Am or not Am? that is the question.

Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by OurJud, Jun 27, 2020.

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  1. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I'll drink to that.
     
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  2. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Yes. Let's kill even more brain cells :D
     
  3. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    No.

    An irregular verb is one that does not follow the pattern of how to conjugate verbs.

    In a regular verb, the past tense is usually formed by adding -ed to the verb. I laugh, you laughed.

    But in "see", the past tense is not verb+ed, it is saw. In "go", the past tense is gone, not verb+ed, i.e. go-ed.
     
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  4. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    See, the trick is to write in 1st person. That way poor grammar can be attributed to character voice.
     
  5. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I don't wish to waste any more of your time (or test your patience) but none of this goes in. I just see words but none of it makes sense. I think I have some kind of blindness to written instructions. I don't know what a verb is and I don't know what conjugate means. More over I can't have any real interest in learning, because I'd have done so already if I had.
     
  6. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    OK. If you don't know what a verb is, we're on a hiding to nothing.

    But we are on a writers' forum, after all.
     
  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I sort of know what a verb is, but I'm never clear on all these verb / adjective / noun things. I don't really think it matters to be honest. I liken it to these great musicians who can't read music.
     
  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    this is a good summary of what verb, noun etc mean https://www.dictionary.com/e/parts-of-speech/ ... its not difficult to learn and does add greatly to the ability to discuss your work, or the work of others

    that said i must admit even i get a bit lost when @Wreybies and others that really know their stuff start talking about the fine structure of language
     
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  9. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    And we thought teaching you guitar remotely was going to be a challenge, haha.




    ETA: Hey, more fun with words:

    And we thought teaching you guitar remotely was going to be a challenge, haha.

    And we thought remotely teaching you guitar was going to be a challenge, haha.

    And we remotely thought teaching you guitar was going to be a challenge, haha.

    And we thought teaching you guitar was remotely going to be a challenge, haha.

    And we thought teaching you guitar was going to remotely be a challenge, haha.
     
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  10. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Full-time hooman bean. Contributor

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    Yeah, it's like an interrogative form of the to be verb. Pretty cool.
     
  11. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Maybe we should all, as writers, press for changing it to the classic Ebonics version:

    "I be"
    "You be"
    "He-She-It be"
    "We be"
    "Y'all be"
    "They all be"

    The trouble with this, of course, is that in African-American usage, "be" has a different connotation, that of signifying a repeating action. Usually, any form of "to be" is dispensed with altogether. "He is hungry" becomes "He hungry." The standard English phrase, "He goes to the store" would be translated to "He go to the store." "He going to the store" means that "He is/was on his way to the store." "He be going to the store" means he is in the habit of going to the store on a continual basis.

    Interestingly, the stress on "aspect" rather than "tense" is a common trait of African languages. The conversion of "to be" as a regular verb rather than an irregular verb is a common trait of any pidjin version of English, and that particular version of a simplified English was the one that African slaves were forced to communicate in, which adopted "be" in a way that made syntactic sense to them.

    And now, back to the show...
     
  12. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    I quote Queen Elizabeth I:
    "Ye be burly, my Lord of Burghley, but ye shall make less stir in our realm than my Lord of Leicester."
     
  13. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    And then you've got the old hymn "Weak and Sinful Though We Be" which was transmuted to the delightful Mondegreen by a child at a church picnic into "We Can Sing, Full Though We Be."
     
  14. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    That's really quite clever.
     
  15. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    If you're conjugating verbs, that means you're taking the verb and adding "-ed" or otherwise changing the spelling depending on how the verb is being used, as per the rules of the English language. (A verb is just the action in the sentence. So, I ran a mile. I wrote a book. I ride a bike.)

    If you say "I rided a bike", you've conjugated incorrectly.

    If you say "I rode a bike", you've conjugated correctly.

    But as with literally any rule ever, there are exceptions. The exceptions with verbs are called "irregular verbs".

    "See" is one such example of an exception to the rules, as Naomasa pointed out. When talking about something that already happened, you generally add "-ed" to the end of the verb.

    But with the verb "see", this is not the case. The past-tense of "see" is not "seeed". You did not seeed a bird. You saw a bird. Thus, it is an irregular verb, because it does not follow the "-ed" rule for past-tense.

    ---

    "I am cold" means to be cold. And "to be" here is describing a present-state or condition. Currently. Actively. Right now.

    "I am going to be cold" means you will be cold in the future. And "to be" in this specific example is describing a theoretical future-state or condition, as implied by the use of "going".

    Just like "I am at the pub" versus "I am going to be at the pub".


    ---

    The definition of "am" is: "to be".

    And "to be" means that you presently are something. Maybe you are tall, old, tired, happy, sad, or confused. Whatever it is, that's what you are *right now*.

    The tricky part is that "to be" is more like the definition of "am". When used outside of this context, "to be" means something else entirely.

    To be honest with you man, having teachers try and explain this shit to me when I was growing-up made me want to rip out my eyes and stuff them in my ears. I learned way more through constant use of the language and making adjustments when somebody corrects me.

    But sometimes I still don't give a shit. I still prefer to say "Me and my friend", not "My friend and I".
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  16. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks, @Foxxx, I think that's the first time I've been able to follow and comprehend something like this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020

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