The English Verb System

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The English Verb System For ESL Studentswritten by: Heather Marie Kosur edited by: Rebecca Scudder updated: 12/2/2013The following article presents an overview of the English verb system for ESL students including the two tenses, four aspects, three moods, and two voices of English verbs. The article also contains verb charts that visually organize the formation of the English verb forms. English VerbsUnlike many other widely-spoken Indo-European languages such as Spanish and French, theEnglish verb systemis largelyperiphrastic. Periphrasis, in contrast to inflection, is "a phrase of two or more words used to express a grammatical relationship that could otherwise be expressed by the inflection of a single word." All English verb forms except for the simple present and simple past are periphrastic.Although some grammars identify anywhere between twelve and sixteen English tenses, the nineteen finite, or conjugated, verb forms in English express more than just tense. To be more precise, English has: Two tenses: present and past Four aspects: simple, progressive, perfect, perfect-progressive Three moods: indicative, subjunctive, imperative Two voices: active and passiveThe following sections discuss the tenses, aspects, moods, and voices of the English verb system. TenseTense is the expression of location in time of an action or state. Grammatical tense only roughly relates to time. English has only two verb tenses: present and past. The general formula for forming the simple present tense in English is:The general formula for forming the simple past tense in English is:The base form of a verb in English is the infinitive without the prepositiontofunctioning as an infinitive marker.Despite popular belief, English does not have a future tense. Futurity is, instead, expressed through modal verbs, specificallywillandshall. For more information on the English modal system, please read the articleEnglish Modal Verbs. AspectAspect is the expression of the temporal structure of an action or state. Aspect in English expresses ongoing actions or states with or without distinct end points. English has four aspects: simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect-progressive.Although not always identified, the simple aspect is the default aspect of the simple present and simple past tenses. The simple aspect expresses single actions, habits, and routines. For the formation of the simple present and simple past verbs, please refer to the charts in the "Tense" section.Theprogressive aspectexpresses incomplete or ongoing actions or states at a specific time. For example, the use of the progressive aspect inI am floating the bookindicates that I started floating the book in the past and am still floating the book in the present and presumably the future. The formula for forming the present progressive is [simple present "to be" + present participle]. The formula for forming the past progressive is [simple past "to be" + present participle].Theperfect aspectexpresses the consequences resulting from a previous action or state. For example, the use of the perfect aspect inI have floated the bookfocuses on the end result of my floating the book (my having floated the book) as opposed to the process of floating the book. The formula for forming the present perfect is [simple present "to have" + past participle]. The formula for forming the past perfect is [simple past "to have" + past participle].Theperfect-progressive aspectexpresses incomplete or ongoing actions or states that began in the past and continue to a specific time. For example, the use of the perfect-progressive aspect inI had been floating the bookindicates that I started floating the book in the past and continued to float the book until a specific point in time at which I stopped floating the book. The formula for forming the present perfect-progressive is [simple present "to have" + past participle "to be" + present participle]. The formula for forming the past perfect-progressive is [simple past "to have" + past participle "to be" + present participle].Present participles, or-ingforms, are formed by adding the suffix-ingto the base form of a verb. For example, the present participles ofeatandreadareeatingandreading.Past participles, or-enforms, are formed 1.) identically to the-edpast tense, 2.) by adding the suffix-ento the base form, or 3.) with a stem change. For example, the past participles ofstudy,take, andbeginarestudied,taken, andbegun. MoodMood is the expression of modality of an action or state. Modality is the expression of possibility, necessity, and contingency. Modality can be expressed through modal verbs as well as through grammatical mood in English. English has three moods: indicative, subjunctive, and imperative.The indicative mood allows speakers to express assertions, denials, and questions of actuality or strong probability. Most sentences in English are in the indicative mood because the indicative is the most commonly used mood. For example, the statementI read the bookand the questionDid you read the book?are both sentences in the indicative mood.Thesubjunctive moodexpresses commands, requests, suggestions, wishes, hypotheses, purposes, doubts, and suppositions that are contrary to fact at the time of the utterance. The form of the present subjunctive is identical to the base form of English verbs. The form of the past subjunctive is identical to the plural simple past indicative. However, the subjunctive is only distinguishable in form from the indicative in the third person singular present subjunctive and with the verbto bein the present subjunctive and the first and third person singular in the past subjunctive.The imperative mood allows speakers to make direct commands, express requests, and grant or deny permission. The form of the English imperative is identical to the base form of any English verb. The negative form of the English imperative is created by inserting thedooperator and the negative adverbnotbefore the base form of the verb. VoiceVoice is the expression of relationships between the predicate and nominal functions. English has two voices: active and passive. In the active voice, the subject performs the action of or acts upon the verb and the direct object receives the action of the verb. In the passive voice, the subject receives the action of the transitive verb. For example, the sentenceI read the bookis in the active voice because the subjectIperforms the action of reading and the direct objectthe bookreceives the action of reading. The sentenceThe book was read[by me], on the other hand, is in the passive voice because the subjectThe bookreceives the action of reading.

Grammatical Mood in English

More Information :grammatical mood,imperative mood,indicative mood,modal verbs,modality,mood,subjunctive mood,verb,verb moodGrammatical mood is defined as a set of distinctive verb forms that express modality. Modality is the grammaticalized expression of the subjective attitude of the speaker, which includes opinions about possibility, probability, necessity, obligation, permissibility, ability, desire, and contingency. Although modality in English is often expressed through modal verbs, the English language also has three grammatical moods:1. Indicative mood2. Subjunctive mood3. Imperative moodIndicative MoodThe first grammatical mood in English is the indicative mood. The indicative mood allows speakers to form sentences that express assertions, denials, and questions of actuality or strong probability. For example, the following sentences are examples of the English indicative: Coal miningisa major industry of Appalachia. Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSablecameto Illinois via the Mississippi River. We stillneedsomeone to buy ingredients for the punch. Doyouknowwhere the old man lives? How much wooddoesa woodchuckchuck? Hasthe trainarrived?The indicative mood is the most frequently used grammatical mood in the English language. The majority of sentences, at least in written English, are in the indicative mood.Subjunctive MoodThe second grammatical mood in English is the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood allows speakers to form sentences that express commands, requests, suggestions, wishes, hypotheses, purposes, doubts, and suppositions that are contrary to fact at the time of the utterance. For example, the following sentences are examples of the English subjunctive: It is recommended that youbeon time. He willletus know if he canarriveearly. If Iwerea rich man, then I would have all the money in the world. My boss insists that the computerbe repairedby a licensed contractor. They wish wewereable to type faster. Hadthe manbeen drivingcarefully, he would not have crashed into the tree.The subjunctive mood is only distinguishable from the indicative mood third person singular present subjunctive and in most persons and numbers that require a conjugated form of the verbto be. However, native speakers often use indicative forms in place of subjunctive forms. The present subjunctive mood also always appears in verb phrases that contain modal verbs.Imperative MoodThe third grammatical mood in English is the imperative mood. The imperative mood allows speakers to form sentences that make direct commands, express requests, and grant or deny permission. For example, the following sentences are examples of the English imperative: Dancelike youve never danced before! Stopat the corner. Turnright at the courthouse. Eatyour vegetables! Partylike its 1999. Swallowthe entire does of medicine.The imperative mood is also the most frequently used mood in the English language. Both written and spoken commands, directions, and recipes all take the imperative mood of English verbs.ReferencesHuddleston, Rodney. 1984.Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.The Imperative Mood of English Verbs

More Information :affirmative imperative,do,do-operator,grammatical mood,imperative mood,mo