‘t Kofschip

As far as I know it doesn’t actually translate into a proper word (let me know if it does, i’d be interested to know about it and keep my blog factual). But that is irrelevant, this word helps us to identify how to conjugate a verb. This works for all tenses but I’m going to talk about it in the context of the present tense. I have talked about this is a previous post, so you could say all I am doing is going over it in a different way. If you are reading this post first I would recommend you checking out the post on The Past Tense. There is lots more information on there too!

This is a 4 step process so keep with me and look at each step, when we put them all together it is a pretty much foolproof method (disclaimer: there are exceptions, obviously, its Dutch, I’m convinced they make some of this stuff up as they go along!)

Step 1: Take your verb of choice in its infinitive. E.g. maken

Step 2: Now look at the 3rd letter from the end. E.g. maken

Step 3: Does the 3rd letter appear as one of the consonants in ‘t Kofschip?

Step 4: If it does the present/past participle gets a ‘-t’ added on the end. E.g. gemaakt


Here is a few more examples:

Step 1: betalenStep 2: betalen

Step 3: ‘t Kofschip

Step 4: gebetald

Step 1: kokenStep 2: koken

Step 3: ‘t Kofschip

Step 4: gekookt

Step 1: lachenStep 2: lachen

Step 3: ‘t Kofschip

Step 4: gelacht


Speaking-wise the sounds in the same. The ‘-t’ and ‘-d’ are pronounced exactly the same and apparently this is something that proper Dutch people struggle with (fully aware I’ve just called them ‘proper Dutch’ haha!). This rule works with all verb conjugations in all tenses. Basically learning ‘t Kofschip will just alert you to expect the verb to be formed differently and it is a great trick to use if you write something down that doesn’t quite sound right you can do the steps in reverse.

Is that making sense to everyone? I do hope so. Its not something that will come over night, and I constantly have to write ‘t Kofschip down before I work any of this out but we are only learners and there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. Remembering an actual word such as ‘t Kofschip is much easier than trying to remember each syllable separately, for me it is anyway so I am hoping it is for you too.


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