Questions tagged [verbs]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
17
votes
5answers
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 ...
7
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
27k 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.
29
votes
4answers
206k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
10k 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
16k 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
402 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
14k 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 ...
39
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. ...
6
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
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
555 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
11k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
3k 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
vote
1answer
432 views

"I think it strange that .." -- is the phrase correct or does it miss a verb before 'it'?

I think it strange that there is no one on the street at this time of the day. In the above sentence, I think, a verb is missing; and should be corrected as; I think it is strange that there is ...
-1
votes
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
16k 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?
5
votes
2answers
39k views

"See somebody do" and "see somebody doing"

My grammar book says that if you saw the complete action you use do/get/drive: "I saw him fall off the wall." Otherwise you use -ing: "I saw him standing at the bus stop." A native ...
5
votes
2answers
969 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
75k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
13k views

help you do (or) to do something - difference [duplicate]

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
9k 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
vote
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
62k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

dummy "it" + was/were?

What is correct in the following sentence: It was/were our musical expeditions to Berlin that encouraged us to do that. I think the plural of "expeditions" indicates "were" but I'...
37
votes
2answers
151k 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?
17
votes
4answers
76k views

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

Is there a difference between 'hear' and 'listen' in Standard English?
6
votes
2answers
45k 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
votes
1answer
31k 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??
4
votes
2answers
48k 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
votes
2answers
474 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 ...
2
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
234 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
48k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
276k views

Difference between "assist in" and "assist with"

He assisted in the editing of the movie. He assisted with the editing of the movie. He assisted at the editing of the movie. Is "assist in" the same as "assist with"? Can I always ...
9
votes
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
49k 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
8k 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
622 views

A comparison between the verbs (come in / by), (drop in / by), (check in / by) (step in / by) and come over

Suppose a lonely mother who has a son who does not give his mother a call for a long time (he doesn't go to his mother home to make sure what is going on and how is his mother's conditions from each ...
1
vote
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 ...
8
votes
5answers
43k 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
12k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Does the verb "unvelcro" exist or what can we use instead?

I know that the following word pairs exist: button – unbutton tie – untie Can we use an analogous process with the verb "velcro"?
4
votes
2answers
13k views

“I heard him sing.” Vs. “I heard him singing.”

I am looking at the following two sentences: I heard him sing. I heard him singing. I think I understand the difference between these two sentences, but I want to make sure I understand. "I ...
3
votes
4answers
805 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

"I saw one of my classmates who was/were?" [closed]

Which one is correct? Please explain. I saw one of my classmates who was also on the boat while travelling to Saint Martin. I saw one of my classmates who were also on the boat while travelling to ...