Conjugation and Verbs II

Introduction to Tenses

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Weak Verbs

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I (a) I (a) I (b)II
Present Indicative fremman (to do) nerian (to save) hīeran (to hear)lufian (to love)
1st person Singular fremme nerie hīerelufie
2nd person Singular fremest nerest hīerstlufast
3rd person Singular fremeþ nereþ hīerþlufaþ
Plural fremmaþ neriaþ hīeraþlufiaþ
Singular freme nere hīerlufa
Plural fremmaþ neriaþ hīeraþlufiaþ
Present Subjunctive
Singular fremme nerie hīerelufie
Plural fremmen nerien hīerenlufien
Preterite Indicative
1st person Singular fremede nerede hīerdelufode
2nd person Singular fremedest neredest hīerdestlufodest
3rd person Singular fremede nerede hīerdelufode
Plural fremedon neredon hīerdonlufodon
Preterite Subjunctive
Singular fremede nerede hīerdelufode
Plural fremeden nereden hīerdenlufoden
Inflected Infinitive tō fremmenne tō nerienne tō hīerennetō lufienne
Present Participle fremmende neriende hīerendelufiende
Past Participle (ġe-)fremed (ġe-)nered (ġe-)hīered(ġe-)lufod

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"To be or not to be?"

The verb "to be" is extremely important in Modern English but is extremely irregular, as can be seen from comparing a few present tense and past tense forms: "I am" / "I was" / "I have been", "You are" / "You were". Old English is also very irregular and has two distinct forms for the present tense, as can be seen from the table below.

Indicative Present Present Preterite
1st person Singular eom bēo wæs
2nd person Singular eart bist wære
3rd person Singular is biþ wæs
Plural sind(on), sint bēoþ wǽron
Singular sīe bēo wǽre
Plural sīen bēon wǽren
Singular wes bēo
Plural wesaþ bēoþ

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"To have"

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Present Indicative habban (to have)
1st person Singular hæbbe
2nd person Singular hæfst or hafast
3rd person Singular hæfþ or hafaþ
Plural habbaþ
Present Subjunctive
Singular hæbbe
Plural hæbben
Singular hafa
Plural habbaþ
Preterite Indicative
Singular hæfde
Plural hæfdon
Preterite Subjunctive
Singular hæfde
Plural hæfden

The remaining three class 3 weak verbs, libban (to live), secgan (to say) and hycgan (to think), will be considered in the chapter on irregular verbs.


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Tony Jebson <> 16th May 2001