If I had known the recipe I would have baked or baken a cake

Hi, I need your expert opinion on yet another conditional sentence, which is correct?

[i]If I had known the recipe I would have baken a cake.

If I had known the recipe I would have baked a cake.[/i]

Thank you in advance.

The second sentence is correct:

If I had known the recipe, I would have baked a cake.

The irregular past participle baken is unfamiliar to me. Maybe someone else can confirm whether it is good English.

Hi Andreana,

I’m afraid you must be mistaken about baken perhaps you’re thinking of taken I hope I haven’t forsaken you.

Yours in sort of jest


Hi Alan and Conchita thank you for your explanations. No Alan, you have not forsaken me ;-). The strange thing is that my younger sister came home with her English test paper marked by her teacher. I checked it and saw a few things I considered odd. One of them was that her teacher had marked ‘baked’ as wrong and changed it into ‘baken’. I remotely remember from my own school days :wink: that ‘bake’ was not on the list of irregular verbs so the past participle should be ‘baked’ not ‘baken’. In the meantime I did some internet browsing and found a page that says that ‘baken’ is local (Yorkshire) dialect. It seems people in that area say things like When you get that baken If this is so I wonder why my sister’s English teacher would use such an unsual variation? Maybe she studied there ;-)?

By the way, there was another thing her teacher marked as a mistake which I believe is good English:

Can you drive me to school tomorrow?

According to her teacher it has to be ‘take me to school by car’. I think you can say both, can’t you? I mean, you certainly can say Please, drive me to school?

Thank you again,

Yes, Andreana, both ways are correct: you can drive someone somewhere or take them somewhere in your car, which is the same, but takes longer to say.

“Can you take me to school by car tomorrow?” sounds like a circumlocution that foreigners would use if they didn’t know how to say, “Can you drive me to school tomorrow?”

Grammatically, it’s not wrong, but a native speaker would not say it unless he expected the person was planning to take him by airplane, helicopter, ricksha or some other conveyance instead. Some mistakes aren’t grammar mistakes, but just involve the use of inappropriate word combinations. This is one of those mistakes.

By the way, in some American dialects they use the adjective boughten to mean something is “store-bought” and not homemade.