Afrikaans and English/Contrastive grammar
In English, past tense usually just involves changing the verb to its past tense form (usually by adding an '-ed' suffix to the end of the verb), but in Afrikaans, past tense usually involves adding a 'het' in the place of the verb, and then moving the verb to the end of the sentence and adding a 'ge-' prefix to the verb. If there's a preposition at the end of the sentence though, you join the preposition and the verb together.
- (EN) I run today -> I ran yesterday; (AFR) Ek hardloop vandag -> Ek het gister gehardloop
- (EN) I kick the ball -> I kicked the ball; (AFR) Ek skop die bal -> Ek het die bal geskop
- (EN) I knock the vase off -> I knocked the vase off; (AFR) Ek klop die vaas af -> Ek het die vaas afgeklop
However, in Afrikaans, the exceptions to this rule include:
- Auxiliary verbs, in which case only they change, while the rest of the sentence stays the same.
- (EN) I can do it -> I could do it; (AFR) Ek kan dit doen -> Ek kon dit doen
- (EN) I am a doughnut -> I was a doughnut; (AFR) Ek is 'n donut -> Ek was 'n donut
- Words with 'be-', 'ge-', 'her-', 'er-', 'ont-', or 'ver-' prefix don't get a new 'ge-' suffix, staying the same.
- (EN) I recognize the man -> I recognized the man; (AFR) Ek herken die man -> Ek het die man herken
- Sentences with 'begin', 'probeer', 'gaan', or 'laat' in them. No 'ge-' prefix is added, and the words get moved to the end of the sentence.
- (EN) I begin cooking it -> I began cooking it; (AFR) Ek begin dit kook -> Ek het dit begin kook
- (EN) I let him begin talking -> I let him begin talking; (AFR) Ek laat hom begin praat -> Ek het hom laat begin praat
In Afrikaans, there are special words that describe intensive form, whereas in English there are no such words, and the ideas are expressed as similes or 2 words instead. Here is a list of a few intensive form examples:
|Oorspronklike woord (Original word)||Intensiewe vorm (Intensive form)||English translation original word||English translation intensive form|
|Blind||Stokblind||Blind||As blind as a stick|
|Nodig||Broodnodig||Necessary||As necessary as bread|
|Flou||Stokflou||Weak||As weak as a stick|
|Doof||Stokdoof||Deaf||As deaf as a stick|
|Rond||Koeëlrond||Round||As round as a bullet|
|Skraal||Rietskraal||Slim||As slim as a reed|
|Koud||Yskoud||Cold||As cold as ice|
|Soet||Stroopsoet||Sweet||As sweet as syrup|
|Arm||Brandarm||Poor||As poor as fire|
Note that all negative physical traits have a 'stok-' prefix in their intensive form, and that many intensive forms have a 'dood-' prefix.