Posted by: episystechpubs | September 26, 2013

Editor’s Corner: But is the past tense of Dexter “dext”?

Today’s healthy morsel is from DailyWritingTips:

The predominant way to represent the past tense of a verb is to add -ed, but some verbs take -t as a variant ending, or even as the only form. Here are forty such verbs, including some ubiquitous words (like left and shot) we may not even think of as having irregular forms because they are the only forms we know—for example, leaved and shooted are not options—as well as some that survive only in poetry or mock-archaic usage.

1. Bent: the only correct form of the past tense of bend, although the archaic form bended is used jocularly, for example in the phrase “on bended knee”

2. Blest: a variant form of the past tense of bless

3. Built: the primary form of the past tense of build, though builded is used in some dialects [KC – I bet they architected those buildings before the builded them.]

4. Burnt: a variant form of the past tense of burn; used in favor of the primary spelling in names of pigments such as burnt orange and burnt sienna (familiar to Crayola crayon aficionados)

5. Clapt: a variant form of the past tense of clap

6. Cleft: a variant form of the past tense of cleave; also, a noun or adjective referring to a split

7. Clept: the past tense of the archaic term clepe (“name,” “call”; the present-tense and past-tense words are also spelled yclepe and yclept)

8. Crept: the only correct form of the past tense of creep, except in the slang sense of being creeped out, or unsettled

9. Dealt: the only correct form of the past tense of deal

10. Dreamt: a variant form of the past tense of dream

11. Drest: an obsolete variant form of the past tense of dress

12. Dwelt: a variant form of the past tense of dwell

13. Felt: the only correct form of the past tense of feel; also, a noun referring to a type of material or a similar substance

14. Gilt: a variant form of the past tense of gild; also, a synonym for gold or a noun or adjective referring to gold plating or other surfacing, or a young female pig

15. Girt: a variant form of the past tense of gird

16. Kent: a variant form of the past tense of ken, an archaic synonym for know or recognize

17. Knelt: the primary form of the past tense of kneel

18. Leant: an alternate form of the past tense of lean, used mostly in British English but occasionally appearing in American English usage as well (pronounced “lent”)

19. Leapt: a variant form of the past tense of leap

20. Learnt: an alternate form of the past tense of learn, used mostly in British English but occasionally appearing in American English usage as well

21. Left: the only correct form of the past tense of leave, meaning “go,” although the past tense for leave in the sense of forming leaves is leaved

22. Lent: the only correct form of the past tense of loan

23. Lost: the only correct form of the past tense of lose

24. Meant: the only correct form of the past tense of mean (pronounced “ment”)

25. Pent: an alternate form of the past tense of pen, meaning “confine,” although the past tense for pen in the sense of writing is penned

26. Reft: an alternate form of the past tense of reave

27. Rent: an alternate form of the past tense of rend

28. Sent: the only correct form of the past tense of send

29. Shot: the only correct form of the past tense of shoot

30. Slept: the only correct form of the past tense of sleep

31. Smelt: a variant form of the past tense of smell; also, a noun referring to a type of fish or a verb for melting or reducing metal or another substance

32. Spelt: an alternate form of the past tense of spell, used mostly in British English but occasionally appearing in American English usage as well; also, a noun referring to a type of wheat [KC – Great! Two ways to spell the past tense of
spell! English rocks!]

33. Spent: the only correct form of the past tense of spend

34. Spilt: a variant form of the past tense of spill

35. Spoilt: a variant form of the past tense of spoil

36. Stript: a variant form of the past tense of strip

37. Vext: a variant form of the past tense of vex

38. Wept: the only correct form of the past tense of weep

39. Went: the only correct form of the past tense of go

40. [KC – I removed one because there was a typo and I couldn’t figure out what the author intended.]

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

www.symitar.com

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