Sunday, August 16, 2009


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



What is a copula verb?
What verbs can be considered copula verbs?
Explain the differences between a sentence with a copula verb and a normal sentence.

A copula verb is a linking verb connecting its subject with its complement which can be either an adjective or a noun. It is often a verb of being but can also be a verb relating to the five senses.
“Look”, “sound”, “smell”, “feel”, “taste”, “appear”, “seem” and “become” are all copula verbs.
“Grow”, “turn”, “prove” and “remain” can be copula verbs when they reflect a state of being.

"I am the man."
“I” is a pronoun and the subject.
“Am” is a copula verb showing being.
“The” is a definite article referring to “man”.
“Man” is a noun completing, or referring to the subject “I”.

"This room smells bad."
“This” is a pronoun, modifying the noun “room”.
“Room” is a noun, subject of the verb “smells”.
“Smells” is a copula verb having the subject “room”.
“Bad” is an adjective, completing the subject “room”. It is often called a predicate adjective.



What is an active verb?
An active verb has the subject doing the action.
“John rode the horse.”

What is a passive verb?
A passive verb has the action being received by the subject.
“The horse was ridden by John.”

What are the guidelines or rules for the use of the active and passive voices of verbs?
There is really only one rule: the active and passive voices should not be used in the same sentence.

Using the verbs, "revise" and "approve", create both active and passive sentences.

“Mary revised the texts before submitting them for publication.” (active)
“The texts were revised by Mary before being submitted for publication.” (passive)

“I approve your text corrections.” (active)
“Your text corrections are approved by me.” (passive)



A participle is a word that is part verb and part adjective.
A participle can act as a verb and show action and it can act as an adjective and modify a noun or pronoun.
A present participle, like fighting, describes a present condition; it usually ends in “ing”.
A past participle, such as rotted, describes something that has happened; it usually ends in “ed”.
“The fighting parson shot his boozing enemies.”
“The rotted tooth was extremely painful.”



A gerund is a word that is part verb and part noun.
A gerund can act as a verb and show action and it can act as a noun or pronoun; it can be subject of a verb or it can be object of a verb or preposition.
A gerund ends in “ing”.
“Seeing is believing.”
“The results of the fighting are two bloody noses and one sore fists.”
“I love playing.”



An infinitive is the root of a verb preceded by the word “to”, as in “to sing”, “to slave” or “to play”.
A present infinitive describes a current condition as in, “Seeing is believing”.
A perfect infinitive describes a condition earlier than that of the verb, as in “I would like to have played that match over”.
Infinitives generally act as nouns, so can be subjects of verbs or objects of prepositions and verbs.

“To die: that’s a consummation devoutly to be wished.”
“To see a good performance is a wonderful experience.”
“Her wish was to be reborn.”


Identify the author of the following.

“Purchase not friends by gifts; when thou ceasest to give, such will cease to love.”
Thomas Fuller, English clergyman & historian (1608 - 1661), created this line.


Recondite” (adj.) means incomprehensible to ordinary understanding, abstruse or obscure.

Predilection” (n.) means liking, preferring or having a penchant or affinity for something.

Ineffable” (adj.) means defying description, unutterable, unspeakable or unknown.

Substantive” (n.) refers to a noun or pronoun that is used in place of a noun.

Substantive” (adj.) means being the primary part or essence of a thing, a meaty discussion or essential.

Deleterious” (adj.) means having an adverse effect on living things, hurtful or injurious.

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