Work in the Netherlands
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Lesson nr. 4

Present tense in Dutch

The verb is the component of the phrase that describes the subject's actions, changes, conditions, or mental states, as well as what occurs to it and where it goes.

Four situations call for the usage of simple present tense:

  1. to speak of an instantaneous event that takes place at the exact same time that we are discussing it.
  2. to describe a continuing, recurring, or routine activity or state
  3. to describe an upcoming event (in combination with an adverb of time)
  4. to speak about a potential "if - then" scenario

je[stem] + tjullieinfinitive
hij[stem] + tzeinfinitive

Dutch verbs only end with -EN (ex; Werken) or -N (ex; Zijn)



Onvoltooid tegenwoordige tijd [o t t]


1. Current action

The simple tense is used to describe a fleeting event that takes place at the same time as the subject of the sentence. I glance at the picture while mentioning it if I say, "I look at the painting." We can (and frequently do) substitute the continuous for the simple present tense by saying, "I am looking at the picture."

Het regent.It is raining.

2. Persistent, recurring, or habitual activity or state

The state or activity is unrelated to the instant we are discussing it.

Hij studeert in Amsterdam.He studies in Groningen.

Ik eet geen vlees.I do not eat meat.

3. Upcoming activities or events in the future

The Dutch frequently employ the simple present, even though we do have a future tense to allude to future actions or events. The speaker makes a reference to the future by using an adverb of time (tomorrow, next week).

Hij vliegt aanstaande vrijdag naar Paris.He will fly to Paris coming Friday.

4. If - then statements.

The Dutch are completely content with using the simple present when the English will use the auxiliary verb after a "if clause." You can also use the Dutch word for "will" (zullen; see future tense), but the sentence will sound stiff if you do.

Als je te veel cola drinkt, krijg je gaatjes in je tanden.If you drink too much coke, you will get cavities in your teeth.