• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents

Aspectual verbs are able to provide the outer structure for an intransitive complementive predication.


Aspectual verbs of being include: wêze be, wurde become, bliuwe stay, lykje seem, skine appear. They are traditionally referred to as copulas. They can be used with all sorts of set-denoting adjectives, as shown in the examples below:

Example 1

a. De famkes wiene wurch
the girls were weary
The girls were tired
b. It berntsje waard wiet
the girl became wet
The child became wet
c. Omke Rimmer bleau lilk op Mark
uncle Rimmer stayed angry on Mark
Omke Rimmer remained angry with Mark
d. Hy liket âlder as dat er is
he seems older than that he is
He seems older than he is

Blike turn out is not used in a copular construction in Frisian; an infinitival construction is used or the idiom bliken dwaan appear do is used, in which the verb blike appear has the form of a gerund, as is evidenced by the final -n:

Example 2

a. *Hy bliek siik
he turned.out ill
He turned out to be ill
b. Hy bliek siik te wêzen
he turned.out ill to be
He turned out to be ill
c. It die bliken dat er siik wie
it did appear that he ill was
It turned out that he was ill

The verb lykje seem requires the particle ta in case the person to whom something appears to be the case is made explicit:

Example 3

a. *Liket it dy net skoan?
seems it you not nice
Does not it seem nice to you?
b. Liket it dy net skoan ta?
seems it you not nice ADP
Does not it seem nice to you?

The meaning seem as if can be expressed in a peculiar construction containing the negation of the comparative of the adjective lyk equal':

Example 4

a. It wie net lik-er as soe de hiele boel yn 'e loft fleane
it was not equal.CPR as would the whole thing in the sky fly
It seemed as if everything would explode
b. It is nea lik-er as slacht der in skoattel foar altyd ta
it is never equal.CPR as hits there a lock for always close
It seems as if a door is closed for ever

The verb skine appear is not normally used with a predicative adjective in Frisian:

Example 5

a. *Hy skynt siik
he appears ill
He appears to be ill
b. Hy skynt siik te wêzen
he appears to be ill
He appears to be ill

The verb appears in a peculiar idiomatic frame in which it can combine with nominalised colour adjectives (see also suffix -ens):

Example 6

It wetter skynde út'en readens
the water shone out the redness
The water shimmered with a reddish gleam

The Adposition Phrase (PP) cannot be extracted from the predicate, though it can be preposed:

Example 7

a. ?Út 'en readens skynde it wetter
out the redness shone the water
The water shimmered with a reddish gleam
b. *'En readens skynde it wetter út
the redness shone the water with
The water shimmered with a reddish gleam