These errors are not particularly noticeable in spoken colloquial English, but they jump out in formal written English. Some of these forms have become quite common in writing.
INCORRECT: My son says he wants to marry an old-fashion girl.
CORRECT : My son says he wants to marry an old-fashioned girl.
“To fashion” is “to make.” Fashioned means made. Old-fashioned means “made in the old way.” An old-fashioned bathtub has claw feet. An old-fashioned girl has the values, attitudes, or tastes of an earlier time.
INCORRECT: The builder was suppose to finish construction on the thirty-first of the month.
CORRECT : The builder was supposed to finish construction on the thirty-first of the month.
“Supposed to” is an adjectival phrase meaning, “required to” or “expected to.”
INCORRECT: His father use to volunteer for the Salvation Army in Cincinnati.
CORRECT : His father used to volunteer for the Salvation Army in Cincinnati.
The regular verb use has the past tense used. The form use can appear in the past tense with a negative helper: Our family didn’t use to contribute to political campaigns. In this example, use is a base form and the past tense is indicated by the negative didn’t. When the statement is not negative, the past form is used: Our family used to contribute to political campaigns.
INCORRECT: The policy in this store is “first come, first serve.”
CORRECT : The policy in this store is “first come, first served.”
The expression “first come, first served” is elliptical: something is missing. The subject is unexpressed: [The person who arrives first] will be served first.
INCORRECT: The phrase is undeniably disturbing because it assumes that altruism is ingrain in some DNA coding.
CORRECT : The phrase is undeniably disturbing because it assumes that altruism is ingrained in some DNA coding.
In figurative use, ingrained means, “deeply rooted, inveterate, forming a part of the essence or inmost being.” The word comes from a dyeing process. To engrain or ingrain was to dye a fabric in such a way that the colors could not wash out. From this verb developed the figurative meaning of planting habits, convictions, prejudices, etc. ineradicably in a person’s mind or being.
Ingrain was sometimes used without the -ed as an adjective, chiefly in reference to the dyeing process, but in modern usage, the adjective form is ingrained: “Altruism remains in us as an ingrained habit, a happy relic of simpler times.”
2 thoughts on “Verb Mistakes #10: Dropping the Past Participle Ending”
I loved this Daily Writing Tip, #4 being my pet-peeve in this category. Please add “iced” tea to the list.
Writers who drop the past participle ending probably don’t read much. They write what they hear.
I think “iced tea,” but see signs for “ice tea.” I notice that “waxed paper” has become “wax paper” on the packaging.
Is there any hope here?