Personal Pronoun "I"

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Anonymous

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Why does the personal pronoun "I" generally take the plural form of verbs (e.g. "I love french fries.", "I take a cab going to school.", "I eat Chinese and Japanese dishes.", "I am reading."etc) in the present tense yet takes the singular form of the verb "be" in the past tense? (e.g. "I WAS there when it happened.", or "I was the one who sent the flowers to you.") Thanks You
 

Francois

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Why does the personal pronoun "I" generally take the plural form of verbs (e.g. "I love french fries.", "I take a cab going to school.", "I eat Chinese and Japanese dishes.", "I am reading."etc) in the present tense
What do you mean by "plural form of verbs"? The verbs above are singular. "Fries" or "dishes" are objects, not verbs.

FRC
 

Casiopea

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naviliinad said:
Why does the personal pronoun "I" generally take the plural form of verbs (e.g. "I love french fries.", "I take a cab going to school.", "I eat Chinese and Japanese dishes.", "I am reading."etc) in the present tense yet takes the singular form of the verb "be" in the past tense? (e.g. "I WAS there when it happened.", or "I was the one who sent the flowers to you.") Thanks You

'love' is both the singular form and the plural form:

I love
You love
She, He, It loves
They love
You love
We love

Both "I" and "We" share the same verb form "love".

In Old English, "love" looked like this:

Present
I love = ic lufie
You love = þū lufas; lufast
He loves = hē lufaþ

We love = wē lufiaþ
You love = gē lufiaþ
They love = hīo lufiaþ

The plural marker used to be the ending -iaþ. Over the years, though, as a result of sound change, the verb changed in form. 'f' changed to 'v', and the ending '-aþ' was dropped:

lufiaþ => luviaþ => luv "love"

except for in the 3rd person (She, He, It) where -þ changed to 's':

lufaþ => luvas => "loves"

Most verbs today follow a similar pattern of development. With the exception of the 3rd person, verbs today no longer have a singular or plural marker. They are regular in form, and hence the term regular verb.
 
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