Grammar Basics: What are the Many Roles of Words?
Lesson 1: Verbs
© MM Pollard, June, 2013
In Lesson 1, we meet the verb. The best way to get to know someone is to talk to that person. We will use the same tactic today to get to know the verb. You’re ready with your list of tough questions for the hardest working part of speech.
1.What is a verb?
A verb is word that shows action or state of being. Action verb is one that you can perform, either physically or mentally. A state of being verb is usually one that links the subject of the sentence and the noun or adjective that follows the verb. A state of being verb may also state the location of the subject of the sentence.
2.I understand what you mean by action verb. Explain a state of being verb again. Examples would help, too.
The most often used state of being verb is the verb to be.
Sentences with to be as the main verb and a noun or pronoun following this verb. Nouns and pronouns are italicized.
Jennifer is she.
Frank has been a doctor for twelve years.
Alan was a guest at our house last week.
The Hendersons are valued clients of ours.
She is being a pain.
In these sentences, to be is used as a main verb to indicate the role or position that one has at work, family, or other organization. The verb links the subject with a noun or pronoun that renames the subject.
If you are familiar with sentence patterns, the pattern of these sentences is S + to be + SC (p.n.)
SC – subject complement. P.N – predicate noun (or predicate pronoun).
Sentences with to be as the main verb and an adjective following this verb. Adjectives are italicized.
They are ugly.
We were sleepy all day.
Derek certainly is handsome.
Her plan was effective at reducing tardiness among students.
Her books have been popular for years.
In these sentences, to be is used as a main verb together with adjectives to express qualities about someone. The verb links the subject to an adjective that describes it.
The sentence pattern of these sentences is S + to be + SC (p.a.)
P.A. – predicate adjective.
Sentences with to be as the main verb and a location following this verb. The location is expressed as an adverb or an adverbial prepositional phrase. Locations are italicized.
They are with their aunt for the weekend.
Our house is in the countryside.
Alice and the twins were at the park.
I have been home all evening.
Foster is right here.
In these sentences, to be is used as a main verb to indicate the location of the subject of the sentence. The location is expressed in an adverb or an adverbial prepositional phrase.
Sentence pattern of these sentences is S + to be + Adv (adverb).
There are other verbs that can be either state of being or action verbs, depending on the way they are used in a sentence.
3. That sounds confusing, verbs that can be either.
I’ll explain. Verbs in this category include smell, feel, sound, remain, taste, look.
As action verbs, some examples:
I can smell the coffee.
She felt the chill of the wind.
The alarm sounded in the theater.
The chef tasted his newest creation.
Only the concrete slab remained.
He looked at the blank TV screen.
As linking verbs – state of being verbs that link subjects to nouns or adjectives
The socks smelled terrible.
She felt sad after the death of her cat.
The baby sounded upset.
The soup tastes delicious.
They remain sure of their children’s innocence.
The woman looked fabulous in that designer gown.
You can’t tell for sure if these verbs are linking or action until you see them in a sentence. You can be sure of these verbs used as linking verbs if you can replace these verbs with the form of the verb to be and the sentence still makes the same sense.
She was sad after the death of her cat.
The baby was upset.
5. What else can you tell me about VERBS?
That would be the principal parts of verbs.
6.Go on. What are principal parts of verbs?
You must know the four principal parts of a verb: base, present participle, past, and past participle. These forms are the building blocks you’ll use to form verb tenses.
Every verb has these four forms.
Base, present participle, past, and past participle.
The base for is the verb – go, see, be, smell. You add -ing to the base form to form the present participle. For regular verbs, you add –ed to the base form to form the past and the past participle forms of the verb. Irregular verbs form their past and past participle forms in other ways.
Here are the four forms for the regular verb to walk.
Present participle – walking
Past participle – walked
The only way to tell the difference between the past and the past participle of a regular verb is to look for the helping verbs have, has, or had. If you find one of those helping verbs with the main verb, the main verb will be in its past participle form.
He walked to school. Walked is past here.
He has walked to school before. Walked is a past participle here.
7.What is an irregular verb?
The bane of every English speaker. Irregular verbs are those that do not form the past and the past participle form by added –ed to the base form of the verb. Forto go, an irregular verb, the five principal parts are
present participle -- going
past participle -- gone
There is no magic pill for remembering the principal parts of irregular verbs. You have to learn them. The good news is that the principal parts of irregular verbs are given in the dictionary under the entry for the base form of the verb.
Thank you, VERB, for your time. I need to review my notes and pray all of the information sinks in.
I don’t know why people have this THING about verbs. You use them every day, 9 out of 10 times correctly. I bet you will do great on the assignment below. J (So does MM)
Practice: go to this site and complete exercises 1 and 2. Answers are at the end of this lesson. http://www.phschool.com/atschool/wri...f/09GE2303.pdf
http://grammar.about.com/od/basicsen...regVerbsAG.htm -- this site gives the principal parts of most irregular verbs on separate webpages.
Now you try it.
The list below has 26 verbs. (Some of the words can be used as nouns, but for this exercise, you are using them as action verbs.) Give the four principal parts of these verbs in this order: base, present participle, past, and past participle. I’ve done the first one for you. All of these verbs are NOT irregular, but most of them are. You will find the answers below. Check your answers and then post the number correct over 100 on the Lesson 1 homework and questions thread. This assignment is due Monday, midnight, PDT.
Since you will grade your own homework, I won’t make comments on individual posts unless there is a question. Please ask a question if you don’t know why an answer is correct.
1. Eat – base form, eating – present participle, ate – past, eaten – past participle
Any questions? MM
Answers on the next page.
Answers are here.
- Write, writing, wrote, (have) written
- Fly, flying, flew, (have) flown
- See, seeing, saw, (have) seen
- Spin, spinning, spun, (have) spun
- Hurt, hurting, hurt, (have) hurt
- Fight, fighting, fought, (have) fought
- Drive, driving, drove, (have) driven
- Spend, spending, spent, (have) spent
- Wind, winding, wound, (have) wound
- Eat, eating, ate, (have) eaten
Don’t forget to post your results and any questions you may have on these answers! MM
Base Present participle Past Past participle 1. Eat Eat Eating Ate Eaten 2. Cut Cut Cutting Cut Cut 3. Drug Drug Drugging Drugged Drugged 4. Sleep Sleep Sleeping Slept Slept 5. Drive Drive Driving Drove Driven 6. Hurry Hurry Hurrying Hurried Hurried 7. Dive Dive Diving Dived, dove Dived 8. Hit Hit Hitting Hit Hit 9. Read Read Reading Read Read 10. Swim Swim Swimming Swam Swum 11. Sneak Sneak Sneaking Sneaked Sneaked 12. Drink Drink Drinking Drank Drunk 13. Drag Drag Dragging Dragged Dragged 14. Run Run Running Ran Run 15. Write Write Writing Wrote Written 16. Do Do Doing Did Done 17. See See Seeing Saw Seen 18. Break Break Breaking Broke Broken 19. Bring Bring Bringing Brought Brought 20. Have Have Having Had Had 21. Show Show Showing Showed Shown 22. Swing Swing Swinging Swung Swung 23. Dress Dress Dressing Dressed Dressed 24. Forget Forget Forgetting Forgot Forgot, forgotten 25. Wish Wish Wishing Wished Wished 26. Text Text Texting Texted or text are used, no standard yet Texted or text are used, no standard yet