- 1 Afrikaans
- 2 German Low German
- 3 Middle Dutch
- 4 Middle Low German
wesen (plural wesens)
German Low German
From Middle Low German wēsen, from Old Saxon wesan, from Proto-Germanic *wesaną, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wes-. All the forms with initial w- (imperative and past tense) derive from this root. It is related to Old English wesan, Dutch wezen, West Frisian wêze.
The original infinitive is wesen but a second infinitive sien also exists. The infinitive wesen is still the most used one, but in general which one is used is a matter of personal preference and/or region.
The infinitive sien derives from Middle Low German sîn, from Old Saxon sīn. Along with the words is and sünd, it derives ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁es- (“to be”), which had no separate infinitive in Germanic. The modern infinitive sien was probably back-formed in late Old Saxon from the former first-person plural subjunctive sīn (“we be”), since this form had become identical to the infinitive in other verbs during the late Old Saxon period. Compare also Dutch zijn and its alternative infinitive wezen.
Finally, the forms bin/bün and bist/büst derive from Proto-Germanic *beuną (“to be, to become”), from *bʰuH- (“to become”), which survives only as relic forms in the West Germanic languages and not at all in the others. Its infinitive and non-singular forms are only attested in (Old) English.
- IPA(key): /ˈʋɛː.zən/, /ˈvɛː.zən/ (most areas, including parts of Brandenburg)
- IPA(key): /ˈwɛː.zən/, /ˈβɛː.zən/ (conservative pronunciation for most areas; becoming steadily rarer post 17th century)
- IPA(key): /ˈʋeː.ən/, /ˈʋɛːn/ (areas with historical Frisian settlement)
- IPA(key): /ˈʋɪɛ.zən/, /ˈʋɪa.zən/ (most of Westphalia)
- IPA(key): /ˈʋeː.zən/ (some dialects at the Dutch border and North Sea coast)
- IPA(key): /ˈβeːa.zən/, /ˈʋeːa.zən/ (Brandenburg)
- (intransitive) To be, to exist.
Wesen oder nich wesen, dat is de Fraag.
- To be or not to be, that is the question.
Weerst du dor Saterdag ook?
- Were you there too Saturday?
- (transitive, copulative) Used to connect a noun to an adjective that describes it.
De Straat is breet.
- The street is broad.
- (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the perfect tense of the active voice of some verbs, together with a past participle.
Note: The perfect tense of most other verbs is formed using hebben.
He is hier nie west.
- He has never been here.
- (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the perfect tense of the passive voice, together with a past participle.
Note: The imperfect tense passive is formed using warrn.
Se weren höört.
- They had been heard.
De Wagen schall köfft wesen.
- The car will have been bought.
- (transitive, auxiliary) Used to form the continuous forms of various tenses, together with an't.
De Hund weer an't Lopen.
- The dog was running.
- (intransitive) To go, to go on a trip and return.
Ik bün för en Wiel na de Dokter.
- I am going to the doctor for a while.
He is vundaag na Düsseldörp west.
- He's been to Düsseldorf today.
- (intransitive, impersonal) Used to indicate weather, temperature or some other general condition.
Dat is böös warm vundaag.
- It is very warm today.
- (transitive, copulative, mathematics) To equal; used to indicate that the values on either side of an equation are the same, often used with gliek an.
Dree Mal fief is gliek (an) föffteihn.
- Three times five equals fifteen.
- (intransitive) To have the next turn in a game.
Nu büst du.
- It is your turn now.
- (with an indirect object and no subject) It is, be
- Mi is dat koolt nu.
- To me it is cold. (“I feel cold.”)
- Mi is dat koolt nu.
|1st person singular||bin, bün, sin, sen||weer, was|
|2nd person singular||bist, büst||weerst, weres|
|3rd person singular||is, es, ös||weer, was|
|plural||sind, sünd, sin||weren, wassen|
|wesen(de)||(e)wesen, (e)west, gewesen, gewest|
|Note: This conjugation is one of many; neither its grammar nor spelling apply to all dialects.|
- The stem wes- is pronounced with an open vowel or diphthong in all forms, in dialects which have not merged these vowels with close long vowels. (cf. Pronunciation section)
- The original forms are marked bold, the other forms were created later in a process of pattern regularisation.
- The forms with ü come from later rounding due to a mixture of labial environment and unstressed position.
- to be
- Dutch: wezen
Middle Low German
- to be
- Sin/wesen is a verb with two infinitives and mostly identical conjugation, similar to Dutch zijn/wezen. Some forms, such as the imperative (sit/west), may differ depending on the infinitive preferred, but in general which one was used was a matter of personal preference. (This is also true for modern Low German.)
- Low German: wesen