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Parliamo Scots
Verbal Forms (2)

Parliamo Scots                                                              Soutar Davie

Verbal Forms


The past tense and past participles of weak verbs are formed by adding it, -t, -ed,  and d to the infinitive.

                        Verbs ending in b, -d, -g, -k, -p and t, add it.

            For example:

                        beb                              bebbit                          bebbit

                        synd                             syndit                           syndit

                        bigg                             biggit                           biggit

                        howk                           howkit                         howkit

                        bowk                           bowkit                         bowkit

                        rowp                            rowpit                          rowpit

                        veisit                            viesitit                         veisitit

Verbs ending in  -en, -er, -il, -ch, -sh, -ss and f, usually append t.

            For example:

fessen                          fessent                         fessent

                        founder                        foundert                      foundert

                        hirpil                            hirpilt                          hirpilt

                        lauch                           laucht                          laucht

                        fash                             fasht                            fasht

                        bliss                             blisst                            blisst

                        cof                               coft                              coft

            Normally, other verbs add ed.

            For example:

                        beil                              beiled                           beiled

                        birl                               birled                           birled

                        kaim                            kaimed                                    kaimed

                        hain                             hained                         hained

                        spier                            spiered                         spiered

            When the infinitive ends in a silent e, -ed is added.

            For example: breinged, chowed, stroned, sterved, loued, follaed, etc.

            The ending en is sometimes used to form past participles.

            For example:

                        gae                              gaed                            gaen

                        gie                               gien                             gien

                        hae                              haed                            haen

A few verbs have survived only as past participles, for example, begrutten, behauden and forfochen.


When the infinitive of a verb implies an intention, it can be prefaced by for

            Ah aye ryse aerlie for ti be in guid tyme for ma wark.


            Present indicative of  the verb ti stravaig

                        Ah stravaig                 we/oo* stravaig

                        Thou stravaigs            ye stravaig

                        He stravaigs                thay stravaig

                        *form in Border Scots


In forming the future tense, wul is normally used with all persons and numbers.  Sal can be used as a  formal option with all persons and numbers.

                        Ye wul hae haen yeir tea?

                        Aw ingethert siller sal be uised for the objeks o the Associe.


    In forming various tenses, the progressive form of  the verb is common with a range of verbs referring to mental processes, like: dout, forget, hear, jalouse, ken, mynd and want.  This form is constructed from the verb, ti  be and the present participle.

                        Ahm thinkin hel be nane the waur o hangin.

                        We war hearin ye war late for the skuil this mornin.

                        Ye wul be myndin its yeir sisters birthday.

    The progressive form is particularly associated with Highland speech.

     We wass lyin at Oban at the tyme, the Clansmans enchines needin sortin, sae Ah sent for Mary tae Tobermory, an her an me gaed in a cab.  Ah never saw her lookin sae weill.

     When Ah wul be seeing a bad man greitin, Ah wul aye be snekkin up ma sporran.

     I wul be painting her till you wad  be takkin her for a braw yat, an it wesna for the lum on her.

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