Verbs

Verbs: some common mistakes

May 7, 2012

Here is a list of errors students often make in the use of verbs. Incorrect: My father told me that honesty was the best policy. Correct: My father told me that honesty is the best policy. We usually use a past tense in the subordinate clause when the verb in the main clause is in […]

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Using want

April 5, 2012

Infinitive with to After want, we normally use an infinitive with to. I want to go. (NOT I want go.) (NOT I want going.) I want to come back here again. She wants to be a pilot. Want cannot be followed by that-clauses, but we can use an object + infinitive structure. I want him […]

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Different kinds of phrasal verbs

April 2, 2012

There are mainly four kinds of phrasal verbs. Here is a guide to the basics of phrasal verbs. Separable and non-separable phrasal verbs Phrasal verbs are made by putting adverb particles or prepositions after verbs. Phrasal verbs made with prepositions are usually non-separable. That means the verb and the preposition always go together. We set […]

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Be and have

March 20, 2012

To talk about experiencing physical sensations like hunger, thirst, heat and cold, we use the structure be + adjective. Feel + adjective is also possible. Note that we do not usually use have + noun to express these ideas. I am hungry. (NOT I have hunger.) Are you thirsty? (NOT Do you have thirst?) Are […]

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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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Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."