Wednesday, November 2, 2011

35 Troublesome Irregular Verbs

In English, many verbs adapt simply to the past tense with the attachment of either -d or -ed, as in walk/walked or brake/braked. These are called regular verbs.

Many other verbs, however, undergo more significant alterations to transform from references to present-tense actions to those representing actions performed in the past. Such words are called irregular verbs.

The simple past, the tense form that describes what has previously occurred, is fairly straightforward once one assimilates the forms for each irregular verb. But complications set in when the past participle — a verb assisted by an auxiliary verb, or a past-tense form of the verb to be — is employed.

Some past-participle forms are easily distinguished from their simple-past counterparts, as in the case of ate/eaten, for example, or saw/seen ("I ate already"/"I had eaten already"; "We saw the movie"/"We had seen the movie"). Others, however, often literally give writers pause. Many of them are presented below in sample sentences with simple-past usage for comparison:

1.
"A problem arose."
"A problem had arisen."

2.
"They beat the odds."
"They had beaten the odds."

3.
"She bore it well."
"She had borne it well."

4.
"He broke the record."
"He had broken the record."

5.
"My friend drank three beers already."
"My friend had drunk three beers already."

6.
"You forsook us."
"You had forsaken us."

7.
"The boy hid the ball."
"The boy had hidden the ball."

8.
"I lay on the floor for a moment."
"I had lain on the floor for a moment."

9.
"We rode far."
"We had ridden far."

10.
"The phone rang."
"The phone had rung."

11.
"She rose to the occasion."
"She had risen to the occasion."

12.
"She sang."
"She had sung."

13.
"He shook it loose."
"He had shaken it loose."

14.
"The shirt shrank when I dried it."
"The shirt had shrunk when I dried it."

15.
"We strode along merrily the entire way."
"We had stridden along merrily the entire way."

16.
"The team strove to come back from behind."
"The team had striven to come back from behind."

17.
"I swore that I had not taken it."
"I had sworn that I had not taken it."

18.
"They swam to the other end and back."
"They had swum to the other end and back."

19.
"He took her back home."
"He had taken her back home."

20.
"My sister tore the paper up."
"My sister had torn the paper up."

Hanged and Hung
The past-participle form of hang is a special case. When referring to an object, hung is employed for both simple past and past participle:

21.
"They hung the stockings with great care."
"They had hung the stockings with great care."

In reference to execution by hanging, however, hanged is often (but not always) used in both forms:

"The horse thief was summarily hanged."
"The horse thief had been summarily hanged."

Hung in the latter sense is more likely to appear in a more casual context, as in a jocular usage or when referring to hanging in effigy:

"I'll be hung by my feet over an open fire if I don't finish this in time."

Choices
Many other verbs offer writers alternative forms for past tense, past-participle tense, or both:

22.
"I awaked (or awoke or awakened) to a deafening hum."
"I had awoken (or awaked or awakened) to a deafening hum."

23.
"She forgot to call back."
"She had forgotten (or forgot) to call back."

24.
"The swimmer quickly dove (or dived) into the pool."
"The swimmer had quickly dived into the pool."

25.
"I got nothing in return."
"I had gotten (or got) nothing in return."

26.
"She lighted (or lit) another cigarette."
"She had lit (or lighted) another cigarette."

27.
"He proved that I was right."
"He had proven (or proved) me right."

28.
"The boat sank."
"The boat had sunk (or sank)."

29.
"She showed him the door."
"She had shown (or showed) him the door."

30.
"The medallion shined (or shone) in the sunlight."
"The medallion had shone (or shined) in the sunlight."

31.
"I sneaked (or snuck) out last night."
"I had snuck (or sneaked) out last night."

32.
"The tiger sprang (or sprung) noiselessly."
"The tiger had sprung noiselessly."

33.
"The car's interior stank (or stunk) of stale fast food."
"The car's interior had stunk of stale fast food."

34.
"My dog waked (or woke) me up."
"My dog had woken (or waked) me up."

35.
"My aunt weaved (or wove) the scarf."
"My aunt had woven (or weaved) the scarf."

Thanks to Mark Nichol / Daily Writing Tips
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/35-troublesome-irregular-verbs/

 

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