Verbs

Verbs

Read clear grammar explanations and example sentences to help you understand how verbs are used. Then, put your grammar knowledge into practice by doing the exercises.  

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Submitted by Nagie23 on Thu, 07/09/2023 - 10:39

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Hello,I would like to ask when we use the following
1.When you are speaking English and
2.When you speak English
Thank you in advance

Hi Nagie23,

They are similar but the first one gives a stronger sense of an ongoing activity, something like When you are in the middle of speaking English ... .

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by lenatian on Tue, 05/09/2023 - 03:44

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Hello,

I have a question regarding finite and non-finite verbs. I am having trouble identifying whether verbs are the latter or former when placed in sentences. I hope you can help me out with this!

1. Example of a finite verb (source: Collins Dictionary)
- Coming home last night, I SAW a deer run across the road.

2. Example of a non-finite verb (source: Collins Dictionary)
- Our guests DEPARTED, we felt a little depressed.

The 2nd example from the dictionary has caused me to feel confused. I am unsure why the dictionary labels DEPARTED as a non-finite verb in the sentence since DEPARTED has a subject (GUESTS) and also has a tense (PAST)? I do not see how DEPARTED and SAW from the 1st example is any different as SAW has a subject (I) and a tense (PAST).

Through conducting my own research online, I figured that the answer to this may have to do with regular and irregular verbs. SAW is an irregular verb unlike DEPARTED which is a regular verb and so the verb conjugated in this form is the past participle which is non-finite. Still, I do not understand the reasoning behind why DEPARTED in the sentence in the 2nd example is non-finite according to the dictionary!

I feel stuck which is why I decided to write a comment! Thank you for taking the time to read my question.

Lena

Hi Lena,

Thanks for your question and I'll try to help. You are right that "departed" is a past participle here, and that is why it is non-finite. It's similar in structure to these examples:

  • Our guests gone (away), we felt a little depressed.
  • The food all eaten, we went for a walk.

In example 2, "departed" as a past participle functions as an adjective and it has the meaning of "gone away" (see the Collins Dictionary page for "departed") or "having already left here". This usage of "departed" is uncommon and somewhat old-fashioned in style.

I can see why "departed" looks like a finite verb in that example. However, if "Our guests" is the subject and "departed" is a finite verb, then together they make an independent clause, and to make the sentence grammatical a conjunction would need to be added between the two clauses. It's not grammatical without the conjunction. 

  • Our guests departed, and we felt a little depressed.

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Thu, 24/08/2023 - 12:13

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Hello,
I would like to ask if the following is correct
-I would like to ask if you are interested in continuing the math lessons in October
(After summer break)
Thank you in advance

Submitted by Nagie23 on Sun, 13/08/2023 - 08:26

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Hello,
I would like to ask what is the difference between the following.When we use
Nice to meet you and when
Nice to meeting you
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

'Nice to meet you' is correct, but 'Nice to meeting you' is not correct. 'Nice meeting you' is correct (perhaps that's what you meant).

You can say 'Nice to meet you' anytime during your conversation with a new person, e.g. at the beginning after learning their name, or when you are saying goodbye.

As far as I know 'Nice meeting you' is only used at the end of a first conversation with a new person. In other words, you wouldn't say it just after learning their name, but after awhile when it's time for you or the other person to leave.

This is purely a question of usage.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by howtosay_ on Wed, 26/07/2023 - 15:42

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Hello, dear teachers and team!

Could you please help me with the following:

Which option (if any) is correct:

1. I have had my nails done. I did it one week ago.

2.I have had my nails done. I had it done one week ago.

Thank you so much for your constant help with confusing issues and I'm very grateful for the answer to this comment beforehand!

Hello howtosay_,

You're welcome!

1 sounds strange because of the incongruence between someone else doing your nails and you doing them. 2 is what I'd recommend, but the pronoun 'them' should be used instead of 'it' since 'nails' is plural. With that small change, it will be correct.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Mon, 24/07/2023 - 05:19

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Hello,
I would like to ask which of the following is correct
1.I have helped many students make Italian their second language
2.I have helped many students to make Italian their second language
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

Both are possible and I don't think there is any difference in meaning or style.

You can read a discussion on this topic and see some information on dialectical variation here:

https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/47221/help-to-do-something-or-help-do-something

 

Please note that comments are pre-moderated on LearnEnglish. This means that one of the team reads every comment before it is published so we can filter out spam and so on. Please post your comments once only; posting the same comment multiple times only slows the process as we have to delete the duplicate posts.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Tue, 11/07/2023 - 22:57

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Hello I would like to ask if the following are correct
Hello students,
Please take your books out of your bag
Put your books on the table
Put your books back to your bag
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

The last one should be 'into your bag' rather than 'to your bag'. Other than that, they are fine.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Mon, 03/07/2023 - 21:14

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Hello,
I would like to ask if the following is correct
If someone got sick unexpectedly can we say
He has got really sick and he is at the hospital
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

Yes, that's fine. You could also use the past simple 'he got' in this case.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Tue, 20/06/2023 - 03:11

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Hello,
I would like to ask if the following is correct:
-I would like to ask if the buses/transportation to and from school are free
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

Yes, that looks fine to me, though if you say 'transportation', the last two words should be 'is free' since 'transportation' is an uncount noun.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by englishlearnin… on Wed, 14/06/2023 - 14:56

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Hello team! I have a question. Could you tell me about this? ‘You got a delivery. It’s in the kitchen.’ But i want to say ‘you got a delivery in the kitchen.’ Is it okay to say like this?

Hello englishlearningenglish,

Since it's clear that the speaker wants to tell the other person about a delivery – in other words, the news here is the delivery, not the location – I think the second example would need to change a little. As it is, it sounds like the speaker is more interested in the location than the delivery (You got a delivery in the kitchen instead of in the bathroom!). To make it more natural I think the present perfect should be used, giving you these two options:

You got a delivery. It’s in the kitchen.

You've got a delivery in the kitchen.


Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Mon, 12/06/2023 - 17:46

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Hello,
I would like to ask if both of the following sentences are correct
1.How the lessons are organised?
2.How are the lessons organized?
With this question we mean how for example a math is organised during a session?
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

The correct word order here is #2 - How are the lessons organised?

This is a question so we invert the subject ('the lessons') and the verb ('are') after the question word.

For more information on question formation take a look at this page:

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/grammar/english-grammar-reference/questions-negatives

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by so_haila on Thu, 08/06/2023 - 00:13

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Hello, I have a question
there is this sentence and they ask to correct the mistake, it says:
"they lived a poor life and had not any bod to help them".
actually I can not find any mistakes so will you help me, please?
thanks in advace.

Hello so_haila,

There are two mistakes I can see. First of all, 'any bod' should be 'anybody'. Second, the negative form is incorrect: 'had not' should be 'did not have'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Sun, 28/05/2023 - 13:45

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Hello,
I have a question
What is the difference between the following
1.Shall we speak at 5 pm?(on the phone)
2.Shall we talk at 5 pm?(on the phone)
Furthermore,are both sentences correct and polite?
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

Both sentences are grammatically correct and widely appropriate or polite. Both of them sound fine to me, though in general the one with 'speak' sounds a little more formal.

The Cambridge Dictionary has a page on 'speak' vs 'talk' that you might find useful. By the way, when it says we use 'speak' on the phone, it means when we're identifying ourselves as the speaker. But since the sentences you ask about are not about identifying the speaker and instead are about having a conversation, both verbs are correct.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by KaiMK on Wed, 24/05/2023 - 16:54

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Hello,
Could you please help me understand a grammar exercise I recently encountered?
He ___ a therapist for several years after he left school. (saw/has been seeing)

While I understand that "has been seeing" is correct, I struggle to understand why "saw" is not. What indicates that the action is still ongoing rather than finished?

Thank you in advance!

Hello KaiMK,

I'm afraid that 'has been seeing' is not correct. The correct answer is 'saw'.

The phrase 'for several years after he left school' makes it clear that his visits with the therapist were in a past time. This past time is not connected to the present and so a present perfect form isn't correct. Instead, a past simple form is the most appropriate.

If he were still seeing the therapist now in the present, we'd have to say 'since he left school' instead of 'for several years after he left school'. Then 'has been seeing' would be correct.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Wed, 17/05/2023 - 08:41

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Hello,
I would like to ask if the following sentences are correct
1.I would like to inform you the math lessons will last until the ...(15th of June)
2. If you want to continue until the 30th, please let me know
Thank you in advance

Hi Nagie23,

The sentences look pretty good but in sentence 1, I would say "continue" or "go on" instead of "last". I think "last" is normally used for single events (e.g. a lesson, a journey, a subscription, a mood) rather than repeated events (e.g. daily or weekly lessons).

You can also slightly soften sentence 2 by saying "If you would like to continue ....".

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Sun, 14/05/2023 - 18:14

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Hello,
I would like to ask if the following are correct
The manager asks if a person will move to Italy anyway , and not only in the case that he or she will be hired in the firm
Is it polite and correct to answer
1.I will move to Italy if I will have the opportunity to work at your firm?
2.I think I dont need a visa if I work for less than 6 months as I am an EU citizen
Or
Do I need a visa even for a short period of time?
Are these phrases correct and polite?
Thank you in advance

Hi Nagie23,

1. It should be "if I have" (not "if I will have"). This is the first conditional structure (see this Conditionals page for more examples and explanation).

The sentence doesn't clearly say what will happen if the person does not get the job. You can say something like "... but otherwise, I won't move." or "... but if the opportunity doesn't happen, I'll still move." to respond to that part of the manager's question.

2. Looks good, but it should be "don't" (with apostrophe). The question is fine.

All the sentences are neutral in style. They are fine for polite communication.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Tue, 18/04/2023 - 05:59

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Hello,
I would like to ask if the following are correct
1.Hope you are having a great time with your friends (I mean during holidays)
2.We will start again lessons next Monday
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

The first sentence is fine. It's quite common to miss out the 'I' at the start of 'I hope...' when expressing wishes in an informal context.

The second sentence has a problem with word order. It should be '...start lessons again...' and not '...start again lessons...'

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Enny Kabora on Mon, 17/04/2023 - 23:07

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Hi
Would you please tell me the differences in using of
- look,
- see and
- pay attention"?

Thank you in advance

Hello Enny Kabora,

See (something) is what our eyes do. It's a passive function in the sense that we do not consciously control it - as long as our eyes are open they will see things.

Look (at something) is what we do with out eyes. It's a conscious action. We choose to look in a particular direction or at a particular thing.

Pay attention (to something) is another way to say focus on something or concentrate on something. It means that we are taking care not to miss something because it is important.

 

Of course, the context in which the words are used is important too.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Sat, 01/04/2023 - 10:32

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Hello,
I would like to ask which of the following is correct
1.He makes questions
2.He asks questions
3.I need to practice on how to make/ask questions(is this sentence correct?)
If both are correct what is their difference?
Thank you in advance

Hi Nagie23,

Both 1 and 2 are correct. There is a difference in meaning. To "ask" a question means to say the question to someone else. To "make" a question is the action of forming or constructing a question, and it does not necessarily mean that you ask it to anybody. For example, when a teacher is writing an exam paper, (s)he is making questions.

A small correction in 3: it should be one of these options.

  • "I need to practise how to ..." (here, "practise" is a verb)
  • "I need practice on how to ..." (here, "practice" is a noun).

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Fri, 24/03/2023 - 01:36

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Hello,
I would like to ask if the following is correct :
The lack of some vitamins have caused him dizziness
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

I think we'd normally say 'some dizziness' but otherwise that is grammatically correct.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Sat, 18/03/2023 - 09:03

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Hello
I would like to ask if the following sentence is correct
Can you show me please your French book that you have for school?(I mean that I would like to see/read the book that they use for their lesson at school)
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

The sentence is grammatically fine but it doesn't quite sound natural to me. I think something like this would be better:

Can you show me the book you have/use for French in school, please?

Can you show me your French textbook, please?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Wed, 08/03/2023 - 23:26

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Hello I would like to ask if the following is correct
In June I will attend the French/Maths/ course which will be intensive(Many hours during the day and will last a month)
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

Are you asking about the verb form or the predicate of the sentence? It's difficult to evaluate the verb form without knowing more about why you're saying this. If you look at the Talking about the future page, you'll see what I mean -- we use one verb form or another depending on the purpose of our statement.

Re: the predicate, I'm also a little confused. Is it a French course or a math course? Or both? In any case, I'd probably just say 'intensive maths course' or 'intensive French course'.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Hello,
Thank you for the reply.
I would like to ask if I have used the correct verb.And also if I can use the verb in order to talk about a course that when it will be completed I will take a certificate,.Finally which preposition is ok.for example : I will attend an Intensive Math course or the Intensive month course?
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

As far as the verb form goes, you have several choices:

> I will attend - this describes a decision you have made and suggests that it's not something you have yet planned

> I'm going to attend - this describes an intention and suggest that it's something you have planned and not simply decided on the spur of the moment

> I'm attending - this describes an arrangement and suggests your plan is organised and already put in place (deposit paid, reservation made etc)

 

The correct article (not preposition) is probably 'an' since this is likely the first time you are telling the listener about it. Of course, without knowing the context it's impossible to be sure.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Wed, 01/03/2023 - 19:33

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Hello,
I would like to ask if the following are correct
If we don't understand someone who talks can we say
1. Excuse me , can you please repeat ?
2. Could you please speak slower?
Thank you in advance

Hi Nagie23,

Yes, right. In 1, it sounds more natural to say "can you please repeat that?" In 2, you can also say "Could you please speak a bit slower?" to make it sound more polite.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Mon, 20/02/2023 - 22:54

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Hello
I would like to ask which of the following is correct (IAM happy that they practice)
1.I am happy that they have the opportunity to speak in English with you during the week Or
2.I am happy that they have the opportunity to speak with you in English during the week
Thank you in advance