Source of Puzzle

Can you name a three letter English verb that becomes its past tense simply by moving the first letter to the end?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Just so you know, on this site it's common practice to accept the first answer posted out of multiple identical answers, which in this case would be ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq's answer. $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 23:18

3 Answers 3


An answer could be:




  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Beat me by 30 seconds :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor hmm apparently there are now 3 same answers XD $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 15:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @SheldonCooper Please accept the earliest answer, which is this one. Even if it's by... what, 35 seconds? $\endgroup$
    – anon
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 3:21

The verb


has past tense



This is an interesting question (with an answer already), so I thought I'd explore the pattern a bit more with a script and a dictionary of English words. It turns out that there are a few related words if you remove the limitation of "verb":

  • aye -> yea - two forms of an affirmative response
  • car -> arc - two types of vehicles
  • eli -> lie - is Eli dishonest? ;)
  • ewe -> wee (->eew) - a bit of a stretch, but two reactions (disgust, excitement?)
  • gen -> eng - two abbreviations for job titles (general, engineer)
  • now -> own - sounds like a commercial? ("Now own the world's greatest...")
  • sad -> ads - ?? (There is a joke here somewhere...)
  • tar -> art - a new genre of art?
  • who -> how - two of the five basic questions (who, what, when, where, how)
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The vehicle is an ark. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 4:30

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