This is a bad question for a person that has been learning languages for a while now, but I'm just wondering what exactly are participles? Also on http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.01 it seems to explain/show that the past participle and the present perfect are the same?!
The past participle is the static element of the verb that shows a past action/completed action (e.g. «Having finished his work assignment, Greg started thinking about his evening plans with Brad»). In West Germanic languages, it is placed after an auxiliary verb to form the perfect tenses and the passive voice:
- English: I have/had/will have taken
- Dutch: ik heb/had genomen
- German: ich habe/hatte genommen
The present perfect in only one of those tenses, and it's formed using the present tense of the auxiliary (in Dutch, either hebben or zijn) in the present followed by the past participle of the main verb; this pattern of having the auxiliary conjugated in the simple tense that matches the perfect tense holds for every case, just like in English. Below is an example of the palette of perfect tenses in Dutch and where the
auxiliaries and past participles fit.
- Present Perfect: Ik
- Pluperfect/Past Perfect: Ik
- Future Perfect: Ik
hebbengenomen (two auxiliaries here, just like in English - will [zal] have [hebben]).
- Conditional Perfect: Ik
Probably the hardest part of learning past participles in Dutch (before you start understanding that they don't necessarily align with the English tenses) is knowing which verbs are regular or not and how to get the hang of creating a past participle out of a verb radical (the ge- prefix and the t' kofschip rule of suffixes), but it gets easier once you try it out a few times and start understanding the patterns involved. You should read the explanations in Dutchgrammar.com about past participle formation (http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.Re12) and start memorizing the rules to see if and when they apply.
Good luck with your studies :)