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Tense locates a situation or action in time with respect to some other time, for instance the time of speaking or writing. In Saterland Frisian, tense is morphologically expressed on the finite verb, either a lexical verb or an auxiliary. Only two tenses are available: present and past. In regular verbs tense is expressed by way of suffixation, for instance iek moakje (‘I make, I’m making’, present tense) versus iek moakede (‘I made’, past tense). In irregular verbs also the device of vowel change is used. An example is iek rinne ‘I run, I am running’ (present tense) versus iek ron ‘I ran’ (past tense). The future is not expressed morphologically. The auxiliary skälle or wolle must be invoked.

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