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Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Understanding Shakespearean English, Part Five-This and That

I hope you have had fun looking at Shakespeare and that reading it has become easier for you. I have just a few more bits to tell you that might clear up a few things.


First of all, they tended to place the words do and did before verbs. You can just ignore them when you read if it makes it easier for you.

I do fear that madness will befall me!

We did eat and drink most well.



They tended to use be and were to replace is, am and are.

They be farmers and I be one as well.

She were singing a song of May.



They tended to add the word me after first person verbs.

I will sit me down, good gentles.

Do drink thee an ale with me, my merry friend.



Besides placing did before verbs to put them into the past tense, Elizabethans also used our method of adding ed to some words, and altering the spelling of others. Some words altered their spelling in more than one way.

did speak, spoke, and spake all mean speak in the past tense

did crow, crowed and crew all mean crow in the past tense



Happy reading!

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