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Tenses

What is a tense?

Maybe the easiest way to describe what a tense is, is to pretend tenses do not exist. Then, we would say: "Yesterday she is sick, and today she is still a little sick, but by tomorrow she is not is sick anymore, I am sure."

I am sure you now have a great idea what conjugation is. In Latin for example, the conjugation was so important, you would say "Amo" to say I love, and "Amavi" to say I loved. In English love becomes loved, or did love.

PRESENT TENSE

In Afrikaans the present tense uses the verb without any time marker, or with a word like NOW or TODAY. E.g. Ek sit. Ek sit nou. Ek sit vandag.

PAST TENSE

To mark the past tense with the verb for regular verbs, you add GE- to the verb and use the helping verb HET with the verb at the end. E.g. Ek sit. > Ek het gesit. / EK het op die bed gesit. Some verbs do not get the GE- prefix. You will learn about them.

The TO BE verb (WEES),  is IS in the present tense, and WAS in the past tense, e.g. Ek was hier. You can also say Jy was hier gewees.

The verb TO HAVE (HÊ) uses HET in the present tense, e.g. Ek het vriende. and in the past you use the helping verb HET and the past tense form of HAVE, which is HAD with the GE-prefix added, e.g. Ek het vriende gehad.

FUTURE TENSE

To make a sentence future, you would put the word SAL in the place of the verb and the verb goes to the end of the sentence. E.g. Ek sit op die bed. > Ek sal op die bed sit. Other than using SAL, you could also use GAAN (going to). e.g. Ek gaan op die bed sit.

The TO BE verb (WEES),  is IS in the present tense, and SAL WEES in the future tense, e.g. Ek sal hier wees.

The verb TO HAVE (HÊ) uses HET in the present tense, e.g. Ek het vriende. and in the future you use SAL HÊ , e.g. Ek sal vriende hê.