When authors have written, "Spring is come!," it means "Spring has come."

However in stories or plays by people from days long sped, I often come across this sort of sentence, for which unfortunately I cannot find a source offhand since this has been a lingering question in my mind to which I have paid scanty attention:

When our ship was come to the shore, I said to my first-mate thus..."

Is this "was" the same as "had come"?

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    Aren't these just cases of "come" used adjectivally? – Tyler James Young Jun 5 '14 at 15:17

It appears that in the past, some verbs simply used be as an auxiliary verb, that nowadays take have.

The usage of the tense has not changed in your examples.

Spring is come -> Spring has come. (present perfect, both times)
I was come -> I had come. (past perfect, both times)

  • I came accross the same thing in "the hobbit". It is written " the spring was come." Thanks for the explanation but my mind is wondering if this is something from the romance languages. I know also Italian and a bit french. In these languages we use two auxilary verbs (to be and have) to make the past form. And mostly "to be" verb for verbs that show changing of a state or a kind of movement. (ie: sono andato a casa. = I went home or I was gone home) so can we assume the reason is this?! – Moris Apr 18 '19 at 6:51

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