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Verbs

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A quick review for verbs.

The Daily Post

Two coworkers independently asked me this week about verbs, and in particular about understanding the various ways of past tense forms of verbs. I’ve written briefly about this before but thought I’d give a more thorough treatment.

Irregular Verbs

First we need a basic understanding of what an irregular verb is. Most verbs in English form their past tense by following a pattern whereby you add the “-ed” suffix to the end of the verb. These are called regular verbs because, well, they follow a regular pattern of conjugation. They’re predictable and easy to remember. So irregular verbs are the ones that follow different patterns, things like “swim,” which has “swam” for its past tense instead of “swimmed.” Others include “eat,” “run,” “lie” (as in to lie down — the homophone meaning “to say something untrue” is regular!), “sit,” and “bring.” If you think about how you would form the…

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