Posted by: Jack Henry | April 11, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Rule 3 – Watch for Verb Problems

Woo-hoo! We’re up to the third rule from the article “7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to,” by Ben Yagoda. Again, I’d argue that the title of this “rule” (Verb Problems) isn’t a rule, but it is a problem. So let’s call this one: Rule 3 – Watch for Verb Problems.

There are a few persistent troublemakers you should be aware of.

· I’m tired, so I need to go lay lie down.

· The fish laid lay on the counter, fileted and ready to broil.

· Honey, I shrunk shrank the kids.

· In a fit of pique, he sunk sank the toy boat.

· He seen saw it coming.

The last three are examples of verbs where people sometimes switch the past and participle forms. [KC – The past participle is used with an auxiliary verb (has,
have, or had).] Thus, it would be correct to write:

· I have shrunk the kids.

· He had sunk the boat.

· He had seen it coming.

For a list of irregular verbs and their simple past and past participle forms, see:

Whew. Now my head hurts! Nothing like a basket of puppies to make the pain go away . . .

From various sources on Google Images

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

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