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 Verb Classification

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Date d'inscription : 04/02/2007

MessageSujet: Verb Classification   Jeu 14 Juin - 6:03

Verb Classification

We divide verbs into two broad classifications:
1. Helping Verbs

Imagine that a stranger walks into your room and says:

  • I can.
  • People must.
  • The Earth will.
Do you understand anything? Has this person communicated
anything to you? Probably not! That's because these verbs are helping
verbs
and have no meaning on their own. They are necessary for the
grammatical structure of the sentence, but they do not tell us very much alone.
We usually use helping verbs with main verbs. They "help" the main verb. (The
sentences in the above examples are therefore incomplete. They need at least a
main verb to complete them.) There are only about 15 helping verbs.

2. Main Verbs
Now imagine that the same stranger walks into your room and
says:

  • I teach.
  • People eat.
  • The Earth rotates.
Do you understand something? Has this person communicated
something to you? Probably yes! Not a lot, but something. That's because these
verbs are main verbs and have meaning on their own. They tell us
something. Of course, there are thousands of main verbs.
In the following table we see example sentences with helping
verbs and main verbs. Notice that all of these sentences have a main verb. Only
some of them have a helping verb.
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