Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Invariable English Verbs

A number of English verbs have the same form in the base verb, past tense and past participle. These verbs are all monosyllabic and end in either a t or a d. In the majority of cases, the final consonant is a t.

The English verbs which do not vary in the base verb, past tense and past participle belong to a small group of verbs. These verbs include the following:

bet, bust, bid, cast, cost, cut, fit, hit, hurt, knit, let, read, rid, set,shed, slit, spit, split, spread, wed, wet.

In this list of 21 words, 15 end in t and 6 end in d. However, not all of these verbs are necessarily invariable.

The verb "bust" also has the form "busted" in the past tense and the past participle. Some speakers use "busted" instead of "bust." The verb "knit" also has the form "knitted" in the past tense and past participle. This is used by many speakers. In the case of "spit," the form "spat" is also possible in the past tense and past participle. This is the same pattern as with the verb "sit." The verb "fit" is special because if it is a transitive verb, the form "fitted" is used in the past tense and past participle. It is true that "read" is invariable with respect to orthography, but the base verb is pronounced with a different vowel sound that the past tense and the past participle.

English is a language with a large number of irregular verbs. A few of them share the same form in the base verb, past tense and past participle. However, a few of these verbs are not invariable for all speakers because they have optional forms for the past tense and past participle. They are easy to learn because they they have only three forms: the base verb, the continuous which adds -ing and the third person singular which adds -s.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Castling Error

Although castling is usually a good move which keeps the king protected and connects the rooks, it can be an error. In a game of speed chess which I played at chess.com, my opponent's decision to castle was an error. My opponent was Sassang of Malaysia who played black. Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. d4 d5
2. c4 Nf6

Black's move is a surprise. More common moves are dxc, e6 and c6.

3. Nc3 dxc
4. e4 Bd7
5. Bxc4 e6

I regain the pawn.

6. Bg5 Bb4
7. e5 Bxc3+
8. bxc3 h6
9. Bxf6 gxf6
10. Nf3 f5
11. d5 Qe7

Black does not capture my pawns because with his king in the centre he wants to keep the position closed.

12. d6 cxd
13. exd Qf6

My d-pawn is isolated but not so easy to eliminate.

14. Qd3 Nc6
15. 0-0 a6
16. Rfe1 0-0-0

This move is bad because it allows a dangerous sacrifice. Black wants to connect his rooks, but his king has little protection on the queenside. Kingside castling is a better option, but even that is risky. Safer for black is Kf8 followed by Kg7 to connect the rooks.

17. Bxa6 bxa6

It is better for black to refuse the sacrifice.

18. Qxa6+ Kb8

This is the only legal move for black. The game is now lost.

19. Rab1+ Nb4
20. Rxb4+ Bb5
21. Rxb5#

Castling is usually a good move, but in this game it leads to black's downfall. With my advanced d-pawn, control of open files and better pawn structure, I take advantage of black's mistake. His decision to castle kingside convinces me to unleash the combination which begins with a bishop sacrifice.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hungarian Bean Soup

A simple and delicious soup is Hungarian bean soup. Though this is a simple soup to make, it has many variations. The recipe which follows is one which I recommend:

2 cups beans (navy and pinto beans are good)
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 lb sausage, chopped
salt
paprika
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

Soak the beans overnight. Drain them and add to a large pot with the onions, carrots, garlic cloves and sausage. Add water to a level that fully covers the beans. Boil the beans and then simmer until they are tender. Remove the soup from the heat and mix in the sour cream. Add salt and paprika to taste and serve.

This is a very popular soup in Hungary. If you make this recipe, I think you will agree it is very tasty.