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    #1

    A question about finite verbs!

    To Whom it concerns

    In order to determine if a verb is finite, insofar as performing a test using the personal pronouns, I'm assuming the verb needs to be in the (simple) present tense form in order that this be done. For example, to use the present tense of the verb 'to give' it is clear the verb reacts differently with regard to the third person: he\she\it GIVES as opposed to I\you\we\you\they GIVE. I was wondering if someone would be kind enough to confirm, or refute, this as a general principle.

    Yours Sincerely

    J Allen

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    #2

    Re: A question about finite verbs!

    Well, the third person singular of the present tense (indicative) of all verbs except the modals does end in -(e)s, and is indeed always finite, but I am not sure that your way of determining whether a verb is finite is particularly helpful. See, for example, the following sentences, in which the underlined verbs are finite:

    I am working hard at the moment.
    Stand up, please.
    Will you pass me the salt, please?
    If that be the case, we might have a problem.
    I inisisted that he leave immediately.

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    #3

    Re: A question about finite verbs!

    To Whom It May Concern

    Thank you for your reply. I don't want you bother you unduly, so by all means feel free to ignore this request for information.
    Could you tell me if a participle always needs an auxiliary verb to function as a verb? For example - " At least insofar as the woman wryly amused behind the counter." I'm, of course, referring to something that went on beforehand but, regardless, does 'amused' here, without accompanying auxiliaries (e.g. 'who was' wryly...) not count as a verb?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A question about finite verbs!

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM1984 View Post
    Could you tell me if a participle always needs an auxiliary verb to function as a verb? For example - " ." I'm, of course, referring to something that went on beforehand but, regardless, does 'amused' here, without accompanying auxiliaries (e.g. 'who was' wryly...) not count as a verb?
    Ouch! You could start up a heated discussion there.

    1. The amused woman gave him what she wanted.
    2. Amused, she gave him what she wanted.
    3a. The woman, amused by his cheek, gave him what he wanted.
    3b. The woman amused by his cheek gave him what he wanted.
    4. At least insofar as the woman wryly amused behind the counter.

    5. The smiling woman gave him what she wanted.
    6. Smiling, she gave him what she wanted.
    7a. The woman, smiling at his cheek, gave him what he wanted.
    7b. The woman smiling at his cheek gave him what he wanted.
    8. At least insofar as the woman wryly smiling behind the counter.

    My personal feeling is that as we move from #1 to #3 and #4 to #7 we move from what appears to be an adjective to something that appears to be more like a verb.

    I am going to cop out, and not answer your question fully. I think this is a case where labelling is not particularly helpful.

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    #5

    Re: A question about finite verbs!

    I agree with 5jj that it's not always clear- at the end of the spectrum, it's easy to say whether something is a verb or an adjective, but the steps between are murkier and different people may choose different changeover points. It creeps from one to the other rather that making a simple either/or leap IMO.

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