Royal Holloway, University of London<white space>Department of English


Weak Verbs

Weak verbs correspond to modern English regular verbs. Like regular verbs, they form their past tense by the addition of a d or t. The past tense thus may be recognisable, even if you do not know the verb itself.

Note that the inflexional endings are very similar to those you have already (!) learned for strong verbs. See Mitchell and Robinson, A Guide to Old English for full paradigms of the different classes of weak verbs.

A sample weak verb: lufian to love

Present

               Indicative                  Subjunctive  
   singular    plural    singular    plural
ic lufie we lufiaþ ic lufie we lufien
þu lufast ge lufiaþ þu lufie ge lufien
he lufaþ hie lufiaþ hio lufie hie lufien


Imperative

   singular    plural
lufa lufiaþ


Preterite

               Indicative                Subjunctive  
   singular    plural    singular    plural
ic lufode we lufodon ic lufode we lufoden
þu lufodest ge lufodon þu lufode ge lufoden
he lufode hie lufodon hio lufode hie lufoden


Present Participle lufiende


Past Participle (ge-)lufod


Some Practice:

Even if you don't know the meaning of these verbs, can you tell their tense and number?

fremme gewundode
neredon leornast
lufode andswarie
sohte timbriaþ
hierþ lufien
tæhte þuhte
neosað cwelleþ
 

Click here for answers.


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Page created by Dr Jennifer Neville
Last updated 2 July 1999