He <shit><shits> his pants

robinblank

Member
Mandarin Chinese
Some sentences from the news make me confused.

Is the word "shit" in the idom "shit one's pants" a verb? If the "one" is he, should it form the third person singular by adding "-s"?

"He shit his pants." or "he shits his pants." Which one is correct?
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    This is in the news???? What newspapers are you reading? :eek:

    All verbs form the third person singular by adding an "s", one way or another, auxiliaries excepted, in the present tense.

    People who use shit in new items are possibly so illiterate as not to know that the past tense of shit is shat.

    [Crossposted. Oops, sorry Cidertree! I agree with you on everything else... ]
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    People who use shit in new items are possibly so illiterate as not to know that the past tense of shit is shat.
    Or they're using a supposedly rare form:

    Inflections of 'shit' (v): (⇒ conjugate)shitsv 3rd person singularshittingv pres pshatv pastshitv past (Rare)shittedv past (Rare)shatv past pverb, past participle: Verb form used descriptively or to form verbs--for example, "the locked door," "The door has been locked."shitv past p (Rare)shittedv past p (Rare)

    (From this website)
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    .... and becoming steadily more common. I believe that the invariable form is standard for the hundreds of millions of perfectly literate people who happen to be AmE speakers and who follow the same AmE pattern as for quit-quit-quit or fit-fit-fit. This form is not 'supposedly rare' at all.

    If this comes from a US source, it's an entirely correct past tense.
     
    Last edited:

    robinblank

    Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thank you guys.

    So it is the past tense?! But strictly speaking, the past tense of shit is shat(also according to Keith Bradford's reply). So the correct sentence should be "One shat his pants". Right?
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    And if you don't have time to read the whole thread, here's a quote from an AmE speaker who's one of the stalwarts of this forum:

    Shat is still current BE? In AE, it's either humorous or fake/pompous or yokel.

    I'm sure that it's only a matter of time before other AmE members weigh in on this thread to give their versions about what is correct/standard.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, it's practically Biblical in AmE. ;) Thou shalt hast shat thy breeches. ;)
    Hmm...Sorry but shalt hast is incorrect grammatically. It's similar to saying "He shall has". With the auxiiary verb shall, the verb it modifies must be in the infinitive, ie.

    Thou shalt hast shat thy breeches. :cross:

    Thou hast shat thy breeches. :tick:

    Thou shalt have shat thy breeches. :tick:
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In earlier centuries the past participle "beshitten" was used:

    Then sayd the one to the other I wen some of vs hath beshitten their breches...

    The simple past tense varied.
     
    In polite conversation, I'd say 'Oh dear – I do believe the duchess has just soiled herself'.

    USAGE NOTE: shit (with its derivatives) is the coarsest word in the language for this bodily function, and should only be used in the company of people who you know will not be offended.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    Shat doesn’t sound archaic to me but it does sound much ruder than shit. Does anyone else think that?
    Yes. 'Shat' rhymes with 'splat.' Also, 'shit' is a common enough word (noun, adjective, verb, exclamation) in ordinary vulgar AmE, but 'shat' is unusual, so it draws one's attention to the non-figurative meaning.
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    No, quite the opposite. I'd probably get away with using shat in polite conversation, almost as a euphemism.
    That's interesting, especially as a fellow Irish person. We also have the variant "shite" but there's no corresponding verb. I'm not sure where that would be on the rudeness scale.
     

    cidertree

    Senior Member
    Béarla na hÉireann (Hiberno-English)
    There is in Galway.

    "Go and shite", "Shite off" - pretty far up the rudeness scale.:D
     
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