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I was trying to write a poem in an old fashioned way and I wished to use the verb forseek in a verse, but when I searched about this verb I found that it isn't widely used not even in old texts (if it is at all) since I found only a few dictionary entries for it.

So, I want to know if the following verse makes sense or if I really must replace forseek for a more usual verb:

"They forsought something that were their own, something that (...)"

I'm not an English speaker.

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  • "forsought" is the simple past and past tense of "forseek"
    – Luke
    Aug 15, 2016 at 2:05
  • yourdictionary.com/forseek
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 15, 2016 at 2:18
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    Check your agreement in “Something that were”
    – Jim
    Aug 15, 2016 at 2:32
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    When you are writing a poem it's well within your artistic license to use old-fashioned words if you want to. You can even invent some, that's the beauty of creating art.
    – Helmar
    Aug 15, 2016 at 10:27
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    I politely disagree as far the use of an old-fashioned word is concerned. No word is old-fashioned in my opinion. Go ahead and use forseek/ foresight etc. foresight 1 n seeing ahead; knowing in advance; foreseeing Synonyms: farsightedness, prevision, prospicience---vide vocabulary.com/dictionary/foresight----we have hindsight probably being a word to understand the nature of an event after it has happened.
    – Abhilaaj
    Aug 15, 2016 at 11:31

1 Answer 1

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Provided foreseek is a valid verb (which it appears to be), it will then be conjugated just like any other verb. The correct point of comparison would be seek. You are speaking in the past tense, therefore sought. Foreseek becomes foresought.

You needn't worry about not being able to find dictionary entries for conjugated versions of a verb. If you can find the infinitive you are good to go.

As a comment points out, check your number agreement. Something is singular. Therefore:

They sought something that was their own.

You could also avoid the number question altogether with

They sought something of their own.

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    Nope, the commenter was mistaken. They forsought something that were their own is a correct use of hypothetical were for that period when used to express doubt about that thing’s existence. See this answer for the historical nuances.
    – tchrist
    Sep 14, 2016 at 21:43

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