The category of aspect. Until recently it was believed that in OE the category of aspect was expressed by the regular contrast of the verbs with and without the prefix ge- to denote completed and non-completed action respectively. E.g. feohtan – gefeohtan (fight – gain by fighting) li:cian – geli:cian (like – come to like) But this prefix does not only have the meaning of perfective action. it can change the lexical meaning of a verb (sittan (sit) – gesittan (occupy) beran (bear) – geberan (bear a child) so far from indicating a completed action, many verbs with ge- denoted a repeated action: E.g. many oft gecwæð - many (people often said) Ge- also appears to be an element of word-building, not only of form-building, it is a derivational prefix of vague general meaning. There were also some other means of expressing aspective meanings, for example the beginnings of the analytical forms – verb phrases habban, beo:n, weorðan (become) + P I (denoting a prolonged state or action) or P II (a state resulting from a previous completed action): E.g. Ðær wæ:ron sume of ðæm bo:cerum sittende – there were some of those learned men sitting. Hie: hæfdon ða heora stefn gesettenne. – They had that term finished. These phrases did not yet form regular oppositions with the simple forms and cannot be treated as members of grammatical categories. feohtan – gefeohtan (fight – gain by fighting) līcian – gelīcian (like – come to like) _________________ sittan (sit) – gesittan (occupy) beran (bear) – geberan (bear a child) many oft gecwæð many (people) often said Ðær wæron sume of ðæm bōcerum sittende – There were some of those learned men sitting. Hiēhæfdon ða heora stefn gesettenne. – They had that term finished.