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A bunch of questions about te + inf.

Actually two of them:

  1. when do we use the structure om...te + inf and when the te+inf alone? I kind of figured out that the latter is used when there's a pronominal object, like in

Ik blijk het te weten or Hij denkt hem te kennen

But then the sentence:

Hij blijkt een goede acteur te zijn

And my whole theore suddenly became useless :P

  1. In the lessons there are sentences like

Ik zit te lezen Hij staat te bellen Zij lopen te praten

Translated just like "I am reading", "he is calling" and so on, regardless to the zitten/staten/lopen werb. Is a certain verb just obligatory attached to each action, or just the first verb indicates the "position" in which I am during performing the "te-action"? I presume it's the latter, but then shouldn't the translation be more like "I am reading while sitting" and so on?

Thanks for answering!

August 10, 2014



I think this link will be of great help (also click 'next page' in the bottom right, there are a few more pages).

The staan/zitten/lopen/hangen/etc. aren't obligatory. You can translate I am reading to Ik lees or Ik ben aan het lezen. It's just the way to express these kind of things in Dutch, with the emphasis that it is happening right now, e.g. Ik zit te lezen (I am sitting and reading/I am reading) indicates it is happening right now (and that ik is sitting, but that usually isn't that important). Ik lees can mean I'm reading or I like reading, there is no emphasis on the fact that it is happening now (probably because the -ing form (lezende) in Dutch is rarely used and because Ik lees morgen (Ik will be reading tomorrow) is also used with the same tense).

Edit: I didn't know aan het lezen in fact is the Dutch -ing form. So the last part "probably because…" probably isn't very true. :)


I will be readING tomorrow. Ik zal morgen lezenDE/aan het lezen zijn.


Ah thanks, I changed it in my post.


It's not used as often in Dutch I think, but it still exists yea:) Anyway, your posts explain things really well! Lucky learners of Dutch, I will part ways with a few of my lingots.

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