Author Topic: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?  (Read 9280 times)

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PastryGoddess

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2012, 07:02:17 PM »
I know I don't have all of my facts straight.  But if I remember correctly, Noah Webster believed very strongly that American English should be different from British English in order to give legitimacy to the new nation. He pretty much believed that British English was too stuck in the past to change, so he decided that American English would be much more amenable to change. He took the "u" out of words like color and favor.  He switched the "re" to "er" in words like center. I'm guessing the "t" changed to "ll" this way as well.  His Dictionary and Blue Grammer book were used pretty much exclusively for about 100 years to teach people how to read.

Thipu1

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2012, 09:39:30 AM »
Yes, Pastrygoddess, that's how I understand things too. 

Another thing they did was drop the second 'L' in words like 'traveller'.

This is all fascinating stuff. 

shadowfox79

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2012, 10:58:11 AM »
On the other hand, I have heard "spelled" in the "relieved" context here in the UK, but mainly because I think people have heard it on American TV shows. So we may well be re-merging our language.

jmarvellous

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2012, 11:09:51 AM »
The only possible problem with the T forms could be 'spelt'.  That word is also a type of grain.

Also, a question with 'spelt'.  Here, we use 'spelled' to also indicate giving a person a break. 

'Joan didn't have to stay at the information desk all afternoon.  Joe came and spelled her at two PM'.

Do people in the UK use it in that sense?

That is completely foreign to me, as an American.

I've heard "rest a spell" but NEVER "spelled" as in relieved.

My brain melts a little with the "t" endings for past tense or "s" where "z" should be in certain words (per my American sensibilities), but I get it. It's funny to me when one of these slips into an American's writing. We do use "slept" instead of "sleeped," but "dreamed" is more proper than "dreamt."

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2012, 11:28:30 AM »
The only possible problem with the T forms could be 'spelt'.  That word is also a type of grain.

Also, a question with 'spelt'.  Here, we use 'spelled' to also indicate giving a person a break. 

'Joan didn't have to stay at the information desk all afternoon.  Joe came and spelled her at two PM'.

Do people in the UK use it in that sense?

That is completely foreign to me, as an American.

I've heard "rest a spell" but NEVER "spelled" as in relieved.
I'll bet you have heard it--but with a slightly different connotation.
Merriam Webster defines it as
Quote
to take the place of for a time : relieve <we spell each other every two hours>
The idea is that you temporarily take over some job, in order to let someone else have a rest.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 11:30:55 AM by nutraxfornerves »

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PastryGoddess

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2012, 11:57:50 AM »
I think that "spelled" to mean relieving someone may be a more common usage in the south.  My family is all from NC and beyond and I grew up using that definition of "spelled"

veryfluffy

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2012, 12:09:37 PM »

My brain melts a little with the "t" endings for past tense or "s" where "z" should be in certain words (per my American sensibilities), but I get it. It's funny to me when one of these slips into an American's writing. We do use "slept" instead of "sleeped," but "dreamed" is more proper than "dreamt."

 I've never heard anyone here (UK) say dreamed. It's always dreamt. Dreamed sounds really odd to me.
   

jmarvellous

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2012, 02:21:08 PM »
The only possible problem with the T forms could be 'spelt'.  That word is also a type of grain.

Also, a question with 'spelt'.  Here, we use 'spelled' to also indicate giving a person a break. 

'Joan didn't have to stay at the information desk all afternoon.  Joe came and spelled her at two PM'.

Do people in the UK use it in that sense?

That is completely foreign to me, as an American.

I've heard "rest a spell" but NEVER "spelled" as in relieved.
I'll bet you have heard it--but with a slightly different connotation.
Merriam Webster defines it as
Quote
to take the place of for a time : relieve <we spell each other every two hours>
The idea is that you temporarily take over some job, in order to let someone else have a rest.

Nope, never heard it.
Regarding another poster's theory, I live in Texas and have been in all of our lovely Southern states at least a few times.

Perhaps it's generational?

mechtilde

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2012, 02:22:31 PM »

My brain melts a little with the "t" endings for past tense or "s" where "z" should be in certain words (per my American sensibilities), but I get it. It's funny to me when one of these slips into an American's writing. We do use "slept" instead of "sleeped," but "dreamed" is more proper than "dreamt."

 I've never heard anyone here (UK) say dreamed. It's always dreamt. Dreamed sounds really odd to me.

I have heard both. I haven't noticed it being regional if that's any help.
NE England

Flora Louise

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2012, 03:36:55 PM »

My brain melts a little with the "t" endings for past tense or "s" where "z" should be in certain words (per my American sensibilities), but I get it. It's funny to me when one of these slips into an American's writing. We do use "slept" instead of "sleeped," but "dreamed" is more proper than "dreamt."

 I've never heard anyone here (UK) say dreamed. It's always dreamt. Dreamed sounds really odd to me.

Have you heard it with music?

"I dreamed last night, I got on a boat to heaven . . ."
Just because you're disappointed in me doesn't mean I did anything wrong.

lowspark

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2012, 03:55:33 PM »
I'm with JMarvelous on this. Live (and always have lived) in Texas and I've never heard "spell" used that way.

The t instead of ed is more common here in words that have a long e in them. As in sleep/slept and dream/dreamt which were mentioned above. I have heard (and probably used) both dreamed and dreamt but never sleeped.

More examples are creep/crept, feel/felt, deal/dealt, keep/kept, leave/left, weep/wept, sweep/swept.

Interesting!

Edited: that's swept, not sept.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 08:17:45 AM by lowspark »

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2012, 05:06:38 PM »
Yeah we use crept, felt, dealt, kept, left, wept, swept and never really the alternative. Is sleeped even a word? I mean, if you guys don't say slept, then do you actually say sleeped or is that one of the exceptions that you use slept for?! It just sounds so funny!

jmarvellous

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2012, 05:33:25 PM »
Yeah we use crept, felt, dealt, kept, left, wept, swept and never really the alternative. Is sleeped even a word? I mean, if you guys don't say slept, then do you actually say sleeped or is that one of the exceptions that you use slept for?! It just sounds so funny!

In my post, I mentioned that we say "slept."
Also crept, felt, dealt, kept, left, wept, swept.

But there are certainly MORE words the folks across the ocean use with "t" endings than we do -- we typically say spelled and dreamed, for instance, as mentioned earlier.

jaxsue

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2012, 01:54:52 PM »
We use it in Canada too.

True. Since my parents were both Canadian I was familiar with the "t" spellings. My American English teachers, OTOH, weren't thrilled with it.  :)

jaxsue

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Re: Why do British people use the T form of certain verbs?
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2012, 01:56:39 PM »

My brain melts a little with the "t" endings for past tense or "s" where "z" should be in certain words (per my American sensibilities), but I get it. It's funny to me when one of these slips into an American's writing. We do use "slept" instead of "sleeped," but "dreamed" is more proper than "dreamt."

 I've never heard anyone here (UK) say dreamed. It's always dreamt. Dreamed sounds really odd to me.

I say "dreamt," too. But, as I said in a PP, I grew up with English-Canadian parents so I was used to UK spellings.