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It's mostly the common verbs that are irregular ... they are being used often and thus have a chance to become and stay irregular.

OK. So maybe there's more commonly used irregular verbs than in one specific language, what about the rest? Let's have a quick look at Czech. An ordinary verb has 6 forms just for the present (1st-3rd person x singular/plural). For conjugation verbs are separated into five groups, with 16 different patterns in total and we haven't yet leave the realm of verbs that could have been somehow fitted into a group. See the intro for yourself here.

Nouns and pronouns are a similar mess. 14 forms to a word, 6 patterns for masculinum, 4 for feminimum, 4 for neutrum with the word gender assigned ad hoc and loads of irregular words etc.

  • Irregular plurals? Nouns have 14 forms in Czech, loads of them irregular plus there's a group of nouns that only have the plural forms even if you only use them for a single item. Some of them as in English (nůžky-scissors), some not (dveře-door).
  • Ehm ... cattle is "dobytek" and guess what, it has no real singular either. Cow is kráva, bull is býk, ox is vůl, calf is tele and there is no Czech word to refer to a single individual Bos primigenius without committing to its sex or age.
  • Let's see ... the sentence "I was there" .. in Czech it can be "Byl jsem tam.", "Tam jsem byl.", "Tam jsem byl já", "Já jsem tam byl.", "Já jsem byl tam." or even "Byl jsem tam já." with very slighly different meanings (you may be stressing the "I", the "was" or the "there" and you would use different orders as a response to different questions with the other orders being wrong. And the only reason people could give you would be "because they feel wrong".
  • We've got words of Slavic origin, German origin, Latin and Greek.
  • Idioms are nothing special. They exist in all languages. The difference between the English and Czech ones is that English often uses prepositions and Czech prefixes. Let's see "dělat" is "to do", dodělat = finish, oddělat = kill, remove, předělat = rework, obdělat = cultivate, zadělat = knead, cover, mess up, foul, podělat = botch up, fuck up, shit all over, přidělat - attach, faste, fix, make some more, nadělat = make a lot of sth (nadělat dluhy → run up debts
    (na)dělat si nepřátele → make enemies
    nadělat spoušť → wreak havoc, leave a scene of devastation
    nadělat kde paseku → play hell with sth , wreak havoc swh
    nadělat víc škody než užitku → do more harm than good, be more trouble than worth
    ) ... (See here)

Compared to other cakes, English is not exceptionally complicated.

Jenda
Enoch was right!
Enjoy the last years of Rome.


In reply to Re^4: thoughts on perl language by Jenda
in thread thoughts on perl language by Anonymous Monk

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