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Show all Auxiliaries

Non-finite forms of the verb usually need an auxiliary (that is: unless they are used with imperative semantics or in elliptic sentences). The perfect auxiliary verbs häbe ‘to have’ and weze ‘to be’ combine with past participles (e.g. iek häbe rieden ‘I have driven, I drove’ (immutative), iek bän ätter Romelse rieden ‘I have driven to Ramsloh, I drove to Ramsloh’ (mutative)’. The passive auxiliary wäide combines with past participle, too, e.g. ju Knippe wude ätters ap dän Disk fuunden ‘the purse was found on the table, afterwards’. Modal verbs (e.g. wolle ‘want’, konne ‘be able’) select infinitival VPs as complements, e.g. ju kon al Rääd fiere ‘she can already ride a bicycle’. Saterland Frisian has two categories of infinitives: the ‘short’ infinitive (usually characterised by the suffix -e) and the ‘long’ or gerundival infinitive (characterised by the suffix (e)n). Modal verbs take the short infinitive (so: fiere, not fieren).

Wäide is used as a passive auxiliary verb: dät Bäiden wädt drain ‘the child is carried’ (perfect tense: dät Bäiden is drain wuden ‘the child has been (or: was) carried’.

The originally Low German ‘do support’ construction is sometimes used to avoid a past tense: hie hied deermäd rekend, dät Geske him düftig bipraaljen diede ‘he had expected that Geeske would praise him lavishly.’

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