A Guide to Grammar Adapted from TheMagic Lens by Michael Clay Thompson
Verbs Verbs have three functions: • They link the subject of a sentence to a description (subject complement). • They show action. • They help other verbs.
Regular vs. Irregular Verbs follow two styles or patterns. Regular verbs follow this pattern: Infinitive: to walk, to jump Present Participle: walking, jumping Past: walked, jumped Past Participle: had walked, had jumped
Regular vs. Irregular Irregular verbs do not follow the set pattern. Infinitive: to shrink, to ring Present Participle: shrinking, ringing Past: shrank, rang Past Participle: shrunk, rung
Linking Verbs Linking verbs connect a subject to a description (subject complement). Mr. Geuderis my teacher. Think of a linking verb as an equal sign.
Linking Verbs These words are sometimes used as linking verbs. feel taste look smell appear grow remain stay turn seem sound become prove
Linking Verbs The forms of TO BE can be used as linking verbs. is am are was were be being been
Linking Verbs: Be Careful! Many linking verbs can also be used to show action. Linking: This soup tastes delicious. The verb “tastes” is linking the soup to a description. Action: Jeremy tasted the soup. In this case, Jeremy is performing the action of tasting.
Linking Verbs: More Examples The water appears murky because of pollution. That sounds great! Jocelyn Jones was a fantastic poet. I am too angry to speak.
Action Verbs Thousands of words are used to show action. When a word shows an action, it is an action verb. dream run protect act instill flip goof recognize breathe empower see scoot discover identify write read think grow validate kick cogitate
Action Verbs: Transitive Transitive verbs take a direct object. In other words, these verbs are directly acting on something else. Denise threw the football. What was thrown? The football
Action Verbs: More Transitive Examples Sheila drove the car. What did she drive? Jimmy stole the pencil. What did he steal? Dante hit the ball. What did he hit?
Action Verbs: Intransitive Intransitive action verbs do not directly act on anything. They simply show an action and nothing else. The dog barked loudly. The barking is not directly acting on anything.
Practice Identify the nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs in this sentence. Jillian jumped at the opportunity to sing at the talent show.
Action Verbs: More Intransitive Examples I jumped up and down. Jorge sat down. Amelia sneezed violently.
Practice: Answers Identify the nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs in this sentence. Jillianjumped at theopportunityto sing noun verb adj noun verb at thetalentshow. adjadj noun
Practice: Answers Jillian: noun jumped: verb the: adjective opportunity: noun to sing: verb the: adjective talent: adjective show: noun
Verb Tense Verbs are super cool because they indicate WHEN an action took place, or WHEN a subject is being linked to its description.
The Six Main Verb Tenses • Simple Present:They walk. • Present Perfect:They have walked. • Simple Past:They walked. • Past Perfect:They had walked. • Future:They will walk. • Future Perfect:They will have walked.
Perfect Tense Explained We use the perfect tense to describe when things have been completed. • Present Perfect: happened in the past and may lead up to the present; used often when time is unspecified I have traveled to St. Louis eight times. • Past Perfect: finished in the past; helps to order events I had traveled to St. Louis before moving on to Wichita. • Future Perfect: will be finished at a specific time in the future I will have traveled to St. Louis by next February.
Progressive Tense The progressive tense uses the -ing form of a verb. Sometimes the progressive tense is called continuous. Present Progressive: Describes a current, ongoing action. I am reading the book. Past Progressive: Describes what was happening over a period of time, but indicates that the activity is interrupted. I was reading the book.
Amazing Fact There are as many as 30 other verb tenses! Our understanding of the world is so nuanced that it requires a huge number of tenses to describe what we perceive. Don’t worry! In English, we really only conjugate for present and past tense. For the other tenses, we use helping verbs.
How about this tense? Present Perfect Progressive Indicates an action that started in the past, is currently ongoing, and may even continue into the future. Charlie has been reading for the past two hours.
Verbs: Singular and Plural Verbs must agree with their noun/pronoun. Correct () or Incorrect (X)? 1. He sit in his chair. 2. They shouts at the top their lungs. 3. None of you is going to the concert tonight. X X
Verbs: Singular and Plural • Singular verbs go with singular nouns and pronouns. Generally, singular verbs in the present tense end in “s.” Weird, right? • Plural verbs go with plural nouns and pronouns. Generally, present tense plural verbs do not end in “s.” • Be careful: Just like so many other parts of grammar, there are exceptions to the “s” rule.
Verbs: Singular – With an “S” The boyruns down the street. Mrs. Garvey needs a hand with the groceries. The carrot grows very rapidly. Shecelebrates every time Alshon Jeffery scores a touchdown. Gemmais the cutest kid ever. Subjects are italicized.
Verbs: Plural – Without an “S” The boysplay in the yard. The Garveysneed help shoveling the driveway. Potatoesgrow very slowly. Theycelebrate every time that the Bearsscore a touchdown. The twinsare the cutest kids ever.
The “S” Exception Hepossesses a powerful way of speaking. Theypossess a powerful way of speaking. In this case, the verb “possess” already ends in an “s,” so it throws off the typical pattern.
Gerunds: Making Nouns out of Verbs Sometimes, we add the –ing ending to verbs in order to transform them into nouns. Once you talk about the action as an idea, it ceases to be a verb. I really like swimming. Reading is my favorite weekend activity. Isn’t skiing awesome?
Verbs: Checklist • Is the verb regular or irregular? • Is the verb singular or plural? • Is the verb past, present, or future tense? • Is the verb a linking, helping, or action verb? Note: If it is not linking or helping, the verb must be an action verb, no matter how strange it seems. • Only if the verb is an action verb, is it transitive or instransitive?
Practice: Verbs Identify and label the verbs in this sentence. David dove, caught the baseball, and then threw it to the first baseman who dropped it.
Practice: Verbs Identify and label the verbs in this sentence. dove: verb, irregular, singular, past, action, intransitive caught: verb, irregular, singular, past, action, transitive threw: verb, irregular, singular, past, action, transitive dropped: verb, regular, singular, past, action, transitive