Grammar tips: Verbs

I got this one meme

What’s wrong with these sentences that we commonly hear?

  • I got no money.
  • I seen Game of Thrones on Sunday.

If you answered “the verb,” you’re right.

How would we correct them?

Well, in the first sentence, the verb is formed from “get.” This verb can be conjugated:

  • Present: I get
  • Preterite/past: I got
  • Present continuous: I am getting
  • Present perfect: I have gotten or (informally) I have got
  • Future: I will get
  • Future perfect: I will have gotten
  • Past continuous: I was getting
  • Past perfect: I had got
  • Future continuous: I will be getting
  • Present perfect continuous: I have been getting
  • Past perfect continuous: I had been getting
  • Future perfect continuous: I will have been getting

You might say, well, the preterite shows “I got;” so, what’s the problem? Well, “got” is past tense, as in “I got no money from Mary.” It might be better to choose a different verb and say, “I received no money from Mary.” But if you are trying to say that you’re broke and don’t have any money, “got” alone doesn’t suffice. You could say, “I have no money.” If you really want to be colloquial and informal, “I have got no money” has become a correct usage. It’s a case of picking the wrong verb or using the wrong tense.

In the second sentence, the verb is formed from “see.” This verb can be conjugated:

  • Present: I see
  • Preterite/past: I saw
  • Present continuous: I am seeing
  • Present perfect: I have seen
  • Future: I will see
  • Future perfect: I will have seen
  • Past continuous: I was seeing
  • Past perfect: I have seen
  • Future continuous: I will be seeing
  • Present perfect continuous: I have been seeing
  • Past perfect continuous: I had been seeing
  • Future perfect continuous: I will have been seeing

There’s no “I seen” as an option. You can say: I saw Game of Thrones on Sunday or I have seen Game of Thrones on Sunday. In the example “have” was dropped from the sentence. Often, we do that when we speak because we keep abbreviating. “I have seen Game of Thrones” becomes “I’ve seen Game of Thrones” becomes “I seen Game of Thrones.”

I seen meme