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Another indefinite or impersonal pronoun is one with its reflexive form oneself and possessive one's , which is a more formal alternative to generic you. Most verbs have three or four inflected forms in addition to the base form: a third-person singular present tense form in - e s writes, botches , a present participle and gerund form in -ing writing , a past tense wrote , and — though often identical to the past tense form — a past participle written.
Regular verbs have identical past tense and past participle forms in -ed, but there are or so irregular English verbs with different forms see list. The verb be has the largest number of irregular forms am, is, are in the present tense, was, were in the past tense, been for the past participle. Most of what are often referred to as verb tenses or sometimes aspects in English are formed using auxiliary verbs. The auxiliaries shall and should sometimes replace will and would in the first person.
For the uses of these various verb forms, see English verbs and English clause syntax. The basic form of the verb be, write, play is used as the infinitive , although there is also a "to-infinitive" to be, to write, to play used in many syntactical constructions. There are also infinitives corresponding to other aspects: to have written, to be writing, to have been writing.
The second-person imperative is identical to the basic infinitive; other imperative forms may be made with let let us go, or let's go; let them eat cake.
A form identical to the infinitive can be used as a present subjunctive in certain contexts: It is important that he follow them or There is also a past subjunctive distinct from the simple past only in the possible use of were instead of was , used in some conditional sentences and similar: if I were or was rich For details see English subjunctive.
The passive voice is formed using the verb be in the appropriate tense or form with the past participle of the verb in question: cars are driven, he was killed, I am being tickled, it is nice to be pampered, etc. The performer of the action may be introduced in a prepositional phrase with by as in they were killed by the invaders. The English modal verbs consist of the core modals can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would, as well as ought to , had better, and in some uses dare and need.
The modals are used with the basic infinitive form of a verb I can swim, he may be killed, we dare not move, need they go? The copula be, along with the modal verbs and the other auxiliaries , form a distinct class, sometimes called " special verbs " or simply "auxiliaries".
I could not Apart from those already mentioned, this class may also include used to although the forms did he use to? It also includes the auxiliary do does, did ; this is used with the basic infinitive of other verbs those not belonging to the "special verbs" class to make their question and negation forms, as well as emphatic forms do I like you?
For more details of this, see do-support. Some forms of the copula and auxiliaries often appear as contractions , as in I'm for I am, you'd for you would or you had, and John's for John is. For detail see English auxiliaries and contractions. Phrases[ edit ] A verb together with its dependents, excluding its subject , may be identified as a verb phrase although this concept is not acknowledged in all theories of grammar .
A verb phrase headed by a finite verb may also be called a predicate. The dependents may be objects , complements, and modifiers adverbs or adverbial phrases. In English, objects and complements nearly always come after the verb; a direct object precedes other complements such as prepositional phrases, but if there is an indirect object as well, expressed without a preposition, then that precedes the direct object: give me the book, but give the book to me. Certain verb—modifier combinations, particularly when they have independent meaning such as take on and get up , are known as " phrasal verbs ".
For details of possible patterns, see English clause syntax. See the Non-finite clauses section of that article for verb phrases headed by non-finite verb forms, such as infinitives and participles.
Adjectives[ edit ] English adjectives , as with other word classes, cannot in general be identified as such by their form,  although many of them are formed from nouns or other words by the addition of a suffix, such as -al habitual , -ful blissful , -ic atomic , -ish impish, youngish , -ous hazardous , etc.
Adjectives may be used attributively , as part of a noun phrase nearly always preceding the noun they modify; for exceptions see postpositive adjective , as in the big house, or predicatively , as in the house is big.
Certain adjectives are restricted to one or other use; for example, drunken is attributive a drunken sailor , while drunk is usually predicative the sailor was drunk. Comparison[ edit ] Many adjectives have comparative and superlative forms in -er and -est,  such as faster and fastest from the positive form fast.
Spelling rules which maintain pronunciation apply to suffixing adjectives just as they do for similar treatment of regular past tense formation ; these cover consonant doubling as in bigger and biggest, from big and the change of y to i after consonants as in happier and happiest, from happy.
The adjectives good and bad have the irregular forms better, best and worse, worst; also far becomes farther, farthest or further, furthest. The adjective old for which the regular older and oldest are usual also has the irregular forms elder and eldest, these generally being restricted to use in comparing siblings and in certain independent uses.
For the comparison of adverbs, see Adverbs below. Many adjectives, however, particularly those that are longer and less common, do not have inflected comparative and superlative forms. Instead, they can be qualified with more and most, as in beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful this construction is also sometimes used even for adjectives for which inflected forms do exist.
Certain adjectives are classed as ungradable. Consequently, comparative and superlative forms of such adjectives are not normally used, except in a figurative, humorous or imprecise context. Similarly, such adjectives are not normally qualified with modifiers of degree such as very and fairly, although with some of them it is idiomatic to use adverbs such as completely.
Another type of adjectives sometimes considered ungradable is those that represent an extreme degree of some property, such as delicious and terrified. Phrases[ edit ] An adjective phrase is a group of words that plays the role of an adjective in a sentence. It usually has a single adjective as its head , to which modifiers and complements may be added. Some can also be preceded by a noun or quantitative phrase, as in fat-free, two-metre-long. Complements following the adjective may include: prepositional phrases : proud of him, angry at the screen, keen on breeding toads; infinitive phrases: anxious to solve the problem, easy to pick up; content clauses , i.
An adjective phrase may include both modifiers before the adjective and a complement after it, as in very difficult to put away. Adjective phrases containing complements after the adjective cannot normally be used as attributive adjectives before a noun. Exceptions include very brief and often established phrases such as easy-to-use.
Certain complements can be moved to after the noun, leaving the adjective before the noun, as in a better man than you, a hard nut to crack. Certain attributive adjective phrases are formed from other parts of speech, without any adjective as their head, as in a two-bedroom house, a no-jeans policy. Adverbs[ edit ] Adverbs perform a wide range of functions. They typically modify verbs or verb phrases , adjectives or adjectival phrases , or other adverbs or adverbial phrases. Certain words can be used as both adjectives and adverbs, such as fast, straight, and hard; these are flat adverbs.
In earlier usage more flat adverbs were accepted in formal usage; many of these survive in idioms and colloquially. That's just plain ugly.
Some adjectives can also be used as flat adverbs when they actually describe the subject. The adverb corresponding to the adjective good is well note that bad forms the regular badly, although ill is occasionally used in some phrases. There are also many adverbs that are not derived from adjectives,  including adverbs of time, of frequency, of place, of degree and with other meanings.
Some suffixes that are commonly used to form adverbs from nouns are -ward[s] as in homeward[s] and -wise as in lengthwise.
Most adverbs form comparatives and superlatives by modification with more and most: often, more often, most often; smoothly, more smoothly, most smoothly see also comparison of adjectives , above. However, a few adverbs retain irregular inflection for comparative and superlative forms:  much, more, most; a little, less, least; well, better, best; badly, worse, worst; far, further farther , furthest farthest ; or follow the regular adjectival inflection: fast, faster, fastest; soon, sooner, soonest; etc.
Adverbs indicating the manner of an action are generally placed after the verb and its objects We considered the proposal carefully , although other positions are often possible We carefully considered the proposal. Many adverbs of frequency, degree, certainty, etc. Adverbs that provide a connection with previous information such as next, then, however , and those that provide the context such as time or place for a sentence, are typically placed at the start of the sentence: Yesterday we went on a shopping expedition.
If such a verb also has an object, then the particle may precede or follow the object, although it will normally follow the object if the object is a pronoun pick the pen up or pick up the pen, but pick it up. Phrases[ edit ] An adverb phrase is a phrase that acts as an adverb within a sentence. For example: very sleepily; all too suddenly; oddly enough; perhaps shockingly for us.
Another very common type of adverb phrase is the prepositional phrase , which consists of a preposition and its object: in the pool; after two years; for the sake of harmony. Prepositions[ edit ] Prepositions form a closed word class,  although there are also certain phrases that serve as prepositions, such as in front of. A single preposition may have a variety of meanings, often including temporal, spatial and abstract. Many words that are prepositions can also serve as adverbs.
Examples of common English prepositions including phrasal instances are of, in, on, over, under, to, from, with, in front of, behind, opposite, by, before, after, during, through, in spite of or despite, between, among, etc.
A preposition is usually used with a noun phrase as its complement. A preposition together with its complement is called a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase can be used as a complement or post-modifier of a noun in a noun phrase, as in the man in the car, the start of the fight; as a complement of a verb or adjective, as in deal with the problem, proud of oneself; or generally as an adverb phrase see above.
English allows the use of "stranded" prepositions. This can occur in interrogative and relative clauses , where the interrogative or relative pronoun that is the preposition's complement is moved to the start fronted , leaving the preposition in place. This kind of structure is avoided in some kinds of formal English. For example: What are you talking about?
Possible alternative version: About what are you talking? The song that you were listening to Notice that in the second example the relative pronoun that could be omitted. Stranded prepositions can also arise in passive voice constructions and other uses of passive past participial phrases , where the complement in a prepositional phrase can become zero in the same way that a verb's direct object would: it was looked at; I will be operated on; get your teeth seen to.
I like school. Holidays cost a lot of money. I'm liking school much better now. This trip is costing me a lot of money. Sometimes we can use either the simple or the continuous with no difference in meaning.
You look well, OR You're looking well. We feel a bit sad.
OR We're feeling a bit sad. He's telling people about himself. Say which verbs express states and which express actions. I drive a taxi in the daytime I own two cars. I go to lots of parties. I love football.
Choose the correct form of the verb. Emma: Hi, Matthew. Matthew: Oh, hi. These are photos of me when I was a child. Emma: Oh, look at this one. Emma: Look at this. Why such a big coat? Matthew: It was my brother's. Emma: Oh, that's nice. Matthew: And I caught this fish, look. Emma: What a nice little boy! And what a sentimental old thing you are now! Daniel is doing some of the work. He s being very helpful at the moment. I 'm tired.
I want to go home. They don't usually behave so well. She's done no work at all today. Choose from these sentences. And I've still got a chance to win. I've never wanted to change it. It uses so much petrol. It's too expensive to download. I play it every weekend. Then look at the answers below and write the correct answer in each space. Amy: I can't see Michelle. Lisa: You l …………………………… looking in the right place.
She's over there. Amy: Oh, that's Adrian. He's new here. Lisa: Really? Where 2 …………………. Amy: No, 1 Lisa: What Amy: Well, he He's got a very bored expression on his face. And he 7 saying anything. Use one word only in each space.
It's beautiful, and the sun Yesterday I went water-skiing! What 2 you think of that? I'm 3 at a table in our hotel room and writing a few postcards. The room is fine, but we But it 5 matter because we 6 out to a restaurant every evening. We're both 7 very lazy at the moment. I 8 ………………………………….. You know of course how much Nigel's work 10 to him and how he's 11 talking about it. Well, the holiday is so good that he's forgotten all about work. So it's the perfect holiday.
The only problem is that it's 12 us a lot of money. But we'll worry about that later. Test l C Each of these sentences has a mistake in it. Write the correct sentence. The children are doing their homework now. Put in the correct form of each verb.
Use the present continuous or the present simple. B: But computers cost so much money. What's wrong with the one we've got? B: Thank you. The trouble is. People shouldn't go so fast. And this is a great show, isn't it? Yes, I am. I just can't keep awake. What time About ten o'clock usually. Could you post the goods to me, please? Yes, certainly. So could you send it to my work address?
Yes, of course. And you'll have the goods by the end of the week, I'm just not happy with it. It happened very quickly. The van crashed into the cat I posted the letter yesterday. We Some verbs have an irregular past form. The car came out of a side road. Vicky rang earlier. I won the game. I had breakfast at six. The train left on time.
We took some photos. For a list of irregular verbs, see page The past simple is the same in all persons except in the past tense of be. Negatives and questions We use did in negatives and questions but see Unit The car did not stop. The driver didn't look to his right. What did you tell the police? Did you ring home?
We do not use a past form such as stopped or rang in negatives and questions. We also use was and were in negatives and questions. I wasn't very well last week. The gates weren't open. Where was your friend last night? Was your steak nice? D Use We use the past simple for something in the past which is finished.
Emma passed her exam last year. We went to the theatre on Friday. Elvis Presley died in I knew what the problem was.
When did you download this car? Put in the past simple forms of the verbs. They 1 ……………… The fire 2 ……………………………….. A neighbour, Mr Aziz, 3 ……………………………… see the flames and 4 …………………………… call the fire brigade. He also 5 ……………………… The fire brigade 7 arrive in five minutes. Twenty fire-fighters 8 ……………………….. Two fire-fighters 10 …………………………… enter the burning building but 11 ……………………………… find the couple dead. Put in the past simple negatives and questions.
Mark: Yes, thanks. It was good. We looked around and then we saw a show. Claire: What sights Mark: We had a look round the Louvre. Claire: And what show Mark: Oh, a musical. I forget the name. Claire: Oh, dear. Mark: No, not really. But we enjoyed the weekend. Sarah did some shopping, too, but Soft music was playing.
People were walking in the park. I wasn't dreaming. I really was in New York City. Why did you give our secret away? What were you thinking of? Was Matthew already waiting for you when you got there? C Use Read this conversation. I didn't know where you were. David: Oh, I was helping Mike.
We were repairing his car. It took ages. We were working on it all afternoon. Melanie: It was raining. David: No, we were in the garage. So I didn't get wet. But I'm afraid I got oil all over my new trousers. Melanie: Why were you wearing your new trousers to repair a car? I forgot I had them on.
It was raining at three o'clock means that at three o'clock we were in the middle of a period of rain. The rain began before three and stopped some time after three. We were working all afternoon means that the action went on for the whole period. David is stressing the length of time that the work went on. We use the continuous with actions. We do not normally use it with state verbs see Unit 7. For states we use the past simple.
Most people are feeling a bit tired. What were they doing at midnight last night? Put in the past continuous forms. I'm afraid I've broken this dish. Vicky: Oh no! What 1 ……………………………………….. Jessica: 2 …………………………. I bumped into Emma. Vicky: I expect it was your fault.
Jessica: Sorry. I'll download you another one as soon as I have some money. Add a sentence with the past continuous to say that an action lasted a long time. The work went on all day. The calls went on all evening. The wait lasted for half an hour. This went on all afternoon. You were there for two hours. This went on all night. A Introduction A reporter is interviewing Mike and Harriet.
Reporter: Mike and Harriet, tell me what you saw. Harriet: Well, when we were driving home last night, we saw a strange object in the sky. Mike: As we were coming down the hill into town, it just suddenly appeared in front of us. We stopped the car and got out. Harriet: It was a very clear night.
The stars were twinkling. Mike: It was a spaceship. It seemed quite big. It had some strange writing on the side. And a light was flashing on the top. Harriet: As we were watching it, it suddenly flew away and disappeared.
We were driving home. We were in the middle of our journey. A light was flashing. We do not normally use the past continuous for states. See Unit 7. NOT The spaceship was seeming NOT It was having writing NOT I wasn't knowing We drove home. We finished our journey. The spaceship flew away. We also use the past simple not normally the continuous for states. The spaceship seemed quite big. It had writing on the side. I didn't know what it was. B It happened as I was driving We often use the past continuous and simple together when one shorter action comes in the middle of another longer one.
As we were driving down the hill, a strange object appeared in the sky. While Laura was sitting in the garden, it suddenly began to rain. You drove right past me when I was waiting for the bus. The appearance of the strange object comes in the middle of the longer action, the drive down the hill. Shorter action: An object appeared. In the three sentences above, the past continuous comes after as, while or when As we were driving We can also use when before the past simple.
We were driving down the hill when a strange object appeared in the sky. David was making lunch when the phone rang. But we use two past simple verbs for one action after another. When we saw the spaceship, we stopped the car. The sun was shining.
The aliens landed quietly. A-B David is always having accidents. His girlfriend Melanie is talking about some of the accidents. Write her sentences from these notes. Each sentence has one verb in the past continuous and one in the past simple. A-B Put in the correct form of the verb. But 2 ………………………… Vicky: Rachel 3 …………………………… come down the stairs when the lights 4 …………………………… go out.
She almost 5 …………………………. Daniel: Matthew and I 6 ……………………. Andrew: 7 ……………… A-C Find the second part of each sentence. Put each verb into the correct form. Vicky have a beautiful dream when she touch the wire. Vicky was having a beautiful dream when the alarm clock rang. When Andrew saw the question, he knew the answer immediately.
Test 2 Past simple and past continuous Units Test 2A Put in the past simple of the verbs in brackets. Test 2B Write a second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first. Use the word in brackets. Look at this part of her diary describing a morning's walk along the coast.
Write the missing words. The sun was l ……………………….. I was pleased that it 3 …………………………… raining. I knew by now that I 4 ………………………………like rain. In fact I 5 …………………………… it. I 6 …………………………. Three miles past Wellburn I 8 …………………………. Now it 10 …………………………… getting warmer, so I 11 ………………………….. I finally got there, it 15 ……………….. Test 2D Each of these sentences has a mistake in it. Write the correct sentence, The hotel were very quite.
The hotel was very quiet. We tried to keep quiet because the baby sleeping 6 As I was watching him, the man was suddenly running away. Test 2E Complete the sentences. Use the past continuous or past simple. Martin started start to get the tea.
It ……………………… stop after a few rings. He……………………………… have a black baseball cap on. So We…………………………………… drive back home straightaway. I ………………………….. Suddenly I…………………………. But she died three years ago. The aircraft has landed means that the aircraft is on the ground now. Regular past participles end in ed, e. We've washed the dishes.
Have you opened your letter? The aircraft has landed safely. How many points has Matthew scored? The students haven't finished their exams. C Irregular forms Some participles are irregular.
I've made a shopping list. We've sold our car. I've thought about it a lot. Have you written the letter? She hasn't drunk her coffee. For a list of irregular verbs see page There is a present perfect of be and of have.
The weather has been awful I've had a lovely time, thank you. D Use When we use the present perfect, we see things as happening in the past but having a result in the present. They're clean now. The aircraft has landed. It's on the ground now. We've eaten all the eggs. There aren't any left. They've learnt the words.
They know the words. You've broken this watch. It isn't working. Use the present perfect. Put in the verbs. Laura: How is the painting going? Painting the ceiling is really difficult, you know.
And it looks just the same as before. This new paint Laura: Trevor: It feels bad. Laura: Oh, you and your back. You mean 5 ………………………………………. Well, I'll do it. Where Trevor: I don't know.
Laura: You're hopeless, aren't you? It looks much better now, doesn't it? Now, where Oh, 14 …………………………………… Just means 'a short time ago'. Vicky heard about the concert not long ago. Already means 'sooner than expected'. They sold the tickets very quickly. We use yet when we are expecting something to happen. Vicky expects that Rachel will download a ticket. Just and already come before the past participle heard, sold.
Yet comes at the end of a question or a negative sentence. We've just come back from our holiday. I've just had an idea. It isn't a very good party. Most people have already gone home. My brother has already crashed his new car. It's eleven o'clock and you haven't finished breakfast yet. Has your course started yet?
But for American English see page B For and since We can use the present perfect with for and since. Vicky has only had that camera for three days. Those people have been at the hotel since Friday. I've felt really tired for a whole week now. We've lived in Oxford since NOT We live-here-sinee Here something began in the past and has lasted up to the present time.
We use since to say when the period began since Friday. We use how long in questions. How long has Vicky had that camera? How long have Trevor and Laura been married? We can also use the present perfect with for and since when something has stopped happening.
She hasn't visited us since July. Use the present perfect with just, already and yet. Rachel: No, I haven't. Vicky: 2 ………………… Rachel: Well, he works too hard. Vicky: 4 ………………………………………………………….. Rachel: 5 ………………………………….. Take it easy. There's plenty of time. Vicky: 6 ……………………………………….. Rachel: OK. Well, maybe. It's midnight and he is still working at his computer. Write sentences with the present perfect and for or since.
You ought to wash the car. You haven't washed it for ages.
I'd better have a shower. I haven't had one since Thursday. I haven't We haven't Gone there means that she is still there. Claire has been to Australia. Been there means that the visit is over. I've just come back from the States. You get around, don't you? I've never been to Florida. Was it good? It was OK. Not as good as Australia. I might go to Brazil next time. Have you ever been there? We can use ever and never with the present perfect.
We use ever in questions. In Have you ever been to Brazil? Never means 'not ever'. Have you ever played cricket? Has Andrew ever had any fun? I've never ridden a motor bike in my life. You've never given me flowers before. This is the most expensive hotel we've ever stayed in.
This is the first time we've been to Scotland, so it's all new to us.
This is the second time Rachel has forgotten to give me a message. I love this film. I think it's the fourth time I've seen it.
D Today, this week, etc We use the present perfect with today and phrases with this, e. We've done quite a lot of work today. I haven't watched any television so far this week. Have you had a holiday this year? This year is the period which began in January and has lasted up to the present time.
A Complete the conversation. Put in gone or been. Emma: Hi. Where's Rachel? Emma: But I've got some chicken for tonight. I've just 1 …………………………….. Natasha: I haven't 2. Vicky: Where's Jessica? Isn't she here?