7

The verbs be and go have the nice peculiarity that their various forms (be/was and go/went) come from originally distinct verbs. Are there other such verbs?

9

I guess not. As stated here:

Go is an irregular verb. Along with be, go is one of only two verbs with a suppletive past tense in the English language."

(The link for "suppletive" will point you to the "suppletion" wiki page, where there are examples, also for other languages. Suppletion also applies to adjectives, nouns, etc.)

This is another page for the English suppletive verbs, which are only two.

2

The past participle forms has awoke and has awoken seem to have almost completely vanished from the English language, but there are lots of people who use the past tense awoke (See Ngram), which means that some people must conjugate awake as

awake, awoke, has awakened.

These forms are from what were originally two different, although very closely related verbs, awake and awaken.

4
  • 1
    Hm, are you sure it has nearly vanished? There do seem to be quite a few recent instances of had awoken, as just one example. – tchrist Jan 2 at 22:42
  • Beware! The dragon has awoken! – codi6 Jan 3 at 1:18
  • Are you sure that some people regard awake, awoke and has awakened as parts of the same verb? That either they use awake (like has awakened) for the transitive, or they use has awakened (like awake) for the intransitive? // If the point is the vowel change form awake to awoke, then that is ablaut, as in drive/drove/driven. – Rosie F Jan 3 at 7:50
  • If five times as many people use has awakened than has awoken, and five times as many people use she awoke rather than she awakened, one would expect that a reasonable large fraction of people conjugate the verb either awake/awoke/awakened or awaken/awoke/awakened. – Peter Shor Jan 11 at 1:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.