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Lecture 2- Summer

Course Code
Richard Compton

of 8
Lecture 2-Verbs
Ex 2i: Its not what you do, its how you do it.
ii. She dont pay the rent regular She doesnt pay the rent regularly.
1i. I think its a disgrace [it is subject of embedded clause]; subject for
whole or main clause: I; rest of it is predicate
ii. The guy in that house over there works for the city Subject: That guy in
that house over there (can replace this with he*)
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Some Notation
o%grammatical only in some dialects
o?questionable grammatically
o! non-standard
Verb forms in English
o6 main inflectional forms; even within this system of 6, some of
them look the same
oi.e.: preterite (past tense): walked
o3rd singular person (he,she,it): walks
oPlain Present: walk
oSecondary form
Plain form: walk
Gerund-participle: -ing
Past participle: walked shares same form with
preterite for many verbs
Form vs Shape
oSome of these forms have the same shape
Preterite and Past Principle
Some verbs show this distinction
Various forms share same shape for many though
oPlain present and plain form vast majority of verbs (walk,
take); only verb in English that has different shapes for these to
is verb be
Are (plain present) vs be (plain form)
Primary Forms
oDistinction btwn primary and secondary forms
oForms that mark tense
oPreterite: refer to something in the past
oPlain Present: prototypically situate something in the present
o3rd (person) singular Present: used with 3rd person singular
Person & Number
oOnly 3rd person sing present is distinct
oPerson: subject is speaker or being addressed or someone else
oNumber: simply number of ppl or entities involved
oOther languages (eg Spanish) have a more complex sys marking
person and number
Secondary Forms
oDo not mark tense so normally cant be the only verb in a
oPlain form: same shape as Plain Present except for be verb
oGerund-participle: -ing
oPast Participle: shares same shape as preterite
Others exhibit vowel changes (eg. Singsung)
Plain Form
oUsed in several ways
oImperative: to give directions; plain form, not plain present form
because if we dont see any person or tense marking
oSubjunctive: not very common anymore
Used in subordinate clauses where something hasnt
occurred and we want to to occur
Has to do with possibility
To-infi: plain form-
Bare inf: normally occur with modals
oIn progressive:
Train is approaching stn
Be + verb in ing
oRelative Clause
Used similarly in way we use adjectives; an approaching
oOccassionally, NOUN
In the phrase, still behaving a verb, because its taking on
an object; morphologically, tests we apply to nouns dont
normally work here
Past Participle
oUsed in perfect construction
Auxiliary have
Aux. be
Letter was written by her secretary
Finite vs Non-finite
oFiniteness: non-finite clauses have to be subordinate clauses
Finite clauses can have a subject, but non-finite might
need etra machinery to have a subject
oPreterite, 3rd sing present, plain present (primary forms) are
finite, can be in main clauses, but dont have to be
oImperative and subjunctive finite; although imperative doesnt
have a subject its implied; subjunctive: God be with you.
oInfinitival, gerund-part., past part.
Major types of verbs
oLexical verbs regular verbs
oAuxiliary verbs special use verbs; limited set; much more
resistant to new members of their class, more rigid (so called a
closed class)
Modals: express modality (possibility, necessity,
obligation) these also have preterite forms (could,
would, should)
Non-modals: doesnt express futurity, express more nitty-
gritty thing relating to tense system, perfectivity
Aux. verbs
oHave certain unique properties
Ellipsis (which can be left out)
oLexical verbs need a form of do or some modal to negate them
They did not walk. (NEG)
oOthers auxiliaries dont need do
They can walk They cannot walk
She has gone She has not gone