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The traditional classification of strong and weak verbs gives way to division into regular and irregular,

Regular verbs. As class II of the former weak verbs was the most productive and served as the basis for the rules of formation of the past tense and participle II, the majority of formerweak verbs belonging to thisIIclass remain regular: love, look, ask, mark, …

The verbs that are derived from other parts of speech are all regular and from their past tense and participle II by adding –ed suffixnow perceived as the ending.

All borrowed verbs form their past tense in the same way, and so they are regular.

That so neglected you.

Some verbs (traditionally strong) form their past tense forms and participles differently – the past tense by adding ed, participle II by means of adding the suffix –en to the stem of the infinitive.

Melt – melted – melted (molten)

Shave – shaved – shaved (shaven)

Show – showed – shown (showed)

Sow – sowed – sown (sowed)

Wax – waxed – waxed (waxen)

Irregular verbs include those former strong verbs that preserved the vowel interchange in the root. Here belong both those that form their participle with the help of the suffix –n, and those that lost the suffix altogether.

Rise – rose – risen

Steal – stole – stolen

Bite – bit – bit

Sit – sat – sat

Swim – swam – swum

Many regular weak verbs of the I class where phonetic processes of assimilation of consonants led to the changed of the suffix to –t, shortening of the vowels in front of consonants caused the difference in sounds of the infinitive and the two other forms:

Feel – felt – felt

Meet – met – met

Send – sent – sent

Bend – bent – bent

Those verbs of the I class of the weak verbs which were irregular in OE and ME remain irregular:

Tell – told – told

Sell – sold - sold

The verbs that were always irregular and stood apart from all the classification to doand to go did not change and also belong to the irregular:

Do – did – done

Go – went – gone

To say nothing of the verb to be that being irregular in its basic forms be – was – been retained the forms of the 1st person in present singular and number in the past tense.

The group of irregular verbs includes also some verbs that became invariable as a result of phonetic change. Such weak verbs the root of which ended in –t as cut, shut, set, hurt, rid, put, split… hence they are invariable now.


Modal verbs

The changes in preterite-present are significant. Some verbs are lost altogether (dowen, unnen). The rest lost the greater part of their paradigms and turned into a group of modal verbs. Unlike the former preterite-present verbs, these are no longer autonomous and cannot be used without a complement. Now they are always used as modal auxiliaries with the infinitive without the participle to.

The verb witen (to know) which is still found in Shakespeare’s times in the form wot/ wotst/ wots/. Practically in never became a true modal.

The rest are used only as modal auxiliaries. The verb can/could. Could may be used to mean past indicative or the present subjunctive;

May/might …

The preterite-present verb owen split into two – a regular verb owe with the meaning “to possess” or “to be in debt to”; its past tense ought acquired its present-day meaning of duty or moral obligation or probability or natural consequence…


The most significant change underwent the verb mot, moste… in Early New English the uses of must are often associated with the use of the adverb needs, rendering the meaning of necessity.

The verbs daren, duren has partly preserved its nature as a preterite-present verb… it also developed a new meaning “to challenge or provoke a person into a demonstration of courage”.

The verb wil/would, formally anomalous, now approaches the modals.


The number of basic forms of the former strong is reduced to three: that of the infinitive, past tense and Participle II. ………………….

Date: 2016-03-03; view: 1287

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