Verb + object + complement

November 18, 2011

Some transitive verbs can be followed by an object together with an object complement which is usually an expression that gives more information about the object. They elected him their leader. (Object – him; object complement – their leader) You make me happy. (Object – me; object complement – happy) I found her attitude disgusting. […]

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Irregular verbs

March 29, 2011

English has many irregular verbs. Students should make sure that they know all of them. Here is a list of the more common irregular verbs. For a complete list of irregular verbs, see a good dictionary. Infinitive Simple past Past participle Arise Arose Arisen Awake Awoke Awoken Bet Bet, betted Bet, betted Beat Beat Beaten […]

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Verbs with prepositions and particles

March 17, 2011

Most English verbs can be followed by prepositions or adverb particles. Examples are: switch off, turn down, walk down, look at, stare at, sit down etc. Please sit down. Can you switch off the light? Why are you staring at me? I saw Alan as I was driving down the street. She ran into the […]

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Common errors in the use of verbs

January 9, 2011

Study the following sentences. Incorrect: She told to me an interesting story. Correct: She told me an interesting story. The verb tell is followed by an indirect object without to. Incorrect: She told that she wouldn’t come. Correct: She told me that she wouldn’t come. OR She said that she wouldn’t come. When used with […]

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Verbs and their properties

December 24, 2010

Verbs are words like see, work, drink, sleep, wait, shoot and take off. Verbs are distinguished from other parts of speech by a number of properties. A verb can be marked for tense: I work (Present tense)/ I worked. (Past tense) She write. / She wrote. A verb can usually be preceded by an auxiliary […]

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Auxiliary verbs and their equivalents

December 18, 2010

Be able to instead of can Be able to often has the same meaning as can. He can walk on his hands. OR He is able to walk on his hands. I am unable to understand his motive. OR I can’t understand his motive. They were able to catch the thief. OR They could catch […]

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Uses of need

December 17, 2010

Need is used both as an auxiliary verb and as an ordinary verb. As an ordinary verb, need is used in the sense of require. I need help. We need more people to finish the work. I need some more time to decide the question. The auxiliary need is commonly used with not. It is […]

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Uses of Must and Ought (to)

December 15, 2010

Must remains unchanged whatever be the tense or the number and person of the subject. It can refer to the present or future. It can point to the past only when it is used with the present perfect tense of the principal verb. Compare: He must go home. (Future / present) He must have gone […]

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Uses of May and Might

December 14, 2010

Permission May is used to express permission. May not is used to deny permission. May I come in, sir? Yes, you may. May I go home now? No, you may not. Notes Now-a-days to deny permission we often use cannot instead of may not. This usage is probably encouraged by the fact that the contraction […]

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Uses of Can and Could

December 13, 2010

Ability Can expresses ability. Cannot (can’t) shows inability. She can speak ten languages. I can’t cook. Can you speak Spanish? Sometimes can is used in the sense of may to give permission. You can go. OR You may go. You can take one of these shirts. OR You may take one of these shirts. Now-a-days […]

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