Grammatical sentences require at the very minimum a subject and a verb. We can use the personal pronouns from chapter 1 for subjects, and now we will add verbs to them to make our first sentences in Old English.
The first verbs we learn are irregular verbs (verbs which behave differently than most verbs in the language). There are two reasons to begin with the irregular verbs: first, they're very common (verbs like "is" "do" and "go" are all irregular in Anglo-Saxon). Second, you can just memorize them as a group without having to worry (yet) about working through conjugation patterns.
The four Old English irregular verbs are:
Beon has two forms in the present tense which correspond (very roughly) with Modern English "is" and "be".
Though Old English does not have a future tense, a good rule of thumb is that the "eom" forms are generally present tense while "beon" forms may indicate future (you'll need to use the context of the word in these cases).
|First Person Singular (I)||eom||beo||wæs|
|Second Person Singular (you)||eart||bist||wære|
|Third Person Singular (he, she, it)||is||bið||wæs|
|All Plurals||sind or sint or sindon||beoð||wæron|
|Second Person Singular||beo or wes|
|Second Person Plural||beoð or wesað|
Translating tip: One of the most common mistakes students make in beginning Old English is to translate forms of "willan" as "will" rather than "wish".
This mistake is natural given the lack of a future tense in Old English, but you need to avoid it by remembering that "willan," while it looks like "will," is a false friend and should not be relied upon.
Memorize: "'Willan'does not mean 'will.'"
|First Person Singular (I)||wille or wile||wolde|
|Second Person Singular (you)||wilt||woldest|
|Third Person Singular (he, she, it)||wille or wile||wolde|
|All Singulars||wille or wile||wolde|
|Second Person Plural||nyllað or nellað (only used in this negative form)|
|First Person Singular (I)||do||dyde|
|Second Person Singular (you)||dest||dydest|
|Third Person Singular (he, she, it)||deþ||dyde|
|Second Person Singular||do|
|Second Person Plural||doð|
|First Person Singular (I)||ga||eode|
|Second Person Singular (you)||gæst||eodest|
|Third Person Singular (he, she, it)||gæþ||eode|
|Second Person Singular||ga|
|Second Person Plural||gað|
Chapter 3 Vocabulary Words
Translation Practice for Irregular Verbs