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  1. Mikolito
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    #1

    came or come?

    I am often confused by the use of the verb come in conversation. Some people use the past participle come instead of the past came. Unfortunately I cannot think of any examples but that's precisely why I never got to understand it. In other words, sometimes when talking about something which occurred in the past people use come and not came, while all the other verbs in the same sentence are in the past tense.
    I hope you can help me.

    Thank a lot.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: came or come?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikolito View Post
    I am often confused by the use of the verb come in conversation. Some people use the past participle come instead of the past came. Unfortunately I cannot think of any examples but that's precisely why I never got to understand it. In other words, sometimes when talking about something which occurred in the past people use come and not came, while all the other verbs in the same sentence are in the past tense.
    I hope you can help me.

    Thank a lot.
    There are several factors at work here. The most obvious is "the historic present":

    'Did I ever tell you what happened last time I went there? [simple past tense so far, but now the story starts, and historic present starts (when the past context has already been established) - it makes the mental picture more vivid]] There I am, minding my own business, when along comes this bloke and says "..."'

    Another is dialectal variation. There are dialects in which 'come' acts as a simple past as well as the present (on the analogy of verbs like "cut").

    Another is that "come" is an irregular verb, and rather than thinking which is the appropriate form some users just can't be bothered to use anything but the present. Others do try, but just 'get it wrong''. (This sort of lapse can result from a combination of any or all of these factors).

    Another is a variant of dialectal variation, but based on profession rather than region; football commentators in the UK, for example, use the present tense nearly all the time: "Let's just see that one again, if we can run that sequence.... There. You see, Lampard is completely unmarked in the middle. If Beckham crosses it now it's a certain goal. But instead he tackles the defender." This usage isn't safe to copy, but it does happen.

    There are probably other factors as well...

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 22-Apr-2008 at 21:22. Reason: Fix typo ... and another

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: came or come?

    Another possibly confusing use of 'come' is a relic of the subjunctive, as in 'Come the revolution I'll be the first to the barricades' or 'Come the day that you need help, I won't be here' (where "come"= a mixture of 'if ever it should come' and 'when it comes, as it surely will'). But this is presumably not part of the "come/came" confusion.

    b


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #4

    Re: came or come?

    Do you hear this mainly in American speech?

    In their speech, they seem to have a love affair with the past perfect tense, combined with a revulsion for contractions, so in reality shows you hear:
    I had went.
    (the number of times you hear 'had' in their speech!)

    The problem with 'come' is the declension:
    Now I come
    Yesterday I came
    I have come
    I had come
    and they do the same thing, which is to use the past tense verb as the past perfect tense verb regardless.
    I had came to the house.

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