Questions about past participle forms of verbs.

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8
votes
7answers
2k views

Using -ed vs. -ing in the “needs washed” construction

I'm from Central Pennsylvania, and apparently, we have a strange language construct in this area. I was recently talking about how "my car needs washed" to a friend from NJ, and she told me that my ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is “to get” sometimes used where “to be” could be used?

Why is "to get" sometimes used where "to be" could be used? Examples: "The video got uploaded to the web site." vs. "The video was uploaded to the web site." "He got thrown in the pool." vs. "He ...
30
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are clothes “hung” but men “hanged”?

It is said that clothes can be hung but men are hanged. Is this correct, and if so, why?
17
votes
4answers
8k views

“Focussed” or “focused”? The double consonant

Initially, my question was: is "focussed" or "focused" the correct past tense of "focus", but since this applies to a lot of words, I would like to generalize and ask: is there supposed to be a rule ...
18
votes
4answers
51k views

“Spelt” vs. “spelled”

In the following sentence, should I say spelled or spelt: You spelt/spelled "Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis" wrong.
13
votes
2answers
12k views

Why is the phrase “should have went” so widely used?

Rarely do we hear "should have gone" in common speech. Some background: My father immigrated to the US in the late 60s. He learned English first overseas, British English. Then he studied extensively ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

The third conditional for “if I could”

What is the third conditional for "if I could"? For example, we say: If I had studied hard, I would have passed the exam. How about this: If I could study, I would have passed the exam.[Is ...
12
votes
7answers
9k views

What does the term “86'd” relate to?

What does it mean when someone or something is referred to as being "86'd"?
6
votes
3answers
896 views

How widely-accepted is “What do you got?” to Americans?

Watching A Stranger Among Us, I noticed that Melanie Griffith twice asked "What do you got?" I recognise this as an American construction which sounds strange to me — Brits invariably say either ...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

When to use 'had been' + past participle of the verb

I read the sentence below in a news article: "The couple had been engaged since the summer," her spokeswoman said in a statement. Why was "had been engaged" used in this sentence. Is it wrong to ...
50
votes
6answers
5k views

What we've gelost — why doesn't English use the prefix “ge-”?

The Germanic languages that I'm familiar with all use a prefix similar to ge- on past participles: German: Ich habe mir den Fuß gebrochen. Dutch: Ik heb mijn voet gebroken. But English ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

“Don't got” — how common is it in American usage?

I often hear the usage "don't got" in American English as spoken on TV programmes. Recently I was watching season four of "Prison Break" and one character, an Asian computer wizard, repeatedly used ...
6
votes
3answers
251 views

Better term to put on a label of a bottle of milk to describe that it's 'made' in a particular geographic location

While waiting for the kettle to boil this morning, I was idling and reading the label on the bottle of milk and was struck by the declaration: "Permeate free, made in WA". Here's a shot of the label ...
3
votes
7answers
12k views

“Situated” vs. “located”

I found the following example in my vocabulary: The town is situated on a plateau high up among the mountains of the north. Can I replace situated with located for the example above? What's the ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Present perfect tense with the verb 'is'

I would like to know how to use the verb to be and its past participle. For example: The rain is gone. Is is present perfect tense here?
9
votes
5answers
33k views

How to use “text” as a verb

–verb (used without object) Digital Technology. 15. to send a text message: Texting while driving is an accident asking to happen. Can I use: I text to her but she didn't text me back. ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

“I had my house [be] burned down”

I have found out that using the verb be in passive constructions such as: I had my house be burned down is incorrect, therefore it should be I had my house burned down. But is it ...
2
votes
2answers
607 views

Should I use a hyphen after -ly when modifying a verb in the past participle verb?

Which of these are acceptable? Is one preferable over the other? "Chemically-deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." "Chemically deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." Also, is the title to ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

“Favored” vs. “favorited”

We're making a website in which users can mark some objects as objects they like. Since we're not native English speakers here, a dispute evolved around what's the correct way to call this user-object ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Past participle used as a noun?

Some examples include: We fear the damned. He honored our fallen. This is a given. You are the chosen. The lost were among us. They obey the venerated. My beloved kissed me. (TIL ...
21
votes
3answers
78k views

“Inputted” or “input”

I have used the word inputted in an assignment and am being forced to change it to input. However, both the Oxford English Dictionary (I am in New Zealand so this is most relevant) and MS Word list ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Are the verbs that are conjugated to end in “-n” in the past related?

There are many words that in English are conjugated in the past tense to end in "-n": grow goes to grown, sew goes to sewn, throw goes to thrown, etc.. I'm guessing it was probably the regular ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “dispreferred” a mainstream word in English?

I just recently came across the word dispreferred in a linguistic document. I have never heard the word used before, rather I generally hear something like "preferred something else" in everyday ...
6
votes
1answer
460 views

Pronunciation of “-ed” endings

I noticed that the final -ed has different pronunciations. What's the general rule for knowing the correct pronunciation?
2
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the grammatical difference behind “is interesting” and “is interested”?

I am a native English speaker, yet I cannot explain to a non-native speaker why I say: I am interested in history. as well as History is interesting to me. Why is it "is interesting" when ...
1
vote
2answers
377 views

“Time elapsed” or “elapsed time” [closed]

In a document I have a plot where one of the labels represents the total time taken for the process to complete. Should I label it as "Elapsed Time" or "Time Elapsed"? Which one is correct?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Is this correct grammar: “[…] cash can't be beat.”

I found the following phrase in a NYTimes article and I was pretty surprised that it wasn't corrected or edited out: "But when it comes to privacy and freedom, cash can't be beat.". I am under the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What is more appropriate — “hanged” or “hung”?

Say that you are using some software, and it hangs. In this case, what should I say: ... when we execute this command, software X gets hanged [or simply hangs]. ... when we execute this ...
5
votes
4answers
546 views

“Passed” vs “past”: Usage in an error message

I wrote code to detect a problem where live video playout of a file had moved beyond the end of the clip on disk. The clip itself may be growing due to an ongoing recording or a transfer of the file ...
4
votes
2answers
18k views

What's the difference between “dissatisfied” and “unsatisfied”?

Is there a clear-cut difference between dissatisfied and unsatisfied?
3
votes
3answers
579 views

Administrating vs Admining

I get the sense that the word "Admining", like the word "Admin" from which it derives, is used to refer to computer administration, while "Administrating", like "Administrator", is used more when it ...
1
vote
0answers
401 views

What is the rule for duplicating the last letter when adding “-ed”? [duplicate]

I wonder if there is any rule for doubling the p at the end of a stem. For example: stop — stopped but help — helped
0
votes
1answer
1k views

“your heart just shrank” vs. “your heart just shrunk” [closed]

If I say: Your heart just shrank two sizes too small. Is the verb shrank correct as is? Or should it be in participle form? Your heart just shrunk two sizes too small. Which one would be ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

I was confused about “to be + past participle"

Why does the following sentence use "to be reinforced" rather than "was reinforced" The fact that organisms evidently inherit the capacity to be reinforced by certain kinds of event does not ...