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Describing types and forms of verbs

active

adjective

an active verb or sentence has the person or thing doing the action as the subject. ‘You hurt me’ is an active sentence.

causative

adjective

used for describing verbs, forms, and structures that show that something causes something to happen. For example, in the sentence ‘She makes me laugh’, ‘makes’ is a causative verb.

continuous

adjective

the continuous form of a verb includes ‘be’ and the present participle of a verb to show that an activity is in progress. For example in ‘He is running to catch the bus’, ‘is running’ is the continuous form of ‘run’.

ditransitive

adjective

a ditransitive verb has both a direct object and an indirect object. In the sentence ‘Pour him some tea’, ‘pour’ is ditransitive.

ergative

adjective

an ergative verb can have its object as its subject without changing its meaning. For example, ‘open’ is an ergative verb because you can say ‘I opened the door’ or ‘the door opened’.

finite

adjective

a finite verb is a form of a verb that matches the form of other words in a sentence

future

adjective

relating to the future tense of a verb

imperative

adjective

the imperative form of a verb expresses an order to do something

imperfect

adjective

an imperfect form of a verb describes an action in the past that is continuous, repeated, or not finished

impersonal

adjective

an impersonal verb or sentence usually has the word ‘it’ as its subject

intransitive

adjective

an intransitive verb has no direct object. In the sentence ‘The children played’. the verb ‘play’ is intransitive. Intransitive verbs are marked ‘[I]’ in this dictionary.

modal

adjective

relating to the mood of a verb (=one of the sets of verb forms that shows whether the action is a fact, an order, a wish etc)

non-finite

adjective

a non-finite verb is either a participle or an infinitive and so does not show a particular tense

perfect

adjective

the perfect form of a verb is used for talking about an action that has been completed before the present time

progressive

adjective

the progressive form of a verb is used for showing that an action is continuing

reflexive

adjective

a reflexive verb or pronoun refers back to the subject of the verb. In English, ‘to enjoy yourself’ is a reflexive verb and ‘yourself’ is a reflexive pronoun.

sing.

abbreviation

singular

singular

adjective

a singular verb, or the singular form of a verb, is used for talking about actions taken by one person or thing

stative

adjective

used for describing verbs like ‘know’ or ‘own’ that deal with states, as opposed to verbs like ‘listen’, ‘talk’, or ‘go’ that deal with actions

transitive

adjective

a transitive verb is always used with a direct object

weak

adjective

a weak verb forms the past tenses in a regular way. Weak verbs in English do this by adding ‘-ed’, ‘-d’, or ‘-t’ to the infinitive.

intransitively

adverb

intransitivity

noun

subjunctive

adjective

transitively

adverb

transitivity

noun

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

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Word of the Day

grungy

dirty and sometimes untidy or smelling bad

Open Dictionary

dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

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