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  1. #1
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    Default main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    hello, i teach english however i cannot explain to my students the verb form(s) in the following example:

    "I forgot to bring my book."

    it appears to me that "forgot" in the main verb. my problem is with "to bring", which is an infinitive. but is it the main verb, and "forgot" an auxiliary verb? How would you explain this to your students please?

    thank you.

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    Smile Re: main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldo View Post
    hello, i teach english however i cannot explain to my students the verb form(s) in the following example:

    "I forgot to bring my book."

    it appears to me that "forgot" in the main verb. my problem is with "to bring", which is an infinitive. but is it the main verb, and "forgot" an auxiliary verb? How would you explain this to your students please?

    thank you.
    Hi Donaldo,

    In this sentence the verb, or main verb, is "forgot". The infinitive form "to bring" is the object of the verb "forgot". It answers the question "what". What did you forget? You forgot "to bring your book". We can consider the phrase "to bring my book" the object of "forgot".

    There is no auxiliary in this sentence. Auxiliaries are words such as do, did, does, have, has, had, is, are, was, were, can, have to, should, could, will, would, might, may, ought to, must.

    Here are a few examples. The underlined words are auxiliaries.

    I've forgotten my book again. I should go back to get it. It's won't take long. Can you wait for me here?

    I'll go with you.

    Okay, it's just a short walk.

    If you have any follow-up questions, please, post them. I'd be glad to reply.



  3. #3
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldo View Post
    hello, i teach english however i cannot explain to my students the verb form(s) in the following example:

    "I forgot to bring my book."

    it appears to me that "forgot" in the main verb. my problem is with "to bring", which is an infinitive. but is it the main verb, and "forgot" an auxiliary verb? How would you explain this to your students please?

    thank you.
    To explain to your students you have to tell what is an inifinitive form and when it is used. The infinitive form of a verb is otherwise called verbal noun and is used where you want to express two actions in a sentence with one subject. Here the first action ‘forgot’ is the main verb and the second action ‘bring’ is followed by the main verb in the infinitive form as its object.

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    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    To explain to your students you have to tell what is an inifinitive form and when it is used. The infinitive form of a verb is otherwise called verbal noun and is used where you want express two actions in a sentence with one subject. Here the first action ‘forgot’ is the main verb and the second action ‘bring’ is followed by the main verb in the infinitive form as its object.
    We need to avoid being too simplistic here: yes, on this occasion it is true that the infinitive (traditionally referred to as a dependent infinitive) serves an essentially nominal purpose, but infinitives can also serve adjectivally and adverbially.

    The term 'verbal noun' is normally reserved to describe the gerund (a nominal -ing form).

  5. #5
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    True. Infinitives can serve as adjectives or adverbs too.

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    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    We need to avoid being too simplistic here: yes, on this occasion it is true that the infinitive (traditionally referred to as a dependent infinitive) serves an essentially nominal purpose, but infinitives can also serve adjectivally and adverbially.

    The term 'verbal noun' is normally reserved to describe the gerund (a nominal -ing form).
    This is the defintion from Wikipedia-the free encyclopedia: A verbal noun is a noun formed directly as an inflexion of a verb or a verb stem, sharing at least in part its constructions. This term is applied especially to gerunds, and sometimes also to infinitives and supines (full infinitive or to infinitive).

    Yes, an infinitive has many uses which need to be eplained to the students by the teacher who has put the OP. I have only singled out its use in the example sentence

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    Default Re: main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    Thank you all for your help. in my example question, even though "to bring" is the infinitive verb, in this example we do not consider it a verb - it is "the object" of the main verb, correct?

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    Dawood Usmani is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldo View Post
    Thank you all for your help. in my example question, even though "to bring" is the infinitive verb, in this example we do not consider it a verb - it is "the object" of the main verb, correct?
    Yes...

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    Default Re: main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldo View Post

    "I forgot to bring my book."

    How would you explain this to your students please?
    I would give them the list of auxiliary verbs (click).

    The verb forget is not an auxiliary verb, which makes it a main verb.

    • The verb forget is a transitive verb and so requires an object: to bring my book is its object.

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    Wink Re: main verb? auxiliary verb? adverb?

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldo View Post
    Thank you all for your help. in my example question, even though "to bring" is the infinitive verb, in this example we do not consider it a verb - it is "the object" of the main verb, correct?

    Yes, that's correct.


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