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Dr. Linda Bergmann, Professor of English, Purdue Brought to you in cooperation with the Purdue Online Writing Lab Verb Use for ESL Writers.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Linda Bergmann, Professor of English, Purdue Brought to you in cooperation with the Purdue Online Writing Lab Verb Use for ESL Writers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Linda Bergmann, Professor of English, Purdue Brought to you in cooperation with the Purdue Online Writing Lab Verb Use for ESL Writers

2 Review from last session… …English is an S-V-O language. Sentences that have a subject – verb - object order are more readable than those that don’t.

3 Verbs are central to English Correct verb usage will go a long way toward correcting sentence structure. There are three basic tenses in the English language: Past Present Future

4 Past Tense Verbs in the past tense describe things that are done and over with. He analyzed the data. They analyzed the data. I analyzed the data. Notice how verbs in the past tense add an -ed regardless of the agent (subject). Many verbs take on an -ed in the past tense. However, some verbs are irregular in the past tense. ‘Take(s)’, for example, becomes ‘took’ in the past tense. ‘Go’ becomes ‘went’. ‘Become(s)’ becomes ‘became’.

5 Present Tense The compound stabilizes after cooling for 48 hours. Notice that in both of these cases, the present tense is used to describe something that is always true. Generally, verbs in the present tense describe things that are stable and unchanging or that happen regularly. Often, scientists use the present tense when they generalize at the end of scientific reports. The ternary mixture improves pavement stability.

6 Present Tense He analyzes. They analyze. I analyze. Notice the difference between the way the verb conjugates when ‘he,’ ‘they,’ and ‘I’ are in the agent slot. Whenever the agent (subject) is a single thing (but not ‘I’ or ‘you’) doing something in the present tense, put an ‘s’ at the end of the verb.

7 Future Tense He will analyze the data. They will analyze the data. I will analyze the data. Generally, the future tense is used to describe things that are expected to happen. Notice that the future tense uses ‘will’, a helping verb. This helping verb never changes form.

8 Helping Verbs The “will” from the previous example is a helping verb. Helping verbs modify a verb in mood or tense. Example: Xiao takes a vacation once a year. (s) (v) (o) Xiao will take a vacation. (s) (h.v.) (v) (o) Helping verbs include: can, could, may, might, must, shall, will, would, ought, had better, ought to, would rather, have to, have got to, be supposed to, be able to, used to

9 Helping Verb Rules Xiao takes a vacation once a year. (s) (v) (o) Xiao will take a vacation. (s) (h.v.) (v) (o) Rule One: Helping verbs always go before the verb!

10 Helping Verb Rules Xiao takes a vacation once a year. (s) (v) (o) Xiao will take a vacation. (s) (h.v.) (v) (o) Rule Two: The primary verb will always look like it’s in the present tense.

11 Practice Examples Convert the following present tense sentences into the future tense: 1) Our results indicate that the modified drying procedure produces the best results. 2) Without the spare time to complete the models, the work is worthless. 3) The paperwork places excessive demands on the participants’ time. 4)The results never come back this quickly.

12 Practice Answers When would you use this tense in a technical report? 1) Our results indicate that the modified drying procedure will produce the best results. 2) Without the spare time to complete the models, the work will be worthless. 3) The paperwork will place excessive demands on the participants’ time. 4) The results will never come back this quickly.

13 Practice Examples Convert the following past tense sentences into the present tense: 5) All but one of the ternary mixtures obtained a durability factor (DF) higher than the minimum 60% value used in ASTM C 666 to terminate the freeze-thaw test. 6)Similar to flexural strength data, the paste and fly ash content were found to be statistically significant variables affecting freezing and thawing of the ternary mixtures.

14 Practice Answers When would you use this tense in a technical report? 5) All but one of the ternary mixtures obtain durability factor (DF) higher than the minimum 60% value used in ASTM C 666 to terminate the freeze-thaw test. 6)Similar to flexural strength data, the paste and fly ash content are found to be statistically significant variables affecting freezing and thawing of the ternary mixtures.

15 Practice Examples Convert the following past tense sentences into the future tense: 7) The magnitude of free drying shrinkage (monitored up to 224 days) was also found to be primarily the function of paste content. 8) However, the shrinkage of ternary mixtures was significantly lower than that of control mixtures, which clearly demonstrates the benefit of using supplementary cementitious materials.

16 Practice Answers When would you use this tense in a technical report? 7) The magnitude of free drying shrinkage (monitored up to 224 days) will also be found to be primarily the function of paste content. 8) However, the shrinkage of ternary mixtures will be significantly lower than that of control mixtures, which clearly demonstrates the benefit of using supplementary cementitious materials.

17 The End Adapted by Joshua Prenosil and Linda Bergmann from The Thomson Handbook by David Blakesley and Jeffrey L. Hoogeveen Brought to you in cooperation with the Purdue Online Writing Lab

18 For More Information Contact the Purdue Writing Lab: Location: Heavilon 226 Call: On the web:


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