New Englisc verbs can be classified as weak or strong based on whether the vowel changes in the past tense or not.
With its Anglo-Saxon origin, this notion is also present in English.
flip, flipped, flipped sing, sang, sung
Weak: wenden, wendte, gewendt Strong: drinken, drank, gedrunken
The present tense of verbs in Niw Englisc should be familiar to anyone who might have read Chaucer or Shakespeare. The older endings 'est' and 'eth' are present in Niw Englisc, much as they are in modern German (as 'st' and 't')
This translates the modern English: I drink, I do drink, I am drinking. There is really no analogous construction to these forms in Niw Englisc. The closest is the am -oþ/-en construction:
Ic em am Huntoþ - I'm hunting. Ic em am Surfen - I'm surfing.
This is not too often used, as the simple verb gives the same meaning, but this form indicates that the activity has been going on for some time, and will continue to occur for at least some time into the future.
Some prefixes can be separated from a verb, and when they do, must go to the end of the clause, like modern German.
midkommen - to come along, come with
|Ic||komme mid||kommeþ mid|
|þu||kymmst mid||kommeþ mid|
|he/scie/it||kymmþ mid||kommeþ mid|
- Present Perfect: ic em ȝestern midgekommen
- Subordinate Order: ic waat, þat ic ȝestern midgekommen em
- Subordinate Modal Order: ic waat, þat ic ȝestern habe midkommen kunnen
Modal verbs are those verbs that can take an infinitive as an object without a to beforehand. One example is "I can go" versus "I like to go" - can is a modal, while like is not.
kunnen - can
This verb means 'can' in the sense that you can do something because you have the knowledge to do it. Alone, it can mean 'to know, be acquainted with'
magen - can
This verb means 'can' in the sense that you can do something because you have the physical ability to do it. Alone, it can mean 'to be effective against' with the preposition 'wiþ.'
moten - may
scullen - should
- Definition: to owe with dative person owed, with accusative thing owed
- Modal: denoting obligation or constraint of various kinds (meaning must, have to, ought, shall)
- duty or moral obligation, must, ought, have to
- being fit, right, proper, reasonable, logical, shall, ought, have to
- obligation to perform an engagement, do work, carry out an agreement
- denoting bidding, commanding, shall; hwat scall ic singan? - what shall I sing?
- obligation coming from law, statute, regulation
- decreed by fate or providence, shall, must; he scall geblinded werðan - he must go blind
scall hine wulf etten - he shall be eaten by a wolf, i.e. a wolf must eat him
- with no alternative, or you can't help yourself, must, be forced to; ic scall þen Keks etten - I have to eat the cookie!
ic scall Fotball scawen - I can't help but watch football, i.e. I must watch football
- because no alternative is admissable/possible, because a conclusion is inevitable, to be obliged, must, shall; wiȝ sculleþ hin scyldiȝ finden - we must find him guilty
- denoting need, where the end is to be attained, a task to be completed, or purpose to be served, shall, must;
- denoting certainty of future event, resulting from settled purpose or decision; he wisste þat þie Burg scall abroken werðen - He (Christ) knew the city must be destroyed
- denoting certainty of result under proper conditions, þu scallst mein Leif gebergen - you are certain to save my life
- probability, weenst þu þat ic scall to þissem treowlæsen Mann sprekan? - do you think it likely that I shall speak to this false man?
- denoting an assertion not made by the speaker, a reported statement, man scall þie Scol Mondæȝ open finden - it is said that one shall find the school open Monday
- with dropped infinitive, ic scall þider - I must go there, þie Gafel þe to Burg scall - the tax that must go to the city
þurfen - need
Ic þarf - I need to
Þu þarfst - You need to
He/Scie/It þarf - He/She/It needs to
We þurfeþ - We need to
Ȝe þurfeþ - You (plural) need to
Hje þurfeþ - They need to
Þarf ic anen Freond tom Fest bringen? Do I need to bring a friend to the party?