• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Unaccusative verbs

Unaccusative subjects characteristically occur with verbs denoting a process with a relatively passive participant, such as oankomme arrive or falle fall. The perfect tense of such verbs is formed with the aspectual verb wêze be.


The perfect tense of unaccusative verbs is formed with wêze be and not with hawwe have:

Example 1

a. De trein is oankommen
the train is arrived
The train has arrived
b. *De trein hat oankommen
the train has arrived
The train has arrived
c. It jonkje is fallen
the boy is fallen
The boy has fallen
d. *It jonkje hat fallen
the boy has fallen
The boy has fallen

The perfect participle of unaccusative verbs can be used as an attributive modifier of a noun:

Example 2

a. De niis oankommen trein
the just arrived train
The train which just arrived
b. It fallen jonkje
the fallen boy
The fallen boy