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Elements of English
Verb Forms, Regular and Irregular

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Lists of irregular verbs are easy to find. Most give three parts: ride, rode, ridden. For many verbs, isn't enough information. The verb shrink has both shrunk and shrunken. The verb rot has both rotted and rotten. The verb pass has both passed and past. What is the difference?

Many verbs have a passive participle: farmed land is land that someone farms. But for some verbs this participle has an active meaning: an accomplished artist is an artist who has accomplished things, not an artist who someone else accomplishes. Some verbs have participles with both passive and active meanings.

Most verbs form their subject-noun by adding -er: the verb play has player. But some are irregular: liar, actor, glazier, guarantor, claimant, hangman.

The English verb isn't nice and neat. You can't just learn three parts and then work out all the rest through regular rules. Instead, this book lists ten parts for each verb.

This book is not just another reference list of verbs. It shows the depth of variation and irregularity among English verbs, and it groups similar verbs together to make the patterns behind them easier to learn.