Questions tagged [verbs]

A verb is a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence.

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14
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there a simple and clear way to explain the difference between past simple and present perfect?

I read (or do I say "have read"?) many rules for when to use the present perfect. I found them complex and hard to understand (or do I say "have found"?). I am finding it hard to apply these rules in ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Perfect infinitive

I thought we can use perfect infinitive construction to talk about plans which didn't happen. For instance: I was to have started work last week, but I changed my mind. But what about that ...
19
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2answers
25k views

Should you use a plural verb if you refer to a fraction?

Should you use a plural verb if you refer to a fraction? Nine tenths of the pillar have rotted away. I think has should be used here, but I'm not sure.
4
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3answers
9k views

“Assume you are given …” or “Assume that you are given …”?

I have often read people using sentences like... Assume you are given a ball. in place of Assume that you are given a ball. While both sound correct while speaking, the first sentence does ...
13
votes
4answers
14k views

“This book *reads* very well.”

This book reads very well. The usage of the verb read is unusual. Because it doesn't say here that the book reads something, but someone reads the book. Can you give me a hint what is this grammar ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between “say” and “tell”?

I really get confused when to use say and when to use tell. Which is appropriate in the following: What did he tell? / What did he say? What are you saying? / What are you telling?
4
votes
2answers
388 views

Can the verb “wrap” describe the current condition of something?

Suppose there are two situations: A line of people waiting outside some store is getting very long and the line goes around a street corner. A ribbon is glued around a water pipe. Suppose the ...
22
votes
4answers
177k views

Allow (to) + infinitive, substantive, verb+ -ing

In which way can the verb allow be used? There is always some confusion and apparently it's often intuitively used wrongly. Which form corresponds to correct English, eventually depending on context (...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Explanation of “did was [verb]” structure

All I did was hand someone a bag. There are three verbs that come together. The tense of the verb hand confuses me. It doesn't fall into any grammar structure I know so far. It would make more sense ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Infinitive and Gerund Construction

English isn't my mother tongue. I'm familiar with the notions of infinitive and gerund but I sometimes just don't know which of the two should be used in combination with which verb. Thomson and ...
-1
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2answers
2k views

When to use Does and Is while starting the Interrogative sentence?

I am confused which is the correct sentence Does your company works on php? Is your company works on php? Do your company works on php?
45
votes
5answers
14k views

I demand that he leave or leaves?

I am confused between the two. I demand that he leave!or I demand that he leaves! I demand that this man leave!or I demand that this man leaves! Which is correct with s or without and why?
38
votes
11answers
7k views

“Didn't use to get” or “Didn't used to get”?

I just made a minor grammar correction on Travel SE, and another user said the grammar correction was unnecessary. The original text was Another factor--sometimes life happens and you can't fly. ...
13
votes
2answers
67k views

“to find” or “finding” after the verb “help”

I want to say this sentence: Could you help me to find a financial support please? Would it be more correct to say to find or to say finding? Is there a general rule to determine whether to verb ...
6
votes
2answers
742 views

A professor takes/gives/sets exams

As a student you take exams and a professors sets the question. So he is the one who is the authority on the exam. I am looking for a word which can be used in the following sentence- Professor ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

“He committed a crime killing/by killing a bird”

Which wording with kill should be used here: He committed a crime (killing/by killing) a bird. My guess is the answer would be by killing. But I am really confused with the answer killing. My ...
3
votes
1answer
550 views

Verb + gerundive or Verb + infinitive, what is preferable?

What is preferable to use: verb + gerundive or verb + infinitive? For example: I tried checking it or I tried to check it if both are possible then what's the difference? Are there any specific ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

passing vs having passed

After ______ MA Economics he joined the London School of Economics. I am confused about using "passing" or "having passed"? *Edit - I did some research and from what I gathered, the answer is "...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

using the verb “blame”

I am not to be blamed Many accidents were blamed on the snow be to blame If a ship sinks, the captain is to blame The increase in crime is a sad reflection on our society The increase in crime is, ...
1
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3answers
6k views

Adjective or verb?

Participles can be used both as verbs and adjectives. But I get confused sometimes and struggle to understand the role the participles play in a given sentence, like this one: The man, who was ...
2
votes
1answer
11k views

Does singular or plural verb goes with plural nouns like trousers, glasses, scissors, binoculars and many more?

My glasses (was/were) lying on the table. My trousers (is/are) torn. (This/These) binoculars (was/were) gifted to me. I know they're in plural form, but plural nouns such as rickets, measles ...
36
votes
2answers
146k views

What is the difference between “wait” and “await”?

I'd like to know the difference between the two verbs since they seem to have the same meaning. When should I use await, and when wait?
18
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4answers
73k views

What is the difference between 'hear' and 'listen'?

Is there a difference between 'hear' and 'listen' in Standard English?
5
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2answers
35k views

What is meaning of “is of”?

For example, It is of no great bulk. It is of no use whatever. This book is of elegant format. and so on. I don't understand why don't use 'is' but 'is + preposition'? especially 'is of' And ...
5
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1answer
26k views

Why do we use “was” for the pronoun “I” in some cases?

Why do we use was for the pronoun I? Can we use were or not? What is the difference between I was and I were??
3
votes
2answers
393 views

Usage of lie and lay

I'm preparing for some competitive exam and I'm reading an English grammar book, in that I encountered a test on lie and lay, but I do have a doubt on two questions, I don't know whether I'm right or ...
6
votes
1answer
11k views

help you do (or) to do something - difference

I know that generally native speakers say it usually like this (without the to): These exercises will help you get better at math. Can you help me move these boxes outside? But sometimes, though ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

The passive construction with 'It' is ONLY possible with 'permit' - I don't understand this

The exact phrase from the book of Swan (the context is choosing the words permit or allow) - The passive structure with it is only possible with permit Having said that... It is not allowed to ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Which tense should we use in telling a story of any movie?

One of my friends good at English suggested that better storytelling of a movie be in conditional modal verb 'would' over present tense 'is'. Having said that... The hero would be a salesperson ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Why do we need “Off” after verbs (not phrasal)?

Sometimes I read a verb (or adverb) and I get the complete meaning yet I find "Off" (or some other prepositions) follows the verb or adverb. For example, In the following sentences why do we need an ...
10
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5answers
10k views

Do verb tenses have to remain absolutely consistent through a piece of writing?

Generally, I've been told that I should maintain consistency of tenses in my writing. That is, if I begin a piece of writing in the past tense, I should ensure that all verbs agree with that through ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I identify a word that ends with “-ing” as being a noun, a verb, or an adjective?

How can I distinguish between words which have the -ing in a sentence that are nouns, verbs, or adjectives? For example sometimes -ing come with word to give us a noun, and sometimes a verb or an ...
6
votes
3answers
44k views

“reflect” vs “reflection on” or “reflection of”

The bride's elegant dress reflected her good taste. The bride's elegant dress is a reflection on her good taste. The bride's elegant dress is a reflection of her good taste. Would you tell me if they ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

Meaning of “ain't” in: “…we ain't know what it meant”

What is the meaning of the following line: We ain't know what it meant Putting ain't = aren't doesn't make sense. I'm left with putting ain't = haven't, but have requires the third form of know, ...
3
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2answers
37k views

“like doing” vs. “like to do” [duplicate]

I like to play tennis on Tuesdays. I like playing tennis on Tuesdays. Having taken into account the following, would you please throw a light on what is the difference between the sentences above? ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Differentiating between prefer to do and prefer doing

What time do you prefer going to bed? What time do you prefer to go to bed? Which of these would you rather use when writing or speaking?
3
votes
1answer
10k views

Difference between “has + verbed” and “had + verbed”

This is something which came up in my last question. As far as I know "had + verb" is done (started & finished) in the past. What's about "has + verb"? Can anyone please explain me the ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Delexical verb (Have & Take) uses

When do exactly we choose to use have or take? They look sort of having similar context I have a bath I take a bath And by the way, I saw that I take a chance Can't be transformed to ...
1
vote
2answers
38k views

go to university or go to the university

I'm a bit confused. I know that "go to university" is a collocation which means going to attend university. What if I want to say that I'm heading to, walking to, the university. Can I say "I'm going ...
7
votes
5answers
39k views

The difference between “prevent” and “avoid”

The accident could have been prevented The accident could have been avoided Would you show me semantically what the difference between the two is? Also, are there any scenarios in which both ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

Difference between “continue to” and “are continuing to”

Please tell me is there any fundamental difference between the two sentences: Even today, people continue to use cheques. Even today, people are continuing to use cheques. I mean is there a ...
3
votes
4answers
770 views

Is there an alternative way to express “has them <verb>” other than “makes them <verb>”?

For example, in the following sentence, can I replace have them with makes them, or is there another verb that more correctly I could use instead of has? Since the manufacturers are so deeply ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Which one is the stronger expression, the one using “will” or the one using “shall”?

"Nearly there!" Harry panted as they reached the corridor beneath the tallest tower. Then a sudden movement ahead of them made them almost drop the crate. Forgetting that they were already invisible,...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

Using the continuous or the infinitive form of a verb when is used as a noun/complement

I believe the following to be wrong: "I don't commit enough to learn English" Surely the continuous form is correct: "I don't commit enough to learning English" Or, maybe even better: "I don't ...
1
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2answers
9k views

I just done vs I just finished

If we compare these two sentences: I just done I just finished The first one doesn't make sense I think while the second one does. However, if we were to remove just, then: I done ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Can you explain which word is connected to the word 'left'? What is the grammatical construct of the bold?

I am trying to understand the bold part of this quote from "Sky-high house prices in the most desirable cities are holding back growth and jobs": As transport costs started to fall at the beginning ...
1
vote
4answers
48k views

Which is correct: “will resume” or “will be resumed”?

Here are the two sentences using will resume and will be resumed. What is correct here? Also, is it true that will should always be followed by be? My office process will be resumed once I ...
1
vote
2answers
296 views

“They're going gorilla watching” - is there a verb at the end of the sentence?

In this sentence: They're going gorilla watching. what's the function of the verb watching? Is it a verb? a noun? ... maybe gorilla watching means "mirador de gorilas", in spanish? In English, ...
0
votes
1answer
191 views

Paraphrase “Dusk closed across the house, sweeping its long shadows over the plain”

Dusk closed across the house, sweeping its long shadows over the plain, the horizon merging into the sky. I cannot conceive what it looks like. Are close and sweep used figuratively here? And are ...
14
votes
10answers
3k views

Why is the verb form “am been” always grammatically incorrect?

As I understand it, "I am been" is a sentence similar to "I am mistaken". How can one of the sentences in the two sentences of similar structure be incorrect? Doesn't "I am been" mean that someone is ...