How to use English words as verbs in Dutch

In this article, we will discuss how to conjugate verbs that come from English.


Learn the theory

English has been influencing the Dutch language for years. Sometimes Dutch simply does not have a word for a new (technological) concept. It is often useful to use the English word. Think of words such as the internet, online and tool. Also for actions, English words are often used but conjugated following the Dutch rules.

Conjugating English verbs in Dutch

Let's look at an example. We compare the Dutch word "bellen" and the English word "appen" (which means as much as: texting someone via Whatsapp).

Present tense

  • Ik bel je.
  • Ik app je.
  • Jij belt me.
  • Jij appt me.
  • Hij belt me.
  • Hij appt me.
  • Wij bellen je.
  • Wij appen je.
  • Jullie bellen me.
  • Jullie appen me.
  • Zij bellen me.
  • Zij appen me.

Perfect tense (het perfectum)

  • Ik heb je gebeld.
  • Ik heb je geappt.
For the perfect tense you will need the SoFT KeTCHuP rule to make sure you pick the right letter at the end (D or T).

Simple past (het imperfectum)

  • Ik belde je.
  • Ik appte je.
  • Wij belden je.
  • Wij appten je.
Not sure how to form the simple past? Here you will read more.

Dutch language is full of "English" verbs

Some other examples are: Skypen, photoshoppen, internetten, computeren, gamen, X-boxen, sms'en, twitteren, shoppen, faxen, uploaden, downloaden, barbecueën, leasen. So, just follow the Dutch rules for these words! Even when it doesn't look so good:
  • Ik heb je foto op Facebook geliket.
  • Ik downloadde de documenten.
But be careful with Google. Because Google ends in -le, the word is adapted before becoming a Dutch verbs. So: googelen.
  • Hij googelt altijd alles.

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