Verbs – General Intro English for Electrical Engineering EEE Modules 1-6 General English Grammar • Verbs are often called action words that show what the subject (a noun or pronoun) is doing. A verb is a word that signifies to be, to act, or to be acted on: as, I am, I rule, I am ruled, I love, you love, he loves. Verbs are so called, from the Latin verbum, a word; because the verb is that word which most essentially contains what is said in any clause or sentence. Although described as "action words", they can describe abstract concepts. They are a requirement of any sentence. Verbs have modifications of four kinds: moods, tenses, persons and numbers. Morphological forms • An English verb has four morphological forms (forms of word formation) ever needful to be ascertained in the first place: the present, the past, the present participle, and the past participle. The third person singular is the fifth morphological form. Present • The present is that form of the verb, which is the root of all the rest; the verb itself; or that simple term which we should look for in a dictionary: as, be, act, rule, love, defend, terminate. Past • The past is that simple form of the verb, which denotes time past; and which is always connected with some noun or pronoun, denoting the subject of the assertion: as, I was, I acted, I ruled, I loved, I defended. Present Participle (-ing Form) • The present participle is that form of the verb, which ends commonly in ing, and implies a continuance of the being, action, or passion: as, being, acting, ruling, loving, defending, terminating. Past Participle • The past participle is that form of the verb, which ends commonly in d or ed, and implies what has taken place: as, been, acted, ruled, loved. Regularity • English, like many Germanic languages, contains both strong (or irregular, which is not quite the same as strong) and weak (regular) verbs. • Irregular verbs are one of the most difficult aspects of learning English. Each irregular verb must be memorized, because they are not often easy to identify otherwise. • Verbs are divided, with respect to their regularity, into four classes: regular and irregular, redundant and defective. Verb classes • A regular verb is a verb that forms the past and the past participle by assuming d or ed: as, love, loved, loving, loved. • An irregular verb is a verb that does not form the past and the past participle by assuming d or ed: as, see, saw, seeing, seen. • A redundant verb is a verb that forms the past or the past participle in two or more ways, and so as to be both regular and irregular: as, thrive, thrived or throve, thriving, thrived or thriven. • A defective verb is a verb that forms no participles, and is used in but few of the moods and tenses: as, beware, ought, quoth. Persons and numbers • The person and number of a verb are those modifications in which it agrees with its subject. There are three persons and two numbers: thus, • 1. Singular first person. I love. • 2. Singular third person. He loves. • 3. Plural first person. We love. • 4. Plural second person. You love. • 5. Plural third person. They love. • Where the verb is varied, the third person singular in the present tense, is regularly formed by adding s or es: as, I see, he sees; I give, he gives; I go, he goes; I fly, he flies; I vex, he vexes; I lose, he loses. • Where the verb is not varied to denote its person and number, these properties are inferred from its subject: as, if I love, if he love; if we love, if you love, if they love. Tenses • Tenses are those modifications of the verb, which distinguish time. There are six tenses; the present, the past, the perfect, the past perfect, the first-future, and the second-future. One could even say there are twelve tenses because each of those comes in simple and in progressive forms, which have different meaning. • The past tense is sometimes called imperfect, but the names perfect and imperfect do not fit their meaning. These names were derived from Latin where they were correct. • The present simple tense is that which expresses what now exists, is normal or correlated to senses. It is used with adverbs like always, generally. • "There is a house in New Orleans." • "I read a book every week." • "I hear a noise." • The present continuous tense is that which expresses what is temporary: • "I am reading a letter." • "The car is running at high speed." • "Someone is always working." • The past simple tense is that which expresses what took place in time fully past. It is used with adverbs like yesterday, last week. • "Last week, I read several of Shaw's novels." • The past continuous tense is that which expresses what was taking place when (suddenly) something else occurred. • "I saw him yesterday, and hailed him as he was passing." • "I was giving a presentation when the microphone broke." • The present perfect tense is that which expresses what has taken place, within some period of time not yet fully past, or is still valid. It is used with adverbs like ever, never, today, this week. • "I have read several of Shaw's novels." • "I have seen him today; something must have detained him." • "Have you ever tried fugu fish?" • The present perfect continuous is that which which started in the past and has not yet finished. • "Since I have been standing here, five planes took off." • The past perfect tense is that which expresses what had taken place, at some past time mentioned, before something other happened. • "I had seen him, when I met you." • "As soon as my car had been repaired, I could continue my trip." • The past perfect continuous is that which expresses what had started before and was still going on, when something else occurred. • "I had been listening to the radio when she dropped in." • The future simple tense is that which expresses what will take place hereafter. • "I shall see him again, and I will inform him." Future continuous • Future continuous is the tense which expresses what will be currently taking place at a certain time in future. • "I will be swimming in the sea by the time you'll awake." Future perfect tense • This tense expresses what will have taken place at some future time mentioned. • "I shall have seen him by tomorrow noon." Future perfect continuous • Future perfect continuous is that which expresses what will have started at some time and will still be ongoing, at some future time mentioned. • "I will have been swimming in the sea for four hours by the time you'll awake tomorrow." Signification • An active verb is a verb in an active sentence, in which the subject performs the verb: as, • "I hit the dog." • An active verb can be transitive or intransitive, but not passive or neuter. • Verbs are divided again, with respect to their signification, into four classes: transitive, intransitive, passive, and neuter. • A transitive verb is a verb that expresses an action which has some person or thing for its object: as, • "Cain slew Abel." • “George loved Mary." • An intransitive verb is a verb that expresses an action which has no person or thing for its object: as, • "John walks." • “Mary wept." • A passive verb is a verb in a passive sentence (passive voice) that represents its subject, or what the nominative expresses, as being acted on: as, • "I am compelled." • "Caesar was slain." • In a passive sentence, the action is performed on the subject. • "I hit the dog," • "The dog was hit by me." • These sentences have the same denotative meaning, but their connotative meaning is quite different; active verbs are much more powerful and personal. • A neuter verb or impersonal passive verb is a verb that expresses neither action nor passion, but simply being, or a state of being: as, • "There was light." • "The babe sleeps." Voice • Voice of speech can be active or passive. Principally in passive voice the same tenses can be used as in active voice. There are two forms of passive voice (the second form is preferred): Examples • "He gave me the book." => • "The book was given to me," • "I was given the book." • There are however some things to note. • 1. "They build a house." • 2. "The house is built." • Here active and passive do not really have the same meaning. If for example you describe a picture where people build a house, the first sentence is perfectly correct. The second sentence however will be interpreted as the static perfect of the sentence • "The house has been built – it is built now." • This is, the house is now ready and not under construction. So the correct passive form is • "The house is being built." • Passive voice can be built quite formally by adhering to some rules. You will however not find normally all tenses as in active voice. Formal rules will lead you to monstrosities like the following, you will certainly never hear (already the active sentence is quite monstrous): Examples: • 1. "The speech will have been being held for four hours when finally you'll arrive." • 2. "The president will have been holding a speech for four hours when finally you'll arrive." Moods • Moods are different forms of the verb, each of which expresses the being, action, or passion, in some particular manner. • There are five moods: 1. the infinitive, 2. the indicative, 3. the potential, 4. the subjunctive, and 5. the imperative. Infinitive • The infinitive mood is that form of the verb, which expresses the being, action, or passion, in an unlimited manner, and without person or number: as, • "To die,—to sleep;—to sleep!—perchance, to dream!"—from Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Indicative • The indicative mood is that form of the verb, which simply indicates or declares a thing: as, • "I write," • "You know." • or asks a question: as, • "Do you know?" • "Know you not?" • The potential mood is that form of the verb which expresses the power, liberty, possibility, or necessity, of the being, action, or passion: as, • "I can walk." • "He may ride." • "We must go." The subjunctive mood is that form of the verb, which represents the being, action, or passion, as conditional, doubtful, and contingent: as, • "If you go, see that you offend not." • "See you do it not."—Rev., xix, 10. • "God save the queen." • "It is a requirement that ... be done." • "It's high time you were in bed." • "If I were you,..." Imperative • The imperative mood is that form of the verb which is used in commanding, exhorting, entreating, or permitting: as, • "Depart you." • "Be comforted." • "Forgive me." • "Go in peace." Conjugation • The conjugation of a verb is a regular arrangement of its moods, tenses, persons, numbers, and participles. • An auxiliary, or a sign of a verb, is a short verb prefixed to one of the morphological forms of another verb, to express some particular mode and time of the being, action, or passion. The auxiliaries are do, be, have, shall, will, may, can, and must, with their variations. Do, be, and have express the indicative mood. Most often, the auxiliaries are used in the following way: • When talking about actions that take place in the future, add the word will before the verb. • To describe an action that is temporary, add the appropriate form of the verb be before the verb and add ing to the end of the verb root. • To describe an action that has taken place, put the verb in the past tense and add the appropriate form of the verb have before the verb. • You can combine the previous two auxiliaries by putting the appropriate form of have before been, and putting both of them before the verb. DO • Do • Present tense, sign of the present. I do, he does, we do, you do, they do. • Past tense, sign of the past. I did, he did, we did, you did, they did. BE • Be • Present tense, sign of the present. I am, he is, we are, you are, they are. • Past tense, sign of the past. I was, he was, we were, you were, they were. HAVE • Have • Present tense, sign of the perfect. I have, he has, we have, you have, they have. • Past tense, sign of the past perfect. I had, he had, we had, you had, they had. Shall and will • Often confused with each other in modern English. These auxiliaries have distinct meanings, and, as signs of the future, they are interchanged thus: • Present tense, sign of the indicative first-future. • Simply to express a future action or event: I shall, he will, we shall, you will, they will. • To express a promise, command, or threat: I will, he shall, we will, you shall, they shall. • Past tense, or indefinite. • Used with reference to duty or expediency: I should, he should, we should, you should, they should. • Used with reference to volition or desire: I would, he would, we would, you would, they would. MAY • Present tense, sign of the potential present. I may, he may, we may, you may, they may. • Past tense, sign of the potential past. I might, he might, we might, you might, they might. CAN • Present tense, sign of the potential present. I can, he can, we can, you can, they can. • Past tense, sign of the potential past. I could, he could, we could, you could, they could. MUST • Present tense, sign of the potential present. I must, he must, we must, you must, they must. • If must is ever used in the sense of the past tense, the form is the same as that of the present: this word is entirely invariable. Is being • English grammar has changed, • "The house is being built." • no longer means the same as • "The house is built." • The first sentence refers to an ongoing action, the second to a completed one. • "If the expression, 'Is being built,' be a correct form of the present indicative passive, then it must be equally correct to say in the perfect, 'Has been being built;' in the past perfect, 'Had been being built;' in the present infinitive, 'To be being built;' in the perfect infinitive, 'To have been being built;' and in the present participle, 'Being being built;' which all will admit to be expressions as incorrect as they are inelegant, but precisely analogous to that which now begins to prevail." Forms of conjugation • Verb may be conjugated in four ways: • Affirmatively: as, I write, I do write, or, I am writing; and so on. • Negatively: as, I write not, I do not write, or, I am not writing. • Interrogatively: as, write I? do I write? or, am I writing? • Interrogatively and negatively: as, write I not? do I not write? or, am I not writing? • The verbs would be conjugated affirmatively, unless said otherwise. Form of passive verbs • The Verb “To love” • Passive verbs, in English, are always of a progressive form; being made from transitive verbs, by adding the past participle to the auxiliary verb be, through all its changes: thus from the active transitive verb love, is formed the passive verb be loved. Morphological forms of the active verb • Present Past • Present Participle • Love Loved Loving • Past Participle Loved Infinitive mood • Present tense. To be loved. • Perfect tense. To have been loved. Indicative mood • Present tense. I am loved, he is loved, we are loved, you are loved, they are loved. • Past tense. I was loved, he was loved, we were loved, you were loved, they were loved. • Perfect tense. I have been loved, he has been loved, we have been loved, you have been loved, they have been loved. • Past perfect tense. I had been loved, he had been loved, we had been loved, you had been loved, they had been loved. • First-future tense. I shall be loved, he will be loved, we shall be loved, you will be loved, they will be loved. • Second-future tense. I shall have been loved, he will have been loved, we shall have been loved, you will have been loved, they will have been loved. Potential mood • Present tense. I may be loved, he may be loved, we may be loved, you may be loved, they may be loved. • Past tense. I might be loved, he might be loved, we might be loved, you might be loved, they might be loved. • Perfect tense. I may have been loved, he may have been loved, we may have been loved, you may have been loved, they may have been loved. • Past perfect tense. I might have been loved, he might have been loved, we might have been loved, you might have been loved, they might have been loved. Subjunctive mood • Present tense. If I be loved, if he be loved, if we be loved, if you be loved, if they be loved. • Past tense. If I were loved, if he were loved, if we were loved, if you were loved, if they were loved. Form of negation • A verb is conjugated negatively, by placing the adverb not and participles take the negative first: as, not to love, not to have loved; not loving, not loved, not having loved. First person singular • Indicative. I love not, or I do not love; I loved not, or I did not love; I have not loved; I had not loved; I shall not, or will not, love; I shall not, or will not, have loved. • Potential. I may, can, or must not love; I might, could, would, or should not love; I may, can, or must not have loved; I might, could, would, or should not have loved, • Subjunctive. If I love not, if I loved not, if they loved. Third person singular • Indicative. He loves not, or he does not love; he loved not, or he did not love; he has not loved; he had not loved; he shall not, or will not, love; he shall not, or will not, have loved. • Potential. He may, can, or must not love; he might, could, would, or should not love; he may, can, or must not have loved; he might, could, would, or should not have loved. • Subjunctive. If he love not, if he loved not. Interrogative form • A verb is conjugated interrogatively, in the indicative and potential moods, by placing the nominative after it, or after the first auxiliary: as, • First person singular • Indicative. Do I love? (or, even Love I?), Did I love? have I loved? had I loved? shall I love? shall I have loved? • Potential. May, can, or must I love? might, could, would, or should I love? may, can, or must I have loved? might, could, would, or should I have loved? Third person singular • Indicative. Does he love? Did he love? has he loved? had he loved? shall or will he love? will he have loved? • Potential. May, can, or must he love? might, could, would, or should he love? may, can, or must he have loved? might, could, would, or should he have loved? Form of question with negation • A verb is conjugated interrogatively and negatively, in the indicative and potential moods, by placing the nominative and the adverb not after the verb, or after the first auxiliary: as, First person plural • Indicative. Love we not? or do we not love? loved we not? or did we not love? have we not loved? had we not loved? shall we not love? shall we not have loved? • Potential. May, can, or must we not love? might, could, would, or should we not love? may, can, or must we not have loved? might, could, would, or should we not have loved? Third person plural • Indicative. Are they not loved? were they not loved? have they not been loved? had they not been loved? shall or will they not be loved? will they not have been loved? • Potential. May, can, or must they not be loved? might, could, would, or should they not be loved? may, can, or must they not have been loved? might, could, would, or should they not have been loved? Irregular verbs • An irregular verb is a verb that does not form the past and the past participle by assuming d or ed: as, see, saw, seeing, seen. Of this class of verbs there are about one hundred and ten, beside their several derivatives and compounds. • Methods of learning irregular verbs: • To remember verbs: 1. Learn them by heart. 2. Write a reference lists of verbs. 3. Say the verbs aloud (not silently). 4. Set yourself targets, e.g. learn one verb a day. 5. Learn this verbs in groups. 6. Test yourself. • To learn how to use them: • Write you own example sentences. • Collect some examples of use for each verb, e.g. from books, magazines or newspapers. • Use an English grammar. • A short syntax • The finite verb must agree with its subject, as "The birds fly", except the following cases: the conjunction and, as "Rhetoric and logic are allied," one person or thing, as "Flesh and blood has not revealed it," empathy, as "Consanguinity, and not affinity, is the ground," each, every, or no, as "No one is the same," and the conjunction or, as "Fear or jealousy affects him."
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