The Dutch present perfect is used to express an action or event that happened in the past and already ended. This is actually very similar to the simple past and often mixed up by the Dutch themselves.
The present perfect does not have rules for when to use it, but only tips for guidance when to use this tense.
|To express an action or event in the past that ended.||
The verb 'hebben' (to have) is always used with the past participle to create a present perfect sentence.
In some cases the verb 'zijn' (to be) is used:
- To form the past participle of the link verbs:
- and to form the past participle of verbs that express movement, development of change. For example:
The next rule is used to form the past participle of weak verbs:
ge- (prefix) + stem + t/d (ending
If the stem already ends in '-t' or '-d', the extra '-t' or '-d' does not have to be added.
The table below shows examples of forming the present perfect with the verb 'hebben' (to have) and a verb ending in '-d' and ending in '-t'.
|Subject||Form||antwoorden (to answer)||wachten (to wait)|
|Ik (I)||heb + past participle||heb geantwoord||heb gewacht|
|Jij, u (You)||hebt + past participle||hebt geantwoord||hebt gewacht|
|Hij, zij, het (He, she, it)||heeft + past participle||heeft geantwoord||heeft gewacht|
|Wij (We)||hebben + past participle||hebben geantwoord||hebben gewacht|
|Jullie (You)||hebben + past participle||hebben geantwoord||hebben gewacht|
|Zij (They)||hebben + past participle||hebben geantwoord||hebben gewacht|
The next formula is used to form the past participle of strong verbs:
ge- (prefix) + stem + -en (ending)
Remember: if the verbs begin with the prefixes: 'ge-', 'be-', 'er-', 'her-', 'ver-' and 'ont-' the 'ge-' does not have to be added.
The table below shows examples of forming the present perfect with the verb 'zijn' (to be) and the past participle.
|Subject||Form||beginnen (to start)||sterven (to die)|
|Ik||ben + past participle||ben begonnen||ben gestorven|
|Jij, u||bent + past participle||bent begonnen||bent gestorven|
|Hij, zij, het||is + past participle||is begonnen||is gestorven|
|Wij||zijn + past participle||zijn begonnen||zijn gestorven|
|Jullie||zijn + past participle||zijn begonnen||zijn gestorven|
|Zij||zijn + past participle||zijn begonnen||zijn gestorven|
Strong verbs that have an 'i' in the infinitive, get an 'o' in the past form.
Strong verbs that have an 'e' in the infinitive, get 'o' in the past form.
Train your skills by doing the exercises below!
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