Verbals Verbals are verb parts that act like nouns, adjectives, or adverbs, but they cannot stand alone as actual verbs.
Infinitive An infinitive is a verbal consisting of the word to plus a verb and functions as a noun, adjective, or adverb. An infinitive is based on a verb and shows action or a state of being. The difference is that the infinitive may act as an adjective, adverb, subject, direct object, or the complement of a subject in a sentence. An infinitive is easy to locate because of the to + verb form, but deciding what it does in a sentence can be confusing sometimes.
Examples • To sit seemed wrong since the boy needed help. ("To sit" is the subject) • We all wanted to see. ("to see" is the direct object) • Her dream is to play. ("to play" complements the subject) • They didn't have the strength to stop. (adjective) • I must practice to win. (adverb)
Infinitives vs. Prepositional Phrases When you write infinitives, don't confuse them with prepositional phrases. Infinitives begin with the word to and a verb. Prepositional phrases can begin with the word to, but they are followed by a noun or pronoun and any modifiers.EXAMPLES:Infinitives: to walk, to crawl, to be, to draw, to fight, to see, to knowPrepositional Phrases--NOT INFINITIVES: to her, to the council, to my mother, to the ocean, to you, to this place
Infinitives as adverbs If the infinitive is used as an adverb and is the beginning phrase in a sentence, you should use a comma to set it off. Beyond that, no punctuation is needed for an infinitive phrase.EXAMPLES:To buy a basketball, Phil had to save all his money. To improve your playing, you should practice everyday.
Participial Phrases and Gerunds Verb-based words and phrases are helpful to include in your writing. Learning to use gerunds and participial phrases is an important aspect of becoming a good writer and editor
Gerunds (A) A gerund ends in -ing and can be used as a noun. A gerund is based on a verb. It shows action or a state of being. However, since a gerund works as a noun, it does the same thing in a sentence that a noun does. • Jogging is good exercise. • My favorite thing is sleeping.
Gerunds (B) a.as the subject of the sentence: • Eating people is wrong. • Hunting tigers is dangerous. • Flying makes me nervous.
Gerunds (C) b.as the complement of the verb 'to be': • One of his duties is attending meetings. • The hardest thing about learning English is understanding the gerund. • One of life's pleasures is having breakfast in bed.
Gerunds (D) c. after prepositions.The gerund must be used when a verb comes after a preposition: • Can you sneeze without opening your mouth? • She is good at painting. • They're keen on windsurfing. • She avoided him by walking on the opposite side of the road. • We arrived in Madrid after driving all night. • My father decided against postponing his trip to Hungary.
Gerunds (E) d. after a number of 'phrasal verbs' which are composed of a verb + preposition/adverb Example:to look forward to, to give up, to be for/against, to take to, to put off, to keep on: • I look forward to hearing from you soon. (at the end of a letter) • When are you going to give up smoking? • She always puts off going to the dentist. • He kept on asking for money.
Participial Phrases A participle is used as an adjectiveand most often ends in -ing or -ed. A participle is based on a verb. It shows an action or a state of being. However, since a participle works as an adjective, it can also modify nouns or pronouns.
Participial Phrases Pt. 2 There are two types of participles: present participles and past participles. Present participles end in -ing. Past participles end in -ed, -en, -d, -t, or -n, as in the words asked, eaten, saved, dealt, and seen. • The crying baby had a wet diaper. • The burning log fell off the fire.
Present Participles (A) The present participle of most verbs has the form base+ing and is used in the following ways: a. as part of the continuous form of a verb(See continuous tenses in VERB TENSES) Example: • I am working • he was singing • they have been walking
Present Participles (B) b. after verbs of movement/position in the pattern: verb + present participle Example: • She wentshopping • He laylookingup at the clouds • She camerunningtowards me • This construction is particularly useful with the verb 'to go', as in these common expressions : to go shopping to go ski-ing to go fishing to go surfing to go walking to go swimming to go running to go dancing
Present Participles (C) c. after verbs of perception in the pattern:verb + object + present participle Example: • I heard someone singing. • He saw his friend walking along the road. • I can smell something burning! NOTE: There is a difference in meaning when such a sentence contains a zero-infinitive rather than a participle. The infinitive refers to a complete action, but the participle refers to an incomplete action, or part of an action. Compare: • I heard Joanna singing(= she had started before I heard her, and probably went on afterwards) • I heard Joanna sing(= I heard her complete performance)
Present Participles (D) d. as an adjective Example: amazing, worrying, exciting, boring. • It was an amazing film. • It's a bit worrying when the police stop you • Dark billowing clouds often precede a storm. • Racing cars can go as fast as 400kph. • He was trapped inside the burning house. • Many of his paintings depict the setting sun.
Present Participles (E) e. with the verbs spend and waste, in the pattern:verb + time/money expression + present participle Example: • My boss spends two hours a day travelling to work. • Don't waste time playing computer games! • They've spent the whole day shopping.
Present Participles (F) • f. with the verbs catch and find, in the pattern:verb + object + present participle: With catch, the participle always refers to an action which causes annoyance or anger: • If I catch you stealing my apples again, there'll be trouble! • Don't let him catch you reading his letters. This is not the case with find, which is unemotional: • We found some money lying on the ground. • They found their mother sitting in the garden.
Present Participles (G) g. to replace a sentence or part of a sentence: When two actions occur at the same time, and are done by the same person or thing, we can use a present participle to describe one of them: • They went out into the snow. They laughed as they went. They went laughing out into the snow. • He whistled to himself. He walked down the road. Whistling to himself, he walked down the road. When one action follows very quickly after another done by the same person or thing, we can express the first action with a present participle: • He put on his coat and left the house. Putting on his coat, he left the house. • She dropped the gun and put her hands in the air. Dropping the gun, she put her hands in the air. The present participle can be used instead of a phrase starting as, since, because, and it explains the cause or reason for an action: • Feeling hungry, he went into the kitchen and opened the fridge.(= because he felt hungry...) • Being poor, he didn't spend much on clothes. • Knowing that his mother was coming, he cleaned the flat.
Past Participles (A) What do you notice about all the bold words? • She hasn't finished her assignment yet. • I still haven't found my keys. • Chris was ill because he had eaten too much chocolate. • She missed the bus because she hadn't set her alarm. • Jamie will have been in Australia for one year in April. • He will have gone by the time you arrive. • If his passport had not been stolen, Adam would have gone to Brazil. • I wouldn't have known if you hadn't told me. • The west coast of The USA was struck by torrential rain last night. • The painting was stolen in the middle of the night.
Past Participles (B) Past Participles can also be used like an adjective in front of a noun: • The stolen baby was found by the police unharmed. • Dean's broken arm was set in plaster by the doctor at the hospital. • Please bring all of the required documents for your interview tomorrow.
Irregular Past Participles (C) In English, we have many verbs that do not follow normal patterns of when you change the to past tense. (Normal endings like -ed, -en, -d, -t, or -n, as in the words asked, eaten, saved, dealt, and seen.) Here are a few examples of irregular verbs.