Oral English . . . English Writing

Verb Forms

http:// www3.agu.ac.jp / ~jeffreyb / SVO / verb.html
[ Japanese version ]

        There are five or six verb forms that students often use: the infinitive (to “®), the present participle (“®ing), the future (“®), the present (“®s), the past (“®ed), and the past participle (“®en). Here's how to use them correctly.

•s’莌 ito+Œ´Œ`j

        You can use an infinite to link two verbs together. The second verb is put in the infinitive form. The first verb is put into the proper tense (past, progressive, perfect, etc).

SVerb O/C+A
Hirotried to catchthe 4:30 bus. 
Hewants to finishhis homeworkby 10:15pm.
Tomomistarted to playguitar4 years ago.
Shecontinued to speakEnglishfor an hour.

Œ»Ý•ªŽŒ=“®–¼ŽŒ iŒ´Œ`ingj

        The -ing form of a verb can be used in two ways. Like an infinitive it can be used to link two verbs together. The second verb is put in -ing form. The first verb determines which of the two verb forms--an infinitive or the -ing form--is used to link them. Only a few verbs (in the intial position) can be linked using either form. So be careful which one you use.

        A second way to use -ing verbs is to make the progressive tense. Then they are combined with a "be" modal (•“®ŽŒ). Since the modal is often contracted it may be very hard to hear it clearly.

SVerb O/C+A
Studentscontinued talking  even after the bell.
Kanastopped talking  to her friend Yumi
after their big fight.
 like  
SVerb O/C+A
The sun was shining   brightly yesterday.
    
    

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Œ»ÝŒ`iŒ´Œ` (s))

        Present tense verbs are not used for actions in the present moment, but rather for repeated actions and continuous states that include the present. For actions in the present moment, present progressive verbs are used (see above). A present tense verb looks and sounds the same as the plain (dictionary) form of the verb, except when the subject is in the third person singular (he, she , and it). Then there must be an -s at the end of the verb. If the subject is pleural then an -s goes at the end of the noun. So in the present tense, only the subjects "I, we, you" do not have an -s attached to either the subject or the verb.

SVerb O/C+A
Our teacherridesthe bus from Fujigaoka.
Werideit,too.
My fathertakesmedicine for his blood pressure.
    

‰ß‹ŽŒ`iŒ´Œ`edj

        In daily conversation we most often talk about things that have already happened. In that case you should use the past tense. The general rule, which covers the vast majority of verbs, is to add -ed to form the past, but it is often pronounced without the vowel sound as /t/ or /d/ rather than /ed/. And many of the most commonly used verbs have irregular forms.

        Simple past and present tense verbs do not use modals in affirmative sentences (except for extreme emphasis), but they need modals in negative sentences and questions--the "do" modal (•“®ŽŒ).

SVerb O/C+A
Takaplayedsocceron Monday.
Hedidn't play on Tuesday.
Did heplay on Friday?

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Œ»Ý ‰ß‹Ž Š®—¹
playplayedhave played
writewrotehave written
speakspokehave spoken
gowenthave gone
dodidhave done
am, is, arewas, werehave been
havehadhave had
readreadhave read
understandunderstoodhave understood
thinkthoughthave thought
singsanghave sung

‰ß‹Ž•ªŽŒiŒ´Œ`ed/en)

        The past participle (often -en form of a verb, but usually -ed like the past tense) can be used in two ways. Combined with a "have" modal (•“®ŽŒ), it forms the perfect tense. You should NOT use the perfect very often, however, only when you really need it. Below you can see some phrases that use the perfect tense. Even if the phrases are omitted, if you want one of those meanings incorporated into your sentence, then you should use perfect tense.

        Combined with a "be" modal (•“®ŽŒ), the past participle puts sentences into the passive voice. Again it shouldn't be overused, and you must be careful about the subject and object in a passive sentence. The subject must come from the object in the related active (SVO) sentence, and, for that reason, it is impossible for a passive sentence to have an object.

SVerb O/C+A
The rainhas just stopped.   
Nahohad already finishedher workout when we got to the gym.
Midorihas not takenher medicine yet.
Bobhas hada cold since last Thursday.
Momokohas been waiting  to see the doctor
for more than 2 hours..
The Dragonshave beatenthe Giants three times in a row.
Hidenorihas never gone  to Europe.
SVerb O/C+A
Genji Monogatariwas written  more than 1,000 years ago.
Most nutrientsare absorbed  in the small intestine.

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Every sentence has a verb phrase. It's the heart of the sentence.
name form functions examples
Infinitive
(•s’莌)
V . . . to V joins
two verbs
Hiro tried to catch the 4:30 bus.
Present participle
(Œ»Ý•ªŽŒ)
V . . . V-ing
be . . . V-ing
joins
two verbs
progressive
(isŒ`)
Students continued talking
even after the bell.
The sun was shining brightly
for last week's tournament.
Future tense
(–¢—ˆŒ`)
be ... going to V
will ... V
informal
formal
Yukihiro is going to work for Toyota.
He will start right after graduation.
Present tense
(Œ»ÝŒ`)
.
V-s
V
3rd person
singular
plural
Our teacher rides the bus
from Fujigaoka.
We ride it, too.
Past tense
(‰ß‹ŽŒ`)
V-ed
did not . . . V
Did . . . V
affirmative
negative
question
Taka played soccer on Monday.
He didn't play on Tuesday.
Did he play on Friday?
Past participle
(‰ß‹Ž•ªŽŒ)
have . . . V-en (d)
be . . . V-en (d)
perfect
(Š®—¹Œ`)
passive
(ŽógŒ`)
I have just written a letter
to my friend Momo.
Tales of Genji was written
more than 1,000 years ago.

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Sample sentences about British history.
name form functions examples
Infinitive
(•s’莌)
V . . . to V joins
two verbs
The army pretended to flee
from the battlefield in panic.
Henry VIII wanted to divorce
his wife Catherine.
Present participle
(Œ»Ý•ªŽŒ)
V . . . V-ing
be . . . V-ing
joins
two verbs
progressive
(isŒ`)
James IV of Scotland
tried attacking while ...
... his his wife's father
was fighting in France.
Present tense
(Œ»ÝŒ`)
.
V-s
V
3rd person
singular
plural
Almost every student knows
of Elizabeth I and her father.
Very few know of her brother.
Past tense
(‰ß‹ŽŒ`)
V-ed
did not . . . V
Did . . . V
affirmative
negative
question
Guillaume defeated Harold.
Edward didn't name an heir.
Did Cromwell's army win?
Past participle
(‰ß‹Ž•ªŽŒ)
be . . . V-en (d)
have . . . V-en (d)
passive
(ŽógŒ`)
perfect
(Š®—¹Œ`)
Charles I was executed
in the Tower of London.
No country has conquered
England since William I.

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Sample sentences about medicine.
name form functions examples
Infinitive
(•s’莌)
V . . . to V joins
two verbs
Taka continued to cough for two weeks.
Rie started to undergo chemotherapy on Friday.
Present participle
(Œ»Ý•ªŽŒ)
V . . . V-ing
be . . . V-ing
joins
two verbs
progressive
(isŒ`)
You should stop taking Mucodine tablets
if you experience any adverse side-effects.
The strep infection is spreading
into your bronchial tubes.
Present tense
(Œ»ÝŒ`)
.
V-s
V
3rd person
singular
plural
Dr. Hibino watches Ainori
every Monday night.
We watch it, too.
Past tense
(‰ß‹ŽŒ`)
V-ed
did not . . . V
Did . . . V
affirmative
negative
question
Dr. Hibino prescribed tetracycline.
He didn't prescribe aspirin.
Did he explain how to take the medicine?
Past participle
(‰ß‹Ž•ªŽŒ)
have . . . V-en (d)
be . . . V-en (d)
perfect
(Š®—¹Œ`)
passive
(ŽógŒ`)
This cancer patient has been
unconscious for 2 weeks.
Tales of Genji was written
more than 1,000 years ago.


Last updated June 2010
Copyright (C) 2010 by Jeff Blair
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