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ŧ Verb Patterns


Verb Patterns




Verb Patterns

There are also many verb patterns which are common in English. When two verbs are used, it is especially important to notice which form the second verb takes (infinitive - to do - base form - do - verb + ing - doing).

Verb Pattern

Structure




Examples

verb + infinitive

This is one of the most common verb combination forms.

I waited to begin dinner.
They wanted to come to the party.

verb + verb + ing

This is one of the most common verb combination forms.

They enjoyed listening to the music.
They regretted spending so much time on the project.

verb + verb + ing OR verb + infinitive - no change in meaning

Some verbs can combine with other verbs using both forms without changing the basic meaning of the sentence.

She started to eat dinner. OR She started eating dinner.

verb + verb + ing OR verb + infinitive - change in meaning

Some verbs can combine with other verbs using both forms. However, with these verbs, there is a change in the basic meaning of the sentence.

They stopped speaking to each other. => They don't speak to each other anymore.
They stopped to speak to each other. => They stopped walking in order to speak to each other.

verb + indirect object + direct object

An indirect object is usually placed before a direct object when a verb takes both an indirect and direct object.

I bought her a book.
She asked him the question.

verb + object + infinitive

This is the most common form when a verb is followed by both an object and a verb.

She asked her to find a place to stay.
They instructed them to open the envelope.

verb + object + base form (infinitive without 'to')

This form is used with a few verbs (let, help and make).

She made her finish her homework.
They let him go to the concert.
He helped him paint the house.

verb + object + verb + ing

This form is less common than verb + object + infinitive.

I observed them painting the house.
I heard her singing in the living room.

verb + object + clause with 'that'

Use this form for a clause beginning with 'that'.

She told him that she would worker harder.
He informed him that he was going to resign.

verb + object + clause with 'wh-'

Use this form for a clause beginning with wh- (why, when, where)

They were instructed where to go.
She told me why she had done it.

verb + object + past participle

This form is often used when someone does something for someone else.

He had his car washed.
They want the report finished immediately.

VERBS + INFINITIVE

These verbs include:

afford, agree, aim, appear, arrange, ask, attempt, care, choose, dare, decide, demand, deserve, expect, fail, fight, guarantee, happen, help, hope, learn, manage, offer, pretend, promise, refuse, seem, tend, threaten, want, wish

Examples:  Thelmaīs boss refuses to give her a pay rise.    Iīve arranged to see the doctor on Tuesday.


VERBS + -ING

These verbs include:

admit, appreciate, avoid, consider, delay, deny, dislike, enjoy, face, fancy, feel like, finish, forgive, give up, canīt help, imagine, keep, look forward to, mind, miss, practise, put off, resist, risk, canīt stand, suggest, understand

Examples:   Andrew admitted cheating in the exam.    Elena has given up smoking.


VERBS + INFINITIVE or -ING

These verbs include:

advise, allow, begin, canīt bear, can't stand, continue, forbid, forget, go, hate, intend, like, love, mean*, prefer, regret*, remember*, start, stop*, try*

Examples:

I was on my way home when it started to rain = I was on my way home when it started raining

* with a change in meaning


VERBS + OBJECT + INFINITIVE

These verbs include:

advise, allow, ask, cause, encourage, expect, forbid, force, get, hate, help, invite, leave, like, love, mean, need, order, permit, persuade, prefer, recommend, remind,  teach, tell, tempt, urge, want, warn, wish

Examples:  Dennis persuaded me to go on holiday with him.   Can you ask the taxi driver to wait?

Noun phrases

Like all phrases, the constituents of the English noun phrase can be analyzed into both functional constituents and formal constituents. From a functional point of view, the noun phrase has four major components, occurring in a fixed order:

  • the determinative, that constituent which determines the reference of the noun phrase in its linguistic or situational context;
  • premodification, which comprises all the modifying or describing constituents before the head, other than the determiners;
  • the head, around which the other constituents cluster; and
  • postmodification, those which comprise all the modifying constituents placed after the head.

In the diagram below, notice that each functional component of a noun phrase (NP) can be further subclassified as we trace the diagram from left to right until we find that we have form classes (of the kind we discussed above) filling each constituent category.

Depending on the context of situation, we choose determiners and modifiers according to our needs in identifying and specifying the referent of the NP. Sometimes we need several determiners and modifiers to clarify the referent (all my books in that box); sometimes we need none at all (Liz).

That diagram is one way to represent the dual nature of a phrase. Each phrase, remember, is a merger of both form and function, and, as complex as it looks, the diagram illustrates only some of the complexities of the noun phrase in English. (For a more thorough treatment, see Halliday 1994 and Quirk et al. 1985.) Another way to illustrate some of the possible arrangements of form and function in the noun phrase is presented in the table below.

Some Examples of the Noun Phrase in English

FUNCTION

Determiner

Premodifier



Head

Postmodifier

(a)

lions

E

(b)

the

young

X

(c)

the

information

age

A

(d)

each

of the children

M

(e)

some

badly needed

time

with the family

P

(f)

this

conclusion

to the story

L

(g)

all my

children

E

(h)

several

new mystery

books

which we recently enjoyed

S

(i)

such a

marvelous

data bank

filled with information

(j)

a

better

person

than I

FORMS

Pronoun

Participle

Noun

Prepositional Phrase

Article

Noun

Adjective

Relative Clause

Quantifier

Adjective Phrase

Pronoun

Nonfinite Clause

Complementation

Notice that several forms classes can be 'reused.' For example, in the noun phrase it is possible to use quantifiers to function as pre-determiners or as post-determiners. This kind of 'recycling' is known as recursion. Notice also that phrases and even whole clauses can be 'recycled' into the noun phrase. This process of placing a phrase of clause within another phrase of clause is called embedding. It is through the processes of recursion and embedding that we are able to take a finite number of forms (words and phrases) and construct an infinite number of expressions. Furthermore, embedding also allows us to construct an infinitely long structure, in theory anyway.

For example, the nursery rhyme 'The House That Jack Built' plays on the process of embedding in English noun phrases. The nursery rhyme is one sentence that continuously grows by embedding more and more relative clauses as postmodifiers in the noun phrase that ends the sentence:

This is the house that Jack built.

This is the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the mouse that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cat that scared the mouse that ate the malt hat lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the dog that chased the cat that scared the mouse that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the boy who loves the dog that chased the cat that scared the mouse that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.

And so on. In theory, we could go on forever because language relies so heavily on embedding.

Unite 2. Gerund vs.infinitiv

Gerunds and infinitives are forms of verbs that act like nouns. They can follow adjectives and other verbs. Gerunds can also follow prepositions.

A gerund (often known as an -ing word) is a noun formed from a verb by adding -ing. See also Nouns/Gerund. Not all words formed with -ing are gerunds.

An infinitive is to + the verb.

When a verb follows a verb it either takes the gerund or infinitive form.

Some verbs can take either the gerund or the infinitive with no loss of meaning.

For example:

With the verb start - 'It started to rain.' or 'It started raining.' Both sentences have the same meaning.

Sometimes the use of the gerund or infinitive changes the meaning of the sentence.

For example:

With the verb remember - 'I remembered to do my homework'. or 'I remembered doing my homework.'

In the first sentence (I remembered to do my homework), the person speaking remembered they had some homework first and then carried out the action and did it. In the second sentence (I remembered doing my homework.), the person speaking carried out the action (their homework) first and then remembered doing it.

Other verbs only take one or the other, unfortunately there is no rule as to which form the verb takes. The same is true when the verb follows an adjective.

The best way to learn their correct use is with practice - these lists may help:-

List of verbs which are normally followed by the gerund - with some examples.

List of verbs which are normally followed by the infinitive - with some examples.

List of verbs which can be followed by the gerund or infinitive - with some examples.

Gerunds after Prepositions

When a verb is used after a preposition the verb takes the -ing form.

For example:-

You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

The gerund (-ing form) must be used when a verb comes after a preposition:-



against | at | after | by | on | instead of | talk about | tired of | without

For example:

  • I am against smoking in public places.
  • She is good at speaking English.
  • I went home after leaving the party.
  • You can improve your English by using the Internet.
  • We need to keep on going.
  • You should tell the truth instead of lying all the time.
  • We can talk about going home.
  • I'm tired of hearing excuses.
  • You can't learn English without making mistakes.

Unite 3. : Conditionals

Present Real Conditional

FORM

[If / When Simple Present , Simple Present ]

[ Simple Present if / when Simple Present ]

USE

The Present Real Conditional is used to talk about what you normally do in real-life situations.

Examples:

If I go to a friend's house for dinner, I usually take a bottle of wine or some flowers.

When I have a day off from work, I often go to the beach.

If the weather is nice, she walks to work.

Jerry helps me with my homework when he has time.

I read if there is nothing on TV.

A: What do you do when it rains?
B: I stay at home.

A: Where do you stay if you go to Sydney?
B: I stay with my friends near the harbor.

IMPORTANT If / When

Both 'if' and 'when' are used in the Present Real Conditional. Using 'if' suggests that something happens less frequently. Using 'when' suggests that something happens regularly.

Examples:

When I have a day off from work, I usually go to the beach.
I regularly have days off from work.

If I have a day off from work, I usually go to the beach.
I rarely have days off from work.

Present Unreal Conditional

FORM

[If Simple Past , would + verb ]

[ would + verb if Simple Past ]

USE

The Present Unreal Conditional is used to talk about what you would generally do in imaginary situations.

Examples:

If I owned a car, I would drive to work. But I don't own a car.

She would travel around the world if she had more money. But she doesn't have much money.

I would read more if I didn't watch so much TV.

Mary would move to Japan if she spoke Japanese.

If they worked harder, they would earn more money.

A: What would you do if you won the lottery?
B: I would buy a house.

A: Where would you live if you moved to the U.S.?
B: I would live in Seattle.

EXCEPTION If I were

In the Present Unreal Conditional, the form 'was' is not considered grammatically correct. In written English or in testing situations, you should always use 'were.' However, in everyday conversation, 'was' is often used.

Examples:

If he were French, he would live in Paris.

If she were rich, she would buy a yacht.

I would play basketball if I were taller.

I would buy that computer if it were cheaper.

I would buy that computer if it was cheaper. Not Correct (But often said in conversation.)

IMPORTANT Only use 'If'

Only the word 'if' is used with the Present Unreal Conditional because you are discussing imaginary situations. 'When' cannot be used.

Examples:

I would buy that computer when it were cheaper. Not Correct

I would buy that computer if it were cheaper. Correct

EXCEPTION Conditional with Modal Verbs

There are some special conditional forms for modal verbs in English:

would + can = could

would + shall = should

would + may = might

The words 'can,' 'shall' and 'may' cannot be used with 'would.' Instead, they must be used in these special forms.

Examples:

If I went to Egypt, I would can learn Arabic. Not Correct

If I went to Egypt, I could learn Arabic. Correct

If she had time, she would may go to the party. Not Correct

If she had time, she might go to the party. Correct

The words 'could,' should,' 'might' and 'ought to' include conditional, so you cannot combine them with 'would.'

Examples:

If I had more time, I would could exercise after work. Not Correct

If I had more time, I could exercise after work. Correct

If he invited you, you really would should go. Not Correct

If he invited you, you really should go. Correct








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