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Regular Verbs

These verbs indicate the main action of the sentence and they are used 'as is' in the present, past and future.

Regular Verbs > GE- in Past Tense

This is the largest group in Afrikaans. These are verbs such as sit, stand, eat, walk, buy, think, etc. The regular verb pattern is to use a helping verb to make the sentence past tense or future tense. For the past tense, the helping verb het takes the second spot in the sentence, and the regular verb that was these goes to the end and a ge- prefix is added to the regular verb.

For example: Suzy drink die water.  > Suzy het die water gedrink.

To make the sentence future tense, the helping verb SAL (or GAAN) is in the second position, and the regular verb goes to the end.

For example: Suzy drink water. > Suzy sal water drink.

Here is an English sentence with Afrikaans grammar:

Present: Ian publishes the book in Europe.
Past: Ian het the book in Europe gepublish.
Future: Ian sal the book in Europe publish. or Ian gaan the book in Europe publish.

Regular Verbs - No GE- in Past Tense (Prefixed Verbs)
Regular Verbs - No GE- in Past Tense (Inseparable Compound Verbs)

They work just like regular verbs, with one exception: non GE- prefix in the past tense.


Greg koop die boek.  > Greg het die boek gekoop.
Greg verkoop die boek. > Greg het die boek verkoop.
Greg ondersteun die president. > Greg het die president ondersteun. (ondersteun=support)

a) PREFIXES are taught in pronunciation (click here). They are GE-, BE-, HER-, VER-, ONT-.  When verbs come with these, remember they act like regular verbs, but in the past tense they do not get a GE- past tense marker added. It's like wearing two sets of glasses -- no thanks!

b) INSEPARABLE COMPOUNDS (and separable compounds have two parts to the verb - the active part and the descriptive part. Click here to see a list of example verbs in this category. Think of the verb TO UNDERSTAND. Under is the descriptive part and stand is the active part.

Here is an English sentence with Afrikaans grammar:

Present: Ian understands the concept.
Past: Ian het the concept understand.

In Afrikaans:

Present: Ian ondermyn die leiers. (Ian undermines the leaders)
Past: Ian het die leiers ondermyn.