Penny asked why it’s
incorrect to say I brang a bottle of wine
instead of I brought a bottle of wine.
She hears the former so often that it’s making her a bit insecure.
The confusion arises
because there are two basic verb types, regular and irregular. The regular
verbs are the ones that end in –ed
when using the simple past tense or the past participle:
walk, walked, walked
(I walk to school daily.)
(I walked to school
(I have walked to school for
(I smelled one yesterday, too.)
(Other people have smelled gas a few times in the
(I laugh whenever I watch the Three Stooges.)
(We laughed at his joke because it was funny.)
(My mother has laughed so often that she has developed
The irregular verbs are
off the chart when it comes to forming the simple past tense or the past
participle. There is no consistency; they must be memorized.
Not an –ed in sight, but there is no
uniformity, either. The brang error
comes from modeling the word on the sing/sang/sung pattern, but there’s no good
reason for that. We have to think, thank, thunk.
And a word of warning:
Neil Diamond used poetic license when he wrote Play Me; don’t follow his lead:
Song she sang to me, song she brang to me,
Words that rang in me, rhyme that sprang from me
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