Dutch Present Perfect Tense

Past indefinite tense in Dutch

The Netherlands  Belgium  Suriname

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Dutch Present Perfect Tense

 

This tense is used more often than the simple past, especially in conversation, and is equivalent to I have asked or I asked.  Regular verbs use a form of hebben or zijn and a past participle.  Past participles are made by adding ge- to the beginning of the verb stem and -t or -d to the end.   Verb stems are the infinitives minus the -en, with the appropriate spelling changes. The stems are identical to the first person singular present tense form.

-t is added to stems ending in t, k, f, s, ch, and p (note that if the stem ends in -t already, you do not double the consonant), while -d is added to all other stems, except those already ending in -d. (If a stem ends in -f or -s, but the infinitive contained -v or -z, then still add a -d)

Verbs with inseparable prefixes do not add ge- in this tense. Verbs with separable prefixes add the ge after the prefix and before the stem (afgemaakt).

Verb   Stem Past Participle
hopen
maken
blaffen
missen
dromen
bellen
loven
vrezen
praten
koken
blaffen
kuchen
bouwen
horen
branden
bedoelen
bepraten
geloven
verhuizen
afmaken
to hope
to make
to bark
to miss
to dream
to ring
to praise
to be afraid
to talk
to cook
to bark
to cough
to build
to hear
to burn
to mean
to discuss
to believe
to move house
to finish
hoop
maak
blaf
mis
droom
bel
loof
vrees
praat
kook
blaf
kuch
bouw
hoor
brand
bedoel
bepraat
geloof
verhuis
af...maak
gehoopt
gemaakt
geblaft
gemist
gedroomd
gebeld
geloofd
gevreesd
gepraat
gekookt
geblaft
gekucht
gebouwd
gehoord
gebrand
bedoeld
bepraat
geloofd
verhuisd
afgemaakt

Modals
The past participles of the modals (kunnen: gekund; moeten: gemoeten; mogen: gemoogd, willen: gewild) are only used when the modal is used independently of another verb.
Ik heb het gemoeten
. I had to (do it).

If the perfect tense of a modal is used with another verb, then the past participle of the modal is replaced by its infinitive. This double infinitive construction (infinitive of modal + other infinitive) is always placed at the end of the clause or sentence.
Ik heb gisteren kunnen komen
. I was able to come yesterday.

Hebben vs. Zijn
Some verbs of motion can take either hebben or zijn depending on whether it is the action that is stressed (hebben) or the destination/direction (zijn.) Verbs taking zijn are generally intransitive (they do not take direct objects) and denote a change in motion/position or change in state/condition. Most verbs derived from zijn verbs also take zijn in the perfect tense.

A few common verbs that take zijn instead of hebben in the present perfect tense are:

 

blijven
blijken
gaan
gebeuren
komen
to stay
to appear/seem
to go
to happen
to come
stoppen/ophouden
verdwijnen
verschijnen
worden
zijn
to stop
to disappear
to appear
to become
to be

 


 

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