What a week! As is often the case I’ve found, I walked out of the first lesson of the week with the feeling that my brain was oozing out of my ears.
We began with “Hoe vaak?” (How often?) and its various responses, all the way from “altijd” (always) to “nooit” (never).
A “v” in Dutch is pronounced softly like an “f” in English, combining that sound with the long double “a” … there was much juvenile giggling, and we all proved that we’re really twelve year olds at heart. It was amusing, and time was spent figuring out how to not say vaak until we’re all more comfortable with the language.
We then moved on to separable verbs. They are made up of a simple verb and a particle. You need to know separable verbs in order to know that when used in a present tense sentence they are broken up. Backwards. So “opbellen” (literally – “up phone”, translated “call”), in a sentence becomes “Ik bel mijn moeder op.” (I call my mother up). But it is still one verb.
Then we moved on to past tense. We got as far as what is known as, the “Perfectum”. Which is how you talk about actions that are over/finished in the past. Het Perfectum consists of an auxiliary verb (hebben) and the past participle.
So, for regular verbs you end up constructing it as “ge” + stem word + “d/t”, depending on whether them stem word ends in a consonant contained in “’T KoFSCHiP”, but based on the spelling of the infinitive root word before you added “en”.
Did you get all that? How’s your Dutch spelling by the way? Yeah.
Then there are the exceptions to the rules where the stem word already begins with ge-, be-, ver-, her,- or ont-, these are ge-blockers. Then there are the separable verbs again, where the prefix goes before the “ge” …
I think you can see why I wanted whiskey after that.
We spent the second lesson of the week revising and practicing until it felt more natural to use past tense in sentences. Going through the list of words we’d been asked to put together for homework was enlightening, and I was glad I’d done it in pencil. But I only had three mistakes, and they were spelling mistakes; I’d gotten the principles down.
We practiced until break time, and after break came back to learn that our text book had a list of approximately fifty of the most used infinitief and perfectum words which don’t subscribe to the regular verb rules in the back! Hoorah! We just have to memorise them all. Boo!
On top of that, some of them also break the “hebben” rule, and are in fact “zijn”. *wince* Again, just memorise it.
Oefenen, oefenen, oefenen! Practice, practice, practice! My life has a new motto.
In other news I’m now a featured blog over on Expat Blog! And you can check me out here! I’m so excited by this!
Don’t miss this opportunity to head on over and leave a comment in the comment box at the bottom of my listing! This was used to help determine last years Expat Blog Awards Winner! So, go have a look, leave a comment, and them pass the link along to all your friends and family!