Suppose I make my own word (as a verb) to use in a specific community such as game. How should I make it in passive voice and in past tense?

For example:

A game has an action that is a made-up word (verb) called "saf".

It is used like this.

Present: "I saf him in the eye."

So, what should the word be like in passive voice and in past tense?

Please give me the correct solution in general so that I can use it for other words like this.

1 Answer 1


Newly created verbs are usually regular, which means they use the set of regular affixes for their inflectional forms, with consonant doubling in the spelling as appropriate:

  1. saf – plain form
  2. saf – plain present
  3. safs – third person singular present
  4. saffing – present participle
  5. saffed – past tense
  6. saffed – past participle

The plain form is used for the infinitive, subjunctive, and imperative, and is the same as the plain present form for regular verbs. The plain present is used in the present tense, except for the third person singular, which has a special suffix -(s). The present participle is regular for all verbs and simply takes the suffix -ing.

The past tense and past participle forms are the same for regular verbs, both using the regular suffix -ed, which is pronounced /t/ after /f/. So our past and passive examples would look like this:

I saffed him in the eye.
He was saffed in the eye (by me).

It is technically possible to make a new verb with irregular forms, but this is unusual and it would generally only happen if your new word bore a strong resemblance to an existing irregular verb such as sing. For example, a speaker might playfully coin the nonce verb dring with the forms dring, drang, and drung, but the large majority of newly formed verbs are treated as regular.

Although you can claim that your word has any set of forms because you made it up, if you choose unexpected forms it won't fit very well into the existing language systems of English speakers. Most invented words do follow these rules, so I'd recommend you do the same for yours.

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