This one, for all of you tortured by the illogicality of irregular past forms in English, was emailed to me by Jane Jennings an English4Today Club Member. It is from Guy Duetscher’s book, the Unfolding of Language. By the way, there’s a full list of all of the English irregular verbs with their past forms and sound files for pronunciation on the Club website.
The teacher claimed it was so plain,
I only had to use my brain
She said the past of throw was threw.
The past of grow -of course- was grew,
So flew must be the past of fly,
And now, my boy, your turn to try.
But when I trew,
I had no clue, if mow was mew –
Like know and knew
Or was it knowed
Like snow and snowed
The teacher frowned at me and said
The past of feed was – plainly – fed.
Fed up, I knew then what I ned:
I took a break, and out I snoke.
She shook and quook (or quaked or quoke?)
With raging anger out she broke:
"Your ignorance you want to hide?
Tell me the past form of collide!"
But how on earth should I decide
If it’s collid (Like hide and hid)
Or else – from all that I surmose,
The past of rise was simple rose,
And that of ride was surely rode
So of collide must be collode?
Oh damn these English verbs, I thought
The whole thing absolutely stought !
Of English I have had enough.
These verbs of yours are far too tough.
Bolt upright in my chair I sat,
And said to her "That’s that. I quat!".