[TUTORIAL] All About Grammars & Tenses Part2 - Al-Muhibbin Indonesia

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Selasa, 21 September 2010

[TUTORIAL] All About Grammars & Tenses Part2

Verbs

English has three kinds of Verbs: transitive, intransitive, and incomplete.

1. Transitive Verbs
A verb is transitive when the action is carried across to a receiver:

The farmer grows potatoes. Elvis sang ballads.

The receiver is called the direct object. It answers the question “What?” or “Whom? after the verb. Grows what? Potatoes. Sang what? Ballads.


2. Intransitive Verbs
A verb is intransitive when the action stays with the verb. It is not carried across to a receiver:

Corn grows. Elvis sang.
Adding a prepositional phrase to modify the verb does not change the fact that the action remains with the subject:
Corn grows in the fields. Elvis sang all over the world.

Both transitive and intransitive verbs are action verbs.

3. Incomplete Verbs
There are three types of incomplete verbs:

i. being verbs – also called linking or copulative verbs
to be, seem, become, taste, smell, sound, feel

Tip: Some of these verbs can also be used transitively. If in doubt, substitute a form of to be for the verb. If the sentence still makes sense, the verb is being used as a copulative verb:

He feels depressed. He is depressed.
He feels the wall. He is the wall.

ii. auxiliary verbs – also called helping verbs
be, have, shall, will, do, and may.
He could have gone earlier.

iii. semi-auxiliary verbs
must, can, ought, dare, need.
You must not go. You dare not go. 



Verbs Voice

English verbs are said to have two voices: active and passive.

Active Voice: the subject of the sentence performs the action:

His son catches fly balls. Creative children often dream in class.

Note: Verbs in the active voice may be either transitive or intransitive.

Passive Voice: the subject receives the action:

The ball was caught by the first baseman.
The duty is performed by the new recruits.
The dough was beaten by the mixer.
The mailman was bitten by the dog.

Only transitive verbs can be used in the passive voice. What would be the direct object of the verb in the active voice becomes the subject of the verb in the passive voice:

Active voice: The dog bit the mailman. “bit” is a transitive verb. The receiver/direct object is “mailman.”

Passive voice: The mailman was bitten by the dog. “bit” is now in the passive voice. The “receiver” has become the subject of the verb.

A passive verb in either present or past tense will always have two parts: some form of the verb to be (am, is, are, was, were), and a past participle (verb form ending in -ed, -en, or any form used with have when forming a perfect tense).

Note: The mere presence of the verb to be does not indicate that a verb is in the passive voice. The test of a verb in the passive voice is the two-part question:

Is the subject performing the action of the verb or is the subject receiving the action of the verb?

If the subject is receiving the action, then the verb is in passive voice.

Sometimes the passive voice is the best way to express a thought. Used carelessly, however, passive voice can produce a ponderous, inexact writing style.


Verbs Mood

English verbs have four moods: indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and infinitive.

Mood is the form of the verb that shows the mode or manner in which a thought is expressed.

1. Indicative Mood: expresses an assertion, denial, or question:

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas.
Ostriches cannot fly.
Have you finished your homework?

2. Imperative Mood: expresses command, prohibition, entreaty, or advice:

Don’t smoke in this building.
Be careful!
Don’t drown that puppy!

3. Subjunctive Mood: expresses doubt or something contrary to fact.

Modern English speakers use indicative mood most of the time, resorting to a kind of “mixed subjunctive” that makes use of helping verbs:

If I should see him, I will tell him.

Americans are more likely to say:

If I see him, I will tell him.

The verb may can be used to express a wish:

May you have many more birthdays.
May you live long and prosper.

The verb were can also indicate the use of the subjunctive:

If I were you, I wouldn’t keep driving on those tires.
If he were governor, we’d be in better fiscal shape.

4. Infinitive Mood: expresses an action or state without reference to any subject. It can be the source of sentence fragments when the writer mistakenly thinks the infinitive form is a fully-functioning verb.

When we speak of the English infinitive, we usually mean the basic form of the verb with “to” in front of it: to go, to sing, to walk, to speak.

Verbs said to be in the infinitive mood can include participle forms ending in -ed and -ing. Verbs in the infinitive mood are not being used as verbs, but as other parts of speech:

To err is human; to forgive, divine. Here, to err and to forgive are used as nouns.

He is a man to be admired. Here, to be admired is an adjective, the equivalent of admirable. It describes the noun man.

He came to see you. Here, to see you is used as an adverb to tell why he came. 


Verbs Tense

Modern English has six tenses, each of which has a corresponding continuous tense.

The first three tenses, present, past, and future, present few problems. Only third person singular in the present tense differs in form:

Present tense of regular (weak) verbs:

Today I walk. Today he walks.

Yesterday I walked.

Tomorrow I shall/will walk.

The dwindling class of irregular (strong) verbs must be learned individually.

Today I go. Today he goes.

Yesterday I went.

Tomorrow I shall/will go.

The other three tenses, perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect, are formed with the helping verbs have, has, and had.

perfect: used to express an event that has just finished, and to describe an event which, although in the past, has effects that continue into the present.

Queen Elizabeth has reigned for 56 years.

pluperfect (past perfect): used to express an event that took place before another action, also in the past.

I had driven all the way to Oklahoma when I realized my mistake.

future perfect: used to express an event that will have taken place at some time in the future.

As of February 26, I shall have been in this job six years.

For complete conjugation tables of weak and strong English verbs, see the Wikipedia article.


Adverbs

Adverbs are used to describe or modify a verb, adjective, clause, or another adverb. Basically, they modify everything except nouns and pronouns (which are modified by adjectives).

Example of an adverb modifying a verb: He was running fast. (fast modifies running)

Example of an adverb modifying an adjective: She took a very small piece of the cake. (very modifies small)

Example of an adverb modifying a sentence: Strangely, the man left the room. (strangely modifies the whole sentence)

Usually adverbs answer to the questions “When?” (adverbs of time), “Where?” (adverbs of place), and “How?” (adverbs of manner).

Adverbs can also be used to connect clauses and sentences (in this case they are called conjunctive adverbs).

For example: It was dark. Therefore, we needed the torch. (therefore connects the two sentences)



Prepositions

Prepositions are used to link nouns and pronouns to other words within a sentence. The words linked to are called objects.

Usually prepositions show a spatial or temporal relationship between the noun and the object, like in the example below:

The cat is under the table.

Cat is the noun. Under is the preposition. Table is the object.

Here is a list with the most common prepositions: about, above, after, among, around, along, at, before, behind, beneath, beside, between, by, down, from, in, into, like, near, of, off, on, out, over, through, to, up, upon, under, and with.

Notice that you can also have a prepositional phrase, which is formed by the preposition and its object. A preposition phrase can function as adverb, adjective or noun. For example:

The dog was running under the rain.

The prepositional phrase “under the rain” acts as an adverb, specifying where the dog was running.