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The Other T-Form:  Verbs, Not Taxes
by L




If you haven't done your taxes, you have till the end of April. If you've already done your taxes, you could look at the T-Form below as a verbal diversion. I was reading Jennifer's feature last week {please add link to last week's feature} when I noticed this sentence in her My Scary Dream #1 paragraph: " I dreamed about a mountain." I would have said,  "I dreamt about a mountain."

Coincidentally, I had just finished consoling and commiserating with a student who was unhappy that her use of "learnt" as the past tense of "learn" was marked as incorrect in deference to "learned." Again, I guess I learnt my English differently. By clinging to the older "T-form", I am showing both my age and where I learnt my English. The "T-form" is the more traditional British form that is being supplanted by the regular "-ed" form. For now, both forms for the two words are acceptable, but, alas, it appears that the "T-form" for many words will soon become obsolete. (see the T-Forms box below that was excerpted from the "englishpage.com" website.

 

This site also features a good clickable irregular verb table that can help avert many arguments about verb conjugations.

http://www.englishpage.com/irregularverbs/irregularverbs.html

 

T- Forms

T-forms include: burnt, clapt, crept, dealt, dreamt, dwelt, felt, leant, leapt, learnt, meant, spelt, smelt, spilt, spoilt, stript, vext

T-forms can be divided into two categories: those with a vowel change and those without a vowel change.

T-forms with a vowel change include: crept, dealt, dreamt, felt, leapt, meant

The t-forms with a vowel change are still very common in modern English. In fact, creptdealtfelt and meant are the only accepted forms. In the case of dreamt and leapt, although dreamt and leapt are still quite common and acceptable in both written and spoken English, the regular forms dreamed and leaped seem to be more popular in modern usage.

T-forms without a vowel change include: burnt, clapt, dwelt, leant, learnt, spelt, smelt, spilt, spoilt, stript, vext

The t-forms without a vowel change are slowly disappearing from the language. Dwelt is the only form in this category which is more frequently used than the regular -ed form. Burntleant and learnt are still relatively common in spoken English and fairly common in written English. Speltsmeltspilt and spoilt are quickly disappearing. Stript, clapt and vext are rarely used in contemporary English. For this reason, they are only listed in our Extended Irregular Verb Dictionary.

It should be noted that although many t-forms are listed in texts as distinctly "British" forms, our research indicates they are disappearing in British English as well.

Verbix.com is another good website that allows you to type in any verb to obtain its different conjugated forms.
http://www.verbix.com/languages/english.shtml

Try these verbs out: lay an egg, lie on the bed, lie about something, hang a picture, hang the murderer.  
I sincerely hope that you don't get hung (?) out to dry.

 


(April 7, 2013)



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