The little things (Or: B2 Dutch course #21)

Last week Monday we had a short test (one page, front and back) covering chapter 3, or landscape. Sometimes it’s the little things that help – even if you feel like a nerd for studying.

Dutch test perfect grade

And what can I say – I accidentally managed to frame the image pretty well, with the book above and the pencil to the left.

The main thing that we learned last night was the the various functions of zullen (to “will”) and zouden (the past tense of the same verb). Zullen is a auxiliary/helper verb used for the future tense. However, it is not as simple as translating it as “going to”, because the Dutch tend to either use gaan (to go) or the simple present tense when talking about the future. Ik ga morgen naar het strand. I go to the beach tomorrow. Morgen kom ik thuis. Tomorrow I come home.

Four functions of zullen: 

1. to make a proposal. Zullen we naar het strand gaan? Should we go to the beach?

2. to promise to do something (sometimes with the word wel). Ik zal morgen koken. I will cook tomorrow.

3. Conveying a strong expectation, though it is not 100% certain. Jullie zullen wel goed Nederlands leren. You (all) shall learn Dutch well.

4. a very strong resolution to do something, with accent on zal and zullen. Ik zál volgend jaar mijn diploma halen. 

Five functions of zou/zouden (past tense of zullen):

1. A polite question or request. Form:

zou(den) + kunnen/willen/mogen + infinitive

Zou je dit werk willen afmaken? Do you want to finish/complete this work?  Zou ik misschien morgen jouw auto kunnen lenen? Can I maybe borrow your car tomorrow (implied ‘please’)?

2. Uncertainty. Form:

zou(den) + infinitive

Zou hij ziek zijn? Could he be sick?

3A. Something unrealistic. Form:

Zou(den) + infinitive, often combined with als and the verb in the past tense.

Als iedereen aardig zou zijn, zou de wereld beter zijn. If everyone would be nice, the world would be better.

3B. A wish. Forms 1 and 2:

zou(den) + graag (+ willen) + infinitive

zou(den) + wel + willen + infinitive

Ik zou wel eens miljoen euro willen winnen. I would like to win a million euros.

Ik zou graag miljoen euro winnen. I would like to win a million euros.

4. Giving adviceForm generally starts with Als.

Als ik jou was, zou ik een Ferrari kopen. If I were you, I would buy a Ferrari.

5. A reminder of an appointment or promise. Form:

zou(den) + toch + infinitive

Jij zou toch met de fiets naar school komen? You are definitely coming to school with the bike?

 * * * * * * 

If you are interested you can take a test about zullen / zouden at this link.

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