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Dutch verb conjugation and tenses

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The 8 Dutch verb tenses

There are 8 different tenses in Dutch.

  • Most Dutch verbs are regular verbs, 'zwakke werkwoorden' (weak verbs), these are verbs that are all conjugated the same way. 
  • The Dutch language also has many irregular verbs, known as 'sterke werkwoorden' (strong verbs), which conjugate differently in some of the tenses. These can be grouped together to make it easier to remember how to conjugate them.
  • There are 6 completely irregular verbs, that are not actually irregular in every tense.

Here you will find an overview of all the 8 tenses. For a more detailed explanation of the tenses you can take a look at the different chapters of this course, where you will also find exercises to practice the tenses.

Usage and conjugation of the Dutch verb tenses

To be able to conjugate the Dutch verbs in the present simple and present past, you have to find the stem of the verb and add the specific ending that fits with the tense the sentence should be in.
For the present perfect and past perfect the verbs 'hebben' (to have) and 'zijn' (to be) are used together with the past participle. The verb 'zullen' (to shall) is used to form the all future tenses. 

The table below gives you an overview of the different tenses in Dutch. 

Present simple (onvoltooid tegenwoordige tijd)The present simple is mainly used to describe a situation that is happening now.
  • Ik ga naar tennis.
  • Ik maak mijn huiswerk. 
  •  I go to tennis.
  • I do my homework.
Present perfect 
(voltooid tegenwoordige tijd) 
The present perfect is used to describe an action or event that happened in the past and already ended.
  • Ik ben naar tennis gegaan. 
  • Ik heb mijn huiswerk gemaakt. 
  • I have gone to tennis.
  • I have done my homework.
Past simple 
(onvoltooid verleden tijd)
The past simple is mainly used to describe something happened in the past. 
  • Gisteren ging ik naar tennis. 
  • Ik maakte mijn huiswerk.
  • I went to tennis yesterday.
  • I did my homework.
Past perfect
(voltooid verleden tijd)
The past perfect is used to describe something that happened in the past and ended in the past. 
  • Ik was naar tennis gegaan. 
  • Ik had mijn huiswerk gedaan. 
  • I had gone to tennis.
  • I had done my homework.
Future simple
(onvoltooid tegenwoordige toekomende tijd) 
The future simple tense is used to talk about an event that will happen in the future. 
  • Ik zal naar tennis gaan.
  • Ik zal mijn huiswerk maken. 
  •  I shall go to tennis.
  • I shall do my homework.
Future perfect
(voltooid tegenwoordige toekomende tijd) 
The future perfect is used to describe an action that will have been completed before another point or action in the future.
(This form is not used very often.)
  • Ik zal naar tennis zijn gegaan. 
  • Ik zal mijn huiswerk hebben gemaakt. 
  • I shall have gone to tennis.
  • I shall have done my homework.
Conditional tense
(onvoltooid verleden toekomende tijd)
The conditional tense is used to speculate about a situation, mainly used in an 'if' scenario.
  • Als ik jou was, zou ik naar tennis gaan. 
  • Als ik jou was, zou ik mijn huiswerk maken. 
  • If I were you, I would go to tennis.
  • If I were you, I would do my homework.
Conditional perfect
(voltooid verleden toekomende tijd)
The conditional perfect is used to describe a future hypothetical situation in the past. 
  • Als ik niet ziek was, zou ik naar tennis zijn gegaan. 
  • Als ik niet ziek was, zou ik mijn huiswerk hebben gemaakt. 
  • If I were not sick, I would have gone to tennis.
  • If I were not sick, I would have done my homework.


  1. Exercise to practice Dutch verb conjugation and tenses 1
  2. Exercise to practice Dutch verb conjugation and tenses 2

Exercise to practice Dutch verb conjugation and tenses 1

Exercise to practice Dutch verb conjugation and tenses 2

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Next lessons

1 Dutch present simple (onvoltooid tegenwoordige tijd) Learn the Dutch grammar with this overview.
2 Dutch past simple (onvoltooid verleden tijd) Learn the Dutch past simple with an overview of the grammar rules.
3 Dutch present perfect (voltooid tegenwoordige tijd) Learn the Dutch grammar with this overview.
4 Dutch past perfect (voltooid verleden tijd) Learn the Dutch past perfect with an overview of the grammar rules
5 Dutch future simple Learn the Dutch future simple with an overview of the grammar rules
6 Dutch future perfect Learn the Dutch future perfect with an overview of the grammar rules.
7 Dutch conditional tense Learn the Dutch conditional tense with an overview of the grammar rules
8 Dutch conditional perfect Learn the Dutch conditional perfect with an overview of the grammar rules and exercises.