PDE verbs

PDE has broadly two kinds of verb conjugations (see Crystal ch. 14, p. 204)


OE verbs are traditionally classified into three conjugations

Weak verbs

PDE

OE


Making a weak verb

  infinitive

  past tense

  result: binary opposition between past tense and non-past tense

More examples with different suffixes e.g.<od>, <d>, <t>

 


Weak verb LUFIAN 'to love'

 

Present

Past

sg. 1 ic

lufie

lufode

sg. 2 u

lufast

lufodest

sg. 3 heo

lufa

lufode

pl 1-3
we, ge, hi

lufia

lufodon

o        Notice that OE verbs have more inflexions than PDE verbs

o        in the past as well as in the present

OE tenses more 'overworked' than PDE


 

One relevant subcategory of weak verbs

Strong verbs

PDE exx: write, wrote, written

OE strong verbs


OE strong verbs had up to four principal parts

1. wrtan 'to write' gives the present tense
2-3. two past tense forms: wrt (1, 3 sg.) and writ- (2 sg., 1-3 pl.)
4. past participle (ge)writen 'written'

 

Present

Past

sg. 1 ic

wrte

wrt

sg. 2 u

wrtst

write

sg. 3 heo

wrt

wrt

pl 1-3
we, ge, hi

wrta

writon

helpan 'help'
two past tense forms: healp and hulp-
past participle (ge)holpen ['helped']

 

Present

Past

sg. 1 ic

helpe

healp

sg. 2 u

hilpst

hulpe

sg. 3 heo

hilp

healp

pl 1-3
we, ge, hi

helpa

hulpon

Notice the effects of front mutation in the present tense. Why don't we see it in wrtan?

 

PDE has a few quite common patterns

 

OE had even more 'classes': 7

What's the relevance of OE strong verbs to PDE?


Translating strong verbs


Other verbs

The most irregular verbs tend to be the most common verbs

willan 'to desire', dn 'to do' and gn 'to go'

 

willan ‘to desire’

dn ‘to do’

gn ‘to go’

Pres. sg. 1

ic wille

ic d

ic g

Pres. sg. 3

ho wile

ho d

ho g

 

 

 

 

Past sg. 1

ic wolde

ic dyde

ic ode

Notice


bon and gn are suppletive

'to be'

Present

Present (future)

Past

sg. 1 ic

eom

bo

ws

sg. 2 u

eart

bist

w:re

sg. 3 h, ho, hit

is

bi

ws

pl. 1-3 w, g, he

sind(on)

bo

w:ron

Notice:


Preterite-present verbs

Many of these survive as our modal verbs