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    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #1

    Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    It was my impression that the Past Participle, long an endangered verb form in the US, might have finally succumbed.
    I had saw
    I had got
    I had gave
    I had went
    I had came
    are typical instances where the imported variety of the verb, native to Britain, seemed to have been ousted from its familiar environment, the Past Perfect.

    On the Judge Judy Show today, I distinctly heard a plaintiff say:

    I had given

    Are there pockets of the USA where the environment is conducive to the survival of this grammatical form?
    Last edited by David L.; 03-Mar-2009 at 17:31.

  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #2

    Smile Re: Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    Are they native speakers of English?

  2. #3

    Re: Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    It was my impression that the Past Participle, long an endangered verb form in the US, might have finally succumbed.
    I had saw (I would say: I had seen)
    I had got (I would say: I had gotten)
    I had gave (I would say: I had given)
    I had went (I would say: I had gone)
    I had came
    are typical instances where the imported variety of the verb, native to Britain, seemed to have been ousted from its familiar environment, the Past Perfect.
    I would never say any of those and cannot think of a time that I have heard them.

    On the Judge Judy Show today, I distinctly heard a plaintiff say:

    I had given
    I say and hear this often.

    Are there pockets of the USA where the environment is conducive to the survival of this grammatical form?
    I am not quite sure what you mean. What would you say in the UK?

  3. Offroad's Avatar
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    #4

    Smile Re: Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    Quote Originally Posted by tweeks View Post
    It was my impression that the Past Participle, long an endangered verb form in the US, might have finally succumbed.
    I had saw (I would say: I had seen)
    I had got (I would say: I had gotten)
    I had gave (I would say: I had given)
    I had went (I would say: I had gone)
    I had came
    are typical instances where the imported variety of the verb, native to Britain, seemed to have been ousted from its familiar environment, the Past Perfect.
    I would never say any of those and cannot think of a time that I have heard them.

    That's what I was saying, I searched all of them on both corpora of English, BrE and AmE, and believe it or not, they are there.
    Last edited by Offroad; 06-Mar-2009 at 02:39. Reason: typos


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #5

    Re: Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    They are a few examples of the grammar that seems the norm now amongst many educated people, as noted on some 'respectable' reality TV); and even the occasional journalist on American TV (studio broadcasts) "He had swam..." "The ship sunk when it was fired on."
    Last edited by David L.; 04-Mar-2009 at 11:58.


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #6

    Re: Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    I've heard instances of those examples several times, but not often. Mostly uneducated people, or people who didn't seem to have a very solid education. Only once did I hear that from someone I'd consider "educated", but I also heard that in England and Canada, so I wouldn't say it's a US English phenomenon.

    As for "get-got-got", that is the normal use of the past participle in England, as any British grammar would confirm. "Gotten" is, if I'm not mistaken, a North-American (US/Canada) variant.

    Saying that the "past participle" disappeared in the US is equivalent to saying the regular plural (adding an S to a singular word to form the plural) has disappeared or that "nós (we)" has been totally replaced by "a gente (one-informal "we") in Brazilian Portuguese (considering the number of people in the general population who drop the "s" when speaking or who hardly ever use "nós-we" instead of "a gente" -we informal)


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #7

    Re: Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    It was my impression that the Past Participle, long an endangered verb form in the US, might have finally succumbed.
    I had saw
    I had got
    I had gave
    I had went
    I had came
    are typical instances where the imported variety of the verb, native to Britain, seemed to have been ousted from its familiar environment, the Past Perfect.

    On the Judge Judy Show today, I distinctly heard a plaintiff say:

    I had given

    Are there pockets of the USA where the environment is conducive to the survival of this grammatical form?

    "Get-got-got" that's the way it has always been in British English, and I heard instances of the example you mentioned both in Canada and England. I don't think that's a purely US English characteristic. It has a lot to do with level of Education, region, among other factors.


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #8

    Re: Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    "I had gotten me a coon dawg for huntin, darn thing went and ran off"

    Love the southern manner of speaking.

  4. #9

    Re: Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    Quote Originally Posted by thod00 View Post
    "I had gotten me a coon dawg for huntin, darn thing went and ran off"

    Love the southern manner of speaking.
    Hahaha. That is how my grandfather speaks. Except it would probably go more like...."I had done gotten me a coon dawg for huntin' with, and th'durned thang went and run'd off."

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    #10

    Re: Rare sighting of Past Participle in USA

    The people you see on the Judge Judy (or any other Judge show) on US television are not what I would call the most educated in the world. They are people who have some problem and want to have their 15 minutes of fame.

    The other thing is that speaking properly many times is also not necessarily a sign that someone is highly educated. My mother came to Canada at age 40, did not go to school here, and she would never have said:
    I had saw
    I had got
    I had gave
    I had went
    I had came

    She only had a formal grade 4 education but never stopped learning, especially languages. English was her 4th, after German, Russian, and Romanian. Sadly now that she is almost 94, she rarely speaks at all.

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