The English verbal ending -s

It is often said that English verbs inflect in the present tense for the person (1st / 2nd / 3rd) and number (singular / plural) of their grammatical subject. In Notes on English Agreement, Richard Kayne provides a different analysis. He suggests that English verbs inflect only for number, not for person. Background Almost all…… Continue reading The English verbal ending -s

Negating a verb using an auxiliary verb

English, like many other verbs, uses an invariable particle or adverb (not) to turn a positive verb into a negative verb. But Finnish does this differently, using an auxiliary verb for this task. Present tense In the present tense: a positive verb ends in a suffix showing the number (singular / plural) and person (1st…… Continue reading Negating a verb using an auxiliary verb

Acquiring English past tense

My grandson (aged 3 years 9 months) has recently started producing the past tense in a surprising way. I first noticed it with the form liked. He is now pronouncing this as likèd [laɪkɛd] , rather than [laɪkt]. I soon discovered he was using this form consistently not only in all weak verbs but even…… Continue reading Acquiring English past tense

Scandinvian language challenge day 19

Today I worked through chapter 6 of Danish in three months, covering: telling the timepast tense: modal auxiliariesprepositionsother words Telling the time Danes use the 24 hour clock in writing. Havd er klokken / Hvor mange er klokken?den er (klokken) ét / klokken tretten (13.00)halv to / ét tredive (13.30) As in German, halv to is…… Continue reading Scandinvian language challenge day 19

Scandinavian language challenge day 18

Today I worked through chapter 5 of Norwegian in three months, covering: the past tense of weak verbs and strong verbsadverbsword orderordinal numbers Past tense: weak verbs Most weak verbs form the past tense by adding the suffix -et or -te to the stem. (Verbs with a stem ending in -ll, -mm or -nn drop the…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 18

Scandinavian language challenge day 17

Today I worked through chapter 5 of Swedish in three months, covering: asking and telling the timepossessive adjectives and possessive pronounspast tense of strong verbsomitting the indefinite articlerelative pronounsother words and idioms Asking and telling the time Hur mycket är klockan? / Vad är klockan? What is the time? Klockan är ett. / Det är ett.…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 17

Scandinavian language challenge day 16

Today I worked through chapter 5 of Danish in three months, covering: numbers (cardinal and ordinal)past tense and past participlesome common irregular verbsperfect tenseother words Numbers 0123456789101112132021 Cardinalnulén / ettotrefirefemsekssyvottenitiellevetolvtrettentyveenogtyve Ordinalførsteandentrediefjerdefemtesjettesyvendeottendeniendetiendeelvtetolvtetrettendetyvendeenogtyvende 14-19 are: fjorten, femten, seksten, sytten, atten, nitten. Their ordinals are formed by adding -de, for example fjortende. For the 10s from 30 to 90,…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 16

Scandinavian language challenge day 14

Today I worked through chapter 4 of Swedish in three months, covering: weak and strong verbsimperfect tense of weak and irregular verbsreflexive verbsadjectives: definitive formspolite requestsword order: adverbsother words Weak and strong verbs As in other Germanic languages, weak verbs form their past tenses by adding a suffix and strong verbs form them by changing a…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 14