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  1. #1
    TILLY CHATTS Guest

    Re: Finite/non-finite verbs

    Sorry guys, more help required, regarding verbs, more hand writing analysed and I am so just not grasping this any chance of help confirming finite/non-finite verbs please ???

    Come and discover yourself at Quest House Paradis

    In your fine dressing room you have a goodie bag

    All the games that you could imagine

    There is also a health farm, not that you need it

    We also have natural hot springs

    If you are interested in this once in a life time opportunity then call us on 0121 45678910


    And is it right you guys are from USA ?? Wow !!!! And finally, England will whap the French sunday in the rugby, if not I'll eat my hand writing assignment !!! Tilly x

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
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    I am not so sharp myself when it comes to finite verbs. Maybe one of our grammar mavens will come by to help.

    Finite Verbs
    http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/finite-verb.html

    Non-Finite Verbs
    http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary...nite-verb.html

  3. #3
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    Re: Finite/non-finite verbs

    The term 'finite verb' refers to the verb of a sentence (clause). Finite verbs show tense (Present, Past, Future) as well as agreement in number (singular/plural) and person (I/you/he/she etc.) with the subject.

    For example:

    1. He walks. (finite verb)
    ==>'walks' is a finite verb.
    ==> '-s' shows tense (Present) as well as person (3rd) and number (singular) agreement.
    ==> If we take away "-s", the resulting form "walk" becomes non-finite: no agreement. The term non-finite means no agreement.

    The term 'non-finite verb' refers to a word that looks like a verb but does not show agreement in person or number with the subject. Non-finite verbs act as subjects and objects. There are three kinds of non-finites:

    1) participles (i.e. adjectives that end in -ed or -ing),
    2) gerunds (i.e. nouns that end in -ing) and
    3) infinitive (i.e. verbs that begin with "to").

    For example:

    2. He is walking. (Present participle)
    ==> 'walking' is non-finite.
    ==> 'is' is finite, the verb.
    ==> 'is' changes form: He is walking, I am walking, You are walking. 'is, am, are' are finite.
    ==> 'walking' doesn't change form; 'walking' is non-finite.
    ==> "-ing" words that are part of the verb BE (is, am, are) are called Present participles.
    ==> Think of non-finite as no change, and finite as change.

    3. She likes walking. (Present participle, gerund)
    ==> 'likes' is the main verb. It's finite. It shows tense and agreement.
    ==> 'walking' is not a verb at all here. It's a noun. She likes doing THIS THING.
    ==> 'walking' is called a Present participle. Present because it has '-ing', and participle because it's non-finite: it doesn't act as a verb. It acts as a noun: 'walking' refers to a THING we like to do; it's a noun.
    ==> "-ing" words are called Present participles, and when they function as THINGS they are called gerunds. In other words, the term gerund refers to a word's function (it acts as a noun) and the term Present participle refers to a word's form, shape (it ends in -ing).

    5. He has a walking stick. (Present participle, adjective)
    ==> 'walking' is non-finite. "has" is finite. It's the verb.
    ==> 'walking' tells us what kind of stick. It modifies the noun 'suit'. It's an adjective.
    ==> "-ing" words that act as adjectives are called Present participles. That is, function = adjective, Form = Present participle.

    4. He fixed the embedded window. (Past Participle, adjective)
    ==> Both 'fixed' and 'embedded' end in the Past tense suffix "-ed". 'fixed' is the verb, though, because it's closer to the subject. In English, the verb is always close to the subject.
    ==> 'embedded' is too far away from the subject to be a verb.
    ==> 'embedded' ends in "-ed", a Past tense suffix, but that doesn't mean it's a verb. There can only be one finite verb per sentence (clause) and 'fixed' has taken that role.
    ==> 'embedded' is close to the noun 'window'. It's an adjective, modifying "window". It tells us what kind of window.
    ==> 'embedded' is called a Past participle. Past because it ends in "-ed" and participle because it's non-finite: it's an adjective. It doesn't act as a verb.

    There are two kinds of participles:

    Present participles end in -ing.
    ==> they function as part of BE, as adjectives and as nouns.

    Past participles end in -ed/-en.
    ==> they function as part of HAVE and as adjectives.

    In short,

    If you can change the word that looks like a verb, you know it's finite:

    I swim, you swim, he swims (swim(s) is finite)
    to be, to is, to are (can't change 'be'. 'to be' is non-finite)

    If there are two verbals, the word closest to the subject, is finite.

    I want to talk to you. ('want' is finite. It's closest to the subject)

    If the word that looks like a verb begins with "to", then it's non-finite:

    To eat that cake would be bad for your health.


    Note, the imperative (i.e. command verbs):

    Come here.
    ==> The subject is "You", but it has been omitted.
    ==> "You come here".
    ==> "come" is finite.
    ==> There has to be at leat one finite verb in every sentence (clause) in English.

    :D

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
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    So most of the time nonfinite verbs are not verbs at all?

    (Mike and I are from the USA. Cas is from Canada (originally). Red and Tdol are from the UK.)

    :)

  5. #5
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Perhaps we should think about using some of the excellent definitions on this forum in our glossary??????

    What do you think?
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red5
    Perhaps we should think about using some of the excellent definitions on this forum in our glossary??????

    What do you think?
    Absolutely!

    :D

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