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Life is made of ever so many partings welded together.
Charles Dickens
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Etymology 1

From Proto-Germanic *sind-, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁es- (to be), likely influenced by the Proto-Germanic subjunctive *sī-. In many Germanic languages the paradigm of "to be" has been since the time of Proto-Germanic a synthesis of three originally distinct verb stems. The words "ben" and "bent" are from *bʰuh₂- (to become). The words "is" and "zijn" are both derived from *h₁es- (to be). Lastly, the past forms starting with "w-" such as "was" and "waren" are from *wes- (to reside), which still survives as wezen.



zijn (irregular verb)

  1. (intransitive) To be, to exist.
    Zijn of niet zijn, dat is de vraag. — To be or not to be, that is the question.
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Used to connect a noun to an adjective that describes it.
    De bal is rond. — The ball is round.
  3. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Used to form the perfect tense of the active voice of some verbs, together with a past participle.
    Hij is hier geweest. — He has been here.
    Note: The perfect tense of most other verbs is formed using hebben.
  4. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Used to form the perfect tense of the passive voice, together with a past participle.
    Ze waren gered. — They had been saved.
    De muur is geschilderd. — The wall has been painted.
    De muur zal zijn geschilderd. — The wall will have been painted.
    Note: The imperfect tense passive is formed using worden.
  5. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Used to form the continuous forms of various tenses, together with aan het.
    De man was aan het lopen. — The man was walking.
  6. (intransitive) To go, to go on a trip and return.
    Ik ben even naar de dokter. — I'm going to the doctor for a while.
    Ik ben vandaag naar het strand geweest. — I've been to the beach today.
  7. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) To equal; used to indicate that the values on either side of an equation are the same.
    Drie keer vijf is vijftien. — Three times five equals fifteen.
  8. (intransitive) To have the next turn in a game.
    Jij bent nu. — It's your turn now.
Infinitive: zijn
Present tense Past tense
Singular Plural Singular Plural
ik ben wij zijn ik was wij waren
jij bent jullie zijn jij was jullie waren
hij/zij is zij zijn hij/zij was zij waren
Present participle (Auxiliary) Past participle Imperative Subjunctive
zijnde zijn geweest wees zij
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Proto-Germanic *sīnaz, from Proto-Indo-European *seino-, originally a reflexive form. Cognate with German sein, Swedish sin.


zijn m. n. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) (independent possessive zijne, contracted form z'n)

  1. Third person singular, masculine and neuter possessive pronoun: his, its.
    Een man en zijn hond. — A man and his dog.
    Een man en z'n hoed. — A man and his hat.
    Een boek en zijn kaft. — A book and its cover.

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