The first official publication on Dutch spelling dates from 1804. In the 17th century different forms of spelling of the same word were still allowed. For example, taking the past participle of the verb ‘vestigen’ (to establish), one could write ‘gevestigt’ or ‘gevestigd’. Although both are identical in pronunciation, the latter form became the standard because it aligns with the spelling (and pronunciation) of the adjective ‘gevestigde’.
Spelling a past participle correctly in Dutch is a challenge to some Dutch people, especially when it sounds the same as the ‘first person present tense finite verb’, e.g. “Het is gebeurd” or “Het gebeurt”. Here one frequently encounters both the incorrect “Het is gebeurt” and “Het gebeurd”.
Photo taken on Rusland – Amsterdam
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