categories of verb inflections

Hi I’m working on a software project for work that inflects english words into their various derived forms. e.g. work (verb) -> works, working, worked. My main problem at the moment is that I need to standardize some naming conventions or categories for each inflection type in my program, and then funnel scraped data from … Read more

After third person pronouns: verbs with or without “-s”? (special case involving “if”)

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately. I’ve never had this question before and it was never an issue for me while writing something but two weeks ago I started to think about whether I should use verbs with or without -s after third person pronouns. First, let’s analyze an example in the … Read more

How to unambiguously indicate inflections where letters are sometimes removed?

Consider a lexicon where you look up the words ‘jump’ and ‘dance’. You would often see something like this: jump -s -ing, etc. dance -s -ing, etc. I reckon this notation (is there a name for it?) is somewhat standardised. Most people will easily see that the present participles are ‘jumping’ and ‘dancing’. But wait! … Read more

How do native speakers know which morphological variations are possible in cases where word-evidence is sparse?

In this interesting answer to a 4 year old question (which, ironically, I found by browsing unpopular questions on Meta), we find this tidbit: Just as in Japanese, not only is the “non-native” stratum considered more erudite than the native one, there are grammatical differences between the strata (although fewer than there are in Japanese). … Read more

Can “believed” ever be an adjective?

The ti­tle ex­plains it all. I had an ar­gu­ment with my English teacher; she gave us a task to con­vert nouns to their cor­re­spond­ing ad­jec­tives and verbs. She gave us be­lief as the noun and told us that its cor­re­spond­ing ad­jec­tive should be be­liev­able. I think that’s true, but I thought that be­lieved should also … Read more

Other than “to be”, what verbs in English change in the subjunctive past tense?

I recently found out that the reason we say ”if I were…” and not “if I was…” (though some argue both are correct) is because “to be” is irregular in the subjunctive past. Are there any other verbs that are irregular like this? Edit: By irregular, I mean different words for simple past and subjunctive … Read more

Replacing proper noun “-y” suffix to match plural case

For a proper noun, in this case let’s say Morty, would one replace the “-y” suffix when using the plural case with “-ies” or keep it as an unaltered “-ys”? Answer You would never use the “ies” rule with pronouns: use “-s”, or “-es” if the word ends in an s. Also, referring to “Mortys” … Read more

Is it ever correct to say “if I be…” in present-day English?

We are taught that in "type 0" and "type 1" conditional sentences, the tense of the condition clause (aka the "if" clause) should always be the normal present tense, as in: "Type 0" conditional: If you heat ice, it melts. "Type 1" conditional: If he wins the lottery, he will spend it all on charity. … Read more

Should this verb be in the third-person singular form, the infinitive form, or the present participle form?

Watching a game review, I’ve noticed a phrase whose meaning confused me. The reason why I got confused is that the author used a base form of the verb "to explore" in pair with the singular subject "friend". The question is, is it correct to do this? I will write below two more options as … Read more