Grammar Rebecca McFarlan Indian Hill HS Cincinnati, OH firstname.lastname@example.org
Three Categories of Verbs • Voice (Active/Passive) • Tense • Mood (Indicative – Imperative – Subjunctive)
Why are Verbs Important? • Verbs have more personality than any other part of speech. They have voice, mood, and tense. • Passive voice can be a problem for writers who don't have a clear focus. The extra words give the writer time to think of his or her next point. • In modern prose, the active voice is usually preferred because it is clearer and creates a livelier narrative pace than does the passive voice. • · Accomplished writers and orators, however, do consciously choose the passive voice for intended purposes, for example: • o Politicians distance themselves from acts with the passive voice. • o If the result is more important than the action, the passive voice emphasizes the effect rather than the cause. Scientists use the passive voice to detail their experiments because their findings are more important than their actions. • o Passive voicecreatespsychological distance.
Why Verbs are Important • Create and control a sense of time and narrative pace: Verb Tense • Create and control distance from the speaker and subject: Active/Passive Voice • Create tone and mood: Verb Mood (Indicative, Imperative, Subjunctive)
Active or Passive? • Test 1: A form of “to be” + past participle = Passive Voice • Jim was seen at the movie. • Jim saw the movie. • Test 2: Ask whether the subject completes the action or is acted upon. • John was called by Joni • John called Joni.
Why Do We Care????? • Passive voice can be a problem for writers who don't have a clear focus. The extra words give the writer time to think of his or her next point. • In modern prose, the active voice is usually preferred because it is clearer and creates a livelier narrative pace than does the passive voice.
My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union—and it is strong. Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done. • George W. Bush, excerpted from:"An Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People," September 20, 2001; http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/print/20010920-8.html.
March 13, 2005 Verb Tense
Verb Tense Controls Time • Simple Tense – Action or being tends to be more immediate and of shorter duration than that of the perfect tense. • Perfect Tense – Action or being tends to be of longer duration than that of the simple tense. • Progressive Tense – Can convey an unfinished, continuing or a more temporary action than either the simple or perfect tense.
Tense and Time Past Perfect Present Perfect Future Perfect Past Present Future
Verb Mood • Indicative – fact • I ran home. • Imperative – command • Run home now. • Subjunctive – possibility, wish, or potential • If I run, I might be home on time.
Examples • Would she were mine. • If she be not for me, what care I how fair she be? • Be he dead or be he alive, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread. • If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well/It were done quickly. • Macbeth
Present Indicative vs. Subjunctive I be We be Thou be Thou be (S)he,it be They be I am We are You are You are (S)he,it is They are
Present Subjunctive – To Have I have We have Thou have Thou have (S)he,ithave They have Is it essential that he have a witness? Is it essential that he have a witness?
Present Subjunctive – Regular Verbs Dropthe “s” on 3rd person singular If a man die, shall he live again?
Past Indicative vs. Subjunctive I was We were You were You were It was They were I were We were Thou were Thou were It were They were I wish he were coming
POTENTIAL SUBJUNCTIVES CAN/COULD SHOULD/WOULD MAY/MIGHT
In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the Union. Tonight, no such report is needed. It has already been delivered by the American people… We have seen the state of our Union in the endurance of rescuers, working past exhaustion. We have seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers—in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own. My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union—and it is strong. Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done. George W. Bush, September 20, 2001
Nouns and verbs are the building blocks of our language. • Nouns name our world and allow us to communicate with others about it. • Nouns help identify main ideas and themes. • Vague nouns do not usually add much depth to writing. • Concrete nouns create pictures.
Student Directions • Identifying and analyzing nouns are an excellent reading strategy. They will help you focus on the main ideas. Listen for nouns as I read the poem "My Papa's Waltz" to you. As you hear a noun, write it in the proper column. After I finish reading the poem two times, your grammar squad will have five minutes to compile a team list and answer the following questions. Your team will receive one point for each correct noun.
My Papa’s Waltz The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen* shelf; My mother's countenance Could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt.
So What? • Who is the poem about? • Why is the setting important? • What is the significance of the objects? • Why do you think Roethke uses the noun kitchen as an adjective to modify the noun shelf? • What is the poem’s theme? • What is Roethke’s tone? • Write a thesis statement.