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 Of all the parts of a clause or sentence, the verb is the most necessary.  Look at this example:


     The instructor    read         the rules of the competition.

     Subject             Verb        Object                                


If the verb read is omitted, the sentence is not grammatical: *The instructor the rules of the competition very quickly.

Modified from: Crystal, D.(2004). Rediscover Grammar (3rd ed.). Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education. (Modified)


In this unit, we will look at three troublespots related to verbs:

Verb Tenses: One of the most important functions of the verb is to indicate the time at which an action takes place. The base verb changes its endings to express past (+-ed, e.g walk-->walked) and present (+s, e.g. walk-->walks) time changes. How the time of the verb is regarded is also important, such as whether it is complete, in progress, or showing duration.

Active and Passive Voice: Voice refers to the way in which the action expressed by the sentence is viewed.

Verb Patterns. Depending on the verb you choose and its position in the sentence, the main verb is followed by other verb elements that take certain patterns:

               The inheritance allowed her to pursue (NOT *pursue) her dream of becoming a surgeon.

               The foster parents made her cook (NOT *to cook) every meal for a week.

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