VERBS

  • Verbs describe actions, states, or occurrences.
  • A verb forms the main part of the predicate of a sentence.
  • The most distinctive property of lexical verbs is their inflection.  For example “…ed” marks past tense.
  • The form of verbs can be described by:
    • mood = indicative (normal), imperative, subjunctive.
    • modality = modal auxiliary (can,  will etc.)
    • tense (present/past)
    • aspect (perfect/continuous),
    • voice (passive/active)
    • number (singular/plural)
    • person (first: I, second: you, third: he etc.)
  • A verb can be the ‘head’ verb in a verb phrase: “might have been seen.”  The particular head verb largely determines what else is allowed in the clause.  For example, “I see you”, I look at you”

verb + noun + TO THE + noun

A search in NOW corpus for: _VV _N to the _N 1 GAIN ACCESS TO THE SUBSCRIBER 3211 2 THROW CAUTION TO THE WIND 1721 A search for collocates: 1 DECIDED 95 I decided to throw caution to the wind and try it. foxnews.com 2 WILLING 21 He‘s been pretty extreme throughout his career and been willing to throw caution to the wind. ewrestlingnews.com 3 DECIDE 21 4 MEAN 19 5 DECIDES 15 6 THEREFORE 13 …

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phrasal verb + clause ‘work out how you did it’

At C2 in the English Vocabulary Profile: work out = to understand something or to find the answer to something by thinking about it A search in NOW corpus for which ‘question words’ follow phrasal verbs: work out _*Q 1 WORK OUT HOW 12286 Just give us five minutes, Mr Poirot, and I‘m sure we‘ll be able to work out how you did it. listen 2 WORK OUT WHAT 11671 …

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verb + adverb + verb + adverb + verb

While working on another piece of grammar, I noticed a complex piece of grammar that is not listed in the English Grammar Profile.  There are many grammar points that are listed that are about adverbs in the middle position, but none about two which should be listed at C2. A search in iWeb corpus for …

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to be being

There is no entry in the English Grammar Profile for the continuous infinitive passive.  Therefore, we say this is a C2 grammar structure. A search in NOW corpus for: * to be being * 1 BELIEVED TO BE BEING HELD 18 The following example has past passive + infinitive + continuous passive: The driver of the lorry was believed to be being held by police. …

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infinitive clauses

I just put a range of sentences through the profiler on this website.   The ‘infinitive of purpose’ is A2.   To feel that you‘re special is crucial to develop a sense of security. The manager gave the staff an extended vacation to test whether they would actually take it, not because he was generous.   B1 verb pattern for a request or command. Ask him to find out what she wanted.   B2 modality with an adjective + infinitive The principal was happy to learn that his budget would increase next year. I‘m happy to see you. Be sure to remember to turn off the oven.

APPLY + equally | method | theory

In the English Vocabulary Profile, all the vocabulary in this set of collocations is at B1 except for ‘equally’ at B2. I apply this lesson equally well to my personal life.   About 75 percent of people who applied to jobs using various methods in the past year said they never heard anything back from the employer.   We have applied this theory to many systems.

allow access

Looking for academic collocation in TED corpus for: allow* * access* Together, psychedelics and music may be able to open our minds to change and direct that change,  reconnect us with our most authentic selves and allow us access to the things that really allow us to make meaning in this world,  and reconnect with our most authentic selves. listen ‘allow’ and ‘access’ are B1 in the English Vocabulary Profile.

wish * would

The verb ‘wish’ is in the English Vocabulary Profile at B1 with the meaning: to want a situation that is different from the one that exists There is no other entry using it with ‘would’.  But there is mention in the English Grammar Profile of using ‘wish’ with past forms.  ‘would’ can be considered as …

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GO + verbING

Listed at A2 in the English Vocabulary Profile: go + verb-ing to go somewhere to do a particular activity For example: If you guys aren’t doing anything, we‘re all gonna go surfing. listen An iWeb search for: GO _VVG 1 GO SHOPPING 15263 ‘GO SHOPPING’ is listed at A1. Yeah, that‘s a good idea, because I was gonna go shopping for a wheelchair anyway. 2 WENT MISSING 12104 ‘GO MSSING’ is not an activity, …

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TO infinitive

Let’s look at the most frequent ‘to infinitives’ on the internet in the top 100 verbs.  Our research is by doing a search in iWeb for _TO _VVI At A2, ‘keep’ stands out. We have put in bold the most frequent collocations too: I’m trying hard to keep my family out of my life. Cat Run At B1, ‘create’ is the most frequent. The …

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