In this day and age of generational differences, when it seems as if it is so difficult for families to maintain an openness and frankness in discussing anything among parents and children, I am proud to say that we have that freedom of expression in our family. That is, if a child doesn’t understand something or wants to know more about how things work, well, all he or she has to do is ask.
I write this, just having come out of the car after taking my youngest daughter to a friend’s house for the evening. As we pulled onto the highway, my daughter turned to me and asked, “Dad, you’ve always said we can talk about anything. That’s still true, right?”
“Of course, dear,” I replied. “What’s on your mind?”
“Well Dad, it’s like this. I know the past tense of buy is bought. But what about the past participle. Dad, all my friends are saying boughten (or bought’n). But that can’t be right, can it?”
First, I thanked my daughter for coming to me when she questioned her friends’ beliefs, instead of just buying into such grievous errors.
“Darling daughter, oh girl of grammar who is growing into an Empress of Eloquent Elocution, the past participle is the same as the past tense in this case, or bought.”
“Oh Dad, I’m so relieved. I knew I could rely on you.”
And with that, it’s time for a commercial break. Suffering from irregularity with your verbs? Try AuntRuthGrammar.com. It’ll keep you going.