Sunday, February 22, 2009


Here are the corrections and explanations for last week's entries.



1. Define "verb"?

A verb is a word that expresses action or being.

2. What is a "transitive" verb?

A transitive verb is one that can take an object.
Transitive means to go across, so the action of the verb goes across to the object.
An object answers the question, “What?” after the verb.

“The man shot the rodent.”
Rodent answers the question “what” after the verb shot, so it is the object of the verb.

3. What is an "intransitive" verb?

An intransitive verb does not take an object. Intransitive means not transitive so no action goes across from the verb.

An intransitive verb is one that does not take an object.

“The storm raged during the night.”
The question “what?” is not answered after the verb raged, so there is no object.

The use of a verb in a sentence determines whether it is transitive or intransitive.

4. What is a "copula" verb?

A "copula" verb expresses being.
Copula verbs do not express action but link or join or couple a completing word with the subject. The completing word can be a noun or an adjective.

“The river was swift.”
The verb “was” has no action and expresses being.
“Swift” is an adjective that refers back to, or couples to, the subject “river”.



What is a "verb phrase"?

A verb that consists of two or more words is called a verb phrase.

Define a "principal" verb.
The word in a verb phrase that expresses the main idea is the principal verb.

Define an "auxiliary" verb.
The helping word or words in a verb phrase is called the auxiliary verb.

“I have never seen the ocean.”
The verb phrase is “have seen”.

“The birds have been flying south lately.”
The verb phrase is “have been flying”.

“Provincial police are finally wearing good looking hats.”
The verb phrase is “are wearing”.



Define "tense" relative to verb usage?

Tense” refers to the change in the form of a verb to express a change in time.
Tense” refers to time as past, present or future.

Simple tenses" of verbs are the most common and basic form.
“I see”, “I saw” and “I shall see” are the present, past and future tenses of the verb “to see”.

Explain and give examples of "perfect tense" of verbs.

Perfect tenses” use auxiliary verbs to indicate completed actions.

Present perfect tenses" indicate an action which has been completed in a time very close to the present. Auxiliary verbs “have” or “has” must be used with the principal verb.
“I have finished my work.”

Past perfect tenses” indicate an action which was completed prior to another time or another action. The auxiliary verb “had” is used.
“I had finished my work before I went out to play.”

Future perfect tenses” indicate an action which will be completed before some point of time in the future. The auxiliary verbs “shall have” and “will have” are the auxiliary verbs which must be used.
“He will have finished his work by noon tomorrow.”



Active voice” refers to a sentence in which the subject is the doer of the action.

“He shoots the fantastic monster with his ray gun.”
“He shot the fantastic monster with his water pistol.”
“He will shoot the fantastic monster with something else because it is still alive.”

Passive voice” refers to a sentence in which the subject is the receiver of the action.
Only transitive verbs can be changed to passive voice because the object does the action.

“He is shot by the fantastic monster when he raises his head.”
“He was shot by the fantastic monster because he was careless.”
“He will be shot again by the fantastic monster if he tries to run.”


“It is only the ignorant who despise education.”
Publilius Syrus, circa 100 BC, created this phrase.


Languorous” (adj.) means lazy, sleepy, dreamy or lethargic.

Integrity” (n.) refers to honesty, honour, veracity or truth.

Susceptible” (adj.) means vulnerable, at risk, prone to or predisposed.

Scathe” (v.) means to attack with severe criticism, to hurt, to harm or to injure. The word is usually seen in the present participial form of “scathing”, as in a scathing glance.

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