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Old English Verbs

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Does anyone know of a good book on OE verbs? I am looking for something that is essentially a gazetteer, compendium or whatever you want to call it, that brings together in printed form all the known verbs in all their manifold forms: past, present, subjunctive, imperative, participles and so on.

I know that in theory these can be deduced, but looking at the glossary in Marsden's OE Reader, you see versions of the verb that you wouldn't expect for their class. Also, there are verbs like hieran which don't have an -e- in the 2nd pers. present singular, but then there are other weak class I verbs that do have -e-.

Also, for example, I am on Pollington's section 11.2 on the irregular weak verbs (mostly class I a), but the past endings for 2nd and 3rd sing. and pl. are not given, neither are they in other grammars as far as I can see (Mitchell/Robinson, PS Baker).

I have noted T P Snyder's book, but I am not sure whether this could really be considered authoritative. I am tempted to buy it but it will have to come from a EU Amazon depot.

Thoughts welcome


I think that Pollington is good on verbs. You might like the translator at Old English Translator It used to have a lot of errors in the declensions and conjugations but it is much improved now.
I do put an “e” in the 2nd person singular of hīeran. In class I weak verbs the 2nd &3rd person singular is often affected by the i-mutation so that the “e” becomes “i” such as in beran.
In Old English the verbs all have the same suffix in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person plural. You have to go back to Germanic to get the variation.
I do not know which Snyder book you are referring to but he is very good.


Thanks, I will try the translator. Pollington is OK on verbs but I still find myself clarifying matters in other grammars. Overall, however, his approach of taking bites of various grammar points and building on each one as each chapter goes on, is certainly the right one.

Thanks S

I made an error with the i-mutation of the 2nd and 3rd person singular of the present tense. It is with the strong verbs, not the class I weak verbs. Beran is a strong verb.

Your interest seems to be morphology. The best book I know for Old English morphology is “A Grammar of Old English  Volume 2 Morphology” by Hogg and Fulk. Volume 1 is on phonology. If you want both the phonology and morphology then Hogg and Fulk is probably the best but the two books is expensive. A cheaper alternative is Campbell’s “Old English Grammar” which is still very good but rather condense.


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