How come some verbs in the present perfect are formed with the standard ge+stem+t/d while others seem to only get ge+infinitive?
For example, in 'Hij heeft het boek gelezen', the verb includes neither the stem nor the t/d. But in 'Het kind is 10 centimeters gegroeid', groeien follows the rules? Why is that? Is there a way I can tell whether a verb will do this or not?
To my knowledge this just has to be learnt, there are no rules. Also remember verbs beginning with be-, er-, ge-, her-, ont- and ver- don't get the ge- prefix. "Woordenlijt" is a good website that you can use to conjugate verbs and inflect adjectives/nouns
Present Perfect: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.Re13
Past Participle: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Verbs.Re12
There aren't really rules, but maybe a few guidelines:
-common verbs are more likely to be irregular
-short verbs (which in Dutch means one syllable) have a tendency to be irregular
-compound verbs that include an irregular verb are (usually) irregular as well
-strong verbs (verbs that change their stem vowel in the past tense) often have a long vowel or a diphthong in the stem
Btw, my trick for learning them is to get as long a list of irregular verbs as I can find and figure out the groups of similarly irregular verbs myself. It helps me memorise it.