Verb Mistakes #2: Irregular Verbs Bind, Grind, Find

By Maeve Maddox

Most English strong verbs have become regularized over the years. Some are in transition, and a few seem to be with us for the foreseeable future.

Note: The past and past participle forms of a “regular” verb end in -ed:

walk, walked, (have) walked
marry, married, (have) married

Some English verbs exist with both regular and irregular endings. For example, the verb to dive is heard with both regular and irregular past forms:

The swimmer dived into the water.
The swimmer dove into the water.

Among the verbs that retain their irregular endings are bind, grind, and find. Forming their past forms with -ed is nonstandard.

Here are some examples of incorrect usage of bind and grind found from the Web:

Incorrect: The plastic container and wrap that packaged meat are not removed, but grinded together in giant grinding machines.
Correct : The plastic container and wrap that packaged meat are not removed, but ground together in giant grinding machines. 

Incorrect: The way the book is binded does not matter to me.
Correct : The way the book is bound does not matter to me.

Compared to that of writing grinded for ground and binded for bound, the error of writing finded for found is rare. Many of the examples I found were deliberate, intended to represent childish speech or to amuse.

People writing in the persona of a cat are especially fond of this deliberate illiteracy. For example: “Me is Fluffy. When my ownerperson finded me, me hadded fleas.”

Apart from such intentional misuse, I did find some examples that seem to have been used unconsciously. They all occur on gaming sites:

Incorrect: Has anyone else finded the hidden “GEM” secret in crimsonland?
Correct : Has anyone else found the hidden “GEM” secret in crimsonland?

Incorrect: Is it just me, or anyone else finded the silly lost elf?
Correct : Is it just me, or anyone else found the silly lost elf?

In standard usage, books are bound, meat is ground, and what was lost is found.

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6 Responses to “Verb Mistakes #2: Irregular Verbs Bind, Grind, Find”

  • venqax

    I’ve always hated “dove” as a past tense of dive. As far as I know it is very old and can’t be considered sub-standard but it sounds painfully off-key to my ear every time I hear it. It’s interesting because it bends in the opposite direction from the more common issue of weakening strong verbs (bounded and grinded) and seems like a faulty strengthening of should be a weak one. It may be driven by the analogy to drive and drove. Or at least I’ve thinked so.

  • Ed Desautels

    I have to go on record as holding an opinion exactly opposite that of venqax. “Dived” sounds positively illiterate to my ear. I’m frankly shocked to learn this is considered an acceptable usage. In fact, when I think of it, my mind speaks the word in the voice of the dimwitted character Ralph from “The Simpsons.” (Note, that last comment is _not_ a comment on venqax!) It’s “dove” for me, so much so I would automatically replace “dived” with “dove” in any text I happen to be editing.

  • venqax

    I think Ralph-ese is “doveded”.

  • Maeve

    I grew up where “dove” was the past of “dive” so it sounds fine to me. However, “dived” has been in use longer than “dove.” Here’s an interesting citation from the OED that suggests that we owe past tense “dove” to North American speakers:
    “In England when a swimmer makes his first leap, head foremost, into the water he is said to dive, and is spoken of as having dived… Not so however, is it with the modern refinements of our Canadian English. In referring to such a feat here, it would be said, not that he dived, but that he dove.”

  • AnWulf

    It is a common mistake to think that “dived” has been in use longer than dove. Both go back to Old English.

    http://anwulf.blogspot.com.ar/2011/10/dived-agin-dove.html

  • David Knuttunen

    “Bind” is interesting, because there is also a verb “to bound.” One meaning of “bound” (as a separate word) is actually similar to “bind”: “to set limits or bounds to,” as in “my land is bounded by that brook”. So you have “bind/bound” but also “bound/bounded.” Amusing.

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