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Past tenses ending in t (spelled/spelt)
Posted: 01 February 2012 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I think.flynn999’s point is that even compared to other irregular verbs, went is particularly irregular.  And the fact that went ends in t is a coincidence, and the t is not what makes it.past tense.  Of.course, it’s a past tense verb ending in t so it certainly counts, even if it’s “extra” irregular.

[ Edited: 01 February 2012 08:52 PM by Svinyard118 ]
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Posted: 01 February 2012 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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And the fact that went ends in t is a coincidence, and the t is not what makes it.past tense.

Not really.  Went was the past tense of wend, formed just like spent, bent, etc. The strange coincidence is that it became attached to go and displaced its original past tense.

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Posted: 01 February 2012 10:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I had.a feeling.shortly after I.posted it that I was wrong.about the t not being responsible.for went being past tense.

Another thought: if we’re compiling a list of every verb whose past tense ends in a t, got, caught, taught, fought, bought, sought, and thought should be included too, right?  And I think those count as universal.  Not universal in the sense that no human being has ever written thinked, getted, or buyed, but universal in the sense that the t ending is the preferred past-tense form of those verbs in every English speaking country.  And I’m sure there are many more I’m.forgetting.

I think writ counts as a past tense verb form of write that is occassionally still used, mostly used in the context of the phrase writ large (or the less.common writ.small).  I’m not totally sure if writ in writ large is a clipping of written or the archaic past-tense verb form of write, but per dictionary.com (world.English.dictionary) the writ in writ large is the archaic past-tense form of write.  So I think it counts as a t-ending past-tense verb used in some contexts (albeit very few contexts).

[ Edited: 01 February 2012 10:48 PM by Svinyard118 ]
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Posted: 02 February 2012 02:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Svinyard118 - 01 February 2012 10:40 PM

I had.a feeling.shortly after I.posted it that I was wrong.about the t not being responsible.for went being past tense.

Another thought: if we’re compiling a list of every verb whose past tense ends in a t, got, caught, taught, fought, bought, sought, and thought should be included too, right?  And I think those count as universal.  Not universal in the sense that no human being has ever written thinked, getted, or buyed, but universal in the sense that the t ending .

Svynyard, I specified that I was omitting the -ght words, which seem to be a different kettle of fish, as well as those whose infintives end in t, such as cost.

Fair point then, flynn, as went could be considered especially irregular when taken as the past tense of Go. Funnily enough, wend is still with us, and wended seems to be its common past form now.

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Posted: 02 February 2012 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I had.a feeling.shortly after I.posted it that I was wrong.about the t not being responsible.for went being past tense.

Are you having keyboard problems, or are you going sphinxy on us?

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Posted: 02 February 2012 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Keyboard problems (specifically, kindle fire problems).  The kindle fire virtual keyboard has the “.” precariously close to the space bar, which is what produces the bizarrely staccato sentences.  Sadly, I can’t blame the kindle for the shoddy logic, lack of factual support, or grossly excessive length of many of my posts.

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Posted: 02 February 2012 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Dr. Techie - 01 February 2012 09:11 PM

And the fact that went ends in t is a coincidence, and the t is not what makes it.past tense.

Not really.  Went was the past tense of wend, formed just like spent, bent, etc. The strange coincidence is that it became attached to go and displaced its original past tense.

I never knew that’s where it came from!

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Posted: 02 February 2012 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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It just occurred to me that pent, as in “pent up”, is a variant past-tense of pen (to put in a pen or enclosure).  AFAIK the variation (in modern English) depends on context rather than region; if there are places where a farmer would be likely to say “I pent the sheep” rather than “penned the sheep”, I don’t know of them (but perhaps am about to learn).

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Posted: 02 February 2012 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Good call, Techie.

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Posted: 03 February 2012 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Dr. Techie - 01 February 2012 09:11 PM

And the fact that went ends in t is a coincidence, and the t is not what makes it.past tense.

Not really.  Went was the past tense of wend, formed just like spent, bent, etc. The strange coincidence is that it became attached to go and displaced its original past tense.

And yet, when “wend one’s way” was (I’m wholly indebted to the OED for this) revived as a phrase around 1800 and is now (to quote the OED) “the most familiar use of the verb”, the past tense of the revived verb became “wended”, presumably to avoid confusion with “went”.

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Posted: 03 February 2012 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Which is why I wrote ”Went was the past tense of wend” instead of ”Went is...”

I’m running out of w’s.

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Posted: 03 February 2012 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Hey, is a pen a “svynyard”? :-)

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Posted: 08 February 2012 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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The verb ‘learned’ said in a non-rhotic accent has a softer edge to it; whereas ‘learnt’ is more clipped. In India the traditional method is to use the “t” endings, but with more silicon valley influence the other way is also correct. It is good when you can chose in some instances as in writing poetry either one or the other according to the effect you want.

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