English usage [OT] (used to be "Re: Jane Austen's peculiarity")

Richmond richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Sat Aug 8 23:05:58 CEST 2015


On 08/08/15 23:59, Peter M. Brigham wrote:
> On Aug 8, 2015, at 4:44 PM, Richmond wrote:
>
>> On 08/08/15 23:23, Paul Looney wrote:
>>> In your last example:
>>>
>>> "Mr. Rushworth _was returned_”
>>>
>>> “was returned” (singular, past tense, passive)
>> I'm not sure if that is a passive, or an older form of the past perfect (= had returned) ???
> I believe that with verbs relating to motion and location, the old past tense was not "has returned" but "is returned." "He has come home" is modern English, it used to be "He is come home." The old usage survives in modern French: "Il est venu," rather than "Il a venu." I agree that it's not passive, just an old auxiliary verb.
>
> -- Peter
>
>

That is extremely useful: I shall pass that onto my wife (she's the 
Linguist-qua-Linguist: I just have an MA from SIUC in the subject - a 
dabbler),
as she will be very pleased with that.

Thank you.

Richmond.



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