Old Auregan

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Old Auregan
Auregisc, Wexisc
Progress: 91%
Head direction
Initial Mixed Final
Primary word order
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect

General informations

Oxman is a Germanic language spoken in the Duché du Héron (= Shire of Le Héron), a shire that corresponds to the eastern region of Seine-Marirtime in France. This language has evolved from Old Oxman which evolved from Old Auregan which is the first recorded form of Auregan language. Auregan language area corresponds to the "Vexin Normand" (a region situated just south to "Duché du héron"). A Oxman speaking colony also exists near the city of Coventry, Warwickshire, Midlands, England. Oxman is a West-Germanic language that is strongly linked to Dutch, Modern English, Low German and Modern German.

Here is a table which sums up the main characteristics of this language:

Gender Cases Numbers Tenses Persons Moods Voices Aspects
Verb No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nouns Yes No Yes No No No No No
Adjectives No No Yes No No No No No
Numbers No No No No No No No No
Participles No No Yes No No No Yes No
Adverb No No No No No No No No
Pronouns Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
Adpositions Yes No Yes No No No No No
Article Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Particle No No No No No No No No



Oxman alphabet uses letters from Latin alphabet and contains 25 characters:

Letters Pronunciation Further information
a [a] short 'a'
b [b] like in English
c [tʃ] like the English 'ch' in 'church'
d [d] like in English
e [ɛ] / [e:] in plural cluster -es it is not pronounced
f [f] like in English
g [g] it is always pronunced as in the English word "get"
h [h] like in English
i [ɪ] short 'i'
j [j] like English 'y'
k [k] like in English
l [l] like in English
m [m] like in English
n [n] like in English
o [ɔ] / [oʊ:] like in English
p [p] like in English
q [k] often followed by 'u', in latin words beginning with 'qu'
r [r] trilled just as in Dutch or in Italian
s [s] can be either voiced or voiceless
t [t] like in English
u [œ] short 'u' in 'but'
v [v] like in English
w [ʋ] between 'v' and 'w', just as in Dutch
y [j] between French letter 'j' in 'jouer' and English 'y' in 'year', as a vowel like a French 'u' or as English 'y' in 'why' when at the end of a word followed by a 'e' (cf. Oxman 'wye?' meaning 'why?' pronounced as in English);
æ [ɑ:] long 'a'
œ [u] as 'oo' in 'boot'

Consonantic phonemes

Old Auregan language had the following consonantic phonemes:

Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Labio-Velar Velar Glottal
Nasal m n (ŋ)
Plosive p b t d k g ʔ
Fricative f v θ ð s z ʃ x h
Affricate ts dz tʃ dʒ
Approximant ɹ j ʍ w
Lateral l

Vocalic phonemes

Oxman shows the following vowels:

Phonemes Short Long
Front Back Front Back
Closed ɪ ʊ i: u:
Mid-closed e: o:
Mid-open ɛ ɔ
Open a ɑ:

Diphthongs and digraphs

Old Auregan had also twenty diphthongs, that is clusters of two vowels pronounced with a single emission of air. These diphthongs are:

Diphthongs Pronunciation
īo [i:eɪ]
īa [i:a]
ēa [e:aɪ]


The position of stress in this language is quite regular, because it falls on the root and thus there are few rules to observe:

  • In substantives (and in adjectives and adverbs) the stress generally falls on the first syllable, but if they are compound nouns / adjectives, formed by prefix + noun / adjective, the stress falls on the root syllable of the noun / adjective. In compounds which are formed by noun / adjective + noun / adjective, the various words are read as if they were written separately;
  • In verbs the stress falls always on the root, even if they are compounds, ex.: emæke, "to make up", is read as [ə'ma:kə].




Verbs in Old Auregan are divided into strong or weak verbs. Strong verbs indicate tense by a change in the quality of a vowel, while weak verbs indicate tense by the addition of an ending.

Strong verbs

Strong verbs use the Germanic form of conjugation known as ablaut. In this form of conjugation, the stem of the word changes to indicate the tense. Verbs like this persist in modern Oxman; for example singe, song, esungen is a strong verb, as are swimbe, swomb, eswumben and ciese, coas, ecosen. The root portion of the word changes rather than its ending. In Old Auregan, there were seven major classes of strong verb; each class has its own pattern of stem changes. Learning these is often a challenge for students of the language, though English speakers may see connections between the old verb classes and their modern forms.

The classes had the following distinguishing features to their infinitive stems:

  1. ī + one consonant.
  2. īo or ū + one consonant.
  3. e + two consonants.
  4. e + 1 consonant (usually l or r, plus the verb brecan 'to break').
  5. e + 1 consonant (usually a stop or a fricative).
  6. a + 1 consonant.
  7. Other than the above.
Stem changes in strong verbs
Class Root weight Infinitive First preterite Second preterite Past participle
I heavy ī ēa i i
II heavy īo or ū ōa u o
III heavy see table below
IV light e(+r/l) a ā (originally ǣ) o
V light e(+other) a ā (originally ǣ) e
VI light a ō ō a
VII heavy ō, ēa, ōa, æ, ǣ, ō e, ǣ or īo same as infinitive

The first preterite stem is used in the preterite, for the first- and third-person singular. The second preterite stem is used for second-person singular, and all persons in the plural (as well as the preterite subjunctive). Strong verbs also exhibit i-mutation of the stem in the second- and third-person singular in the present tense.

The second sound change to affect it was the influence of palatal sounds <g>, <k>, and <sc>. These turned preceding <e> and <a> to < i > and <æ>, respectively.

The third sound change turned <e> to <i>, <æ> to <a>, and <o> to <u> before nasals.

Altogether, this split the third class into five sub-classes:

  1. e + two consonants (apart from clusters beginning with l).
  2. e + r or h + another consonant.
  3. e + l + another consonant.
  4. g, c, or sc + i + two consonants.
  5. i + nasal + another consonant.
Stem changes in Class III
Sub-class Infinitive First preterite Second preterite Past participle
a e a u o
b e a u o
c e e u o
d i e u o
e i a u u

Regular strong verbs were all conjugated roughly the same, with the main differences being in the stem vowel. Thus stelan 'to steal' represents the strong verb conjugation paradigm.

Conjugation Pronoun 'steal'
Infinitives stelan
te stelenne
Present indicative
ic stelo
þû stilst
hî/hit/sîo stilþ
wî/gî/hêa stelað
Past indicative ic stal
þû stāli
hî/hit/sîo stal
wî/gî/hêa stālon
Present subjunctive ic/þû/hî/hit/sîo stele
wî/gî/hêa stelen
Past subjunctive ic/þû/hî/hit/sîo stāle
wî/gî/hêa stālin
Imperative Singular stel
Plural stelað
Present participle stelendi
Past participle gestolon

Weak verbs

Weak verbs are formed by adding alveolar (t or d) endings to the stem for the past and past-participle tenses. Some examples are love, loved or look, looked.

Originally, the weak ending was used to form the preterite of informal, noun-derived verbs such as often emerge in conversation and which have no established system of stem-change. By nature, these verbs were almost always transitive, and even today, most weak verbs are transitive verbs formed in the same way.

The linguistic trends of borrowing foreign verbs and verbalizing nouns have greatly increased the number of weak verbs over the last 1,200 years. Some verbs that were originally strong (for example helpe, holp, eholpen is now more and more replaced by helpe, helpte, ehelpt) have become weak by analogy; most foreign verbs are adopted as weak verbs; and when verbs are made from nouns (for example "to scroll" or "to water") the resulting verb is weak. Additionally, conjugation of weak verbs is easier to teach, since there are fewer classes of variation. In combination, these factors have drastically increased the number of weak verbs, so that in modern Oxman weak verbs are the most numerous and productive form.

There are three major classes of weak verbs in Old Auregan. The first class displays i-mutation in the root, and the second class none. There is also a third class explained below.

Class-one verbs with short roots exhibit gemination of the final stem consonant in certain forms. With verbs in <r>, this appears as <ri>. Geminated <ƀ> appears as <bb>, and that of <ġ> appears as <dġ>. Class-one verbs may receive an epenthetic vowel before endings beginning in a consonant.

Where class-one verbs have gemination, class-two verbs have <i>, which is a separate syllable pronounced [i]. All class-two verbs have an epenthetic vowel, which appears as <a> or <o>.

In the following table, three verbs are conjugated. Swebban 'to put to sleep' is a class-one verb exhibiting gemination and an epenthetic vowel. Hêalean 'to heal' is a class-one verb exhibiting neither gemination nor an epenthetic vowel. Sîðeon 'to travel' is a class-two verb.

Conjugation Pronoun 'put to sleep' 'heal' 'travel'
Infinitives swebbean hêalean sîþeon
te swebbeanne te hêaleanne te sîþeonne
Present indicative
ic swebbeo hêaleo sîþeo
þû sweƀest hêalest sîþest
hî/hit/îo sweƀeð hêaleþ sîþeð
wî/gî/hêa swebbeað hêaleað sîþeoð
Past indicative ic sweƀoda hêalda sîþoda
þû sweƀodest hêaldest sîþodest
hî/hit/sîo sweƀoda hêalda sîþoda
wî/gî/hêa sweƀodon hêaldon sîþodon
Present subjunctive ic/þû/hî/hit/sîo swebbe hêale sîþe
wî/gî/hêa swebben hêalen sîþen
Past subjunctive ic/þû/hî/hit/sîo sweƀodi hêaldi sîþodi
wî/gî/hêa sweƀodin hêaldin sîþodin
Imperative Singular sweƀe hêale sîþe
Plural swebbeað hêaleað sîþeað
Present participle sweƀendi hêalendi sîþende
Past participle gesweƀed gehêaled gesîþeod

During the Old Auregan period, the third class was significantly reduced; only four verbs belonged to this group: hebbean 'have', libbean 'live', sedgean 'say', and hudġean 'think'. Each of these verbs is distinctly irregular, though they share some commonalities.

Conjugation Pronoun 'have' 'live' 'say' 'think'
Infinitive hebbean libbean sedgean hudġean
Present indicative
ic hebbeo libbeo sedġeo hudġeo
þû haƀest liƀest sagest hogest
hî/hit/sîo haƀeþ liƀeþ sageþ hogeþ
wî/gî/hêa habbeað libbeað sedgeað hudgeað
Past indicative (all persons) hafda lifda sagda hogda
Present subjunctive (all persons) hebbe libbe sedge hudge
Past subjunctive (all persons) hafdi lifdi sagdi hogdi
Imperative Singular haƀe liƀe sage hoge
Plural hebbeað libbeað sedgeað hudgeað
Present participle hebbendi libbendi sedgendi hudgendi
Past participle gehafd gelifd gesagd gehogd

Preterite-present verbs

The preterite-present verbs are a class of verbs which have a present tense in the form of a strong preterite and a past tense like the past of a weak verb. These verbs derive from the subjunctive or optative use of preterite forms to refer to present or future time. For example, witan, "to know" comes from a verb which originally meant "to have seen" (cf. OA wīsa "manner, mode, appearance"; Latin videre "to see" from the same root). The present singular is formed from the original singular preterite stem and the present plural from the original plural preterite stem. As a result of this history, the first-person singular and third-person singular are the same in the present.

Conjugation Pronoun 'know how to' 'be able to, can' 'be obliged to' 'know' 'own' 'avail' 'dare' 'remember' 'need' 'be allowed to' 'grant, allow' 'use, enjoy'
Modern Descendant 'kunne' 'muye' 'sculle' 'wite' 'eye' '*duye' 'durre' '*mune' 'thurve' 'mœte’ '*unne' 'enuye'
Infinitives cunnan, kunnan mugan sculan witan êagan dugan durran munan þurƀan môtan unnan genugan
Present Indicative
ic, ik, ick can, kan mag scal wêat êah dôag dar man þarf môt an genah
þû canst, kanst maht scalt wêast êahst dôahst darst manst þarft môst anst genaht
hî/hit/sîo can, kan mag scal wêat êah dôah dar man þarf môt an genah
wî/gî/hêa cunnon, kunnon mugon sculon witon êagon dugon durron munon þurƀon môton unnon genugon
Past Indicative
ic cûða, kûða mæhta, mahta scolda wista êahta dohta dorsta munda þorfta môsta ûða genohta
þû cûðest, kûðest mæhtest, mahtest scoldest wistest êahtest dohtest dorstest mundest þorftest môstest ûðest genohtest
hî/hit/sîo cûða, kûða mæhta, mahta scolda wista ēahta dohta dorsta munda þorfta môsta ôða ġinohta
wî/gî/hêa cûðon, kûðon mæhton, mahton scoldon wiston ēahton dohton dorston mundon þorfton mōston ūðon ġinohton
Present Subjunctive
ic/þû/hî/hit/sîo cunni, kunni mugi sculi witi êagi dugi durri muni þurƀi môti unni genugi
wî/gî/hêa cunnin, kunnin mugin sculin witin êagin dugin durrin munin þurƀin môtin unnin genugin
Past Subjunctive
ic/þû/hî/hit/sîo cûði, kûði mæhti, mahti scoldi wisti êahti dohti dorsti mundi þorfti môsti ûði genohti
wî/gî/hêa cûðin, kûðin mæhtin, mahtin scoldin wistin êahtin dohtin dorstin mundin þorftin môstin ûðin genohtin

[Forms above with asterisk (*) rare, archaic or dialectal.]

Anomalous verbs

Additionally there is a further group of four verbs which are anomalous, the verbs "want" (modern "will"), "do", "go" and "be". These four have their own conjugation schemes which differ significantly from all the other classes of verb. This is not especially unusual: "want", "do", "go", and "be" are the most commonly used verbs in the language, and are very important to the meaning of the sentences in which they are used. Idiosyncratic patterns of inflection are much more common with important items of vocabulary than with rarely-used ones.

Dōn 'to do' and gān 'to go' are conjugated alike; willan 'to want' is similar outside of the present tense.

Conjugation Pronoun 'do' 'go' 'will'
Infinitive dōn gān willan
Present Indicative
ic dō(m) will
þū dēst gǣst wilt
hē/hit/hēo dēþ gǣþ will
wē/gē/hīe dōð gāð willað
Past Indicative
ic/hē/hit/hēo deda igda wolde
þū dedest igdest woldest
wē/gē/hīe dedon igdon woldon
Present Subjunctive (all persons) will
Past Subjunctive (all persons) deda igda wolda
Present Participle dōndi willendi
Past Participle gidōn gigān / gigangon

The verb 'to be' is actually composed of three different stems:

Conjugation Pronoun sīn bīon wesan
Infinitive sīn *bīon wesan
Present Indicative
icḳ em bīom *weso
þū art bist *wesest
hī/hit/sīo is *biþ *west
wī/ġī/hēa āron, sind(on) *bīoð wesað
Past Indicative
icḳ was
þū wāri
hī/hit/sīo was
wī/ġī/hēa wāron
Present Subjunctive
icḳ/þū/hī/hit/sīo sīe *bīe wese
wī/ġī/hēa sīen *bīen wesen
Past Subjunctive
icḳ/þū/hī/hit/sīo wāri
wī/ġī/hēa wārin
(singular) *bīo wes
(plural) *bīoð wesað
Present Participle *bīondi wesendi
Past Participle *ġibīon ġiweson

The present forms of wesan are almost never used. Therefore, wesan is used as the past, imperative, and present participle versions of sindon, and does not have a separate meaning. The bēon forms are usually used in reference to future actions. Only the present forms of bēon contrast with the present forms of sindon/wesan in that bēon tends to be used to refer to eternal or permanent truths, while sindon/wesan is used more commonly to refer to temporary or subjective facts. This semantic distinction was lost as Old English developed into modern English, so that the modern verb 'to be' is a single verb which takes its present indicative forms from sindon, its past indicative forms from wesan, its present subjunctive forms from bēon, its past subjunctive forms from wesan, and its imperative and participle forms from bēon. In late OE and ME, the form earon/earun, from the Old Norse erun, replaced bēoþ and sind (See also List of English words of Old Norse origin).


Old English is an inflected language, and as such its nouns, pronouns, adjectives and determiners must be declined in order to serve a grammatical function. A set of declined forms of the same word pattern is called a declension. As in several other ancient Germanic languages, there are five major cases: nominative, accusative, dative, genitive and instrumental.

  • The nominative case indicated the subject of the sentence, for example se cyning means 'the king'. It was also used for direct address. Adjectives in the predicate (qualifying a noun on the other side of 'to be') were also in the nominative.
  • The accusative case indicated the direct object of the sentence, for example Æþelbald lufode þone cyning means "Æþelbald loved the king", where Æþelbald is the subject and the king is the object. Already the accusative had begun to merge with the nominative; it was never distinguished in the plural, or in a neuter noun.
  • The genitive case indicated possession, for example the þæs cyninges scip is "the ship of the king" or "the king's ship". It also indicated partitive nouns.
  • The dative case indicated the indirect object of the sentence, for example hringas þæm cyninge means "rings for the king" or "rings to the king". There were also several verbs that took direct objects in the dative.
  • The instrumental case indicated an instrument used to achieve something, for example, lifde sweorde, "he lived by the sword", where sweorde is the instrumental form of sweord. During the Old English period, the instrumental was falling out of use, having largely merged with the dative. Only pronouns and strong adjectives retained separate forms for the instrumental.

The small body of evidence we have for Runic texts suggests that there may also have a been a separate locative case in early or Northumbrian forms of the language (e.g., Template:Script on rodi "on the Cross").[1]

In addition to inflection for case, nouns take different endings depending on whether the noun was in the singular (for example, hring 'one ring') or plural (for example, hringas 'many rings'). Also, some nouns pluralize by way of Umlaut, and some undergo no pluralizing change in certain cases.

Nouns are also categorized by grammatical gender – masculine, feminine, or neuter. In general, masculine and neuter words share their endings. Feminine words have their own subset of endings. The plural of some declension types distinguishes between genders, e.g., a-stem masculine nominative plural stanas "stones" vs. neuter nominative plural scipu "ships" and word "words"; or i-stem masculine nominative plural sige(as) "victories" vs. neuter nominative plural sifu "sieves" and hilt "hilts".

Furthermore, Old English nouns are divided as either strong or weak. Weak nouns have their own endings. In general, weak nouns are easier than strong nouns, since they had begun to lose their declensional system. However, there is a great deal of overlap between the various classes of noun: they are not totally distinct from one another.

Old English language grammars often follow the common NOM-ACC-GEN-DAT-INST order used for the Germanic languages.

Strong nouns

Here are the strong declensional endings and examples for each gender:

The Strong Noun Declension
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative -os -u/– -u/– -e
Accusative -os -u/– -e -e
Genitive -es -es -e
Dative -e -um -e -um -e -um

For the '-u/–' forms above, the '-u' is used with a root consisting of a single short syllable or ending in a long syllable followed by a short syllable, while roots ending in a long syllable or two short syllables are not inflected. (A long syllable contains a long vowel or is followed by two consonants. Note also that there are some exceptions; for example, feminine nouns ending in -þu such as strengþu 'strength'.)

Example of the Strong Noun Declension for each Gender
Case Masculine
engel 'angel'
scip 'ship'
sorg 'sorrow'
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative engol englos scip scipu sorġa sorġa
Accusative engol englos scip scipu sorġa sorġa
Genitive engles englō scipes scipō sorġō sorġanō
Dative engle englum scipe scipum sorġe sorġum

Note the syncope of the second e in engel when an ending follows. This syncope of the vowel in the second syllable occurs with two-syllable strong nouns, which have a long vowel in the first syllable and a second syllable consisting of a short vowel and single consonant (for example, engel, wuldor 'glory', and hēafod 'head'). However, this syncope is not always present, so forms such as engelas may be seen.

Weak nouns

Here are the weak declensional endings and examples for each gender:

The Weak Noun Declension
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative -e -on -a -on -a -a
Accusative -on -on -a -on -a -a
Genitive -on -anō -on -anō -anō
Dative -on -um -on -um -e -um
Example of the Weak Noun Declension for each Gender
Case Masculine
name 'name'
oage 'eye'
tunga 'tongue'
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative name namon ōaġa ōaġon tunga tunga
Accusative namon namon ōaġa ōaġon tunga tunga
Genitive namon namanō ōaġon ōaġanō tungō tunganō
Dative namon namum ōaġon ōaġum tunge tungum

Irregular strong nouns

In addition, masculine and neuter nouns whose main vowel is short 'æ' and end with a single consonant change the vowel to 'a' in the plural (a result of the phonological phenomenon known as Anglo-Frisian brightening):

Dæg 'day' m.
Case Singular Plural
Nominative dæg dagas
Accusative dæg dagas
Genitive dæges daga
Dative dæge dagum

Some masculine and neuter nouns end in -e in their base form. These drop the -e and add normal endings. Note that neuter nouns in -e always have -u in the plural, even with a long vowel:

Example of the Strong Noun Declensions ending in -e
Case Masculine
ende 'end'
stȳle 'steel'
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ende endas stȳle stȳlu
Accusative ende endas stȳle stȳlu
Genitive endes enda stȳles stȳla
Dative ende endum stȳle stȳlum

Nouns ending in -h lose this when an ending is added, and lengthen the vowel in compensation (this can result in compression of the ending as well):

Example of the Strong Noun Declensions ending in -h
Case Masculine
mearh 'horse'
feorh 'life'
scōh 'shoe'
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative mearh mēaras feorh feorh scōh scōs
Accusative mearh mēaras feorh feorh scōh scōs
Genitive mēares mēara fēores fēora scōs scōna
Dative mēare mēarum fēore fēorum scō scōm

Nouns whose stem ends in -w change this to -u or drop it in the nominative singular. (Note that this '-u/–' distinction depends on syllable weight, as for strong nouns, above.)

Example of the Strong Noun Declensions ending in -w
Case Neuter
smeoru 'grease'
sinu 'sinew'
lǣs 'pasture'
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative smeoru smeoru sinu sinwa lǣs lǣswa}}
Accusative smeoru smeoru sinwe sinwa, -e lǣswe lǣswa, -e
Genitive smeorwes smeorwa sinwe sinwa lǣswe lǣswa
Dative smeorwe smeorwum sinwe sinwum lǣswe lǣswum

A few nouns follow the -u declension, with an entirely different set of endings. The following examples are both masculine, although feminines also exist, with the same endings (for example duru 'door' and hand 'hand'). Note that the '-u/–' distinction in the singular depends on syllable weight, as for strong nouns, above.

Example of the -u Declension
Case Masculine
sunu 'son'
feld 'field'
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative sunu suna feld felda
Accusative sunu suna feld felda
Genitive suna suna felda felda
Dative suna sunum felda feldum

Mutating strong nouns

There are also some nouns of the consonant declension, which show i-umlaut in some forms.

Example of the Strong Noun Declensions with i-shift
Case Masculine
fōt 'foot'
hnutu 'nut'
bōc 'book'
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative fōt fēt hnutu hnyte bōc bēc
Accusative fōt fēt hnutu hnyte bōc bēc
Genitive fōtes fōta hnyte, hnute hnuta bēc, bōce bōca
Dative fēt, fōte fōtum hnyte, hnute hnutum bēc, bōc bōcum

Other such nouns include (with singular and plural nominative forms given):

Masculine: tōþ, tēþ 'tooth'; mann, menn 'man'; frēond, frīend 'friend'; fēond, fīend 'enemy' (cf. 'fiend')

Feminine: studu, styde 'post' (cf. 'stud'); hnitu, hnite 'nit'; āc, ǣc 'oak'; gāt, gǣt 'goat'; brōc, brēc 'leg covering' (cf. 'breeches'); gōs, gēs 'goose'; burg, byrg 'city' (cf. 'borough', '-bury' and German cities in -burg); dung, dyng 'prison' (cf. 'dungeon' by way of French and Frankish); turf, tyrf 'turf'; grūt, grȳt 'meal' (cf. 'grout'); lūs, lȳs 'louse'; mūs, mȳs 'mouse'; neaht, niht 'night' Feminine with loss of -h in some forms: furh, fyrh 'furrow' or 'fir'; sulh, sylh 'plough'; þrūh, þrȳh 'trough'; wlōh, wlēh 'fringe'. Feminine with compression of endings: , 'cow' (cf. dialectal plural 'kine')

Neuter: In addition, scrūd 'clothing, garment' has the umlauted dative-singular form scrȳd.

Nouns of relationship

Nouns of Relationship
Case Masculine
fæder 'father'
brōðor 'brother'
mōdor 'mother'
sweostor 'sister'
dohtor 'daughter'
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative fæder fæd(e)ras brōðor (ge)brōðor mōdor mōdra/mōdru sweostor (ge)sweostor, -tru, -tra dohtor dohtor
Accusative fæder fæd(e)ras brōðor (ge)brōðor mōdor mōdra/mōdru sweostor (ge)sweostor, -tru, -tra dohtor dohtor
Genitive fæder fæd(e)ra brōðor (ge)brōðra mōdor mōdra sweostor (ge)sweostra dohtor dohtra
Dative fæder fæderum brēðer (ge)brōðrum mēder mōdrum sweostor (ge)sweostrum dehter dohtrum

Neuter nouns with -r- in the plural

Lamb 'lamb' n.
Case Singular Plural
Nominative lamb lambru
Accusative lamb lambru
Genitive lambes lambra
Dative lambe lambrum

Other such nouns: ǣg, ǣgru 'egg' (ancestor of the archaic/dialectical form 'ey', plural 'eyren'; the form 'egg' is a borrowing from Old Norse); bread, breadru 'crumb'; cealf, cealfru 'calf'; cild 'child' has either the normal plural cild or cildru (cf. 'children', with -en from the weak nouns); hǣmed, hǣmedru 'cohabitation'; speld, speldru 'torch'.


Adjectives in Old English are declined using the same categories as nouns: five cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and instrumental), three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), and two numbers (singular, plural). In addition, they can be declined either strong or weak. The weak forms are used in the presence of a definite or possessive determiner, while the strong ones are used in other situations. The weak forms are identical to those for nouns, while the strong forms use a combination of noun and pronoun endings:

The Strong Adjective Declension
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative -e -u/– -u/– -e, -a
Accusative -ne -e -u/– -e -e, -a
Genitive -es -ra -es -ra -re -ra
Dative -um -um -um -um -re -um
Instrumental -e -um -e -um -re -um

For the '-u/–' forms above, the distinction is the same as for strong nouns.

Example of the Strong Adjective Declension: gōd 'good'
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative gōd gōde gōd gōd gōd gōde, -a
Accusative gōdne gōde gōd gōd gōde gōde, -a
Genitive gōdes gōdra gōdes gōdra gōdre gōdra
Dative gōdum gōdum gōdum gōdum gōdre gōdum
Instrumental gōde gōdum gōde gōdum gōdre gōdum
Example of the Weak Adjective Declension: gōd 'good'
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative gōda gōdan gōde gōdan gōde gōdan
Accusative gōdan gōdan gōde gōdan gōdan gōdan
Genitive gōdan gōdena gōdan gōdena gōdan gōdena
Dative gōdan gōdum gōdan gōdum gōdan gōdum
Instrumental gōdan gōdum gōdan gōdum gōdan gōdum

Note that the same variants described above for nouns also exist for adjectives. The following example shows both the æ/a variation and the -u forms in the feminine singular and neuter plural:

Example of the Strong Adjective Declension: glæd 'glad'
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative glæd glade glæd gladu gladu glade
Accusative glædne glade glæd gladu glade glade
Genitive glades glædra glades glædra glædre glædra
Dative gladum gladum gladum gladum glædre gladum
Instrumental glade gladum glade gladum glædre gladum

The following shows an example of an adjective ending with -h:

Example of the Strong Adjective Declension: hēah 'high'
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative hēah hēa hēah hēa hēa hēa
Accusative hēane hēa hēah hēa hēa hēa
Genitive hēas hēara hēas hēara hēare hēara
Dative hēam hēam hēam hēam hēare hēam
Instrumental hēa hēam hēa hēam hēare hēam

The following shows an example of an adjective ending with -w:

Example of the Strong Adjective Declension: gearu 'ready'
Case Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative gearu gearwe gearu gearu gearu gearwe
Accusative gearone gearwe gearu gearu gearwe gearwe
Genitive gearwes gearora gearwes gearora gearore gearora
Dative gearwum gearwum gearwum gearwum gearore gearwum
Instrumental gearwe gearwum gearwe gearwum gearore gearwum


Old English had two main determiners: se, which could function as both 'the' or 'that', and þes for 'this'.

Case Masculine Neuter Feminine Plural
Nominative se þæt sēo þā
Accusative þone þæt þā þā
Genitive þæs þæs þǣre þāra, þǣra
Dative þǣm þǣm þǣre þǣm, þām
Instrumental þȳ, þon þȳ, þon

Modern English 'that' descends from the neuter nominative/accusative form,[2] and 'the' from the masculine nominative form, with 's' replaced analogously by the 'th' of the other forms.[3] The feminine nominative form was probably the source of Modern English 'she.'[4]

Case Masculine Neuter Feminine Plural
Nominative þes þis þēos þās
Accusative þisne þis þās þās
Genitive þisses þisses þisse, þisre þisra
Dative þissum þissum þisse, þisre þissum
Instrumental þȳs þȳs


Most pronouns are declined by number, case and gender; in the plural form most pronouns have only one form for all genders. Additionally, Old English pronouns preserve the dual form (which is specifically for talking about groups of two things, for example "we two" or "you two" or "they two"). These were uncommon even then, but remained in use throughout the period.

First Person
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative icḳ wit
Accusative mī, micḳ unk ūs
Genitive mīn unkore ūsor
Dative unk ūs
Second Person
Case Singular Plural Dual
Nominative þū ġit ġī
Accusative þī, þicḳ inḳ īow
Genitive þīn inḳore īowor
Dative þī inḳ īow
Third Person
Case Singular Plural
Masc. Neut. Fem.
Nominative hit sīo, hīo hēa (older hīea) m., hīo f.
Accusative hina hit sīa, hīa hēa (older hīea) m., hīe f.
Genitive his his hira hire m., here f.
Dative him him hire him, hem

Many of the forms above bear strong resemblances to their contemporary English language equivalents: for instance in the genitive case ēower became "your", ūre became "our", mīn became "mine".


Prepositions often follow the word which they govern, in which case they are called postpositions. Also, so that the object of a preposition was marked in the dative case, a preposition may conceivably be located anywhere in the sentence, even appended to the verb. The infinitive is not declined.

The following is a list of prepositions in the Old Auregan. Many of them, particularly those marked "etc.", are found in other variant spellings. Prepositions may govern the accusative, genitive, dative or instrumental cases - the question of which is beyond the scope of this article.

Old Auregan Definition Notes
æftor after; along, through, during; according to, by means of; about. Ancestor of Oxman aftor, Related to Dutch achter = behind, after
êar before Related to Old English ær, modern German eher and Dutch eer, ancestor of Oxman ear-
at at, to Ancestor of Oxman at- (only in compounds)
ond against, before, on. Ancestor of oxman ond-, related to Dutch ont-
ondlæng along Ancestor of modern along
bæftan after, behind; without. From bi- and *æft (found in æftor)
by, near to, to, at, in, on, upon, about, with Related to modern Oxman bie, Dutch bij, German bei, ancestor of modern by
befôran before. Ancestor of Oxman befoar and beforn
begiendan beyond. Ancestor of Oxman beyendon
behindor behind. Ancestor of Oxman behindor
binnan in, within Ancestor of Oxman binnon, from bi- + innan
beneðan beneath Ancestor of Oxman benethon
betwisc between, among, amid, in the midst Ancestors of Oxman betwisc
bîrihte straight into Ancestor of Oxman bieright (also aright from *anrihte)
bûƀan above. Ancestor of Oxman bovon
bûtan out of, against; without, except. Ancestor of bauton, from bi- + auton
ôac with, in addition to, besides. Related to modern Dutch ook
fan by Ancestor of Oxman fan, Related to Dutch van and German von, corresponds to a compound of af and an
fur for, on account of, because of, with, by; according to; instead of. Ancestor of Oxman fur
fôra before Ancestor of Oxman foar
fram from; concerning, about, of Ancestor of Oxman fram
gemæng, gemang, gemong among Ancestor of Oxman emong
giend through, throughout, over, as far as, among, in, after, beyond. Ancestor of Oxman yends and yendor
in in, into, to Ancestor of modern in
innan in, into, within, from within Ancestor of Oxman innon
mid with, against Ancestor of modern mid
nâh near Ancestor of Oxman nagh- (only in compounds)
nefne except Ancestor of Oxman nevon (unless)
af of, from, out of, off Ancestor of modern af
oƀor above, over; upon, on, more than Ancestor of modern ovor
an at, to, in Ancestor of Oxman an and a-
anbûtan concerning Ancestor of Dialectal Oxman abauton
angegin opposite, against; towards; in reply to. Ancestor of Oxman ayeyon (towards)
sæmt, sæmd together with, at. Ancestor of Oxman samt (only used in samt mid or in compounds)
to, at. Ancestor of Oxman
tegegnes towards, against Ancestor of Oxman teyons
tômiddes in the midst of, amidst Ancestor of Oxman tœmids
tôward(es) toward Ancestor of modern tœwards
þurh through Ancestor of Oxman thurgh, Related to modern Dutch door, German durch, English through
undor under Ancestor of modern undor
undorneðan underneath Ancestor of modern undornethon
uppan upon, on Ancestor of dialectical Oxman uppon.
ûtan without, outside of Ancestor of auton, related to modern German außen, außer and Swedish utan
wiðor towards, to; with, against; opposite to; by, near. Ancestor of modern withor-. Related to modern German wider
umb(i) about, by Ancestor of Oxman umb (around, about); Related to German um and Latin ambi
umbûtan about, around; concerning Ancestor of archaic Oxman umbbauton (concerning, around)
  1. ^ Page, An Introduction to English Runes, Boydell 1999, p. 230
  2. ^ "That". Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=that. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  3. ^ "The". Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=the. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  4. ^ "She". Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=she. Retrieved 28 June 2010.