From Middle Dutch sien, from Old Dutch sian, from Proto-Germanic *sehwaną, from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷ- (“to see, notice”). Cognate with Low German sehn, West Frisian sjen, German sehen, English see, Danish and Swedish se, Icelandic sjá, Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐌹𐍈𐌰𐌽 (saiƕan).
zien was originally a class 5 strong verb. There was originally an 'h' sound in zien, which was lost from the infinitive and present tense forms through syncope in Old Dutch. However, the 'h' sound alternated with a 'g' in the past tense through Grammatischer Wechsel, and this remained.
- To see.
- Ik zie jouw kat! — “I see your cat!”
|present tense||past tense|
|1st person singular||zie||zag|
|2nd person singular||ziet||zag|
|2nd person sing. (gij)||ziet||zaagt|
|3rd person singular||ziet||zag|