Questions tagged [conjugation]

Questions about modification of a verb from its basic form.

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8
votes
3answers
1k views

“That… be” construction

We will make the convention that exact categories be skeletally small. Is this construction (used in a mathematical context) correct? There is something that strikes me as odd in that "be". Should it ...
72
votes
5answers
6k views

Why “the powers that be”?

In the phrase "the powers that be," as in the sentence: It would never have occurred to the powers that be to run and supervise the National Lottery from anywhere but London. (Oxford ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Origin of different past tenses for verbs with the same endings?

Why do we have a situation where the past of "to blow" is "blew", but of "to glow" is "glowed"? And don't say "flew" if you mean "it flowed". The poem Lovers, by Phoebe Cary has many examples of these....
22
votes
2answers
4k views

God save the Queen

I was wondering why this expression is not “God saves the Queen”. According to my very first English teacher, when the subject is he, she or it, “to save” is conjugated “he/she/it saves”. Is it an ...
9
votes
3answers
44k views

What is the correct verb that follows “as well as?”

Which of the following sentences (1, 2, both, neither) is acceptable? He as well as they are in the wrong. He as well as they is in the wrong. Reopen note: Two things are troublesome about this. ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

Where did “snuck” come from?

Ages ago, I remember typing snuck into a word processor and being surprised to see it flagged as not a word. My current computer seems to be okay with it and my local dictionary has this in its ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the 'L' in detailed not doubled?

I cannot quite understand why the 'L' is not doubled when forming 'detailed' from 'detail'. Is that an exemption to the consonant doubling, or did I simply not understand the rules? From the answers ...
6
votes
1answer
777 views

Pronunciation of “-ed” endings

I noticed that the final -ed has different pronunciations. What's the general rule for knowing the correct pronunciation?
2
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2answers
13k views

Why “he knows it” and not “he know it”

Why is it I know it and They know it but He knows it? But then I knew it, They knew it and He knew it?
25
votes
2answers
12k views

How do you conjugate Early Modern English verbs (other than present tense)?

I was wondering how one might conjugate verbs in early modern English in various tenses. I am aware of the fact that for second person and third person singular specifically, the verb endings are -est ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Is “have went” gaining common currency in AmE and BrE?

In the following article from English today there is a survey about the usage of the erroneous, but apparently rather commonly used expression “have went” in place of “have gone”: ... several ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Pronouns for collective nouns (British and American)

British and American English differ in the way they conjugate verbs for collective nouns: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=877. For example, an American would probably say "China is winning" ...
5
votes
1answer
236 views

How to pronounce “undoes”?

How should "undoes" be pronounced in the following sentence? The git revert command undoes a committed snapshot. Should it be pronounced as "un + does" (/ʌn'dʌz/) or as "undo + es" (ʌn'duːz)? I ...
4
votes
2answers
20k views

“sunk” or “sunken”?

The boat lies half-sunken in the bay. Sunken is an adjective, right? But in the previous sentence, it seems to be acting as adverb modifying lies. Should the sentence be: The boat lies ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Conjugating verbs for nouns referring to groups of people [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is staff plural? Frequently when reading tech articles, I see sentences like "Microsoft have released ..." or "Apple have announced ...". This seems wrong to me because the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How does one parse 'woe betide'?

How would one parse the sentence 'Woe betide anyone wearing the wrong colour'! 'Betide' is clearly the main verb, meaning 'happen'; as in 'they waited wondering what might betide'. But clearly '...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Archaic conjugation of imperative verbs [duplicate]

I'm trying to learn the archaic conjugation (for fun) and I wonder if the imperative verbs in the archaic form can be conjugated with -est for the second person singular (ex: Eatest thy vegetables). ...
0
votes
1answer
158 views

Can “X is enough.” be used when X is plural? [duplicate]

I was writing a meta post on another site where saying "Done." was a sufficient post. In order to meet the character limit, I typed the sentence: Sometimes five characters is really enough. After ...
8
votes
2answers
517 views

How do I perform presidential proper noun declension?

I'm unfamiliar with how one approaches the declension of proper nouns, especially as it pertains to presidents, e.g., Jeffersonian. I suspect it's kind of a black art. I need to do this with Coolidge ...
2
votes
2answers
279 views

“That … is” or “that … be” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why have the subjunctive and indicative converged in Modern English? Simple question, should you say "what matters most is that the merger is successful" or: "what matters ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is “be” the only English verb that inflects for grammatical person, not just for grammatical number like all the rest of them?

Why do we say “I am a teacher” instead of “I is a teacher” considering that I is a singular pronoun not a plural pronoun? Don’t singulars always take -s forms? Why does be work differently?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Double Consonants in Gerund

Is there any rules regarding gerund that tell when to double the consonant of a word and when not to? I'm a little bit confused regarding this matter. Based on this link there are words that can be ...
1
vote
1answer
551 views

categories of verb inflections

Hi I'm working on a software project for work that inflects english words into their various derived forms. e.g. work (verb) -> works, working, worked. My main problem at the moment is that I need to ...
1
vote
3answers
463 views

how to conjugate verb in dependent clause inside subjunctive mood

In the sentence I pretended that I understood, lest he think I am stupid or deaf. the "he think" part is definitely present subjunctive, but I'm not sure how the "I am" part should be conjugated. ...
-1
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2answers
2k views

Is “all that he have” correct? [closed]

Should I say "All the things he have will be given to her" or "All the things he has will be given to her" ?