First, a note to Queequeg's example #9: in British English, the verb to dive is weak, rather than strong, and consequently the dove dived into the bushes.

That said, although English is rich in curious homonyms and synonyms, it is, broadly speaking, regular. The verbs have at most five forms each, except for the verb to be, which is the most commonly irregular verb in all languages. There are some 214 'irregular' verbs, but those are mostly, if not all, simply strong verbs, and there is only one conjugation of weak verb. The nouns fall into five or six categories, of which one (the -s ending group) is huge, each with one distinctive mutation and one subsidiary one. All adjectives (except, possibly, blond/e) are invariant.

Latin verbs, for comparison, have about 120 forms, and Chippewa ones may possess as many as 6000. Admittedly, English is rich in modal verbs, but then so is Swedish, which retains separate meanings for the verbs equating to the English will and shall.

And just for entertainment, here are some problems:

The past participle of to beget is begotten, whereas in British English get goes to got. Is the British English imperfect of beget begat or begot?

What is the distinction between will and shall?

TEHRoSS says: "Shall" is only supposed to be used in the first person (I, we) and "Will" is supposed to be for 2nd/3rd.

I would like to add that this is a quaint grammarian rule, but it is sensibly derived from the Nordic roots of the language. It's acceptable for me to say that I shall do something (which derives from a usage meaning that it's certain that the thing mentioned is going to occur) but presumptive to say that someone else is certain to do something, so we say that they will do it (it is their apparent intention to do so).

wertperch says: "shall" is often used in the emphatic sense, as apposed to a vaguer "will". But that's only in the North and Scotland, I suspect...and only, I suspect, idiomatically. Bah.

Does any other language have a form, modal or proper, directly equivalent to the 'used to' construction?

Pfft tells me that the imperfect of the Swedish verb 'bruka' - 'brukade' - carries the same meaning as 'used to', while the present is used for 'usually'.

vuo says that in Finnish verb "tapaa" + a verb in the infinitive corresponds to the Swedish 'brukar', the present-tense form of the English 'used to', which is sometimes referred to as a frequensive form. 'Kirjottelen juttuja' (freq.) = 'tapaan kirjoitella juttuja' (inf. + freq.) = 'tapaan kirjottaa juttuja' (inf.) "I write stories" or "I usually write stories".