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1 Reproduced by kind permission of Erik Smitterberg (PhD, Docent), Department of English, Uppsala University A-level Grammar 4: Verbs and Verb Phrases.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Reproduced by kind permission of Erik Smitterberg (PhD, Docent), Department of English, Uppsala University A-level Grammar 4: Verbs and Verb Phrases."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Reproduced by kind permission of Erik Smitterberg (PhD, Docent), Department of English, Uppsala University A-level Grammar 4: Verbs and Verb Phrases I

2 Finite Verb Forms I Finite verb forms express tense (present vs. past), number (singular vs. plural), person (1st, 2nd, 3rd), and/or mood (indicative, imperative, subjunctive) –Tense: He pays my bills (present) vs. He paid my bills (past) –Number and person: She pays my bills (3rd person singular) vs. They pay my bills (not 3rd person singular) –Mood: She pays my bills (indicative) vs. I demand that she pay my bills (subjunctive) vs. Pay my bills! (imperative) 2

3 Finite Verb Forms II The present indicative: –We play tennis –He plays tennis The present subjunctive: –It is crucial that he play well today The imperative: –Play tennis! The past indicative: –We/He played tennis The past subjunctive: –He gave orders as if he were the boss 3

4 Nonfinite Verb Forms I Unlike finite verb forms, nonfinite verb forms do not express tense, number, person, or mood –We can play the violin –She could play the violin –I am mowing the lawn –He is mowing the lawn –Playing football is my favourite hobby –Playing football was my favourite hobby 4

5 Nonfinite Verb Forms II The infinitive: –I started to read when the light came on –I will read the paper on the train The present participle or -ing form: –I was reading the paper when you arrived –I love reading a good book The past participle: –I have read dozens of books this year –This book will be read by millions of people 5

6 Finite and Nonfinite Forms That Often Look Identical The past tense and the past participle of all regular verbs and some irregular verbs: –I played tennis in 2009 –I have played tennis for five years The present indicative (except the 3rd person singular in -(e)s), the present subjunctive, the imperative, and the infinitive of all verbs except modals and be: –We often play tennis –I demanded that she play better –Play better! –We would play tennis if we could 6

7 Finite Verb Phrases 7 The first verb form is finite In a finite verb phrase: Any other verb forms are non-finite present indicative past participle present participle present indicative past participle infinitive past indicative I play tennis I have been playing tennis This should have been done already

8 Nonfinite Verb Phrases A nonfinite verb phrase does not contain a finite verb form 8 Playing tennis is great fun Having been booed off stage, the actor quit his job present participle past participle present participle

9 Main Verbs and Auxiliaries Verbs Main verbs IntransitiveTransitive Linking verbs AuxiliariesPrimaryModal 9

10 Auxiliaries 10 modal: modal auxiliary + infinitive perfect: have + past participle progressive: be + present participle passive: be + past participle There are five possible combinations of an auxiliary and another verb form in English: do-support: do + infinitive I will mow the lawn I have mowed the lawn I am mowing the lawn The lawn was mowed by me Did you mow the lawn? The other verb form may be a main verb (see the above examples) or another auxiliary (see next slide) Do-support is never used if there are other auxiliaries

11 The Order of Auxiliaries: Modal, Perfect, Progressive, Passive 11 This pasta should have been cooked by you modal: modal auxiliary + infinitive passive: be + past participle perfect: have + past participle Someone must have been eating my potato crisps modal: modal auxiliary + infinitive perfect: have + past participle progressive: be + present participle

12 Finite Verb Forms and the Order of Auxiliaries 12 The same verb phrase can never contain more than one finite verb form Any auxiliaries must appear in the correct order Each auxiliary + verb combination can only occur once in a verb phrase *I should had left already I should have left already past indicative; modal aux. past indicative? past participle?; perfect aux. past participle; main verb infinitive; perfect aux. past indicative; modal aux. ×

13 Do-support Auxiliary do is used to form questions and negations, and for emphasis, when there there is no other auxiliary: 13 The police caught the thief Did the police catch the thief? past indicative main verb infinitive main verb past indicative auxiliary do Exceptions: The main verb be except in the imperative Wh-questions where the wh-word is the subject I am not happy with my performance Who | took | the money? Dont be shy! SVOd

14 Modal Auxiliaries Corresponding to Swedish Skulle 14 The word normally corresponding to skulle is would, not should (which often corresponds to bör and borde) Exceptions: –Should kan be used instead of would with 1st-person subjects in BrE: If I knew that I would/should tell you –Should expresses low probability in if-clauses (händelsevis skulle): If you should miss the bus, please take a taxi –Should + infinitive is an alternative to the mandative subjunctive (mostly in BrE): I demanded that he (should) pay for my meal

15 The Mandative Subjunctive 15 = The present subjunctive when it occurs in that-clauses after triggering expressions that involve suggestions, demands, desires, etc. (see UGE ) Identical with the base (infinitive) form of the verb The tense does not change in the that-clause I demanded that he pay for the window It is crucial that they be here tomorrow In BrE, should + infinitive is an alternative I demanded that he should pay for the window It is crucial that they should be here tomorrow

16 Further Reading Compendium: –Unit 4, Verbs and Verb Phrases I A University Grammar of English (UGE): –Chapter 5, sections ; 5.6


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