Uses of Would

December 11, 2010

Indirect speech Would is the past tense of will in indirect speech. Direct speech: John said, ‘I will wait until you return.’ Indirect speech: John said that he would wait until I return. Direct speech: The boy said, ‘I will not eat this cake.’ Indirect speech: The boy said that he would not eat that […]

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Uses of Should

December 10, 2010

Indirect speech Should is the past tense of shall in indirect speech. The officer said, ‘The scoundrel shall be given a good beating.’ The officer said that the scoundrel should be given a good beating. Duty and obligation Should can be used with pronouns of all the three persons to talk about duty and obligation. […]

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Uses of shall and will

December 9, 2010

With first person pronouns With first person pronouns shall simply expresses the strong possibility or near certainty of an action or event which is to take place in the future. We shall leave for Mumbai tomorrow. I shall invite them to dinner. With second and third person pronouns When used with second and third person […]

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What are copular verbs?

November 15, 2010

A copular verb is a special kind of verb used to join an adjective or noun complement to a subject.  Common examples are: be (is, am, are, was, were), appear, seem, look, sound, smell, taste, feel, become and get. A copular verb expresses either that the subject and its complement denote the same thing or […]

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Verbs with two objects

November 10, 2010

Many English verbs take two objects  – one direct object and one indirect object. The direct object usually refers to an object. The indirect object usually refers to a person and comes first. He gave his daugther a camera for Christmas. (Indirect object – his daughter, direct object – camera) Could you lend me some […]

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Uses of anomalous finites – part II

September 3, 2010

The anomalous finites are used to form inverted sentence patterns. I had no sooner got into the train than it steamed off. No sooner had I got into the train than it steamed off. To avoid repetition of principal verbs The anomalous finites are used in short answers to avoid the repetition of principal verbs. […]

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Uses of anomalous finites

September 2, 2010

Anomalous finites are the only verbs in modern English which can form their negatives by the simple addition of not. Compare: He will come. He will not come. He came. He did not come. (NOT He came not.) Can I do it? No, you can’t. Should I take it? No, you shouldn’t. He took the […]

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Anomalous finites

September 1, 2010

The term anomalous finites refers to the group of 24 finites given below: Is, am, are, was, were Has, have, had Do, does, did Will, would; shall, should; can, could; may, might; must, ought, need, dare, used As you can probably see, these are all auxiliary verbs. Some of them are also used as principal […]

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Verb Patterns

June 21, 2010

A transitive verb is one that has an object. The normal order of words in an English sentence is subject + verb + object. Alice likes sweets. (Subject – Alice, Verb – likes, Object – sweets) The principal punished the boy. (Subject – principal, Verb – punished, Object – boy) The monk burned himself. (Subject […]

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What are verbs?

June 1, 2010

Read the following sentences: Mother cooks dinner. Children play in the park. Barking dogs seldom bite. In the sentences given above, the words in bold text are used to say something about a person or a thing. They say what a person or a thing does. These words are called verbs. Now read the following […]

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