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Using the present perfect
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Tradott mill-Ingliz minn ...

We use the present perfect for past actions and events. This can be a bit confusing because this is precisely what we said about the simple past?! The Dutch themselves often mix up these two tenses and there are no strict rules that tell you when to use which tense. We only have a few guidelines. You may find this lack of clear instructions annoying but you can also see it from the positive side: You will hardly ever be really wrong.

ik heb/ben + pp we hebben/zijn + pp
je hebt/bent + pp jullie hebben/zijn + pp
hij heeft/is + pp ze hebben/zijn + pp

I advise you to read the page about using the simple past? first. If you know when to use the simple past, you can safely use the present perfect in all other cases.

When referring to an event that took place in the past, we usually opt for the present perfect.

Hij heeft haar vandaag al drie keer gebeld . He already called her three times today.
Ik ben nog nooit zo gelukkig geweest ! I have never been this happy!
Afgelopen zaterdag hebben we lang uitgeslapen . Last Saturday, we slept till late.

We often combine the present perfect with the simple past. The present perfect sets the event in the past, the simple past describes what went on during that event. For examples, see using the simple past?.


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L-ahhar aggornament May 03, 2007 ::