Fight vs Fighting

Me: Ok.  No more sword fighting!  Put the swords down.

Tornado E: Mommy, why is it fighting and not fight?

Me: Because you’re doing it right now.  Not something you do.  It’s all about doing it at that moment.

Tornado E: Hmmm.  Like I’m talking!

Me: Yes.

Ok, what kid pays attention and asks about verb conjugation?

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Explaining is the hardest part

Tornado E: Mommy, I was scared of the pirate museum.

The pirate museum?  The one in Salem?  The one we saw back in July?  The one you loved and haven’t stopped talking about since?

Me: Really?  Why?

Tornado E: Because the pirate held someone’s head.

D’oh.  I knew that would come up, but I figured it would be more immediate.  The tour guide didn’t warn us until we were there, and the only way out was through the exhibit.  Awesome.

Me: Well, that wasn’t a pirate.  That was a fisherman.  He was holding the pirate’s head.

Tornado E: Why?

Me: Because the pirate was a bad guy who tried to steal from the fisherman and hurt the crew.  So they fought back.

Tornado E: The pirates fight.

Me: Yes.  They steal and hurt people.  Most of them do.  The fisherman didn’t want to be hurt.

Tornado E: So why did they cut off the head.

Me: Because that was a warning for other pirates.

Tornado E: So the pirate cut off someone’s head.

Me: No.  The fisherman cut off the pirate’s head.

Tornado E: But why?

Me: (sigh)  (This would be a lot easier if we had a picture.)  The pirate was a bad man, and the fisherman fought back.

Tornado E: They fight, Mommy.

Did he just correct me?

Me: No, they fought.

Tornado E: That sounds funny.  They fight.

Me: Well, fight means it’s happening right now.  The pirates fight.  Fought means it happened in the past.  The pirates fought.

Tornado E: They fight.

Me: If they were fighting right now, yes.  You and Daddy tiger fight.  It means you are doing it right now.  You and Daddy tiger fought this morning.  You did it in the past.

Tornado E: Oh!  So Daddy and I like to tiger fought.

Me: Um, no.  You know turned tiger fight into a noun.  You made it a thing.  Now it would be tiger fight.  You and Daddy like to tiger fight.

Tornado E: Mommy?  Do you want to tiger fight?


My head hurts.

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