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

Hello Sir
I have a question under definite article. e.g. I am meeting David on 12th or I am meeting David on the 12th. Which is correct first or the second?
Please let me know.
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

Hello Lal,

We use the definite article before ordinal numbers, including those used in dates. Thus we say 'the 12th'. 

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir
RE: afraid off/of
This comes under verbs, I am extremely sorry giving you the wrong topic by mistake. Fogive me for that.
Main topic is English Grammar then 'verbs' under this: 'Questions and negatives -questions with verbs and preposition (Questions with verbs and prepositions 1 )
Sub topic: Test yourself (Put the words in the correct order to make questions)
e.g. afraid you What off ? are Ans. What are you afraid off? (wrong) but when press finish
the answer indicates with ticks meaning correct but when you go to test yourself 2. the correct answer is 'of'
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

Hello Lal,

Thank you for pointing this out. The word should, of course, be 'of' and not 'off'. This was an unfortunate typo in the exercise and I have corrected it.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir
Thank you very much for your reply dated 20 July 2018- 7.38 Poland. I know it is a typing error
but I thought better to inform you.
Thank you again.
Regards
Lal

Hi again...and if you have the name of the shop?
I usually buy my clothes in Harrods or at Harrods?
Is IN always the best?
Changing the verb, if I use 'go shopping' would you say IN again?
I go shopping in Harrods/in the shopping centre.
Thanks.

Hi Ilariuccia,

The most common choice here is 'at' for all of these examples. It is not incorrect to use 'in', but it is more unusual as there is no other option. It's not possible to buy things from a shop without going inside so to specify 'in' seems slightly odd.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi!
Which preposition is correct with the verb'buy'?
1. I usually buy my clothes at the shopping centre.
2. I usually buy my clothes in the shopping centre.
3. I usually buy my clothes from the shopping centre.
Thanks...

Hi Ilariuccia,

'in the shopping centre' is the best choice -- the others might work in a very specific context, but 'in' works in most any I can think of.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.
Is this phrase correct?
If you are slow in writing, note down answers only.
(slow 'in' or 'at'?!)
Thanks.

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