We divide verbs into two broad classifications:
1. Helping verbs: have no meaning on their own, they are necessary for the grammatical structure of the sentence, but they do not tell us very much alone.
We usually use helping verbs with main verbs. (they help the main verb.
Imagine that a stranger walks into your room and says:
I can.People must.
The earth will.
With these alone you can’t understand anything, they are incomplete and they need at least a main verb to complete them.
Primary helping verbs (3 verbs: be, do, have) these can be use as helping verbs or as main verbs.
Be as helping verbs, to make continuous tenses (He is watching t.v.)
To make the passive(voice) (Small fish are eaten by big fish)
Have to make tenses (I have finished my home work)
Do to make negatives (I do not like you)
To ask questions (Do you want some coffee?)
To show emphasis (I do want you to pass your exam.)
To stand for a main verb in some constructions (He speaks faster than she does.)
Modal helping verbs (10 verbs)We use modal helping verbs to "modify" the meaning of the main verb in some way. A modal helping verb expresses necessity or possibility, and changes the main verb in that sense. These are the modal verbs:
• can, could
• may, might
• will, would,
• shall, should
• ought to
examples using modal verbs:
• I can't speak Chinese.
• John may arrive late.• Would you like a cup of coffee?
• You should see a doctor.
• I really must go now.
Semi-modal verbs (3 verbs)
The following verbs are often called "semi-modals" because they are partly like modal helping verbs and partly like main verbs:
• used to
2. Main verbs: have meaning on their own. (they tell us something)
I teachPeople eat
The earth rotates
With these we receive an idea of something, not much but something
Transitive and intransitive verbs
He died. Many verbs, like speak, can be transitive or intransitive.
transitive: A transitive verb takes a direct object: e.g: Somebody killed the President
• I saw an elephant. (elephant receive the action)
• We are watching TV.
• Hespeaks English.
intransitive: . An intransitive verb does not have a direct object:
• He has arrived. (He: the subject, does or performs the action)
• John goes to school.
• She speaks fast.
A linking verb does not have much meaning in itself. It "links" the subject to what is said about the subject. Usually, a linking verb shows equality (=) or a change to adifferent state or place (>). Linking verbs are always intransitive (but not all intransitive verbs are linking verbs).
• Mary is a teacher. (mary = teacher) (the verb be as a linking verb)
• Tara is beautiful. (tara = beautiful)
• That sounds interesting. (that = interesting)
• The sky became dark. (the sky > dark)
• The bread has gone bad. (bread > bad)
Dynamic and stativeverbs
dynamic verbs Some verbs describe action. They are called "dynamic", and can be used with continuous tenses. (examples):
• hit, explode, fight, run, go
stative verbs: Other verbs describe state (non-action, a situation). They are called "stative", and cannot normally be used with continuous tenses (though some of them can be used with continuous tenses with a change in meaning).(examples):
• like, love, prefer, wish
• impress, please, surprise
• hear, see, sound
• belong to, consist of, contain, include, need
• appear, resemble, seem
Regular and irregular verbs
This is more a question of vocabulary than of grammar. The only real difference between regular and irregular verbs is that they have different endings for their past tense and...
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