Grammar Wednesday

Verbs!

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VERBS are words that describe action, being, or state of being; they describe what a noun is or is doing.

regular verbs change to past tense with an “ed’ –  walk/walked, type/typed live/lived, jump/jumped, talk/talked
irregular verbs take an alternate form in past tense – see/saw, eat/ate, sweep/swept, choose/chose, cry/cried

transitive verbs require an object to complete the thought.  She threw (threw what? An object – the orange; a tantrum – would complete the thought).
intransitive verbs do not require an object. She sings. We might like to know what she sings, but the fact that she sings is sufficient information to complete a thought.

SIMPLE tenses:
present = [VERB] + s/es in third person expresses an unchanging, repeated, or reoccurring action or situation that exists only now. It can also represent a widespread truth.  The mountains are tall.  Every year, we go on vacation.  She believes in God.  AU is the symbol for gold.
past =  [VERB+ed or irregular form] expresses an action or situation that was started and finished in the past.  I went to college.  The Berlin Wall  fell in 1990.  She’s done with her work.
future – expresses an action or situation that will occur in the future.  We make the future tense in a number of ways:
1.  using will/shall with the simple form of the verb: I will meet you there.
2.  using a present tense form of the verb with a word that describes a time in the future: The director meets the new students tomorrow afternoon.
3.  using am/is/are with the progressive (-ing) form of the verb: I am going to attend the meeting.

PROGRESSIVE (continuous) tenses:
present = [am/is/are + present participle] describes an ongoing action that is happening at the same time the statement is written.  The teacher is grading papers.
past = [was/were + present participle] describes a past action which was happening when another action occurred.  The teacher was grading papers when the fire alarm went off.
future = [will be + present participle] describes an ongoing or continuous action that will take place in the future.  The teacher will be grading papers next period.
Note that these tenses use the -ing form of the verb; it’s the helping verbs that change how we understand the time the sentence is describing.

PERFECT tenses:
present = [has/have + past participle] describes action which began in the past but which continues into the present or the effect of which still continues.  She has taught for 12 years.  (She is still teaching now.)
past = [had + past participle] describes action action completed in the past before another action. She had taught 12 years by the time her daughter was born.
future = [will have + past participle] describes action that will have been completed at a specified time in the future.  By next year, she will have taught for 13 years.

Next week; pronouns!

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2 Comments

Filed under Grammar

2 responses to “Grammar Wednesday

  1. I love the grammar refresher course. I’m assuming that this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak because you didn’t mention gerunds in your coverage of nouns or the subjunctive in your coverage of verbs. From the information about your students, I would assume the basics are enough for the majority.

    Are you going to use the Rufus Xavier Sasparilla example for pronouns?

  2. Plus I wanted to show you this:

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2010/01/31/12686831-cp.html

    Don’t fret. We’re not doing any better up here either.

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