Articles and Speeches
The Scrivener: Irregular Verbs
September 23, 2015
Elizabeth Scott Moïse
Reprinted with permission from the S.C. Bar
In elementary school, I hated the grammar games that the teacher made up to torture us—the ones in which we had to go to the blackboard in pairs, and the teacher would say, “Give me the second person plural of the past tense of to eat.” I would freeze while my opponent scribbled out ate on the board, threw down the chalk, and turned around triumphantly. There I would stand before the class at the Blackboard of Shame, wishing I
could disappear. Even today, I have a problem sometimes with verbs. Fortunately, most verbs are easy. For example, see below for how to conjugate a regular verb, “to argue.”
Verbs would be a pleasure if they were all like this, but the people who made up verbs did not see fit to make everything regular. Oh no, for some reason, they made around 200 verbs irregular.
With that background, get out your pencils because we are going to have a verb game, but this one will be played in private with no witnesses.
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