Zijn

The verb “zijn” (which means “to be” in English) is an irregular verb that has many uses. It is one of the most important Dutch verbs.

The Simple Present Tense forms of “Zijn”

Dutch English
Singular ik ben I am
hij / zij / het (‘t) is he / she / it is
je / jij bent you (informal*) are
u bent you (formal*) are
Plural wij zijn we are
jullie zijn you (informal*) are
u bent you (formal*) are
zij zijn they are
* These are the same in English.

Examples:

* Ik ben moe. I am tired.
* Zij is in Londen. She is in London.
* Je bent niet serieus! You are not serious !
* Wij zijn gelukkig. We are happy.
* Jullie zijn te omzichtig. You (all) are too cautious.
* Zij zijn vrolijk ! They are cheerful !

The Simple Past Tense forms of “Zijn”

Dutch English
Singular ik was I was
hij / zij / het (‘t) was he / she / it was
je / jij was you (informal*) were
u was you (formal*) were
Plural wij waren we were
jullie waren you (informal*) were
u was you (formal*) were
zij waren they were
* These are the same in English.

Examples:

* Ik was niet hier. I was not here.
* Zij was de hele week in Amsterdam. She was in Amsterdam all week.
* Wij waren in augustus op vakantie. We were on holiday in August.
* U was op vrijdag hier. You (formal+plural) were here on
Friday.
* Zij waren gelukkig mar moe. They were happy but tired.

The Perfect Tense forms of “Zijn”

Dutch English
Singular ik ben … geweest I have been …
hij / zij / het (‘t) is … geweest he / she / it has been …
je / jij bent … geweest you (informal*) have been …
u bent … geweest you (formal*) have been …
Plural wij zijn … geweest we have been …
jullie zijn … geweest you (informal*) have been …
u bent … geweest you (formal*) have been …
zij zijn … geweest they have been …
* These are the same in English.

Examples:

* Ik ben in Frankrijk geweest. I have been to France.
* Hij is niet in Duitsland geweest. He has not been to Germany.
* Zij is ongerust om haar hond geweest. She has been worried about her
dog.
* Wij zijn erg ijverig geweest. We have been very diligent.
* Jullie zijn erg gulzig geweest. You (all) have been very greedy.
* Zij zijn ziek geweest. They have been sick.

The Future Tense forms of “Zijn” (using “zullen”)

The Dutch verb zullen is used to in conjunction with another verb (in this case “zijn”), to refer to actions in the future in much the same way as the words “will”, or “shall” are used in English, e.g. “I will do something tomorrow”, or “I shall do something tomorrow”. However, in English these words are often simplified in everyday speech to: “I’ll do something tomorrow”.

Dutch English
Singular ik zal … zijn I will/shall be …
hij / zij / het (‘t) zal … zijn he / she / it will/shall be …
je / jij zult … zijn you (informal*) will/shall be …
u zult … zijn you (formal*) will/shall be …
Plural wij zullen … zijn we will/shall be …
jullie zullen … zijn you (informal*) will/shall be …
u zult … zijn you (formal*) will/shall be …
zij zullen … zijn they will/shall be …
* These are the same in English.

Examples:

* Ik zal morgen in Oxford zijn. I will be in Oxford tomorrow.
* Hij zal volgende week verwonderd
zijn.
He will be surprised next week.
* Wij zullen vanavond doodop zijn. We will be tired-out tonight.
* Zij zullen op donderdag hier zijn.. They will be here on Thursday.

In case you would like to print this posting we have made it available to download easily. Just click here: Print the page “Zijn”.

Published by Tulip

Tulip started learning Dutch recently. She has a long way to go but is having fun trying !

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