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”

MAKE + noun phrase + OF

This structure is generally B2 grammar because it often comes with a wide range of general reference nouns without a determiner.  However, more detail can be found in the English Vocabulary Profile regarding meaning and level: make fun of sb/sth = B2 to make a joke about someone or something in an unkind way make …

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lexical verb + THE USE OF

Here are examples of verbs that suggest ability (or lack of) + the noun phrase ‘the use of’: So how have we enabled the use of goats as a reliable form of currency? TED In that service, he actually lost the use of his legs, he‘s paralyzed and he uses marijuana for pain management. TED In the English Vocabulary Profile: the use of sth = C2 permission to use something, or the ability to use something We are interested in finding which verbs might suggest …

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lexical verb + UNTIL|TILL

In the English Vocabulary Profile, wait until= NOT DO SOMETHING C1 to not do something until something else happens For example: Wait till you see what we‘ve done with the Internet. listen We want to know which other verbs carry a similar meaning of not doing something. He will be held until Vargas agrees to free the sympathizers he has jailed. listen The Persians will not stop until the only shelter we will find is rubble and chaos. listen I submit that we engage and delay until reinforcements arrive. listen You stay until the job‘s done. listen A search in iWeb corpus for: …

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subjunctive THAT clauses

There is no mention of ‘subjunctive’ in the English Grammar Profile.  There are some points such as the second conditional though that indirectly cover it. For this reason, we suggest that sentences using other subjunctive forms that are not conditional or listed elsewhere, be considered as C2. Here are that clause examples from Wikipedia: It‘s crucial that he be here by noon. …

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HAPPEN TO infinitive

In the English Vocabulary Profile at C1 ‘happen + to-infinitive‘ =  do something by chance A search in the NOW corpus for: HAPPEN to _VVI 1 HAPPEN TO KNOW 1453 2 HAPPEN TO LIVE 1430 3 HAPPENED TO SEE 1172 4 HAPPEN TO THINK 1147 5 HAPPENED TO COME 1132 6 HAPPEN TO GET 1104 7 …

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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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verb + TO THE + noun

A search in the NOW corpus for: _V to the _N 1 GO TO THE HOME 158924 2 CONSENT TO THE COLLECTION 127114 3 WELCOME TO THE DISCUSSION 120567 4 CONSENT TO THE USE 115313 5 STICK TO THE TOPIC 90554 6 RELATING TO THE ACCESSIBILITY 54792 7 DIRECTED TO THE FCC 54790 8 DEDICATED …

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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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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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IMAGINE + gerund

This post relates to B2 range of gerunds. A search in iWeb for imagin* _VVG 1 IMAGINE GOING 3285 2 IMAGINE TRYING 3183 3 IMAGINE LIVING 2565 4 IMAGINE GETTING 2190 5 IMAGINE USING 1728 6 IMAGINE TAKING 1476 7 IMAGINE WALKING 1368 8 IMAGINE WORKING 1117 9 IMAGINE SEEING 1033 10 IMAGINE SITTING 1026 …

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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.