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Thread: Passed tense x2

  1. #1
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    Passed tense x2

    For those words in english which sometimes have two passed tenses ?

    see
    seen
    saw

    sing
    sang
    sung

    eat(en)
    ate.

    writ(en)
    wrote

    I can't think of any rules as to why i would use one over the other, and i dont know how i would ever explain this to a russian if they asked. Does anyone know ?

    Is it a british / american english thing ? like Theater, Theatre ? lol, i dont know.
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    There's more than one aspect to this.
    Firstly, all verbs in English can be considered to have 3 forms.
    The first form is what you use for the present tense.
    e.g. regular verb walk : 1st form 'sing'
    The second form is used for the simple past tense.
    walk becomes 'walked': I walked home
    The third form is also called the past participle and is used for two purposes: to create perfect tenses, e.g. the past perfect, the present perfect etc. ; but also to make passive voice constructions.
    Example 1. I have walked there before. (present perfect).
    Example 2. I was walked by my owner last night (passive voice, simple past) (dog talking.. the verb 'walk' is not normally used in a passive construction of course)).

    Now you'll notice that for this regular verb, walk, the second and third forms are identical. That's a big part of why native speakers who haven't tried to study English grammar don't notice the difference between form 2 and form 3, or get confused.
    Your example 'sing' is an example where the second and third forms are different.
    Thus:
    I sang a song last night (second form 'sang')
    The song was sung by the choir (3rd form 'sung')

    This pattern is quite rare, but there are many irregular verbs where the 2nd and 3rd forms are different.
    A good example of that is your choice 'write':
    1 write
    2 wrote
    3 written

    However, examples like 'eat' are something again: even more irregular. Because eat is like this
    1 eat
    2 ate / eat
    3 eaten
    There are two possible versions of the 2nd form. There are a few verbs like this, but not many. And probably there may be some slight Brit/Am variation with this kind of thing - I don't think it's very big though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxwing
    However, examples like 'eat' are something again: even more irregular. Because eat is like this
    1 eat
    2 ate / eat
    3 eaten
    There are two possible versions of the 2nd form. There are a few verbs like this, but not many. And probably there may be some slight Brit/Am variation with this kind of thing - I don't think it's very big though.
    I generally agree with that post, but are you sure that the simple past of "eat" can be "eat"? That seems rather dubious to me.

    "I eat a sausage"?!
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    He sang the song
    He sung the song

    Both seem correct to me, why isn't it a participle here ?

    (And you're correct... I have not studied english grammar at the least. I guess school in america assume we'll learn it on our own.)
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    Maybe I sound stupid 'cause of my poor english, but I was always tought (even by americans) that:

    he sang the song
    and
    the song was sung by him
    or
    he had it sung

    I may be wrong though...

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    @Dogboy, the reason they both seem correct is that mistakes of this type have become so commonplace that people are starting to forget the rules! (there tend to be similar problems with swim + a few others. 'hang' is another very weird one: think about the difference between 'hanged' and 'hung'.

    So anyway..
    'He sang the song' is right , 'He sung the song' is wrong. But you'll hear these mistakes all over the place. You'll also hear things like 'I've sang this before' - equally wrong.

    I find Americans and Brits are more or less in the same boat in terms of not learning their own grammar. I don't criticize anyone for that. I only know about it cos it's my job right now.
    Once more, I'll say that I think the reason for this particular confusion comes from the fact that with regular verbs in English, the second and third forms are identical. Our brain circuitry is not very well wired to cope with infrequently-occurring verbs which break that rule.

    Consider 'be' 2nd form was (etc.) 3rd form been.
    Nobody gets confused there do they? It's because it's such a fundamental part of the language. Whereas 'sing' isn't.

    @Oddo: I eat the sausage, here 'eat' has the same pronunciation as 'bet'. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable. Probably you were thinking 'eat' pronounced like 'sheep'.

    @Alware: perfectly right. Doesn't disagree with my post in any way, does it? (although 'to have something done' is a very special construction.. I don't know if you intended that .. anyway it's correct)
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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    Quote Originally Posted by waxwing
    (although 'to have something done' is a very special construction.. I don't know if you intended that .. anyway it's correct)
    But isn't "he had it sung" equal to "he was singing it and finished singing it in the past"?

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    Re: Passed tense x2

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogboy182
    For those words in english which sometimes have two passed tenses ?

    see
    seen
    saw

    sing
    sang
    sung

    eat(en)
    ate.

    writ(en)
    wrote

    I can't think of any rules as to why i would use one over the other, and i dont know how i would ever explain this to a russian if they asked. Does anyone know ?

    Is it a british / american english thing ? like Theater, Theatre ? lol, i dont know.
    Many verbs have 2 past tenses. Some even have more than that, but can be used interchagibly. When you write "I saw him" that is direct, and not complicated. When you write "I have seen him" you use the passive form of the past tense. Another example is "I was at the stripclub" & "I have been at the stripclub".

    Sing & sang can be used interchangibly and there is no difference between the two.

    A good example where two past tenses formed different meanings is drank and drunk. Believe it or not people used to say "My wife drunk a whole quart of baby batter ". Maybe in the North East it might still be common. The book 501 English Verbs will give you lists of the past tense, passive past tense, and archaic or alternative forms of the past tense. The book also includes more information that I don't know about (at least I know this).
    Call to a hardware store: "I'm sure you know more about the caulk than I do...tell me...is there a taste to the caulk?".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alware
    Quote Originally Posted by waxwing
    (although 'to have something done' is a very special construction.. I don't know if you intended that .. anyway it's correct)
    But isn't "he had it sung" equal to "he was singing it and finished singing it in the past"?
    No .. astarozhna! it should be : 'he had sung it' порядок слов - очень важно.

    the construction:
    had + noun phrase + done means that you got someone else to do it for you!

    e.g. when a woman says 'I've had my nails done', it means she paid a manicurist to 'do' her nails. By the way we can also use past participles of verbs other than 'do' in this construction, e.g. 'I had my hair cut' (cut: 1st form cut 2nd form: cut 3rd form: cut )

    MoonMonster, I hope you were joking because that was drivel from start to finish. If you weren't, sorry for being rude, but it's still drivel.

    (btw I edited my first post 'cos I noticed a mistake: I gave a past perfect continuous example for the 3rd form which is stupid, so I changed it to a present perfect)
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxwing
    MoonMonster, I hope you were joking because that was drivel from start to finish. If you weren't, sorry for being rude, but it's still drivel.
    Check your nearest dictionary, find your closest encyclopaedia, consult your nearest english teacher, because it's true baby!! It's all true!!!
    Call to a hardware store: "I'm sure you know more about the caulk than I do...tell me...is there a taste to the caulk?".

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    @Waxwing
    Thanx, man. It seems like I finally got good simple rule for "to have something done / to have done something" usage. Your student are lucky to have such a good teacher.

  12. #12
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    Historically, "I have it sung" is simply the perfect tense. It is still used that way in just about any other Germanic language. Even today you can say it that way in English, implying that the action was by you, but it will typically be (a lot) more emphatic than otherwise. Compare:

    "John, please tidy up your room." -- "I have tidied up my room, Mom!"
    "John, please tidy up your room." -- "I have my room tidied up, Mom!"
    Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mean, stupid, violent fat people, no jobs, nothing to do, hotter than a dog with 2 d--cks.

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    Interesting point bm, but it's very, very rare. I suppose the reason it's very rare is because it clashes with the meaning I outlined above.

    I can hardly imagine a child ever speaking like that in that, to be honest. 'I have my homework ALL done!' .. yes it's just about possible, but really unusual.
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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    Quote Originally Posted by waxwing
    @Oddo: I eat the sausage, here 'eat' has the same pronunciation as 'bet'. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable. Probably you were thinking 'eat' pronounced like 'sheep'.
    This is incorrect. The past tense form pronounced to rhyme with 'bet' retains the spelling 'ate'; the past tense form 'eat' (from which, incidentally, the former's pronunciation may well be derived) is archaic and not acceptable as far as modern usage is concerned.
    А если отнять еще одну?

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    Thanks for the correction.
    And sorry Oddo for not listening the first time ..
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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    Waxwing... I'm so distressed by what you said about my post up there. I haven't been able to sleep in two days and I'm foaming at the mouth.

    Please apologize so I can get on with my life and pick up where I left off at.
    Call to a hardware store: "I'm sure you know more about the caulk than I do...tell me...is there a taste to the caulk?".

  17. #17
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    I did:
    Quote Originally Posted by I
    If you weren't, sorry for being rude, but it's still drivel.
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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    Quote Originally Posted by bad manners
    Historically, "I have it sung" is simply the perfect tense. It is still used that way in just about any other Germanic language. Even today you can say it that way in English, implying that the action was by you, but it will typically be (a lot) more emphatic than otherwise. Compare:

    "John, please tidy up your room." -- "I have tidied up my room, Mom!"
    "John, please tidy up your room." -- "I have my room tidied up, Mom!"
    In the first sentence the verb is 'have tidied'.

    In the second, the verb is 'have' and 'tidied (up)' is describing the state of the room. No different than 'The room is tidied up, Mom!'

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    [quote=crux_online]
    Quote Originally Posted by "bad manners":2qenwt73
    Historically, "I have it sung" is simply the perfect tense. It is still used that way in just about any other Germanic language. Even today you can say it that way in English, implying that the action was by you, but it will typically be (a lot) more emphatic than otherwise. Compare:

    "John, please tidy up your room." -- "I have tidied up my room, Mom!"
    "John, please tidy up your room." -- "I have my room tidied up, Mom!"
    In the first sentence the verb is 'have tidied'.

    In the second, the verb is 'have' and 'tidied (up)' is describing the state of the room. No different than 'The room is tidied up, Mom!'[/quote:2qenwt73]

    crux... I hate to say this, but this thread is 1.5 years old, these people are hardly around anymore! It is like explaining to Attila the Hun the benefits of a pension plan during your lunch break.
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    crux... I hate to say this, but this thread is 1.5 years old, these people are hardly around anymore! It is like explaining to Attila the Hun the benefits of a pension plan during your lunch break.
    You know, I didn't even notice that.

    So...you interested in a pension plan? I've got an hour.

    C

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