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(Verbids, verbals)

The verb is a part of speech, which denotes a process or state. All verbs have two forms: Finite Forms and Non-Finite Forms (also called Verbals or Verbids).

Categories of Finite Forms of the Verb (revision)

No

Categories

Forms and examples

1

Person

  • The first, e.g. I’ll bring a cake and we’ll have tea together.

  • The second, e.g. Do you take sugar in your tea?

  • The third, e.g. She doesn’t enjoy yachting.

2

Number

  • Singular, e.g. Ted sings pretty well.

  • Plural, e.g. His parents sing well, too.

3

Tense

  • Present, e.g. Dinosaurs don’t exist now.

  • Past, e.g. They lived millions years ago.

  • Future, e.g. I doubt if they will exist in future.

4

Aspect

  • Indefinite (Common / Simple), e.g. Helen does a lot of work at the weekend.

  • Continuous, e.g. Peter is doing his yoga exercises at the moment.

5

Correlation

  • Perfect, e.g. Have you seen “Gone with the Wind”?

  • Non-Perfect, e.g. I saw it last year.

6

Mood

  • Indicative, e.g. Joan has been learning Spanish for three years.

  • Imperative, e.g. Let’s do this work together, shall we?

  • Subjunctive, e.g. If you had done this work yesterday, you wouldn’t be so busy today.

7

Voice

  • Active, e.g. Marge cooks all the meals herself.

  • Passive, e.g. All the meals in the family are cooked by their mother.

Classification of non-finite forms of the verb (verbals)

Verbals

Gerund Infinitive Participle

Present Participle/ Participle I Past Participle / Participle II

  • My friend doesn’t like either borrowing or lending money. (gerund)

  • It wasn’t wise of Martha to agree to that job. (infinitive)

  • Nobody saw the boy leaving the house. (participle I)

  • Things seen are mightier than things heard. (participle II)

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF NON-FINITE FORMS OF THE VERB

  1. Non-finite forms of the verb usually denote a secondary action or a process related to the one expressed by a finite verb.

  • Bobby started skating on the frozen lake. (‘started’ – primary action; ‘skating’ – secondary action)

  • Fiona decided to leave on Monday. (‘decided’ - primary action; ‘to leave’ - secondary action)

  1. The verbals have a double nature: nominal and verbal

participle I and II = verb + adjective

  • I saw a smiling girl in the window.

  • The book given to me by Peter was not very interesting.

gerund / infinitive = verb + noun

  • Learning foreign languages is hard work.

  • To learn a foreign language well, one must work hard.

  1. The verbals do not express person, number or mood.

  2. The verbals have the following distinctions /categories:

  1. aspect (Indefinite (Common/ Simple) or Continuous),

  2. correlation (Non-Perfect or Perfect)

  3. voice (Active or Passive)

  1. The verbals seldom function as predicates but are often used as part of predicates, e.g.

  • You might have encouraged the kid before the exam. (compound verbal modal predicate with infinitive)

  • Jim was painting the bedroom when his wife came home from work. (simple verbal predicate with participle I)

  • After that heated discussion the girls looked angry and frustrated. (compound nominal predicate with participle II)

  • Kate kept on laughing and splashing water on Jake. (compound verbal aspect predicate with gerund)

SUMMARY OF GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF VERBALS

No

Categories

Forms and examples

1

Person

None

2

Number

None

3

Tense

None

4

Aspect

  • Indefinite (Simple / Common), e.g. Helen may come tomorrow. John appears to be pleased.

  • Continuous, e.g. Peter must be doing his yoga exercises at the moment. Lily seems to be playing quite happily.

5

Correlation

  • Non-Perfect, e.g. All the books must be returned to the library by December 25. Tom seems to enjoy his new job.

  • Perfect, e.g. Jack must have been learning English for a long time, as he knows it so well. Adele is said to have finished her course.

6

Mood

None

7

Voice

  • Active, e.g. Marge has to cook all the meals herself. Henry wants to take up a new hobby.

  • Passive, e.g. All the meals in the family have to be cooked by their mother. Hob seems to be paid too much attention to.

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