Saturday, May 10, 2014

May Have Went?


Ron Jolly had a question about the boldfaced words in the following newspaper article:

(Walker, MI)  --  Police are searching for a man who robbed the Chase Bank branch inside a Meijer store in Walker around 6 p.m. yesterday.  The suspect is a white male who did not wear anything to hide his identity during the heist.  He walked out with an undisclosed amount of cash and drove away in a Kia Amanti, but investigators don't know where he may have went after leaving the scene of the crime.  The FBI, Walker Police and Michigan State Police are investigating. 

Ron’s question was, shouldn’t that be where he may have gone? The answer is yes. Those among us who never bothered to memorize the principal parts of irregular verbs keep running into choice dilemmas such as this. There are only about 100 simple irregular verbs (those without prefixes), but they include much-used verbs such as begin, fall, go, rise, swim, and write.

For the offensive verb contained in the news report, the principal parts are go, went, gone, and going. Here’s a rundown of their purpose.
  • Go, the 1st principal part, is used to write the simple present tense (I go to the grocery store once a week.) It also forms the simple future tense, but then you must add the helping verbs shall or will (I shall go back there tomorrow.)
  • Went, the 2nd principal part, is used by itself to write the simple past tense (I went on vacation last week.)
  • Gone, the 3rd principal part, is used to write the present perfect tense, but then you must add the helping verbs has or have (My guests have gone back home). Gone is also used to write the past perfect tense, but then you must add the helping verb had (He had gone before we even noticed). Gone is also used to write the future perfect tense, but then you must add the helping verbs shall have or will have (I shall have gone long before you even notice).
  • Going, the 4th principal part, is used to write the progressive form of any tense, but then you must add various forms of the verb to be (am going, was going, shall be going, might have been going, etc.)
Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Nook edition


Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.comand clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.




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