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Regular verbs
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Strictly speaking, we only have two tenses: The present and the past. We do, however, define a few 'semi-tenses' by an interaction of tense (present or past), aspect (momentary or ongoing), and mood (is it a factual or a hypothetical statement?).

This gives us a list of eight basic 'tenses'.

1. present ik werk I work
2. simple past ik werkte I worked
3. perfect ik heb gewerkt I have worked
4. pluperfect ik had gewerkt I had worked
5. future ik zal werken I will work
6. conditional ik zou werken I would work
7. future perfect ik zal hebben gewerkt I will have worked
8. conditional perfect ik zou hebben gewerkt I would have worked

For each tense, you will have to learn two things: 1. Its conjugation (I work, he works, etc.) 2. Its application: When do we use the tense?

Another common 'tense' -not mentioned here- is the continuous (or 'progressive'): ik ben aan het lopen (I am walking). This will be discussed in the next chapter, under aan het continuous and te continuous.

The personal pronouns are:

1st singular I ik
2nd singular you je/u
3rd singular he/she/it hij/ze/het
1st plural we we
2nd plural you jullie
3rd plural they ze

As in English, in Dutch we have regular and irregular verbs.

Regular verbs all follow the same conjugation. To conjugate a regular verb, we need to know the stem. Therefore, before we move on to the actual conjugation of a verb, we need to know how to derive the stem from an infinitive.


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Last updated on October 23, 2007 ::