Weak Verbs

Weak Verbs conjugate in ending, not in ablaut transformation like in the Strong Verb class.

Form their preterite tense by adding suffixes such as “-de” and “-don”

Contains three classes of weak verbs:

  1. infinitive in  -an or -rian
  2. infinitive in –ian (except –rian)
  3. the quartet: habban, libban, secgan, and hycgan, which combine characteristics of both the other classes and in which there is much variation.

The important difference between Class 1 and Class 2 verbs are in the vowel of the present 3rd- pers.sg. ending and the preterite 3rd-pers.sg and pl. endings and the past participle.

There are three distinguished types within Class 1: Fremman  herian,  and deman

  1.   Fremman ‘do’- has a short vowel and a double consonant before -an
  2. herian ‘praise’- categorized with those in –rian
  3. deman ‘judge’- most of which have a long vowel or dipthong and single consonant in their stem

All of the first types retain an -e- in the preterite ending.

See the link for the chart below for an in depth visual.

class 1 and 2 of weak verbs chart