Use of English Topic: Verb as an important Word Class

Use of English Topic: Verb as an important Word Class


By Mark Nkworji

In our previous lecture we commenced the study of verb. We have given the definition and also talked about the types of verbs .

We identified the Main Verb or the Lexical Verb
This is the verb that conveys the action (meaning) in the sentence.
We also identified the Auxiliary or Helping verb.

The auxiliary verbs are of two types:
1 Primary Auxiliary Verb
E.g. be ,is, am, are, has and have and their past tenses.

  1. The second category of Auxiliary Verbs are the modal Auxiliary Verbs. They include: can, will , shall, might etc.
    They are call modal auxiliary because they about the mood of the speaker.

Please note that modal auxiliary verbs and the preposition “to” render verbs that come after them infinite. When a verb is infinite it means the verb does not specify the time its action take or took place, hence, such tenseless verbs do not take the following suffixes: “s”, “es”, “ies”, “ing” and “ed”.
Eg. I went to Aso Rock yesterday but I “could ” not “see” the president.

You will notice in the sentence that though the action of visiting Aso Rock was in the past but the Word “see” did not change to “saw” because it came after the modal auxiliary verb, “could”.

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Also note that any time you speak or write English language, if you use the primary auxiliary verbs : has, have or had, the verb following any of them must be in the perfect past tense.
E g. I have written the letter= correct
write, wrote, written

In the same vein, It is correct to say my phone has not rung since morning but wrong to say “my phone has not rang since morning

It is right to say , I have drunk two litres of water today but wrong to say, I have drank two litres of water today.

Please practice the use of primary and modal auxiliary verbs in sentences.

…continues next week


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