Dutch/Lesson 6

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Beginner level    Intermediate level    Advanced level
Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6
Main Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6 Lesson 7 Lesson 8 Lesson 9 Lesson 10 Lesson 11 Lesson 12 Lesson 13 Lesson 14 Lesson 15 Lesson 16 Lesson 17 Lesson 18 Lesson 19 Lesson 20 Lesson 21 Lesson 22 Lesson 23 Main
Practice Lesson 1A Lesson 2A Lesson 3A Lesson 4A Lesson 5A Lesson 6A Lesson 7A Lesson 8A Lesson 9A Lesson 10A Lesson 11A Lesson 12A Lesson 13A Lesson 14A Lesson 15A Lesson 16A Practice
Examples Vb. 1 Vb. 2 Vb. 3 Vb. 4 Vb. 5 Vb. 6 Vb. 7 Vb. 8 Vb. 9 Vb. 10 Vb. 11 Vb. 12 Vb. 13 Vb. 14 Vb. 15 Vb. 16 Examples
Quiz Quiz
Main page Introduction Pronunciation Vocabulary Index News

Beginner level: cycle 2

Lesson 6 ~ Lesson 6

Geschiedenis ~ History |}

Grammar: More numerals
Grammar: The past tense
The perfect tenses
Inseparable verbs
To have and to be

Gesprek 6[edit | edit source]

Jan: Zestienhonderd was de Slag bij Nieuwpoort, he mam?
Ma: Ja, jongen, heb je dat op school geleerd? En wat gebeurde er toen?
Jan: Prins Maurits versloeg de Spanjaarden, maar wat was er in zestienhonderdéén?
Ma: Eh nou, dat weet ik niet, hoor...
Jan: Het éénjarig bestaan van de Slag bij Nieuwpoort, natuurlijk.
het schilderij - the painting
The Spanish general is led before Prince Maurits at Nieuwpoort
Translation • Lesson 6 • gesprek 6

Jan: Zestienhonderd was de Slag bij Nieuwpoort, he mam?

The Battle of Nieuwpoort was in 1600, wasn't it mom?

Ma: Ja, jongen, heb je dat op school geleerd? En wat gebeurde er toen?

Yes, dear, did you learn that in school? And what happened then?

Jan: Prins Maurits versloeg de Spanjaarden, maar wat was er in zestienhonderdenéén?

Prince Maurice (of Orange) beat the Spanish, but what happened in 1601?

Ma: Eh nou, dat weet ik niet, hoor...

Well, eh, that I don't know...

Jan: Het éénjarig bestaan van de Slag bij Nieuwpoort, natuurlijk.

Well, the first anniversary of the Battle of Nieuwpoort, of course.

Grammatica 6.1 ~ Numbers[edit | edit source]

Use the sound buttons to help you with the pronunciation.

-teen = -tien[edit | edit source]

Dutch has a similar way of constructing the numbers for 13-19 as English, it is mainly the simple number (e.g. vijf, zes) followed by -tien, which means "ten" and is very similar to English -teen

13 dertien
14 veertien
15 vijftien
16 zestien
17 zeventien
18 achttien
19 negentien

-ty = -tig[edit | edit source]

As another example of the relationship between English y versus Dutch g, the English ending -ty in twenty, thirty etc., is "-tig" in Dutch:

20 twintig

Starting at twenty one things get a little funny, Dutch puts the single unit before the ten-unit:

21 eenentwintig (literally: one-and-twenty)
22 tweeëntwintig
23 drieëntwintig
24 vierentwintig
25 vijfentwintig
26 zesentwintig
27 zevenentwintig
28 achtentwintig
29 negenentwintig

Notice that one way to deal with two subsequent vowels in Dutch spelling is the diaeresis ë.

The same system goes for 30, 40, 50.... 30 dertig
32 tweeëndertig
40 veertig
50 vijftig
60 zestig
70 zeventig
80 tachtig (!!)
90 negentig

The only irregular one is tachtig.
Notice that 60 and 70 are pronounced with initial [s].

Large numbers[edit | edit source]

100 honderd

Dutch does not use one as in "one hundred" or "one thousand"

101 honderdéén
111 honderdelf
112 honderdtwaalf
113 honderddertien
121 honderdéénentwintig
957 negenhonderdzevenenvijftig

In Dutch all numbers lower than one thousand are written as one word. There should be a space after '1000' (duizend), though. There's also a space before and after: miljoen, biljoen, miljard, biljard, etc.

1000 duizend
1001 duizend één
1017 duizend zeventien
1538 duizend vijfhonderdachtendertig or vijftienhonderdachtendertig
2000 tweeduizend
8000 achtduizend

100.000 honderdduizend

143.000 honderddrieënveertigduizend

143.500 honderddrieënveertigduizend vijfhonderd

1.000.000 één miljoen

2.000.000 twee miljoen

453.897.245 vierhonderddrieënvijftig miljoen achthonderdzevenennegentigduizend tweehonderdvijfenveertig

For higher power of one thousand Dutch follows the British rather than the American system één miljard
(not: biljoen, see below) één biljoen één biljard

245.078.476.453.879 tweehonderdvijfenveertig biljoen achtenzeventig miljard vierhonderdzesenzeventig miljoen vierhonderddrieënvijftigduizend achthonderdnegenenzeventig

Notice also that the interpunction is the reverse:

English: $1,324,432.93 = Dutch: $1.324.432,93

Dutch has a decimal comma, not a decimal point.

YOUR TURN - UW BEURT!! • Lesson 6 • grote getallen

Translate into Dutch:

  1. 23
  2. 55
  3. 88
  4. 811
  5. 1776
  6. 1945
  7. 2007
SOLUTION • Dutch/Lesson 6 • grote getallen
  1. 23 - drieëntwintig
  2. 55 - vijfenvijftig
  3. 88 - achtentachtig
  4. 811 - achthonderdenelf
  5. 1776 - zeventienhonderdzesenzeventig - het jaar zeventienzesenzeventig
  6. 1945 - negentienvijfenveertig
  7. 2007 - tweeduizendenzeven - het jaar tweeduizend zeven

Grammatica 6.2 ~ Past and perfect tenses[edit | edit source]


  • ..heb je dat op school geleerd?...
  • ..wat gebeurde er ...
  • Maurits versloeg...

These are examples of past and perfect tenses. There are three kinds of verbs in Dutch when it comes to forming them.

  1. Weak verbs add either -te(n) or -de(n) to the stem of the verb.
  2. Strong verbs change the vowel of the stem.
  3. Irregular verbs often have a combination of the two or show other idiosyncrasies.

The numbers:

  1. The vast majority (thousands) of Dutch verbs are regular weak verbs.
  2. There are some 150 strong roots. Including derived verbs, there are some 1500 strong verbs in total.
  3. There are only about six irregular roots and about two dozen derivatives.

However, the strong and irregular verbs are amongst the most frequently used ones. The more specialized and recently formed ones are typically weak.

Weak verbs[edit | edit source]

We have seen how the present tense is formed:

leren - to learn
ik leer - I learn → stem is leer

Past tense[edit | edit source]

The past tense typically has a singular and a plural form:
ik, jij, hij leerde - I, you, he learned
wij, jullie, zij leerden - we, you, they learned

Notice the similarity with English: the past is formed with a dental suffix: -de (Dutch) -ed (English).

However if the root ends in a voiceless consonant (t, k, f, s, ch, p and x) the endings are voiceless in Dutch -te, -ten:

passen - to pass
ik pas - I pass → stem is pas
ik paste - I passed
wij pasten - we passed

This happens in about a third of the weak verbs.

YOUR TURN - UW BEURT!! • Lesson 6 • Weak past

Put the following weak verbs in the past tense:

  • reizen: ik reis - to travel
  • passen: wij passen - to pass, to fit
  • betalen: betaal je? - to pay
  • maken: u maakt - to make
  • doden: hij doodt - to kill
  • leven: jullie leven - to live
  • voeden: ik voed - to feed
  • dansen: danst zij? - to dance
  • stofzuigen: ik stofzuig - to vacuum
  • verteren: het verteert - to digest, to disintegrate
  • ontzeggen: ontzeggen wij? - to deny
  • zakken: u zakt: to descend, to fail
  • werken: werkt Jan? - to work
  • vergaderen: vergaderen zij? - to gather, to be in a meeting
SOLUTION • Dutch/Lesson 6 • Weak past
  • reizen: ik reis - ik reisde
  • passen: wij passen - wij pasten
  • betalen: betaal je? - betaalde je?
  • maken: u maakt - u maakte
  • doden: hij doodt - hij doodde
  • leven: jullie leven - jullie leefden
  • voeden: ik voed - ik voedde
  • dansen: danst zij? - danste zij?
  • stofzuigen: ik stofzuig - ik stofzuigde
  • verteren: het verteert - het verteerde
  • ontzeggen: ontzeggen wij? - ontzegden wij?
  • zakken: u zakt: u zakte
  • werken: werkt Jan? - werkte Jan
  • vergaderen: vergaderen zij? - vergaderden zij?

Notice that the root of reizen is reiz-, resulting in a -de ending even though the stem is written (and pronounced) as reis. The -de ending is added to the stem (not the root). This idiosyncrasy of Dutch orthography gives many school children great headaches.

Perfect tense[edit | edit source]

The perfect uses an auxiliary + the past participle. For a weak verb is formed by prefixing ge- and suffixing an ending -d, or -t.

Inseperable verbs[edit | edit source]

If the verb already has a prefix like be-, ont- or ver- or ge- itself, the ge- prefix is omitted:

Wat bedoel je? - What do you mean?
Ik heb dat zo niet bedoeld. - I did not mean it that way.
Wat gebeurt er?
Wat gebeurde er?
Wat is er gebeurd?

These verbs are called inseparable verbs to distinguish them from a group of verbs that have a prefix that can be separated. We will revisit those in a later lesson. The inseparable ones are relatively simple. Apart from the suppression of the ge- prefix they behave like normal verbs.

The past participle on -d and -t[edit | edit source]

The suffix of the participle is -d in the case of leren:

the perfect

ik heb geleerd - I have learned

This is by far the most common way to form the past participle. However, if the root ends in a voiceless consonant (t, k, f, s, ch, p and x) the ending is a voiceless -t:

passen - to pass, to fit
ik pas - I pass → stem is pas
ik heb gepast - I have passed

Dutch has "final obstruent devoicing", a fancy term for the fact that a consonant at the end of a word is always pronounced as voiceless. That means that both the -d of "geleerd" and the -t of "gepast" as actually pronounced the same, as [t].

However, as in English the participle can also be used as an adjective. As such it also has an inflected form with -e:

De geleerde les - the lesson learned
Gepaste eerbied - fitting reverence

In this case the /d/ of geleerde is actually also pronounced [d] and the /t/ of gepaste as [t].

If the root already ends in -d or -t the ending is omitted:

feesten - gefeest
baden - gebaad
Word order[edit | edit source]

In contrast to English the participle is put at the end of the sentence:

Ik heb dat op school geleerd.
Primitive tenses[edit | edit source]

Most Dutch verbs can be fully reconstructed in all their forms if you know three primitive tenses, de stamtijden:

infinitive - past tense singular - perfect participle

leren - leerde - geleerd
passen - paste - gepast
bedoelen - bedoelde - bedoeld
gebeuren - gebeurde - gebeurd

This is why verbs are often represented this way in dictionaries, including in WikiWoordenboek. If you want a complete table of all possible forms, this becomes rather large especially if you list all the compound tenses.

Take a look at the page toekennen and compare it with the full conjugation at toekennen/vervoeging.

Auxiliaries[edit | edit source]

The auxiliary is usually a form of hebben like it is to have in English (see below for its forms). However, unlike English there is a group of verbs (ergative verbs) that take zijn (to be) instead.

Notice that gebeuren (to happen) is one such case: It is an ergative verb. Instead of an action such verbs express either a process or a movement. Compare:

type Dutch English
process zijn de sneeuwballen zijn gesmolten have the snowballs have melted
movement zijn ze zijn gegaan have they have gone
action hebben ze hebben dat gedaan have they have done that
YOUR TURN - UW BEURT!! • Lesson 6 • Weak pefect

Put the following weak verbs in the perfect tense:

  • reizen: ik reis - to travel
  • passen: wij passen - to pass, to fit
  • betalen: betaal je? - to pay
  • maken: u maakt - to make
  • doden: hij doodt - to kill
  • leven: jullie leven - to live
  • voeden: ik voed - to feed
  • dansen: danst zij? - to dance
  • stofzuigen: ik stofzuig - to vacuum
  • verteren: het verteert - to digest, to disintegrate
  • ontzeggen: ontzeggen wij? - to deny
  • zakken: u zakt: to descend, to fail
  • werken: werkt Jan? - to work
  • vergaderen: vergaderen zij? - to gather, to be in a meeting
SOLUTION • Dutch/Lesson 6 • Weak pefect
  • reizen: ik reis - ik heb/ben gereisd (with a destination: ben, otherwise: heb)
  • passen: wij passen - wij hebben gepast
  • betalen: betaal je? - heb je betaald?
  • maken: u maakt - u heeft gemaakt
  • doden: hij doodt - hij heeft gedood
  • leven: jullie leven - jullie hebben geleefd
  • voeden: ik voed - ik heb gevoed
  • dansen: danst zij? - heeft zij gedanst?
  • stofzuigen: ik stofzuig - ik heb gestofzuigd
  • verteren: het verteert - het is verteerd (process)
  • ontzeggen: ontzeggen wij? - hebben we ontzegd?
  • zakken: u zakt: u bent gezakt (movement/process)
  • werken: werkt Jan? - heeft Jan gewerkt?
  • vergaderen: vergaderen zij? - hebben zij vergaderd?

Notice that the root of reizen is reiz-, resulting in a -d ending even though the stem is written (and pronounced) as reis. The -d ending is added to the stem (not the root). This idiosyncrasy of Dutch orthography gives many school children great headaches even more so because the final -d is pronounced devoiced as [t]. In "gereisde" however the [d] does return in the spoken language.

Strong verbs[edit | edit source]

lopen - to walk (cf. leap)
Ik loop - I walk
Ik liep - I walked (notice the vowel change)
Ik heb gelopen

The participle ends in -en in the case of strong verbs.

Which verbs are strong?[edit | edit source]

There are more than 150 strong roots and including all derived forms lopen, belopen, verlopen etc. there are more than 1500 strong verbs in Dutch. And you will just have to learn them. Few rules can be given which verbs are weak and which are strong, but we can try:

  1. All verbs borrowed from Latin or French are weak.
  2. All strong verbs have the basic structure root-ending, e.g. lopen, or (prefix)-root-ending, e.g. beginnen. Verbs with more syllables, like kantelen, begoochelen are always weak.
  3. Many strong verbs have cognates that are irregular verbs in English. E.g. zingen - zong - gezongen has to sing - sang - sung as cognate. The cognate sometimes has a different meaning, e.g. rijden is cognate with to ride but can mean to drive a car. If you know any German: most strong verbs in Dutch are strong in German as well.

The seven classes[edit | edit source]

There are seven distinct patterns (classes) of vowel change. These patterns are exceedingly old. They come from the Indo-European language and are much better preserved in Dutch than they are in English.

The most common one (Class I) has ..ij... - ..ee.. - ..e..:

schrijven - schreef - geschreven
blijven - bleef - gebleven
lijden - leed - geleden

English has far fewer strong verbs left and they have become irregular, i.e. the patterns are no longer very recognizable, although sometimes the resemblance is still striking, compare:

spreken - to speak
sprak - spoke
gesproken - spoken

We will come back to strong verbs later, particularly in the practice lessons 6A and 7A. Fortunately for all Dutch verbs except a handful it is enough to memorize de stamtijden (the primitive times):

lopen-liep-gelopen (infinitive - past tense - past participle)

If you are uncertain about the primitive tenses of a verb, a trip to WikiWoordenboek will easily remedy that. The primitive tenses are typically given in a small table on the right of the screen. Have a look at lopen.

Lopen is a verb of movement. This is why it uses to be as auxiliary if a direction of the movement process is specified. Compare:

Ik ben naar huis gelopen - I walked home
Ik heb altijd veel gelopen - I always did a lot of walking

In the latter case the verb takes "hebben" because the emphasis is not on the movement process but on the activity (action).

Notice that Dutch often uses the perfect tense where English uses a simple past. The past tense corresponds more to the past continuous in English, although the division of labor between the tenses is different in the two languages.

Ik liep naar huis - I was walking home

The past of some of the strong verbs has a plural that undergoes lengthening of the vowel:

ik brak (as in father)
wij braken (as in Gaad)

(Thus the verb has four stages of vowel change. This is also a very ancient aspect of the language. It stems straight out of Indo-European. Anglo-Saxon had something similar.)

Past continuous[edit | edit source]

Dutch does not have a past (or present) continuous as such, although there is a construction using aan het + infinitive that can be used to describe continuity rather emphatically:

Ik was naar huis aan het lopen, toen ik hem zag
I was (busy) walking home when I saw him

Verbs like lopen, staan, zitten, liggen (walk, stand, sit and lie) can also be used to express continuous action. They take te + infinitive:

Ik zat te denken - I was thinking (while sitting)
Ik stond te bellen - I was on the phone (while standing)

Irregular verbs[edit | edit source]

There are only a few verbs (actually 6) that demand more knowledge than that which is contained in the three stamtijden (primitive tenses)

They are: zijn, hebben, zullen, mogen, kunnen and willen

The auxiliary to have[edit | edit source]


The most important irregular verbs are hebben and zijn:

hebben - to have
ik heb - I have
jij hebt - you have
hij heeft - he has
wij, jullie, zij hebben - we, you, they have
Past tense[edit | edit source]
ik, jij, hij had - I, you, he had
wij, jullie, zij hadden - we, you, they had
Perfect[edit | edit source]
ik heb gehad

The auxiliary to be[edit | edit source]

zijn, wezen - to be
ik ben - I am
jij bent - you are
hij is - he is
wij, jullie, zij zijn - we, you all, they are
Past tense[edit | edit source]
ik was
wij waren
Perfect[edit | edit source]
ik ben geweest - I have been

Notice that to be is seen as an ergative: it is not an action, but a 'process'.

Infinitive[edit | edit source]

Wezen is quite common in certain parts of the Netherlands, but frowned upon in other regions.

Imperative[edit | edit source]
weest u!
Subjunctive[edit | edit source]
het zij
past: het ware

Both are archaic but they are still be seen in certain expressions.

Strong and weak verbs with irregularities[edit | edit source]

Some strong and weak verbs do not completely follow any of the regular patterns. We have seen one:

ik versla
ik versloeg
ik heb verslagen

Notice that the present tense and the infinitive do not have a "g".

There is also a group of weak verbs ends in -cht rather than just -t:

brengen - bracht - gebracht
denken - dacht - gedacht

The vowel of these roots also changes, but historically these verbs are weak. Notice that English has something similar (brought, thought).

In these cases it is still enough to know the three primitive tenses to reconstruct the entire verb. As this is the case for all Dutch verbs bar six it is customary to represent a verb whether weak, strong or irregular by these primitive tenses and reserve the term irregular for the handful cases where this does not suffice.

Woordenschat 6[edit | edit source]

Dutch word audio file English translation
de school About this sound school school
het jaar About this sound jaar year
jarig zijn About this sound jarig having a birthday
de slag About this sound slag blow, battle
de natuur About this sound natuur nature
de jongen About this sound jongen boy
natuurlijk About this sound natuurlijk naturally, of course
schrijven-schreef-geschreven s About this sound schrijven to write
lezen-las-gelezen s About this sound lezen to read
leren-leerde-geleerd w About this sound leren to learn, to teach
bedoelen-bedoelde-bedoeld w About this sound bedoelen to mean, to aim at
lopen-liep-gelopen s About this sound lopen to walk
bestaan-bestond-bestaan s About this sound bestaan to exist
zijn-was-geweest irr About this sound zijn to be
hebben-had-gehad irr About this sound hebben to have
weten-wist-geweten irr About this sound weten to know
zien-zag-gezien s About this sound zien to see
zwemmen-zwom-gezwommen s About this sound zwemmen to swim
vinden-vond-gevonden s About this sound vinden to find
eten-at-gegeten s About this sound eten to eat
zitten-zat-gezeten s About this sound zitten to sit
denken-dacht-gedacht s About this sound denken to think
slapen-sliep-geslapen s About this sound slapen to sleep

Quizlet[edit | edit source]

The vocabulary for this lesson can be studied at Quizlet (60 terms)

Progress made[edit | edit source]

If you studied this lesson well you should

  1. be able to do all cardinal numbers in Dutch
  2. know how past tenses are formed in Dutch (but you need to memorize a lot more about them)

Cumulative count:

Cycle 1: 579 terms
Lesson 5: 87 terms
Lesson 6: 60 terms
Grand total
726 terms.

Also see Dutch/Vocabulary/The numbers for a synopsis and the hover test based on it.

The necessary work on past tenses will start in Dutch/Lesson 6A