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The Gerund (Deelwoord)

A gerund is a former verb, reworked used to describe a noun. Remember, a gerund is not a verb anymore, it now describes a noun.

Example: The boy sings. (Someone sings) BUT The singing boy wins the competition. (someone wins).

You get two types:
present --  The speaking puppet draws in the crowds.
past      --  His spoken words are still with us.


Using the Onvoltooide Deelwoord, you add -ENDE to most verbs to do the job.Examples:

  • hoor > horende;
  • eet > etende;
  • sing > singende,
  • sit > sittende;
  • slaap > slapende;
  • werk > werkende.

Other sometimes slightly irregular formations:

  • vlieg > vlieënde;
  • vlug > vlugtende;
  • vra > vraende.

This might be good for you to review short and long vowels, because this directly impacts spelling. (Click here to access the long-short vowels in a separate tab, so you will not lose your place here.) As with forming plurals, forming gerunds requires you know about long and short vowels to get the spelling straight.


Using the Voltooide Deelwoord. Afrikaans comes from medieval Dutch, where verbs (like in English and German) had strong forms. Speak>spoke; sing>sang; fly>flew; etc. Afrikaans eliminated the strong form for verbs, but in the gerund form, some do remain.

Irregular Voltooide Deelwoord Examples:

  • spoken word > gesproke woord;
  • giet (pour, cast) > gegote. Regular past gerunds get the GE- prefix and a -DE/-TE suffix.

Regular Voltooide Deelwoord Examples:

  • las (join) gelaste; 
  • pas (fit) > gepaste;
  • koop (buy) > gekoopte;
  • kap (chop) gekapte;
  • hersien (review) > hersiene [note: prefixed verbs do not ge the GE-.]