Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Let it fly

Is the past tense of knit knit or knitted? I wanted to say, "I knit(ted) two rows this evening, or to be more specific I knit(ted) one and purled one." But I wasn't sure which way to say it. So I googled "past tense of knit," and it turns out knit is a verb in transition. A transitional verb, as it were, which is not the same as a transitive verb. A transitive verb, if I recall correctly (and I think I do), requires a direct object. The verb hit (which rhymes with knit and, like knit in traditional usage, is not inflected in the past tense) is transitive. "He hit" is not a complete thought. The verb needs a direct object, as in "He hit the ball." Knit does not need a direct object. "I am knitting" can stand alone, or I can specify "I am knitting a scarf." Or perhaps I am knitting a nerd flag.