Is there a verb base-form with two semantics having different conjugations?

For example, given base-form "rise":

"rise" "rises" "rose" "rising" "risen";
"rise" "rises" "rosed" "rising" "rised";

the latter being fictitious of course.

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    There's a number of them. Rise and raise share the same root, but rise is intransitive and inchoative, while raise is transitive and causative. The same is true of other body posture verb pairs like lie/lay and sit/set. Then there are the stative and causative senses of shine; the causative sense conjugates like a weak verb: He shined/*shone his shoes, while the stative sense conjugates like a strong verb: The sun shone/*shined brightly. Sep 3, 2018 at 21:03
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    hang - which is idiomatically 'hanged' in the past tense when referring to the method of execution, and 'hung' for all other uses.
    – John Feltz
    Sep 3, 2018 at 21:18
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    A category where this may be more likely to happen is with irregular verbs that are turned into nouns, then the nouns are verbed again, for new verbs are often regular. Sep 3, 2018 at 23:12
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    Now archaic conjugation of cleave, though surviving as p. p. adj. cleft, cloven: past was cleave together, clave; cleave apart, clove.
    – KarlG
    Sep 4, 2018 at 11:18
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    ring, rang, rung; ring, ringed, ringed
    – Phil Sweet
    Sep 4, 2018 at 20:07

3 Answers 3


The past tense of hang has two different conjugations.

When referring to the method of execution:

He was hanged at dawn.

When referring to any other purpose:

The picture was hung on the east wall of the bedroom.


It’s only in writing, but supposedly “payed” is used instead of “paid” for certain meanings of the verb pay. See "Paid" vs "payed"

Furthermore, there is a hypothesis based on theoretical considerations that the verb fly out as used in baseball ought to have the past tense form “flied out” instead of “flew out”, but the empirical support for this hypothesis seems to actually be fairly modest—speakers (or writers) do in fact use “flew out” even in the context of baseball. See the Language Log post “Flew vs. Flied”, by Mark Liberman (2012).

  • How rare are such examples?
    – fundagain
    Sep 3, 2018 at 21:39
  • @fundagain: I’m not sure. Note that verbs derived from nouns are usually regular in English, so they may be a good place to look for examples. Perhaps wind-wound vs wind-winded is another example of this type.
    – herisson
    Sep 3, 2018 at 21:42
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    There are now three examples on the table, so more than enough. Not that rare. Thanks.
    – fundagain
    Sep 3, 2018 at 21:43
  • Generally whenever a word is used in a different sense or becomes part of a fixed phrase, or is otherwise modified, it is considered reified and has a tendency to become more regular. It's the causative verbs that are regularized, for instance, not their root statives. Sep 3, 2018 at 23:29
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    Ah, just thought of the standard example: fly meaning move by flying is a strong verb: fly, flew, flown. But fly out in the baseball sense (meaning to hit a fly ball that is caught by an outfielder, putting the hitter out) is regular -- He flied out to left field, but not (in the same sense) *He flew out to left field. Sep 3, 2018 at 23:41

"cleave" meaning "split apart" has imperfect "cleft" or "clove", perf. ppl. "cleft" or "cloven". ("Rock of ages, cleft...", "cleft stick", but "cloven hoofs".)

"cleave" meaning "stick to" is regular ("cleaved").

"creep" meaning "move stealthily or near the ground" has imperfect and perf. ppl. "crept". "creep" as in to creep someone out is regular ("creeped ... out").

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