By Michiko Ogura
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Additional resources for Verbs in Medieval English: Differences in Verb Choice in Verse and Prose
1. Presentforms In Old English, both streng and weak verbs take -e, -(e)st, and -t/-(e)jj for the Ist, 2nd, and 3rd person ind. sg. Thus ridan (class I) has ic r'ide, fjü r'idest, he r'idejj/rit, and deman (first weak verb), ic deme, jjü dem(e)st, he dem(e)l). Besides, strong verbs have the 2nd and 3rd person pres. sg. forms both with and without umlaut. Thus beodan (class II) has ic beode but pü bietst/beodest and he biet(t)/beodelj; helpan (class IE) has ic helpe but fjü hilpst/helpest and he hilpJj/helpejj; cuman (class IV) has ic cume but jjü cymst/cumest and he cymp/cumejj, etc.
Elsewhere. Weak verbs have -(e)de or -(e)d for the Ist and 3rdpers. , -(e)dest for tht 2ndpers. , and -(e)de(n) for the pl. g. lovede[n], herde[n]). g. feite). 3. Infinitives — simple and inflected In the simple Infinitive, strong verbs take the -an ending unless they are contract verbs like teon (< *teohan, class II), seon (< *sehan, class V), and slean (< *slahan, class VI). ^ In the inflected Infinitive or "gerund", orignally a dative govemed by tö, the West Saxon Standard ending is -enne, and variants are -anne (cf.
Is formed by the present stem without an ending for strong verbs, and by the present stem with -e or zero for the first and third weak verbs but with -a for the second weak verbs (var. -e). The imperative for the 2nd person pl. takes -a/? for both strong and weak verbs, except for the second weak verbs' -/a/?. , the ending is -an (or -ian for the second weak verbs), often supplanted by the subjunctive -en. 'Üton/ütan we + Inf was used until Early Middle English as an alternative. ', the subjunctive is the only way of expressing the imperative force.
Verbs in Medieval English: Differences in Verb Choice in Verse and Prose by Michiko Ogura