For the record, I know there is a similar question here that asks about basically the opposite function in some Americam Dialects.

I want to know if there is a name for the type of dialectic feature where a speaker inserts a past participle where a past simple verb would be standard.


He done it. I seen him.

Of course, the standard would be:

He did it. I saw him.

This is fairly common in a number of British Dialects. Is there any specific name for this phenomenon, other than just generally saying it is wrong/non-standard/deviant/informal/etc.?

  • For most verbs, the simple past and the participle forms of the verb are the same, so this issue only arises with irregular verbs anyway. And since there's no doubt that irregular English verbs are declining, you might say people who don't use all "currently valid" forms are actually forward-looking. Aug 23 '20 at 14:44
  • Fair point, Fumble. Though, wouldn't the decline trend towards favouring the simple and letting the participle fall by the wayside?
    – Karl
    Aug 23 '20 at 15:07
  • Also "fair point" :) Offhand I'm not aware of any dialects (of which the UK has vastly more than the US, btw) where they say He do'd it, I seed him - you'd normally only hear that from children who're "creatively over-regularising" the verb forms, rather than repeating what their parents say. Aug 23 '20 at 15:45

Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.