758. Irregular verbs now and then

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “English irregular verbs are an interesting grammar point Spanish students have to study year after year, increasing the list of them each academic year.

Quite many more verbs of this type existed in Old English, before the 11th century, perhaps most of the English verbs then. In other words, the way each verb took the form of past simple and past participle was more complicate than the simple –ed ending. With centuries passing, fewer and fewer verbs remained as such ‘irregular’ verbs, in fact those verbs native speakers used very often. Because of that those verbs remained being ‘irregular’, while most of the English verbs, roughly speaking, were taking on the regular form of –ed for past simple and past participle.

This can be due just to linguistic evolutions that actually occur in every language, with the language common people speak, year after year. Beside the fact that many words, so verbs too, were entering in the English language, mainly from French and Latin, and their past simple and past participle forms took on the –ed ending.

Today I wanted to say something about learning irregular verbs, plus something I do to help students learn those peculiar verbs. It’s a simple and small detail. I hope that on coming days I’ll tell about this. Today I’d stop here. I dedicate this post to philologist E.O.M.” / Photo from: lowlands-I net. text in Old English. I’m afraid I don’t know what this text is, only I’m certain that it’s in OE. The characters generally were similar to the ones you can see here.


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