Past tense

I’m confused about the formation of the past tense. In my Simplified manual, some words seem take a ‘d’ (e.g. received), others a ‘t’ (e.g. placed).
I realise if I stop and think about it that the received ends in more of a ‘d’ sound, and placed in a ‘t’ sound, but stopping and thinking takes time, which affects speeds.
Is there a rule?

(by kevinwal for everyone)

7 comments Add yours
  1. You've got me on this one Kevin.   Just off the top of my head, it seems to me that when it follows a "v" or a "gh", you use an attached "d".  Arrived, charged, deserved, are a few quick ones that come to mind.   With the "t" it seems there are some examples of it either joined or disjointed. Page 73, The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing has several examples such as "returned" and "decided" where the "t" is disjointed, "reached" where the "t" is attached.   So all this blabbering gets me to the point where its: "I'm really not sure what the rules on this are."     Now, in the Anniversary PDF file pages 44 and 45 , I found, in #59 (Anniv pages 29 and 30) the following rules are given:   59. The Past Tense. The past tense is expressed by t or d:   1. After most abbreviated words a disjoined t placed close to the preceding character is used to express the past tense, thus: changed, timed, liked, willed   2. In all other cases join t or d if a distinctive and facile joining is possible; otherwise, disjoint t (as in glared, tapered) to express the past tense, thus: [John's note: the following are joined t's] passed, raced, shaped, reached, risked, checked, traced, fixed. [John's note: following are disjointed t's] feared, glared, tapered, labored. [John's note: following are d's and there's a ted in there too] praised, mentioned {use the d}, visited {used the ted}.   Also, in the Anniv edition, there is another example on PDF page 117 (Anniv page 101) section 182: Where the last letter of a primitive form is omitted, the past tense is indicated by a disjoined t, thus: contested, insisted, extended, requested, demanded, compounded.     So, I hope you're as confused as I am LOL. I may make a lot of errors in this, but for the most part, I just picked it up as I copied the forms in the text, hoping that some logic would sink in out of it. I never really thought about it much, and your question made me investigate the Anniversary edition PDF file which seemd to muddle, er, ah, clarify it a bit more for me   Now, after all my blabbing, I hope a professional will jump in here with a three sentence definitive answer which will put my meager efforts to shame.   John Simi Valley, CA      

  2. Alveolar plosives? Voiced and unvoiced consonants? Okay. I give. DangerArranger, you must be studying speech pathology, because when I was 18, they didn't teach any of that stuff in high school.   DJS just says to attach T or D based on what you hear when you say it. That's what "functional method" means, right?

  3. If the past tense ending is facile, like after a downstroke, then just write it joined to the word. T and d are both produced as alveolar plosives; the only difference is the voice. When the consonant before the d is unvoiced (like s, ch, f, etc.), the d becomes unvoiced (therefore becoming a t in pronunciation).

    If a t or d is not facile, write a disjoined t at the end. 🙂

  4. Well, there is a rule, but it is an English rule, not really a shorthand rule (voiced consonants – d; voiceless consonants – t).  But I will present it as a shorthand rule, so it will make it easier to learn:   1.  If the last consonant of the verb is a short stroke, such as P, F, S, Ch, Sh, X, and K, you form the past tense by adding a T (short stroke). 2.  If the last consonant of the verb is a long stroke, such as B, V, J, and G, you form the past tense by adding a D (long stroke). 3.  Verbs that end in a consonant that can form a blend with a D, such as R, L, N, M, T, and D, form the blend and they become RD, LD, ND, MD, TD, and TD (DD and TD are expressed by the same stroke). 4.  Verbs that end in RD, LD, NT (ND), MT (MT) form past tenses by adding a D.   There are two exceptions: 1.  Voiced S or Z form the past tense by adding a D (again, because these are voiced consonants). 2. Brief forms and abbreviated verbs, and verbs that end in -tion form the past tense by adding a disjoined t, irrespective of the consonant they end with.   Examples:   cap:  c – a – p – t             (short stroke – use the t) race:  p – a – s – t            (short stroke – use the t) raze: r – a – s – d             (ends in z – use the d) dish:  d – e – sh – t           (short stroke – use the t) laugh:  l – a – f – t             (short stroke – use the t) dab: d – a – b – d             (long stroke – use the d) name:  n – a – md             (ends in m – use the blend) care: c – a – rd                 (ends in r – use the blend) card: c – a – rd – d            (ends in a blend – use the d) yield: y – ld – d                 (ends in a blend – use the d) motion:  m – o – sh – t disjoined   (here it ends in -tion, so we disjoin the t) push: p – u – sh – t             (short stroke – use the t) order: o – d – t disjoined          (brief form – disjoin t) bag: b – a – g – d               (long stroke – use d) cage: k – a – j – d              (long stroke – use d) rave: r – a – v – d              (long stroke – use d) date: dt – t disjoined          (brief form – use disjoined t)   These rules are for Simplified Gregg, and also generally apply in Anniversary (with the exception that some brief forms have joined t).   I hope this helps.

  5. Some extra stuff:   1.  I agree that the manual is vague about these regular past tenses.  I found a drill in an issue of the Gregg Writer, which clarified this point. 2.  The rules go out the window for irregular past tenses. 3.  In the "race" example, I should've said "r – a – s – t".

  6. Thanks, Chuck.  You know, the funny thing I originally included something about voiced and unvoiced consonants in my message, and thought, no, it can't be that complicated, there must be some easy explanation. So I deleted it.   Thanks for a very detailed explanation.  Makes perfect sense, though I still think it'll cause me to hesitate when writing especially when I've got to decide if something is voiced or unvoiced (e.g. raced =  r a s t, raised = r a s d).   Kevin            

  7. Not a problem.  Perhaps the best way to cure the hesitation is to practice writing the past tense endings, so that you visually associate long strokes with the D and short strokes with the T (without thinking of voiced or voiceless).  Read the word or ending aloud as you write it.  As you saw, the rules should apply in most cases.

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