Spelling, when ad, t or dt?
Many people have trouble spelling the Dutch language. What causes the most problems is the conjugation of verbs. When does a conjugation of a verb end with ad, when with a t and when with dt? There are some easy mnemonics to never make mistakes again.
A verb in the Dutch language is a word that indicates an action or effect. The verb must be congruent with the subject, which means that if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. A verb determines the tense in which a sentence is:
- The present tense: it works
- The perfect tense: he has worked
- The simple past tense: it worked
- Past perfect tense: he had worked
Present tense conjugations
To conjugate a verb, you start from the “root” of the verb. The stem of a verb consists of the verb, but without -en:
- Verb: to work
- tribe: work
To conjugate this verb in the present tense you can use the following sequence:
|I work||We work|
|You work||You work|
|He / You work||They work|
If the stem of a verb ends in ad, the sequence looks like this:
- Verb: turn into
- tribe: become
|I become||We become|
|You will be||You become|
|He / You becomes||They become|
If the subject has the “you” or “he / you” shape, there will be one after the stem t. The trunk ends in one d, then this means that there is one d and t are placed behind each other. Are you unsure about a verb with a stem ending in one d or one t find out, replace this verb with a verb that is none d in the end has:
- The man will work 50 years tomorrow.
- The man will turn 50 tomorrow.
In the sentence working with the verb you hear, when you pronounce it, that there is one t behind the trunk. You don’t hear this in the sentence with the verb to become, because you have the d also as a t pronounces, but hears the t so behind it. This is a handy mnemonic to use.
End the stem of a verb in one t, then the rule is that there is no extra in the conjugation t comes to:
- Verb: rest
- tribe: peace
|I rest||We rest|
|You rest||You rest|
|He / You rest||They rest|
Present Perfect Conjugations
The perfect tense consists of an auxiliary verb and a past participle. A sentence in the present perfect indicates an action or event in the past. The auxiliary verbs usually consist of conjugations of the verbs “to have” or “to be”. Example: He has worked.
To determine whether the past participle should end with a d or t, a mnemonic is again available. Again, the root of the verb is assumed. There are voiceless consonants and voiced consonants in our alphabet. With the pronunciation of a voiceless consonant you do not feel a vibration in your throat, with a voiced consonant you do feel that vibration. We use to be able to remember what the voiceless consonants are the coffee ship or the breeding sheep. These fictional words contain all voiceless consonants: t, k, f, s, ch, p.
If the raw stem of a verb ends in a voiceless consonant, the past participle becomes a t written at the end. When the raw stem of a verb ends in a voiced consonant, the past participle is written with ad at the end. The raw stem consists of the verb without -en.
|verb||rough trunk||vtt||the coffee ship|
|to work||work||has worked||Yes|
|having lunch||lunch||had lunch||Yes|
Conjugations in the past tense and past tense
The rules of the kofschip also apply to the simple past tense (ovt) and the past perfect tense (vvt).
|verb||rough trunk||ovt||vvt||the coffee ship|
|to work||work||worked||had worked||Yes|
|having lunch||lunch||had lunch||had lunch||Yes|
Weak and strong verbs
In the Dutch language there is a distinction between weak and strong verbs. The above rules apply to weak or regular verbs. However, different rules apply to strong or irregular verbs. In these verbs, the vowel changes in the past tense and the past participle does not end in one d or t, but on -and.
|walk||he is walking||has walked||he walked||had walked|
|come||he comes||has come||he came||had come|
|to give||he gives||has given||he gave||had given|
|look||he looks||watched||he looked||had looked|