|Beginner level||Intermediate level||Advanced level|
|Cycle 1||Quiz||Cycle 2||Quiz||Cycle 3||Cycle 4||Cycle 5||Cycle 6|
|Main||Les 1||Les 2||Les 3||Les 4||Les 5||Les 6||Les 7||Les 8||Les 9||Les 10||Les 11||Les 12||Les 13||Les 14||Les 15||Les 16||Les 17||Les 18||Les 19||Les 20||Les 21||Les 22||Les 23||Main|
|Practice||Les 1A||Les 2A||Les 3A||Les 4A||Les 5A||Les 6A||Les 7A||Les 8A||Les 9A||Les 10A||Les 11A||Les 12A||Les 13A||Les 14A||Les 15A||Les 16A||Les 17A||Les 18A||Les 19A||Les 20A||Les 21A||Les 22A||Les 23A||Practice|
|Examples||Vb. 1||Vb. 2||Vb. 3||Vb. 4||Vb. 5||Vb. 6||Vb. 7||Vb. 8||Vb. 9||Vb. 10||Vb. 11||Vb. 12||Vb. 13||Vb. 14||Vb. 15||Vb. 16||Vb. 17||Vb. 18||Vb. 19||Vb. 20||Vb. 21||Vb. 22||Vb. 23||Examples|
Intermediate level: cycle 3
Les 10 ~ Lesson 10
Meer over werkwoorden ~ More about verbs
|• Doe het licht uit.
|• Grammar:Separable verbs|
|Please use Firefox or Chrome. Internet Explorer will not give you the buttons to play the audio files|
Grammatica 10-1 ~ Separable verbsEdit
A lot of verbs in English have fixed adverbial complements and a comparable association often holds in Dutch. Compare:
- the bomb went off.
- de bom ging af.
- the light went on.
- het licht ging aan.
In English one could consider to go off as the infinitive of a distinct verb. In Dutch the association is even stronger, because in some of the forms of such a verb, e.g. the infinitive, the adverb af is actually written as a prefix. This becomes clear in the future tense:
- the bomb will go off.
- de bom zal afgaan.
This means that there are two types of prefixes to a Dutch verb: inseparable ones (such as be-) and separable ones (like af-). The first kind we have seen before:
- bedoelen - to mean
- hij bedoelde
- hij heeft bedoeld
The primitive tenses of a separable verb look like:
- het ging af
- het is afgegaan.
Notice that the separable verb does take the ge- marker of the past participle whereas the inseparable ones do not.
There is another difference, at least in the spoken language: the accent of the word lies on the prefix if it is separable, i.e. one says áfgaan, but bedóélen.
Some prefixes can occur both separably and inseparably such as door- (through, by) and voor- (for,before) and in some cases there are two different verbs that look deceptively the same, one separable, the other not, with different meanings. In the spoken language they differ by word accent, but this is not visible in the written one unless accents are deliberately added to avoid confusion. Compare:
- vóórkomen - kwam vóór - vóórgekomen - to occur
- voorkómen - voorkwám - voorkómen - to prevent
- de kluut komt meer in Nederland voor dan in Engeland.
- wij moeten er het verdwijnen van zien te voorkomen.
- the Avocet is more numerous in the Netherlands than in England. (lit. ...occurs more in NL than...)
- we have to prevent its disappearance.
Notice that just like in the case of the pronominal adverb ervan that translates its, the two parts of the separable verb can end up rather far apart in the sentence.
What we have seen earlier about inversion still applies:
- Komt de kluut hier meer voor? - inversion in question
- Gelukkig komt de kluut hier nog steeds voor. - gelukkig put in front for reasons of emphasis.
- een school dóórlopen - to walk through a school building (takes 5 minutes)
- een school doorlópen - to absolve one's education at a school (takes 5 years).
- Hij liep het gebouw dóór - he traversed the building
- Hij doorlíép het gymnasium - he graduated from a grammar school
Relationship to the prepositional adverbsEdit
In fact the comparison between pronominal adverbs and separable verbs is rather pertinent. We will revisit that in Les 17 Many prepositional adverbs occur both as part of pronominal adverbs and of separable verbs:
- meelopen met... => loop mee met ... (to march along with) (verbal separation)
- met alles => overal mee (with everything) (pronominal replacement)
- aanzitten aan ... (to partake in an official dinner party)
- aan alles => overal aan (at everything) (pronominal replacement)
Thus, occasionally the same prepositional adverb appears twice at the end of the phrase:
- hij liep overal mee mee. (he went along with anything at all)
- hij zat overal aan aan. (he was a high level social tiger)
The latter should not be confused with:
- hij zat overal aan. (he could not keep his hands off of anything)
- zitten aan (to touch, to not being able to keep your hands off something.)
The comedian Toon Hermans exploited this oddity once to great effect in one of his One Man Shows.
Although many of the prefixes of separable verbs are indeed prepositional adverb, this does not hold for all of them. Sometimes a separable verb results from compounding with e.g. a noun such as in koffiedrinken:
- koffiedrinken - dronk koffie - koffiegedronken
The verb means a bit more than to consume coffee. "Koffiedrinken" means getting together e.g. with your neighbors to have something to drink (and eat), not necessarily coffee.
Recall from lesson 9: Dag meneer, zou u mij kunnen zeggen waar ik mijn paspoort zou kunnen laten verlengen?
- Why does the word zou not follow the personal pronoun ik as it would in English? The reason is that the sentence starting with waar is a dependent subclause and in Dutch these subclauses have their own word order.
In a dependent subclause, e.g. a clause that starts with dat ("that") the separated forms of a separable verb also reunite
- ik doe het licht uit. - I switch the light off.
- ik zeg "dat" ik het licht uitdoe. - I say "that" I switch off the light.
Notice also the peculiar position of the verb in the subclause: it moves to the end of the phrase in its entirety.