Document Sample
Verbs Powered By Docstoc
					Verbs, Tense, and Auxiliaries

   (Plus some final information on
        Nouns and Pronouns)
         Hierarchy of Predictability
Unpredictable   Indefinite Noun (e.g., a person)

                Unmodified Definite Noun (e.g., the person)

                Modified Definite Noun (e.g., the big
                      person, the person in the corner, the
                      person we were interviewing)
 Predictable    Pronoun
               Types of Verbs
• Dynamic (or Active) Verbs – describe an
  action, involve change of state or place
• Stative Verbs – describe a state, involve
  little or no change
  –   Linking verbs - be, seem, appear…
  –   Position verbs - lie, sit, stand, live…
  –   Perception verbs - hear, see, smell, feel, hurt…
  –   Other - know, like, appreciate, rival, think…
• Modals: will, would, can, could, shall, should,
  may, might, must
• Have: used with past participle form of the verb
  to create the present perfect (have eaten), or the
  past perfect (had eaten)
• Be: used with the present participle form of the
  verb to create the present or past progressive
  (is/was eating) or with the past participle form of
  the verb to create the passive (was eaten).
• Do: - used for emphasis or when the grammar
  calls for an auxiliary and none exists (e.g.,
Verb Forms
         Order of Auxiliaries
             Modal - Have - Be
• Tense appears on the first auxiliary.
                    Some Examples
• I ate. (no auxiliary)
• I will eat. (Modal)
• I had eaten. (Have: past perfect)
• I will have eaten. (Modal+Have)
• I had been eating. (Be: past perfect progressive)
• I might have been eating. (Modal+Have+Be)
               Tense and Time
• English has two grammatical tenses
   – Past
   – Present
• English has no grammatical future tense
• Future time is indicated in a variety of ways:
   – With an auxiliary, especially will
   – With be going to …
   – With the simple present (We leave tomorrow.)
   – With the present progressive. (We’re leaving tomorrow.)
   – With will plus the present progressive. (We’ll be leaving
   – Be + to + Verb (We are to be wed tomorrow.)
            The Simple Present

• With stative verbs the simple present indicates present
  tense: She is tall; They like to dance; I believe you; This
  soup tastes delicious; I hear you; Do you see the hawk?)
• With instantaneous present: I enclose an envelope; Smith
  throws the ball to Jones; I apologize for my behavior; I
  pronounce you husband and wife.
• With active verbs to indicate habitual action: Every day we
  walk to school; Do you eat meat?; We go to the lake every
                 The Progressive
• With active verbs the present progressive indicates present
  time: They are dancing in the street; We’re eating.
• Generally not used with state verbs: *I am knowing the
  answer; *He is resembling me.
• When stative verbs are used in the progressive, they have a
  more dynamic or active meaning: You are being difficult; He
  is seeing her; They are loving each other. When verbs of
  emotion or attitude are used in the progressive, they indicate
  tentativeness: I was hoping to take the test late; I was
  wondering if you could help me.
                         The Perfect

• Present perfect is used
   – With active verbs to indicate something that happened in the past that
     is relevant to the present (I’ve already eaten; There has been a
     serious accident; Have you seen the movie?)
   – With stative verbs to refer to a state that began in the past and extends
     to the present (He’s been unhappy since the election; I’ve lived here
     for four years; She has owned this house since her father died.)
• Past Perfect is used to refer to a time in the past that is
  relevant to some other time in the past. (He offered me food,
  but I had already eaten; When I woke up, the sun had just
                   The Modals
• Can indicate possibility: We might have missed the train;
  They can be late sometimes; We may not make it.
• Can indicate hypothetical situations: If you had read the
  book, you might know the answer.
• Can indicate prediction: We’ll be gone by then.
• Can indicate obligation: We should be leaving now. You
  ought not do that.
• Can indicate necessity: You must stop doing that. You will
  leave now.
• Can indicate permission: May I come in?
                The Subjunctive

• Present
   – Uses uninflected base form of the verb
   – In some formulaic expressions – God save the Queen; Be that as it
     may; Heaven help us; Come what may.
   – In some embedded clauses with that or Ø: I insist you be more
     careful; I insist the committee reconsider its decision.
• Past
   – Uses were
   – Indicates hypothetical situation
   – Examples: If I were you…; Suppose we were to…; I wish I were a
     rich man; Were you to open your eyes, you would…

Shared By: