Weak Verbs III

Class III consists of four verbs: 'habban - to have', 'libban - to live', 'secgan - to say', and 'hycgan - to think/to intend'. These verbs are considered weak verbs as their endings are the broadly the same as for other weak verbs. However, they do not conjugate identically to each other and they also have unique stem-changes, so they need to be learned individually.

For example, the stem-vowel in libban changes for several declensions in the present tense, the stem-vowel in habban and secgan changes in both present and past declensions, while hycgan has a stem-vowel change only in the past tense. Also, the verbs libban and habban gain an 'f' in the past tense. You can examine these changes in more detail using the table below.

Weak Verbs Class III
Present Tense Past Tense
1st Person Singular ic hæbbe ic hæfde
2nd Person Singular þu hæfst þu hæfdest
3rd Person Singular he/hit/heo hæfþ he/hit/heo hæfde
1st Person Plural we habbaþ we hæfdon
2nd Person Plural ge habbaþ ge hæfdon
3rd Person Plural hie habbaþ hie hæfdon
Weak Verbs Class III
Present Tense Past Tense
1st Person Singular ic libbe ic lifde
2nd Person Singular þu leofast þu lifdest
3rd Person Singular he/hit/heo leofaþ he/hit/heo   lifde
1st Person Plural we libbaþ we lifdon
2nd Person Plural ge libbaþ ge lifdon
3rd Person Plural hie libbaþ hie lifdon
Weak Verbs Class III
Present Tense Past Tense
1st Person Singular ic secge ic sæcgde
2nd Person Singular þu sægst þu sægdest
3rd Person Singular he/hit/heo sægþ he/hit/heo sægde
1st Person Plural we secgaþ we sægdon
2nd Person Plural ge secgaþ ge sægdon
3rd Person Plural hie secgaþ hie sægdon
Weak Verbs Class III
Present Tense Past Tense
1st Person Singular ic hycge ic hogde
2nd Person Singular þu hygst þu hogdest
3rd Person Singular he/hit/heo hygþ he/hit/heo hogde
1st Person Plural we hycgaþ we hogdon
2nd Person Plural ge hycgaþ ge hogdon
3rd Person Plural hie hycgaþ hie hogdon

Depending on where or when a piece was written, words were often spelled differently. Class III weak verbs have many common variations, so you may see vowel mutation in the stem. For example: hygeþ, hycgeþ and hogaþ are all attested spellings of the 3rd person singular of hycgan. Similarly, the 'eo' in libban is sometimes written as 'i'. For example: lifaþ instead of leofaþ

Now that you know the basics of Class III Weak Verbs, the next thing to do is practice what you have learned. Feel free to use the table to help you with the first batch of questions. You can hide the table at any point by clicking the orange 'Hide Table' button. Otherwise you can continue on to the next topic.

Return to Class II Weak Verbs Continue to Weak Verbs Overview

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