Building on the passive tense (Or: B2 Dutch course #25)

This post is a continuation of the post last week, Actively Passive, which covered the basics of the passive form. There is only one other thing to cover – using the modal verbs with the passive form.

What are the modal verbs again?

1. willen – to want. He wants…

2. kunnen – can (to be able to) He can…

3. mogen – may (to be allowed to) He may…

4. moeten – must. He must…

5. zullen – will. He will go to… / He will do this…

How are they used with the passive form?

Method #1: modal verb + worden (in the infinitive form) + participle

Method #2: modal verb + participle + worden (in the infinitive form)

Thus the two methods only differ in the word order of ‘worden’ and the participle (examples of participles include gewerkt, gehaald, gedanst).

Can you give some examples?

Sure – these are from the textbook, De Finale. The examples use method #1, but of course the order of ‘worden’ and the participum can also be switched, i.e. geopereerd worden.

zullen – Hij zal volgende week vrijdag worden geopereerd. He is going to be operated on next week.

kunnen – Het voorstel kan nog worden verworpen. The proposal can still be rejected.

mogen  – Deze opdracht mag ook morgen worden ingeleverd. This assignment can also be turned in tomorrow.


And here’s a random photo from Lebkov’s serving area, a café near Central Station:

Lebkov - coffee in The Hague

You can also see the various types of sugar they had available – including chocolate flavored sugar, vanilla flavored sugar and cinnamon flavored sugar.

It’s still our favorite place to go and scheme, as they don’t mind if you sit there for 2-3 hours and do your work.

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