Questions tagged [inflectional-morphology]

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What mood is "if I were" in?

Wikipedia says about English subjunctive mood: In Modern English, the subjunctive is realised as a finite but tenseless clause where the main verb occurs in the bare form. Since the bare form is also ...
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7 votes
5 answers
1k views

Why do we use two different verb forms for sentences like “that person is broke” versus “that person is broken”?

We usually use only a verb’s past participle when we need to make an adjective out of it, not its past tense—but not always. Sometimes we even use both forms but assign these two different meanings! ...
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6 votes
4 answers
3k views

Plural form of country names

Can all country names be pluralised in English? There are some countries which have a plural form, although such name is, for obvious reasons, not used - for example, Sicily - Sicilies (I know Sicily ...
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0 votes
2 answers
41 views

How to unambiguously indicate inflections where letters are sometimes removed?

Consider a lexicon where you look up the words 'jump' and 'dance'. You would often see something like this: jump -s -ing, etc. dance -s -ing, etc. I reckon this notation (is there a name for it?) is ...
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17 votes
3 answers
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Can "believed" ever be an adjective?

The ti­tle ex­plains it all. I had an ar­gu­ment with my English teacher; she gave us a task to con­vert nouns to their cor­re­spond­ing ad­jec­tives and verbs. She gave us be­lief as the noun and ...
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3 votes
2 answers
669 views

Other than “to be”, what verbs in English change in the subjunctive past tense?

I recently found out that the reason we say ”if I were...” and not “if I was...” (though some argue both are correct) is because “to be” is irregular in the subjunctive past. Are there any other verbs ...
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2 answers
146 views

General term for singularize and pluralize

I'm looking for a word (or small number of words) that is the general term for singularizing or pluralizing a word. I've thought about "inflection"/"inflect", but inflection ...
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3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why isn't "giraves" the plural of "giraffe" like "wolves" is for "wolf"? [duplicate]

The plural of giraffe, according to Merriam Webster and some other dictionaries I checked, is "giraffes". Normally when the final sound of an English word is F, its plural ends in V sound. ...
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5 votes
2 answers
109 views

"Crossed-referenced", "Crashed-landed", and other twice-inflected verbs

For about a month now, I've been cataloging every compound verb I encounter that, for whatever reason, causes some people to inflect both of its components in the past tense (see title for examples). ...
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0 answers
42 views

Tireder (comparative form)

According to the CambridgeGEL, page 1583, Participial adjectives take only analytic comparative forms (A marginal exception is tired) What are the reasons leading to this exception?
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Is it ever correct to say "if I be..." in present-day English?

We are taught that in "type 0" and "type 1" conditional sentences, the tense of the condition clause (aka the "if" clause) should always be the normal present tense, as ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Should this verb be in the third-person singular form, the infinitive form, or the present participle form? [duplicate]

Watching a game review, I've noticed a phrase whose meaning confused me. The reason why I got confused is that the author used a base form of the verb "to explore" in pair with the singular ...
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0 answers
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Is there any verb where the third person singular present indicative form does not end with "s"?

We have many discussions (example) on how -(e)s came to be but are there any exceptions, I wonder?
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Is there any way, I can get to the brief history of any words or phrases?

It's hard to remember the word until I get to the history or until I feel the word. I'm wondering any apps or sites to help me out with this.
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2 answers
315 views

Why is "slain" a past participle of "slay"? [duplicate]

Past participles in the English language usually end with -ed, but slain is one exception. Why can't we have just slayed rather than that and slain, too? And why can't slain be its very own verb? ...
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1 answer
89 views

Why doesn’t the sentence "the standard of proof being one based on balance of probabilities" contain a verb?

The burden of proof is easier to discharge in a civil cases than in a criminal case, the standard of proof being one based on balance of probabilities. Why there is no verb in the latter sentence? Is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
917 views

Why is borne a past participle of bear?

This is a question people seldom ask. In the English language, past participles are verbs that usually end with -ed. But bear seems to be an exception. It has bore and borne as past participles, but ...
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1 answer
538 views

Plural forms of gerunds [duplicate]

In this sentence, the noun savings is in plural form: I have one savings account. It is like a gerund or maybe it is a gerund, I am not clear about it. But when I searched the Internet, I found ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
157 views

When to use "I" + is

Once I saw this sentence in the movie that: I is in charge of the classroom ! Why after "I" did they use is ? Is that a metaphor ? I want to explain my students but could not.
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why did American English change certain past tense verb endings from ‑t to ‑ed but not others?

I always get “mad” (we don’t actually get upset with each other) at a friend of mine because he uses the UK versions for the past tense of verbs like spill or spell, saying spilt or spelt instead of ...
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10 votes
7 answers
2k views

There is no question that you will not misunderstand this sentence

The MacMillan Dictionary has the following definition for the phrase 'there is no question that': used for saying that something is definitely true It gives the example: There is no question ...
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2 votes
3 answers
288 views

Can "Targetings" be a plural form of "Targeting" as a noun?

I understand words like "surrounding" can be "surroundings", or "binding" can be "bindings". But is it appropriate with "targeting" as a noun? Here is a recent headline - "UN chief calls for probe ...
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2 votes
1 answer
99 views

A Inquiry About Infinitive-To and Its Role As A Subordinator or An Auxiliary

If you're interested in grammar, as I am, I am sure you have delved into a thought process about infinitive to, and like me, you have probably questioned what it is, or what it could be defined as. My ...
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6 votes
5 answers
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What is the gram­mat­i­cal term for “‑ed” words like these?

In English we say things like: a cal­i­brated de­vice a dis­trib­uted prod­uct a founded com­pany a de­stroyed house Those ‑ed words there all sig­nify that some verb (here re­spec­tively cal­i­...
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

He/Him/His VS She/Her/Her

How did her become the female equivalent of both him and his instead of only being a possessive pronoun like his? Is there a reason? For example: She likes him and his dog. He likes her and her dog.
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3 votes
1 answer
130 views

Shouldn't “some of the phenomenon” be plural?

The paragraph: Our team conducts fundamental research in Philosophy, trying to push the boundaries of what is possible with new techniques, and also trying to understand and formalize some of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why do 'vomit/limit' use single 't' while emit/omit use double 't'? A study case of relations between etymology and verb inflections

One comment gave me a great link for musing the answer: "Focussed" or "focused"? Rules for doubling the last consonant when adding -ed However, my question is the rule in doubling ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
294 views

What is the difference between -en and {-en} in morphology notation?

So there is this question of the example: The referee has blown his whistle many times today. The question of the example above is, "What type of allomorph is in the past participle form of the word ...
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1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Why isn't 'oranger' correct even though it follows being a one- or two-syllable word for adding the comparative inflection?

So 'orange' is either can be a one- or two-syllable word, however it would incorrect to say something is "oranger". But why? It follows the rule of being adding the comparative {-er} but it is not ...
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7 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is the correct pronunciation of "Have you seen Mary's book" "Mary book"?

So there is this question about the pronunciation of the noun possessive inflection. A certain text states that a zero allomorph is used by certain American English speakers for the noun possessive ...
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3 votes
1 answer
95 views

Be we all here?

The passage below is taken from Life's Little Ironies by Thomas Hardy. My question concerns "Now be we all here?". I understand that it means "Now are we all here?". The writer might have left the ...
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8 votes
4 answers
8k views

Insight into the pronunciation of the word algae?

Can anyone provide some insight into the pronunciation of the word algae? Various dictionaries give either the /g/ version as in gear or the /dʒ/ version as in jeep. For example: https://dictionary....
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3 votes
1 answer
149 views

Morphology, conversion type confusion! [closed]

I am currently doing an assignment. I am having difficulty understanding this phenomenon. If the verb "taking" is in a passage would it be considered a conversion process, as "taking" can also be a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is "-ed" an inflectional or derivational morpheme in "the stressed syllables"?

In the word "stressed" in the following sentence, is the -ed an Inflectional or a Derivational suffix? Would you please explain to me why? The sentence is: This is one of the stressed syllables. ...
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2 votes
4 answers
827 views

Does the “-s” change the word class of “it”? [closed]

The word it is a pronoun. When I add an s to it, does it change the word class? For example in the following sentence: The gift is still in its box. My questions are: Does the "S" change ...
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0 votes
2 answers
12k views

Is it correct to say "You be the best"? [closed]

This phrase is in constant use by many lately , just to appreciate a person in something. But I personally feel there's some problem in this - "You are the best" makes better sense. Is this even ...
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27 votes
6 answers
18k views

Is it true that English has no future tense?

I'm a native English speaker and I consider myself to have a very competent understanding of English grammar. Recently, I have started believing that there is no future tense in English grammar. ...
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0 votes
3 answers
619 views

Differentiating between verb-ing and gerunds [duplicate]

In sentences like, "I'm dying to get to you and "I'm learning to live again" and "i was preparing to go for surgery when you called" what are "dying", "learning" and "preparing" functioning as? Are ...
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4 votes
1 answer
867 views

Third person present and past in King James Bible

I am currently reading the Gospel According to John in a King James Version of the Bible, and I cannot understand the use of the third person singular in some of the verses: 1:38 Then Jesus turned, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
984 views

Why do we need different auxiliary verbs ("is", "are", "am") for different pronouns? [duplicate]

What is the purpose of having different auxiliary verbs ("is", "are", "am") for different pronouns ("He", "You", "I"...) instead of simply using "is" for all pronouns? It seems like the pronoun always ...
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2 votes
2 answers
374 views

Does being in the accusative case guarantee the existence of a direct object?

I want to clear this matter up once and for all. Even though I have already asked a few questions on the site related to the nominative case and the accusative case, I still get confused by one ...
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2 votes
0 answers
94 views

When did the South start using the +es third person, present tense verb inflection in Middle English?

In Middle English the Northern speakers started using the +es inflection whilst the South continued to use the Old English form +eð/+eth. When did the South finally catch up with the North and use the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is it “Who be ye?” and not “Who are ye?” in archaic forms of English?

When I was looking for “ye” in a dictionary, I stumbled upon the phrase “Who be ye?”. But why is it “Who be ye?” and not “Who are ye?”? The modern equivalent of “ye” would be “you”, wouldn’t it? “Who ...
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8 votes
1 answer
8k views

Logical/Etymological reason for unique conjugation of third person singular present tense

In most English verbs, there is a consistent pattern in the conjugation of present and past tense. For past tense, the same inflection is used for each grammatical person, but in present tense, third ...
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3 votes
0 answers
129 views

Rules for pronuciation [closed]

What are the pronunciation rules for words ending with the 's" sound ? I simply can not remember these rules and can not seem to find the answer in any of my text books. Can anyone by chance help or ...
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0 votes
1 answer
776 views

How does the pronunciation change in verbs that end with "‑e" or "‑ie" for their "‑ing" forms?

How do you pronounce the ‑ing forms of verbs that originally end with -e or ‑ie? Although the rules for writing such verbs that end with ‑e or ‑ie are сlear: make > making (take off "-e" + "‑ing") ...
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1 vote
1 answer
925 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Use of -s at the end of verb when using ”would”? [closed]

I want to know how the -s is supposed to be used with she/he/it + would. While trying to say that it would be great for someone/something to allow something, I came up with this sentence, which I ...
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  • 153
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

After third person pronouns: verbs with or without “-s”? (special case involving “if”)

I don't know what's going on with me lately. I've never had this question before and it was never an issue for me while writing something but two weeks ago I started to think about whether I should ...
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2 votes
0 answers
639 views

One dare not disobey? [duplicate]

When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey. This is a sentence from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I am not sure why dare is in the infinitive, not the third person ...
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