The past of breach is breached
But we say taught instead of ‘teached’
And taught rhymes with caught but also with bought
Which comes from buy, like bring becomes brought
(And seek goes to sought and fight becomes fought
But think goes to thought, not thunk like it like it ought).
Buy is to buying like bring is to bringing,
We say sang not brang, though we still have singing.
Please, reader, stay strong; you will not be beaten
If I make a mistake, you are right to feel ‘cheaten’.
You write a letter, which becomes written
And if you bite a sandwich it becomes bitten
But whereas the letter becomes a thing that you wrote
The sandwich becomes something you bit not ‘bote’.
If the stars were glowing, you can say they glowed
But we went to a shop (note: ‘went’ not ‘goed’).
Now what about more rules? Let me pre-empt:
Your food can be steamed but your dreams must be dreamt
(For a minute, let’s take this logic to the extreme:
You can dream a dream but you can’t steam some steam).
I ate some bacon, I have eaten the bacon,
Liam Neeson’s daughter wasn’t ‘Took’, she was ‘Taken’.
Another popular word that is deceiving
Is that the word left is the right past tense of leaving
If something appeals then you find it appealing
In the past, it appealed, but you can’t have ‘feeled’ a feeling.
Leading goes to led, which rhymes with lead
But reading becomes read — which is pronounced like ‘red’.
If you have something worth keeping, it is to be kept
But peep, like most others, goes to peeped — Mary wept!
To mess things up further, I’m afraid I regret
To inform you some words don’t change in the past, like set,
As well as cast and burst, cost, put and rid
And bet and put, hit, let and bid.
There’s several more, maybe fifteen I’d bet you;
But let’s move on, before I upset you.
Even worse, now the hard stuff has truly begun
Some past participles are the same as the present — like run;
And some participles are not the same as the past
Let’s rush through some of them now, nice and fast:
There’s spring-sprang-sprung, and ring-rang-rung
But sting-stung-stung and hang-hung-hung.
(But of course, for the death sentence the correct word is hanged
Which doesn’t rhyme with ranged but does rhyme with banged.)
Sometimes you can choose, which is kind of rotten
Depending on context, you can have forgot or forgotten.
Through wear and tear, things become worn and torn
But — sometimes — bear gains an ‘e’ and becomes borne.
In the morning, you can be awaked or awoken
But the morning itself hasn’t breaked, it’s just broken.
Much like throw becomes threw and / or thrown,
And also blow becomes blew and / or blown,
Show becomes shown but sew goes to sewn,
But somehow fly also goes to flew and / or flown.
Now you’ve learned all these words, and your mind has arranged them
The ******* in charge have recently changed them!
We used to say ‘chid’ but changed it to ‘chided’
But, we’ve yet to develop ‘hid’ into hided’.
The past tense of spell is changing — what a pain;
‘Spelled’ is overtaking ‘spelt’ (which is a grain).
My work here is ‘doed’ — rather, I should say done;
I hope that you learned something; I hope you ‘haved’ fun.