General characteristic of the verb


The verb is the most complex grammatical class of words. It is the only part of speech in English that has a morphological system based on the six categories: person, number, tense, aspect, voice, and mood. Besides, there are two sets of verb-forms, essentially different from each other: the finite forms and the non-finite forms (infinitive, gerund, participle I, participle II). The verb performs the central role in the expression of predication, i. e. the connection between the situation described in the sentence and reality. The categorical meaning of the verb is a process presented dynamically, that is, developing in time. It is the semantic characteristic of all verbs both in finite and non-finite forms. The difference in the functional aspect is that the finite verb with its categories of tense, aspect, voice, and mood always performs the function of the verb-predicate in the sentence while the non-finite forms are used in the functions of the syntactic subject, object, adverbial modifier, attribute.

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The English verbals include four forms: the infinitive, the gerund, the present participle (Participle I), and the past participle (Participle II). Verbals or the non-finite forms of the verb are the forms of the verb intermediary in many of their lexical and grammar features between the verb and the non-procession parts of speech. They render processes as peculiar kinds of substances and properties. But the verbals, unable to express the predicative meanings of time and mood, still do express the secondary predication (potential predication, semi predication) forming syntactic complexes directly related to certain types of subordinate clauses.

Structurally the work consists of four parts: introduction, four chapters with their subtitles, conclusion and bibliography.

The first chapter “General characteristic of the verb”, here we describe the main features of English verb and its forms. The second chapter is “Infinitive”. Here we give an interpretation of infinitive, its formation, usage and function in the sentences. The third chapter is titled as “Infinitive”, here we present the general information of gerund, its formation, usage and function. We also draw parallels between infinitive and gerund by giving examples. The last chapter “The gerund and verbal nouns” describes Participle 1 and Participle 2, their differences, formation and usage.

Working Bibliography contains the list of authors and books used in the work, list of literary work that has been used in order to gather information in English.

Verb tenses are tools that English speakers use to express time in their language. We may find that many English tenses do not have direct translations in our language. That is not a problem. By studying verb tense tutorial, we will learn to think like a native English speaker. The verb is a part of speech which includes words expressing actions or states conceived as processes.

Verbs are a class of words used to show the performance of an action (do, throw, run), existence (be), possession (have), or state (know, love) of a subject. To put it simply a verb shows what something or someone does.

Most statements in speech and writing have a main verb. These verbs are expressed in tenses which place everything in a point in time.

Verbs have moods, which indicate the viewpoint of the verb, whether it is a fact, a command or hypothetical.

Verbs have a voice too. The voice shows whether the subject of a sentence is carrying out an action, or is having an action carried out on it.

Verbs are conjugated (inflected) to reflect how they are used.

Finite Forms of the Verb

Finite Verbs are those verbs that have a definite relation with the subject or noun. These verbs are usually the main verb of a clause or sentence and can be changed according to the noun. They are used only in present and past tense. They can be indicative of passive or active voice and also of number (singular or plural).

She walks home. – Here we see that the finite verb is walks and the pronoun is ‘she’.

She walked home. – Here we can see how the verb changed/modified to change the tense of the sentence

All verbal forms can be analyzed under “The Category of Finitude” (Cf. M. Blokh, op.cit.,88), which divides the forms of the verb into finite and non-finite (verbal). These forms constitute a system of their own which is united by such verbal categories as voice, aspect and order. The categories that set finites and non-finites apart are tense, person, number, and mood. Verbs which have the past or the present form are called FINITE verbs. Verbs in any other form (infinitive, -ing, or -ed) are called NON FINITE verbs. This means that verbs with tense are finite, and verbs without tense are nonfinite. The distinction between finite and nonfinite verbs is a very important one in grammar, since it affects how verbs behave in sentences. Here are some examples of each type.

David plays the piano Present Finite
Leaving home can be very traumatic NONE — the verb has the -ing form Nonfinite


In the finite form the verb has the function of the predicate in the sentence. It is limited by or bound to some subject with which it agrees in person and number:

I am a student. You are a teacher.

The finite forms of the verb indicate the following categories: p e r s o n , number, aspect, tense, mood, and voice.

These categories are expressed partly by synthetical forms (inflexion, and vowel or consonant interchange):

e.g. I ask, he asks, I asked.-,

I sing, I sang-, I make, I made; partly by analytical forms: I am reading, I have read, I shall read. It has been read.

The system of all the synthetical and analytical forms, which are used to indicate person, number, aspect, tense, mood and voice is called t h e conjugation of the verb.

NON-Finite Forms of the Verb

A nonfinite verb is any of several verb forms that are not finite verbs; that is, they cannot serve as the root of an independent clause. Nonfinite verbs found in English typically are infinitives, participles and gerunds. (They sometimes are called verbals)

Additional nonfinite forms found in some other languages include converbs, gerundives and supines.

Nonfinite verbs typically are not inflected by grammatical tense; and they present little inflection for other grammatical categories as well. Generally, they also lack a subject dependent. One or more nonfinite verbs may be associated with a finite verb in a finite clause, composing the elements of a verb catena, or verb chain.

These verbs cannot be the main verb of a clause or sentence as they do not talk about the action that is being performed by the subject or noun. They do not indicate any tense, mood or gender. They are used as nouns, adverbs and adjectives. They are also used to form non-finite clauses which are simply dependent clauses that use non-finite verbs.

Speaking of non-finites (the infinitive, the participle, the gerund) special mention should be made of the infinitive. It has a unique position: it is the principal representative of the verb-lexeme as a whole.