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Verb phrases

Level: beginner

Verbs in English have four basic parts:

 Base form   -ing form    Past tense   Past participle 
work working worked worked
play playing played played
listen listening listened listened

Most verbs are regular: they have a past tense and past participle with –ed (worked, played, listened). But many of the most frequent verbs are irregular.

Level: beginner

Basic parts

Verbs in English have four basic parts:

 Base form   -ing form    Past tense   Past participle 
work working worked worked
play playing played played
listen listening listened listened

Most verbs are regular: they have a past tense and past participle with –ed (worked, played, listened). But many of the most frequent verbs are irregular.

Verb phrases

Verb phrases in English have the following forms:

  1. main verb:
  main verb  
We are here.
I like it.
Everybody saw the accident.
We laughed.  

The verb can be in the present tense (are, like) or the past tense (saw, laughed).

  1. the auxiliary verb be and a main verb in the –ing form:
  auxiliary be -ing form
Everybody is watching.
We were laughing.

A verb phrase with be and –ing expresses continuous aspect. A verb with am/is/are expresses present continuous and a verb with was/were expresses past continuous.

  1. the auxiliary verb have and a main verb in the past participle form:
  auxiliary have past participle  
They have enjoyed themselves.
Everybody has worked hard.
He had finished work.

A verb phrase with have and the past participle expresses perfect aspect. A verb with have/has expresses present perfect and a verb with had expresses past perfect.

  1. modal verb (can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would) and a main verb:
  modal verb main verb
They will come.
He might come.
The verb phrase 1

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The verb phrase 2

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Level: intermediate

  1. the auxiliary verbs have and been and a main verb in the –ing form:
  auxiliary have been -ing form  
Everybody has been working hard.
He had been singing.  

A verb phrase with have been and the -ing form expresses both perfect aspect and continuous aspect. A verb with have/has expresses present perfect continuous and a verb with had expresses past perfect continuous.

  1. a modal verb and the auxiliaries be, have and have been:
  modal auxiliary verb
They will be listening.
He might have arrived.
She must have been listening.
  1. the auxiliary verb be and a main verb in the past participle form:
  auxiliary be past participle  
English is spoken all over the world.
The windows have been cleaned.  
Lunch was being served.  
The work will be finished soon.
They might have been invited to the party.

A verb phrase with be and the past participle expresses passive voice.

The verb phrase 3

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The verb phrase 4

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Level: advanced

We can use the auxiliaries do and did with the infinitive for emphasis:

It was a wonderful party. I did enjoy it.
I do agree with you. I think you are absolutely right.

We can also use do for polite invitations:

Do come and see us some time.
There will be lots of people there. Do bring your friends.

Comments

Dear Peter,
Thank you for the help, thank you.

Hello dear team,
Teach them briefly the irregular forms ask for feedback (from) the learners.
Can I use (from) in this sentence?
Thank you

Hello Hosseinpour,

It's fine to say 'ask for feedback from the learners'. You could also say 'get feedback from the learners'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Good morning ,Could I ask " somebody,someone,everyone, anyone" always belonging to ( has or had)? Thank you in advance.

Hello Backlight,

I'm not sure I understand your question. If you are asking whether a singular or plural verb is needed with these words then the answer is singular: indefinite pronouns like these are grammatically singular, so we say

everybody has

not

*everybody have*

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
I would like to ask which of the following is correct
1.He/she does not pay attention during the lesson
2.He can't focus on the lesson ( during the lesson)
3.He doesn't concentrate during the lesson
Thank you in advance

Hello angi,

All three sentences are grammatically correct. Which would be best in a given context would depend upon that context, of course.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
I would like to ask if the following is correct
1.The house has got a lot of windows that let the light in.
Is it correct?
Especially that let the light in?
Thank you in advance

Hello,
I would like to ask if the following is correct.
My house has got a lot of windows that let the light in.
Is the sentence correct, especially the second part:.. That let the light in?
Thank you in advance

Hello agie,

The sentence is fine.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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