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Английский FAQ 
Welcome to the Английский FAQ In this area of our site, you will find the answers to the frequently asked questions, as well as answers to How do I and Did you know questions. Please feel free to post a comment on any Q&A.
 Categories summary
Here is a list of the top categories and their sub-categories. Select a category to see the Q&As within.
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 The Parts of Speech
Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight parts of speech: the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.

Each part of speech explains not what the word is, but how the word is used. In fact, the same word can be a noun in one sentence and a verb or adjective in the next.
8 What is an Interjection?
 The Parts of The Sentence
The parts of the sentence are a set of terms for describing how people construct sentences from smaller pieces. There is not a direct correspondence between the parts of the sentence and the parts of speech -- the subject of a sentence, for example, could be a noun, a pronoun, or even an entire phrase or clause. Like the parts of speech, however, the parts of the sentence form part of the basic vocabulary of grammar, and it is important that you take some time to learn and understand them.
2 What Are Objects and Complements?
 Punctuation
The following sections will help you understand and use different types of punctuation more effectively in your writing. This chapter begins with the comma, the punctuation mark which usually causes writers the most trouble, before turning to other types of punctuation.
7 What is The Dash?
 Using Pronouns
Pronouns connect people and things into sentences. Rather than saying a person's name, you can say 'they' or 'I'. This does remove information about the person or thing referenced and can make the sentence more general.
2 Tricky Points of Pronoun Usage
 Using Verbs
The verb is perhaps the most important part of the sentence. A verb or compound verb asserts something about the subject of the sentence and expresses actions, events, or states of being
16 ASK is one of the most common verbs in English
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Modifiers ]


Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, and sometimes clauses and whole sentences. Adjectives are words that modify nouns and pronouns. Be careful not to use an adjective where you need an adverb. Consider the following sentences, for instance:

[WRONG] Once the test was over, Sharon walked slow out of the classroom.
[RIGHT] Once the test was over, Sharon walked slowly out of the classroom.

The sentence needs an adverb, not an adjective, to modify the verb "walked."

[WRONG] We tried real hard to get the muffin mixture perfect.
[RIGHT] We tried really hard to get the muffin mixture perfect.

The sentence needs an adverb, not an adjective, to modify the adjective "hard." (Note that "really" is an informal substitute for "very", and you should avoid in in formal essays.)

Using "good," "bad," "well," and "badly."

You might also note the distinctions between "good" and "bad" (which are adjectives) and "well" and "badly" (which are adverbs):

Shelley plays the piano well and the drums badly.
The actor's performance was good even though he felt bad that night.

"Well" is an adjective only when it refers to health or condition:

She protested that she was well enough to start playing sports again.

Using Adjectives with Linking Verbs

In the same vein, remember that adjectives modify nouns and pronouns. Do not mistakenly use an adverb to modify these parts of speech.

For example, after a linking verb you may be tempted to use an adverb instead of an adjective. You will recall that the linking verb is a special kind of verb because it links its subject to a subject complement. A subject complement can be either a noun (renaming the subject) or a modifier (describing the subject). When it is a modifier it must be an adjective because it describes the subject (always a noun or pronoun). It does not modify the linking verb itself and should therefore not be an adverb:

[WRONG] We felt badly about having caused the accident

[RIGHT] We felt bad about having caused the accident.

Using Conjunctive Adverbs

The conjunctive adverb is a special kind of adverb that often serves as a transition between two independent clauses in a sentence. Some common conjunctive adverbs are "therefore," "however," "moreover," "nevertheless," "consequently," and "furthermore." When using a conjunctive adverb at the beginning of the second independent clause, be sure to precede it with a semicolon not a comma.

My roommate usually listens to rock music; however, he also likes John Coltrane and several other jazz musicians.


Using Verbs ]


A verb may be in one of three moods: the indicative mood, the imperative mood, and the subjunctive mood.

The Indicative Mood

The indicative mood is the most common and is used to express facts and opinions or to make inquiries. Most of the statements you make or you read will be in the indicative mood.

The highlighted verbs in the following sentences are all in the indicative mood:

Joe picks up the boxes.
The german shepherd fetches the stick.
Charles closes the window.

The Imperative Mood

The imperative mood is also common and is used to give orders or to make requests. The imperative is identical in form to the second person indicative.

The highlighted verbs in the following sentences are all in the imperative mood:

Pick up those boxes.
Fetch.
Close the window.

The Subjunctive Mood

The subjunctive mood has almost disappeared from the language and is thus more difficult to use correctly than either the indicative mood or the imperative mood. The subjunctive mood rarely appears in everyday conversation or writing and is used in a set of specific circumstances.

You form the present tense subjunctive by dropping the "s" from the end of the third person singular, except for the verb "be".

paints
present subjunctive: "paint"
walks
present subjunctive: "walk"
thinks
present subjunctive: "think"
is
present subjunctive: "be"

Except for the verb "be," the past tense subjunctive is indistinguishable in form from the past tense indicative. The past tense subjunctive of "be" is "were."

painted
past subjunctive: "painted"
walked
past subjunctive: "walked"
thought
past subjunctive: "thought"
was
past subjunctive: "were"

The subjunctive is found in a handful of traditional circumstances. For example, in the sentence "God save the Queen," the verb "save" is in the subjunctive mood. Similarly, in the sentence "Heaven forbid," the verb forbid is in the subjunctive mood.

The subjunctive is usually found in complex sentences. The subjunctive mood is used in dependent clauses to express unreal conditions and in dependent clauses following verbs of wishing or requesting.

The subjunctive mood is used in a dependent clause attached to an independent clause that uses a verb such as "ask," "command," "demand," "insist," "order," "recommend," "require," "suggest," or "wish."

The subjunctive mood is also used in a dependent clause attached to an independent clause that uses an adjective that expresses urgency (such as "crucial," "essential," "important," "imperative," "necessary," or "urgent").

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the subjunctive mood.

It is urgent that Harraway attend Monday's meeting.
The Member of Parliament demanded that the Minister explain the effects of the bill on the environment.
The sergeant ordered that Calvin scrub the walls of the mess hall.
We suggest that Mr. Beatty move the car out of the no parking zone.
The committee recommended that the bill be passed immediately.
If Canada were a tropical country, we would be able to grow pineapples in our backyards.
If he were more generous, he would not have chased the canvassers away from his door.
I wish that this book were still in print.
If the council members were interested in stopping street prostitution, they would urge the police to pursue customers more vigorously than they pursue the prostitutes.


Using Verbs ]


Using verbs in correct sequence is often difficult, especially for those people whose cradle tongue is not English or whose cradle tongue does not uses a similar tense system. The situation is further complicated by the fact that context, idiom, and style play as large a role in determining tense sequence as grammatical rules.

In order to determine correct verb sequence, you must be able to identify independent and dependent clauses. The sequence of tenses in complex sentences is usually determined by the tense of the verb in the independent clause. (In compound sentences, use the tenses that fit the logic of the sentence.)

Present Tenses in Sequence

In general, present tenses may be followed by a wide variety of tenses as long as the sequence fits the logic of the sentence.

The four present tenses are the simple present, the present progressive, the present perfect, and the present perfect progressive. When these tenses are used in an independent clause, the verb in the dependent clause can be a present tense verb, a past tense verb or a future tense verb, as in the following sentences.

Deborah waits patiently while Bridget books the tickets.

The simple present tense is used in both the independent clause and the dependent clause.

They have not delivered the documents we need.

The verb of the independent clause "They have not delivered the documents" is in the present perfect tense. The verb in the dependent clause "we need" is in the simple present tense. The simple future could also be used in the dependent clause ("we will need").

I have been relying on my Christmas bonus to pay for the gifts I buy for my large family.

In this sentence the compound verb of the independent clause ("I have been relying on my Christmas bonus to pay for the gift") is in the present perfect progressive. The simple predicate of the dependent clause ("I buy for my large family") is in the simple present ("buy"). The simple future could also be used ("will buy").

Even though the coroner has been carefully examining the corpse discovered in Sutherland's Gully since early this morning, we still do not know the cause of death.

In this sentence the compound verb of the independent clause ("we still do not know the cause of death") is in the simple present tense. The simple predicate of the dependent clause ("Even though the coroner has been carefully examining the corpse discovered in Sutherland's Gully since early this morning") in the present perfect progressive tense ("has been . . . examining").

The government has cut university budgets; consequently, the dean has increased the size of most classes.

In this compound sentence, both predicates are in the present perfect. The simple future could also be used in the second independent clause ("consequently, the dean will increase the size of most classes") if the writer wants to suggest that the dean's action will take place in the future.

Past Tenses in Sequence

When the verb in the independent clause is the past tense, the verb in the dependent clause is usually in a past tense as well. The past tenses are the simple past, the past progressive, the past perfect, and the past perfect progressive.

The verb in dependent clause should accurately reflect the temporal relationship of the two clauses.

If the action in the dependent clause occurred before action in the independent clause, the past perfect is usually the most appropriate tense for the dependent clause, as in the following sentences.

Miriam arrived at 5:00 p.m. but Mr. Whitaker had closed the store.

The action of dependent clause ("but Mr. Whitaker had closed the store") is described with a past perfect tense ("had closed") because the act of closing takes place before the act of arriving. The simple predicate of the independent clause ("by the time Miriam arrived") is in the simple past.

After we located the restaurant that Christian had raved about, we ate supper there every Friday.

Since actions of the second dependent clause ("that Christian had raved about") precedes the other actions in the sentence, the past perfect is most appropriate verb tense.

We fed the elephant oats for a week because it had eaten all the hay.

In this sentence, both actions take place in the past, but the action of the independent clause (the feeding oats) follows the action of dependent clause (the eating of the hay) and as a result, the predicate of the dependent clause is in the past perfect ("had eaten").

After she had learnedd to drive, Alice felt more independent.

In this example the predicate of the dependent clause is in the past perfect ("had learned") because the act of learning preceded the independent clause's the act of feeling independent.

If the action in the dependent clause, occurs at the same time as the action in the independent clause, the tense usually match. So if the simple past is used in the independent clause, the simple past may also used in the dependent clause.

When the verb of the independent clause is one of the progressive tenses, the simple past is usually the most appropriate tense for the dependent clause, as in the following sentences:

Lena was telling a story about the exploits of a red cow when a tree branch broke the parlour window.

Here the action "was telling" took place in the past and continued for some time in the past. The breaking of the window is described in the simple past.

When the recess bell rang, Jesse was writing a long division problem on the blackboard.

This sentence describes actions ("ran" and "was writing") that took place sometime in the past, and emphasis the continuing nature of the action that takes place in the independent clause ("was writing").

One of the most common source of verb sequence error arises from a confusion of the present perfect ("has walked") and the past perfect ("had walked"). Both tense convey a sense of pastness, but the present perfect is categorised as a present tense verb.

One of the easiest ways of determining whether you've used the perfect tenses correctly is to examine the auxiliary verb. Remember "has" and "have" are present tense auxiliaries and "had" is a past tense auxiliary. The future tense auxiliary is "will."


Using Verbs ]


A verb indicates the time of an action, event or condition by changing its form. Through the use of a sequence of tenses in a sentence or in a paragraph, it is possible to indicate the complex temporal relationship of actions, events, and conditions

There are many ways of categorising the twelve possible verb tenses. The verb tenses may be categorised according to the time frame: past tenses, present tenses, and future tenses.

Verb Tense: Time

The four past tenses are

1. the simple past ("I went")
2. the past progressive ("I was going")
3. the past perfect ("I had gone")
4. the past perfect progressive ("I had been going")

The four present tenses are

1. the simple present ("I go")
2. the present progressive ("I am going")
3. the present perfect ("I have gone")
4. the present perfect progressive ("I have been going")

Note that the present perfect and present perfect progressive are a present not past tenses -- that idea is that the speaker is currently in the state of having gone or having been going.

The four future tenses are

1. the simple future ("I will go")
2. the future progressive ("I will be going")
3. the future perfect ("I will have gone")
4. the future perfect progressive ("I will have been going")

Verb Tense: Aspect

Verb tenses may also be categorised according to aspect. Aspect refers to the nature of the action described by the verb. There are three aspects: indefinite (or simple), complete (or perfect), continuing (or progressive).

The three indefinite tenses, or simple tenses, describe an action but do not state whether the action is finished:

* the simple past ("I went")
* the simple present ("I go")
* the simple future ("I will go")

A verb in the indefinite aspect is used when the beginning or ending of an action, an event, or condition is unknown or unimportant to the meaning of the sentence. The indefinite aspect is also used to used to indicate an habitual or repeated action, event, or condition.

The three complete tenses, or perfect tenses, describe a finished action:

* the past perfect ("I had gone")
* the present perfect ("I have gone")
* the future perfect ("I will have gone")

A verb in the complete aspect indicates that the end of the action, event, or condition is known and the is used to emphasise the fact that the action is complete. The action may, however, be completed in the present, in the past or in the future.

The three incomplete tenses, or progressive tenses, describe an unfinished action:

* the past progressive ("I was going")
* the present progressive ("I am going")
* the future progressive ("I will be going")

A verb in the continuing aspect indicates that the action, event, or condition is ongoing in the present, the past or the future.

It is also possible to combine the complete tenses and the incomplete tenses, to describe an action which was in progress and then finished:

* the past perfect progressive ("I had been going")
* the present perfect progressive ("I have been going")
* the future perfect progressive ("I will have been going")

The Function of Verb Tenses

The Simple Present Tense

The simple present is used to describe an action, an event, or condition that is occurring in the present, at the moment of speaking or writing. The simple present is used when the precise beginning or ending of a present action, event, or condition is unknown or is unimportant to the meaning of the sentence.

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the simple present tense and each sentence describes an action taking place in the present:

Deborah waits patiently while Bridget books the tickets.
The shelf holds three books and a vase of flowers.
The crowd moves across the field in an attempt to see the rock star get into her helicopter.
The Stephens sisters are both very talented; Virginia writes and Vanessa paints.
Ross annoys Walter by turning pages too quickly.

The simple present is used to express general truths such as scientific fact, as in the following sentences:

Rectangles have four sides.
Canada Day takes place on July 1, the anniversary of the signing of the British North America Act.
The moon circles the earth once every 28 days.
Calcium is important to the formation of strong bones.
Menarche and menopause mark the beginning and the ending of a woman's reproductive history.

The simple present is used to indicate a habitual action, event, or condition, as in the following sentences:

Leonard goes to The Jumping Horse Tavern every Thursday evening.
My grandmother sends me new mittens each spring.
In fairy tales, things happen in threes.
We never finish jigsaw puzzles because the cat always eats some of the pieces.
Jesse polishes the menorah on Wednesdays.

The simple present is also used when writing about works of art, as in the following sentences.

Lolly Willowes is the protagonist of the novel Townsend published in 1926.
One of Artemisia Gentleschi's best known paintings represents Judith's beheading of Holofernes.
The Lady of Shallot weaves a tapestry while watching the passers-by in her mirror.
Lear rages against the silence of Cordelia and only belatedly realizes that she, not her more vocal sisters, loves him.
The play ends with an epilogue spoken by the fool.

The simple present can also be used to refer to a future event when used in conjunction with an adverb or adverbial phrase, as in the following sentences.

The doors open in 10 minutes.
The premier arrives on Tuesday.
Classes end next week.
The publisher distributes the galley proofs next Wednesday.
The lunar eclipses begins in exactly 43 minutes.

The Present Progressive

While the simple present and the present progressive are sometimes used interchangeably, the present progressive emphasises the continuing nature of an act, event, or condition.

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the present progressive tense. In each sentence the on-going nature of the action is emphasised by the use of the present progressive rather than the simple present.

Nora is looking for the first paperback editions of all of Raymond Chandler's books.
Deirdre is dusting all the shelves on the second floor of the shop.
The union members are pacing up and down in front of the factory.
KPLA is broadcasting the hits of the 70s this evening.
The presses are printing the first edition of tomorrow's paper.

The present progressive is occasionally used to refer to a future event when used in conjunction with an adverb or adverbial phrase, as in the following sentences.

The doors are opening in 10 minutes.
The premier is arriving on Tuesday.
Classes are ending next week.
The publisher is distributing the galley proofs next Wednesday.

The Present Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense is used to describe action that began in the past and continues into the present or has just been completed at the moment of utterance. The present perfect is often used to suggest that a past action still has an effect upon something happening in the present.

Each of the highlighted compound verbs in the following sentences is in the present perfect tense.

They have not delivered the documents we need.

This sentence suggest that the documents were not delivered in the past and that they are still undelivered.

The health department has decided that all high school students should be immunised against meningitis.

The writer of this sentence uses the present perfect in order to suggest that the decision made in the past is still of importance in the present.

The government has cut university budgets; consequently, the dean has increased the size of most classes.

Here both actions took place sometime in the past and continue to influence the present.

The heat wave has lasted three weeks.

In this sentence, the writer uses the present perfect to indicate that a condition (the heat wave) began in past and continues to affect the present.

Donna has dreamt about frogs sitting in trees every night this week.

Here the action of dreaming has begun in the past and continues into the present.

The Present Perfect Progressive Tense

Like the present perfect, the present perfect progressive is used to describe an action, event, or condition that has begun in the past and continues into the present. The present perfect progressive, however, is used to stress the on-going nature of that action, condition, or event.

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the present perfect progressive tense and each sentence suggests that the action began in the past and is continuing into the present.

That dog has been barking for three hours; I wonder if someone will call the owner.
I have been relying on my Christmas bonus to pay for the gifts I buy for my large family.
They have been publishing this comic book for ten years.
We have been seeing geese flying south all afternoon.
Even though the coroner has been carefully examining the corpse discovered in Sutherland's Gully since early this morning, we still do not know the cause of death.

The Simple Past Tense

The simple past is used to describe an action, an event, or condition that occurred in the past, sometime before the moment of speaking or writing.

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the simple past tense and each sentence describes an action taking place at some point in past.

A flea jumped from the dog to the cat.
Phoebe gripped the hammer tightly and nailed the boards together.
The gem-stones sparkled in a velvet lined display case.
Artemisia Gentilsechi probably died in 1652.
The storyteller began every story by saying "A long time ago when the earth was green."

The Past Progressive Tense

The past progressive tense is used to described actions ongoing in the past. These actions often take place within a specific time frame. While actions referred to in the present progressive have some connection to the present, actions referred in the past progressive have no immediate or obvious connection to the present. The on-going actions took place and were completed at some point well before the time of speaking or writing.

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the past progressive tense.

The cat was walking along the tree branch.

This sentence describes an action that took place over a period of continuous time in the past. The cat's actions have no immediate relationship to anything occurring now in the present.

Lena was telling a story about the exploits of a red cow when a tree branch broke the parlour window.

Here the action "was telling" took place in the past and continued for some time in the past.

When the recess bell rang, Jesse was writing a long division problem on the blackboard.

This sentence describes actions ("ran" and "was writing") that took place sometime in the past, and emphasises the continuing nature of one of the actions ("was writing").

The archivists were eagerly waiting for the delivery of the former prime minister's private papers.

Here the ongoing action of "waiting" occurred at some time unconnected to the present.

Between 1942 and 1944 the Frank and Van Damm families were hiding in a Amsterdam office building.

In this sentence, the action of hiding took place over an extended period of time and the continuing nature of the hiding is emphasised.

The Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense is used to refer to actions that took place and were completed in the past. The past perfect is often used to emphasise that one action, event or condition ended before another past action, event, or condition began.

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the past perfect.

Miriam arrived at 5:00 p.m. but Mr. Whitaker had closed the store.

All the events in this sentence took place in the past, but the act of closing the store takes place before Miriam arrives at the store.

After we located the restaurant that Christian had raved about, we ate supper there every Friday.

Here the praise ("had raved") precedes the finding ("located") of the restaurant. Both actions took place sometime before the moment of speaking or writing.

The elephant had eaten all the hay so we fed it oats for a week.

In this sentence, both actions take place in the past, but the eating of the hay ("had eaten") preceded the eating of the oats ("fed").

The heat wave had lasted three weeks.

While the sentence "The heat wave has lasted three weeks" suggests that a condition began in the past and continues into the present, this sentence describes an action that began and ended sometime in the past ("had lasted"). By using the past perfect the writer indicates that the heat wave has no connection to any events occurring in the present.

After she had learned to drive, Alice felt more independent.

Here the learning took place and was completed at a specific time in the past. By using the past perfect rather than the simple past ("learned"), the writer emphasises that the learning preceded the feeling of independence.

The Past Perfect Progressive Tense

The past perfect progressive is used to indicate that a continuing action in the past began before another past action began or interrupted the first action.

Each of the highlighted compound verbs in the following sentences is in the past perfect progressive tense.

The toddlers had been running around the school yard for ten minutes before the teachers shooed them back inside.

Here the action of the toddlers ("had been running") is ongoing in the past and precedes the actions of the teachers ("shooed") which also takes place in the past.

We had been talking about repainting the front room for three years and last night we finally bought the paint.

In this example, the ongoing action of "talking" precedes another past action ("bought").

A construction crew had been digging one pit after another in the middle of my street for three days before they found the water main.

Here, the action of digging ("had been digging") took place in the past and occurred over a period of time. The digging was followed by the action of finding ("found").

Madeleine had been reading mystery novels for several years before she discovered the works of Agatha Christie.

In this sentence the act of discovery ("discovered") occurred in the past but after the ongoing and repeated action of reading ("had been reading").

The chef's assistant had been chopping vegetables for several minutes before he realized that he had minced his apron strings.

This sentence is a bit more complex in that it contains three different past verb tenses. The sequence of tenses conveys a complex set of information. The past perfect progressive ("had been chopping") is used to emphasise the ongoing nature of the past act of chopping. While a second past perfect progressive ("had been mincing") could be used, the past perfect ("had minced") is used to suggest that act of mincing was completed. The simple past ("realized") is used to describe the action closest to the present, an action that followed both the chopping and the mincing.

The Simple Future Tense

The simple future is used to refer to actions that will take place after the act of speaking or writing.

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the simple future tense.

They will meet us at the newest café in the market.
Will you walk the dog tonight?
At the feast, we will eat heartily.
Bobbie will call you tomorrow with details about the agenda.
The Smiths say that they will not move their chicken coop.

The Future Progressive Tense

The future progressive tense is used to describe actions ongoing in the future. The future progressive is used to refer to continuing action that will occur in the future.

Each of the highlighted compound verbs in the following sentences is in the future progressive tense.

The glee club will be performing at the celebration of the town's centenary.
Ian will be working on the computer system for the next two weeks.
The selection committee will be meeting every Wednesday morning.
We will be writing an exam every afternoon next week.
They will be ringing the bells for Hypatia next month.

The Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect is used to refer to an action that will be completed sometime in the future before another action takes place.

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the future perfect tense.

The surgeon will have operated on 6 patients before she attends a luncheon meeting.

In this sentence, the act of operating ("will have operated") takes place in the future sometime before the act of attending ("attends").

The plumber and his assistant will have soldered all the new joins in pipes before they leave for the next job.

Here, the plumbers' act of soldering ("will have soldered") will precede the act of leaving ("leave").

By the time you get back from the corner store, we will have finished writing the thank you letters.

In this sentence, the act of returning from the store ("get back") takes place after the act of writing ("will have written").

If this year is like last year, I will have finished my holiday shopping long before my brother starts his.

In this example, the act of finishing ("will have finished") occurs well before the act of starting ("starts").

They will have written their first exam by the time we get out of bed.

Here, the act of getting out of bed occurs sometime after the writing of the exam.

The Future Perfect Progressive Tense

The future perfect progressive tense is used to indicate a continuing action that will be completed at some specified time in the future. This tense is rarely used.

Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the future perfect progressive tense.

I will have been studying Greek for three years by the end of this term.

In this sentence, the future perfect progressive is used to indicate the ongoing nature of the future act of the studying. The act of studying ("will have been studying") will occur before the upcoming end of term.

By the time the meeting is over, the committee will have been arguing about which candidate to interview for three hours.

Similarly in this sentence, the ongoing nature of a future act ("will have been arguing") is emphasised by the use of the future perfect progressive. The act of sustained arguing will take place before the meeting is over.

When he returns, the wine will have been fermenting for three months.

Here the ongoing action of fermentation will precede ("will have been fermenting") the act of returning.


Using Verbs ]


Writers often confuse the verb pairs "lie" and "lay" and "sit" and "set."

"Lie" and "Lay"

The verb "lie" is an intransitive verb which means "to recline" or "to be situated". The present participle of "lie" is "lying," the past form is "lay" and the past participle is "lain":

The cup is lying on the floor.
The cat lay in the sun all morning.
The newspapers had lain on the verandah for two weeks before anyone noticed that Mr. Gilfillian had disappeared.

In each of these examples, the intransitive verb "lie" is used (in conjunction with an adverbial phrase) to describe the location of the subject.

The verb "lay" is a transitive verb which means "to place" or "to put." The present participle of "lay" is "laying," and both the past form and the past participle is "laid":

I was laying the cups and saucers on the table when I dropped one.
Jenkins laid the suspicious parcel on the commissioner's desk.
The supervisor had laid a cup of scalding coffee on the counter only moments before the bulldozer rammed into the construction office.

In each of these sentences, the transitive verb "lay" is used to describe the fact that someone had placed something somewhere.

Sit and Set

The verbs "sit" and "set" are also frequently confused. The intransitive verb "sit" means "to rest" or "to occupy a seat." The present participle is "sitting," and both the past part and the past participle are "sat."

Charlie will be surprised when he learns that he is sitting on a freshly painted bench.
We sat in the corridor outside the dean's office all afternoon.
The student delegate is persistent; they have sat in the excruciatingly uncomfortable chairs outside the dean's office for several hours.

In each of these sentences, the verb "sit" is used in conjunction with a adverbial phrase to describe the position of the subject.

The transitive verb "set" means "to place," "to put," or "to lay." The present participle of "set" is "setting," and both the past form and the past participle are "set":

The clockmaker was setting his tools on the bench when the hooligans came into his shop.
Germaine set plates and soup bowls on the table.
Once we had set the clock ahead an hour, we went to bed.

In each of these sentence, the verb "set" is used to describe the placing of an object in a specific place.


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Design by: XOOPS UI/UX Team