Class VII Strong Verbs

Class VII verbs are the most irregular group of strong verbs. They can have an (a/o/ea/æ/e + consonant) in the infinitive. Examples of class VII strong verbs are, 'hatan - to order/be called', 'blawan - to blow', 'hleapan - to leap' and 'growan - to grow'. When they conjugate, they either they take an 'ē' or an 'ēo' in both the past singular and past plural. For example, examine the verbs 'hatan - to order' and 'cnawan - to know' in the sentences below.

Ic
Subject
cnawe
Verb
þe
Object

Ic
Subject
cneow
Verb
þe
Object

Hie
Subject
cneowon
Verb
þe
Object
Ic
Subject
hate
Verb
him
Object

Ic
Subject
het
Verb
him
Object

Hie
Subject
heton
Verb
him
Object

Because of the wide range of verbs that fall into this class, it is the most commonly encountered. Many of these verbs should be recognisable to an English speaker, and they have generally kept their vowel change, though usually it has been simplified to a single 'e'. For example the vowel changes in 'grow' and 'grew', 'leap' and 'lept', 'know' and 'knew' and 'fall' and 'fell' in modern English all derive from Old English class VII strong verbs.

Strong Verbs Class VII
Present Tense Past Tense
1st Person Singular Ic hate Ic het
2nd Person Singular Þu hætst Þu hete
3rd Person Singular He/Hit/Heo hætt He/Hit/Heo het
Plural We/Ge/Hie hataþ We/Ge/Hie heton
Strong Verbs Class VII
Present Tense Past Tense
1st Person Singular Ic blawe Ic bleow
2nd Person Singular Þu blæwst Þu bleowe
3rd Person Singular He/Hit/Heo blæwþ He/Hit/Heo bleow
Plural We/Ge/Hie blawaþ We/Ge/Hie bleowon
Strong Verbs Class VII
Present Tense Past Tense
1st Person Singular Ic hleape Ic hleop
2nd Person Singular Þu hliepst Þu hleope
3rd Person Singular He/Hit/Heo hliepþ He/Hit/Heo hleop
Plural We/Ge/Hie hleapaþ We/Ge/Hie hleopon
Strong Verbs Class VII
Present Tense Past Tense
1st Person Singular Ic growe Ic greow
2nd Person Singular Þu grewst Þu greowe
3rd Person Singular He/Hit/Heo grewþ He/Hit/Heo greow
Plural We/Ge/Hie growaþ We/Ge/Hie greowon
Strong Verbs Class VII
Present Tense Past Tense
1st Person Singular Ic cnawe Ic cneow
2nd Person Singular Þu cnæwst Þu cneowe
3rd Person Singular He/Hit/Heo cnæwþ He/Hit/Heo cneow
Plural We/Ge/Hie cnawaþ We/Ge/Hie cneowon


Don't forget, when a 'þ/ð' comes after a vowel and an unvoiced consonant like 't' it becomes a 't' also. So 'hatan' conjugates to 'heo hætt - she orders' not 'heo hætþ'. Similiarly, if a 'þ' comes after a vowel and a 'd', it becomes 't'. For example, 'rædan' becomes 'heo rætt - she advises', not 'heo rætþ'.

You can practice Class VII verbs below - and remember that the aim is not to learn these vowel changes off by heart, but to be able to recognise and understand a form when you encounter it.

Return to Strong Verbs VI Continue to Strong Verbs Overview

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