If the past participle of “say” is “said”, and “lay” is “laid”, why the one of “stay” is not “staid”?

I know about the word “staid”. Does the past participle of “stay” is “stayed” to avoid confusion with this word? Or the “staid” past participle existed at some time, but it was supplanted by “stayed”, like “dreamed” is replacing “dreamt”? Answer You seem to be trying to use two irregularly spelled words as a basis … Read more

Why is “builded” an archaic variant of built, given that usually the language evolves the other way?

In one of the Nature articles related to Google n-grams site [1], as well as in the book [2], the authors describe (and quantify the rate of) the process of regularization of English irregular verbs. The word “built” seems to have moved the other way, from regular to irregular, since I found the variant “builded” … Read more

Is a software loop “breaked” or “broken”?

In software development there are code loop constructions, which you can BREAK. foreach(i in integers) … break If I break the cycle, it becomes broken or breaked? Which sentence is correct in this context: loop is broken or loop is breaked? It is important to distinguish between broken as incorrect one and broken as interrupted. … Read more

Using participial adjectives

Is this grammar just for regular verbs? Or we can use irregular verbs, too. Answer Oddly enough, irregular past participles have survived as adjectives long after the verb itself has become regular: a freshly mown lawn a newly sown field a poorly sewn dress spilt milk (only archaic in North America) So, obviously, English doesn’t … Read more

Irregular verbs in English – why do so many end in D?

This might just be availability bias on my part, but it seems to me that if a verb ends is a “d” sound then it’s a lot more likely to have an irregular past tense than an average verb picked out at random. Examples include “feed/fed”, “stand/stood”, “rend/rent”, “tread/trod”, “betide/betid”. So, is this an actual … Read more

Why do we use two different verb forms for sentences like “that person is broke” versus “that person is broken”?

We usually use only a verb’s past participle when we need to make an adjective out of it, not its past tense—but not always. Sometimes we even use both forms but assign these two different meanings! For example, even though using broke as the past participle for the verb break is now considered obsolete, we … 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

A second past-form: “dig” / “digged” / “digged”

I’ve been digging through the Internet and I can’t find any legit answers to this question, even in English dictionaries. Probably because this particular usage is rarely used in the past tense. She’s playing hard to get, but I’m sure she digs me! While this usage is quite normal, what if I wanted to use … Read more

How common is pronouncing the past tense of beat as /bet/?

Personally, I pronounce the past tense of “beat” (to win at a game) as /biːt/, to sound identical to the infinitive. However, I have heard a few people under the age of 30 and from either the west or outer south of Melbourne pronounce it as /bet/. Does this phenomenon happen in other places? In … Read more

“I have come to” vs. “I have came to”

I am not a native English speaker, and I learn from people. I often hear people say “I have come to a place where there is no end…”. I am wondering, isn’t the right way to say it: “I have came” (I know that sounds awful, I am asking what’s proper)? Answer The past participle … Read more