My native language is English. My second-best language used to be German (though you need not know German to answer, for my questions are about English), so I am now noticing what seems to be a weird pattern.
In English, one can say either of these:
- The day has come.
- The day is come.
In English, the "has" form of the present perfect would probably be the more common, but both are recognized. In German, the "is" form of the present perfect would be the more common for "to come," and indeed is mandatory for "to come" as far as I remember.
My first question: In English, can one optionally use the "is" form of the present perfect for any intransitive verb? Or does there exist there a list of specific, recognized verbs for which the "is" form is recognized? (Or am I confused? Is the "is" form in English not even a present perfect?)
So far, so good. I do not yet know the answer to the first question (one hopes that you can explain), but, meanwhile, try this:
- The attack has failed. [right]
- The attack is failed. [wrong? unidiomatic?]
- The failing attack had been planned by the division's staff. [right]
- The failed attack had been planned by the division's staff. [right!?]
My second question: What is going on here? Normally, only transitive verbs are inflected as participles for use as adjectives, are they not? Is not the reason for this rule (for I believe that it is a rule) that only transitive verbs have objects, as
- The lifeguard saved the swimmer.
- The saved swimmer thanked the lifeguard.
But the aforementioned "failed" is intransitive. So, how can "failed" possibly work as an adjective?
And does this have something to do with the earlier mentioned present-perfect pattern of "The day is come"?