The structure of the clause depends on the verb. For example:

  • An intransitive verb has the structure: N(=noun) + V(=verb): (John) + (smiled).
  • A transitive verb has the structure: N + V + N: (We) + (had been playing) + (football)
  • A link verb has the structure: N + V + Adj : (She) + (looked) + (happy)
  • A phrasal verb has the structure: N + V + p + N (She) + (gave) +(back) + (the money)
    or
    N + V + N + p (She) + (gave) + (the money) + (back)

 Exercise

Section: 

Comments

hi peter

could you tell me any have lesson for using "after"

Hi taj25,

Please use the search facility (click on the magnifying glass at the top of the page) to look for relevant pages. If you type 'after' into the search window you'll see many results. The one headed 'verbs in time clauses and if clauses' is probably what you are looking for.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.

what if I had taken Jane to school and come back...
what if I had taken Jane to school and I had come back...
what if I had taken Jane to school, and what if I had come back...

Which one is correct, and why is it correct?

Thank you.

Hello MCWSL,

All of them are grammatically correct. When speaking informally, people tend to use the shortest option, i.e. the first one, but all are correct.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

sorry what is p

Hello Marybeth,

At the top of the exercise (task) there is a legend which explains this. P = preposition.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

I saw this sentence on the news today:
"People cannot but ponder - what on earth is up with them"
What is the structure of the clause used in this sentence?

I feel it should be an intransitive verb, where "people" is the subject and "ponder" is the verb. However, I don't quite understand the role of the word "cannot" in that sentence. It feels to me that something is missing (like there should be an extra verb between "cannot" and "but")

thank you.

Hello learning_always,

Yes, this is a somewhat abbreviated phrase that is equivalent to 'cannot (do anything) but ponder'. Words like 'do anything' are often left out in verb phrases and that is the case here - this is called ellipsis.

By the way, 'ponder' can be used both transitively and intransitively - see the dictionary entry for 'ponder' for more.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

This is reply to innocentashish420 question

Verbs in the 'historic present' describe something that happened in the past. The present tense is used because the facts are listed as a summary, and the present tense provides a sense of urgency. This historic present tense is also found in news bulletins. The announcer may say at the start, 'Fire hits a city centre building, the government defends the new minister, and in football City United lose.'"
("Language Notes," BBC World Service)

please help me. I cannot practice the exercises. they do not show in the page.

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