Verbs with two prefixes

Regular verbs, irregular verbs, auxiliary verbs, compound verbs... When do we use which tense? What about those strange constructions the Dutch use to make a continuous? "Staat" my book on the shelf or "ligt" it? Ask all about Dutch verbs here.
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Verbs with two prefixes

Post by ngonyama » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:43 am

I think that this is a difficult topic even for mothertongue speakers, e.g. if I look at the Woordenlijst of the Taalunie under 'heruitbrengen' ( the verb is treated as a normal separable verb:

heruitbrengen - ik bracht heruit - ik heb heruitgebracht.

But this is a little deceptive. The problem is that the verb has two prefixes her- and uit-. The second one of these is separable, but the first one is not.


herdénken - ik herdácht - ik heb herdácht is inseparable with emphasis on the verb stem
úítvinden - ik vond úít - ik heb úítgevonden is separable with emphasis on the prefix.

So verbs like heruitvinden, heruitgeven, heruitbrengen have a conflict. Are they separable or not? And where to put the emphasis. Often we get a mosaic of forms with these verbs.

The infinitive usually has the emphasis on hér (despite its inseparable nature)
De te-form is often separated héruit te brengen.
The past particple is also separable : héruitgebracht or herúítgebracht
In dependent clauses we often find recombined finite forms: ik was erbij toen ze dat héruitbrachten
But in independent ones we seldom find separated finite forms like: *ze brachten dat nummer heruit.

The situation seems to differ from verb to verb, but the above seems to be the order in which forms appear: separated finite forms seem to be the last ones to be accepted in speech. This is why I have my doubts about the entry "ik bracht heruit" in de Woordenlijst. You can try to google for it but it seems to be very rare.

Of course the problem is not present if the first prefix is separable and the second inseparable, like in uitvergroten:

uitvergroten - ik vergrootte uit - ik heb uitvergroot

It is perhaps a small side issue for people trying to learn Dutch, but I do think it deserves mention.

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