Simple Past Tense

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  • The simple past tense in Dutch corresponds to the simple past tense in English. It is not a compound tense like the perfect tense, and some verbs have vowel changes, as in English. Generally, the simple past tense is indicated in English by adding -ed to the verb (for regular verbs, at least.) This tense is used for actions that happened in the past and that are completely done. To form the past tense, add -te (or -de) to the stem for the singular persons and -ten (or -den) to the stem for the plural persons. If the verb stem ends in p, t, k, f, s, or ch, add -te or -ten; for all other endings, add -de or -den. Verbs that have either v or z as the final consonant of the stem change them to f or s first and then add -de and -den.

    ik, jij, u, hij, zij wij, jullie, zij
    wonen - to live woonde woonden
    geloven - to believe geloofde geloofden
    praten - to talk praatte praatten
    spelen - to play speelde speelden
    trouwen - to marry trouwde trouwden
    werken - to work werkte werkten
    fietsen - to cycle fietste fietsten

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