English Grammar

verb to drink

In my last lesson I had to match objects with actions:
"beer is (to drink)" and I wrote "beer is drunken".
it has been noted as a mistake. I don't understand why because drunk and drunken can both be used.


  • good answer
  • Hello both,

    Nearly perfect repsonse, AhQ, but not quite! Allow me to elaborate:

    "Drunken" is a variant of "drunk" which we only use before nouns (never after them). It is a slightly more literary variant of the word and used more in written English.

    So for example, we could say:

    "A crowd of drunken men entered the room."

    But we could not say "all the men in the room were drunken". We would have to say "all the men in the room were drunk".

    It is never obligatory to use "drunken", but in some contexts it sounds "nicer".

    I hope this helps!
  • Yes, it helps, Edward. Subtlety worth mentioning.
  • Drunk and drunken are synonymous only as adjectives, Hélène. 
    I'd say 'a drunk man' and "this man is drunk" or "this man is drunken" because drunken is most often used as an attribute (after verbs like to be, to get, etc...) for euphonic reasons. Though I'd say a drunken brawl (une querelle d'ivrognes).
    The past participle of to drink is drunk, nothing else.
    Beer is drunk and potatoes are eaten.

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