus doen click to hear to mail (put in mailbox) ->>
een brief op de bus doen click to hear 2 to put a letter in the mail

een dutje doen click to hear to nap, take a nap
(het) dutje click to hear 2 (a) nap
Ik ga een dutje doen click to hear 2 3 I'm going to take a nap
Ik deed een dutje click to hear 2 I was napping
(het) middagdutje click to hear 2
afternoon nap
dutten click to hear 2 to nap
See also: Sleep

'Er toe doen' click to hear 2 3 4 is 'to matter,' something is important

't Doet er niet toe click to hear 2
Wat doet 't er toe? click to hear
It doesn't matter
What does it matter?

duur doen click to hear 2 [to act expensively] showing off, to act as if you're rich (or important)

Wat Doe Ik Hier? Rumination

'Doen' click to hear 2 3 is not always about activity. Fred Roberts asked me if
Wat doe ik hier? is the correct translation of
What am I doing here?
... and he is right. Both in English and Dutch the question is not so much 'What is my activity here' or 'What activity is expected of me here' but rather wondering, a bit puzzled maybe, how and why you came to the place or event you find yourself in, and you may not be happy about it. 'Why am I here? How did I end up in this place or situation (that I don't like)?' You could take it even further to mean 'Why are we on this earth? What is the purpose of our existence?'
It also makes me think of the Gauguin painting title 'Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?'

Wat doe ik hier? click to hear 2 3 4 5 What am I doing here? Waarom zijn we hier? click to hear 2 Why are we here?

Sometimes doen  means take meaningful action, do important things, accomplish something.
Wat we eigenlijk doen zouden is ons nooit duidelijk geweest. Iets zouden we doen. click to hear (2) What the thing was we were going to do was never clear to us. But we were going to accomplish something - Nescio Iets te gaan doen echter lijkt nog steeds een goed idee click to hear 2 3 But to go out and do something, to take action still looks like a good idea ‑>>

Related Words

(Het) gedoe click to hear 2 is 'ado,' 'trouble, difficulty, hassle, fuss'

Veel gedoe om niks click to hear 'Much ado about nothing'

Dat is teveel gedoe click to hear 2 'That's too much [ado] trouble, too much hassle' Teveel gedoe! click to hear Too much hassle! Wat een stom gedoe! click to hear 2 3 Such stupidity!

'Doende' click to hear 2 3 is an old-fashioned form still found in expressions and standard phrases. It means something like 'doing.'
Al doende leert men click to hear 2 3 While doing, in the doing you learn - 'Practice makes perfect' Hij was druk doende click to hear He was busy (doing) - busy with something

[(het)] onvoldoende click to hear 2 3 insufficient // failing grade
[(het)] voldoende click to hear 2 3 sufficient // passing grade

In Dutch, a word like 'doer' (do-er) is only found in compound words:

(de) dikdoener click to hear [(fat) big-doer, person pretending to be important] - big-mouth (de) weldoener click to hear 2 [well-doer] - benefactor (de) dooddoener click to hear 2 3 4 [death-doer] - remark that stops the discussion

ondoenlijk click to hear 2 3 ['undoable,' 'cannot be done'] - said about an impossible task or job

An obviously related word: (de) 'daad' click to hear ['deed'] - act, action, activity

Geen woorden maar daden!' click to hear 2 ['Not words but actions'] - We want action, not words

(de) dader click to hear 2 perpetrator, offender
(de) misdaad click to hear crime
(de) misdadiger click to hear criminal
(het) geweld click to hear 2 violence
met geweld click to hear 2 3 4 5 [with violence] violently
gewelddadig click to hear
gewelddadige click to hear 2
violent
(de) dadendrang click to hear 2 urge to (personal) action
inderdaad click to hear 2 3 4 indeed, you're right

Er is inderdaad geen goede vertaling click to hear 2 There is indeed no good translation (You're right, there is no good translation)

Geweldig click to hear can mean 'very large, tremendous,' but also 'great!' - "I'm happy about that!"
't Is niet vies ... click to hear 2 3 It doesn't taste bad ... Maar 't had lekkerder kunnen zijn click to hear 2 But it could have been better (-tasting) Maar 't was ook niet geweldig click to hear 2 3 But is isn't great either

The common slang 'goodbye' 'doei' click to hear or 'doe-ie' click to hear are probably not related to 'doen.'

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