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The Tenses of “Sing” and Love.'

The conjugation of the verbs sing and love through the six tenses will serve as a model for the tense conjugation of all other verbs:

[blocks in formation]

PRESENT PERFECT
1. I have sung

I. we have sung
2. you
have
sung

2. you have sung
3. he has sung

3. they have sung

PAST PERFECT

1. I had sung

2. you

had

sung 3. he had sung

I. we had sung
2. you

had

sung 3. they had sung

FUTURE PERFECT
Singular

Plural
1. I shall have
sung

1. we shall have sung 2. you will have sung 2. you will have sung 3. he will have sung 3. they will have sung

[blocks in formation]

PRESENT PERFECT 1. I have loved

1. we have loved 2. you have loved

2. you have loved 3. he has loved

3. they have loved

PAST PERFECT

1. I had loved 2. you had loved 3. he had loyed

I. we had loved
2. you had loved
3, they had loved

FUTURE PERFECT
Singular

Plural
I. I shall have loved

I. we shall have loved
2. you will have loved

2. you will have loved 3. he will have loved 3. they will have loved

Tenses Formed with the Help of “to be.”

Many verbs have two series of forms for each of the six tenses, but the difference between the two series is most marked in the present tense. In answer to the question What is she doing?” no one would say

no one would say “She sings,” but “She is singing.” The simple forms, “She sings beautifully,"

She sings every day,” are used when one wishes to assert a customary action or a general truth; but when the speaker wishes his verb to express not a custom or general truth but only continuous or progressive action, some form of the verb to be is used with the principal verb:

or

1. She dances gracefully.
2. She is dancing now.
3. They read too many novels.
4. They are reading Thackeray's The Virginians.
5. The sun rises at 5:30 these mornings.
6. The sun is already rising.

The Principal Parts of a Verb.

A glance at the six tenses of love shows that its past tense and past participle have the same form, loved. This is true of most of the verbs in the English language. Such verbs are called weak because they have to borrow a letter, d or t. It is otherwise with sing. Its past tense is sang, its past participle sung. It is called a strong verb because it is able, without borrowing, to form its past tense and past participle by change of its own vowel.

Before a verb like sing can be conjugated through its six tenses, we must know (1) its present tense, (2) its past tense, and (3) its past participle. When these principal parts are known, any verb can be at once conjugated through all of its tenses.

The principal parts of a verb are its present tense, its past tense, and its past participle.

A weak verb forms its past tense by the addition of ed, d, or t to the present.

A strong verb forms its past tense by vowel change without the addition of a suffix.

Weak verbs are frequently called regular verbs, and strong verbs irregular; but one class is no more regular or irregular than the other.' All newly coined verbs join the weak class; as, telegraph, electrotype, electrocute, wire, phone, camouflage. It is, therefore, the growing class.

QUESTIONS

1. What are the six tenses? Define them. 2. What is the past participle of do? see? hope? try? study?

EXERCISE

1. Conjugate through the six tenses the verbs see and try.

2. Distinguish between “He works hard” and “He is working hard ”; a weak verb and a strong verb.

CHAPTER LXXIII

TENSE (Continued)

Special Class of Weak Verbs.

There are about sixty verbs that in form do not now belong wholly to either class. Their history, however, shows that they are best classed with the weak conjugation.

In learning the following lists of weak and strong verbs, make a short sentence with each principal part. Use “I” for the subject wherever possible; otherwise, “ It":

1. I bring now, I brought yesterday, I have brought.
2. It bursts now, it burst yesterday, it has burst.

It is a mere waste of time to rattle off begin, began, begun if you continue to say “I begun it yesterday.”

PRESENT TENSE

PAST TENSE

PAST PARTICIPLE

bend

bent bereave

bereft beseech

besought bet

bet bleed

bled breed

bred bring

brought burst

burst buy

bought cast

cast catch

caught cleave (to split) cleft cost

cost

bent
bereft
besought
bet
bled
bred
brought
burst
bought
cast
caught
cleft
cost

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