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linguistics the form of a verb group indicating whether an action, event, or situation is seen as continuing or as complete. In English there are two aspects, the progressive, such as ‘is arriving’ or ‘was arriving’, and the perfective, such as ‘has seen’ and ‘had seen’.
the verbs ‘be’, ‘do’, and ‘have’ in English, when they are used with another verb to form tenses, questions, question tags, and the passive. For example in the sentences ‘I am listening’, ‘Are you working?’, ‘You don’t like her, do you?’ and ‘The bill has been paid’, ‘am’, ‘are’, ‘do’, and ‘has been’ are all auxiliaries.
linguistics the forms of a verb group used to talk about time after the present. In English future time is usually indicated using ‘will’ or a form of ‘be’ followed by ‘going to’, and the infinitive of a verb. For example in the sentences ‘Full details of all courses will be available shortly’ and ‘We are going to play brilliantly’, the verb groups ‘will be’ and ‘going to play’ indicate future time.
the tense used to talk about actions or states that will be finished or in progress at a particular time in the future. The future perfect consists of ‘will have’ and a past participle, for example ‘will have risen’ in the sentence ‘It's likely that by 2100, average world temperatures will have risen by two to five degrees’.
the use of present tenses to refer to past time, especially when you want to make a narrative sound more exciting. For example, in sentence ‘The next day he sees the girl again, but this time he asks her if she'd like to go to the fairground’, the verbs ‘see’ and ‘ask’ are in the historic present (present simple).
linguistics the form of a verb that expresses orders. The imperative is also called the imperative mood.
the basic form of a verb. In English, this form of the verb together with the word ‘to’ in front of it is usually called a to-infinitive, and the verb form on its own is usually called a bare infinitive.
linguistics the ways in which people talk about their attitudes, obligations, and intentions. In English, modality is expressed by modal verbs such as ‘can’, ‘might’, and ‘should’, or by expressions such as ‘It’s likely that’, ‘I’m supposed to’, and ‘I’d better’.
a verb such as ‘must’, ‘may, ‘could, or ‘would’, that is used with another verb to express ideas such as obligation, permission, possibility, and intention. For example in the sentences ‘I can imagine what he would say to that’ and ‘Appointments should be made a week in advance’, ‘can’, ‘would’, and ‘should’ are modal verbs.
in English, the present participle (‘-ing’ form) and the past participle (‘-ed’ form) of a verb, that are used for forming different tenses, in non-finite clauses, in passives, and as modifiers. For example in the sentences ‘Are you listening?', ‘After graduating she worked as a bus driver’, ‘Lunch is served at noon’, and ‘He begins the season with an injured foot’ the words ‘listening’, ‘graduating’, served’, and ‘injured’ are all participles.
linguistics the forms of a verb group indicating that an action or event happened regularly, or that a situation existed or was true during a period before now. For example ‘he worked’, and ‘she was working’ are both in the past.
in English, the ‘-ed’ form of a verb, that is used for forming the perfect tenses, in the passive, and as a modifier. For example, in the clauses ‘Have you eaten yet’, ‘Payment must be made immediately’, and ‘Do you like fried fish?’, the words ‘eaten’, ‘made’ and ‘fried’ are all past participles.
the past perfect simple and the past perfect continuous are the tenses used to talk about actions, behaviour, or situations that began at a particular time in the past and were either complete or still continuing at that time. The past perfect simple consists of ‘had’ and a past participle, for example the verb group ‘had reached’ in the sentence ‘By 1901 the population of London had reached over six-and-a-half million’. The past perfect continuous consists of a form of ‘had’ followed by ‘been’ and a past participle, for example ‘had been planning' in the sentence ‘By February, he had been planning the event for seven months’.
the tense used to talk about habitual actions, behaviour, or situations that happened or existed before now. The simple past of regular verbs consists of the infinitive with ‘-d’ or ‘-ed’ added, for example ‘arrived’ in the sentence ‘She arrived yesterday’. The auxiliary ‘did’ is used in questions and negatives, for example in the sentences ‘Did you see that?’ and ‘Sometimes his plans did not succeed’.
a combination of a verb and an adverb or preposition, which has a particular meaning, such as ‘look after’, ‘hurry up’, ‘give in’, ‘chill out’, ‘get away with’ and ‘bring up’. For example in the sentence ‘Don’t tell me how to bring up my children!’, ‘bring up’ means ‘raise’. An adverb or preposition in a phrasal verb is sometimes called a particle.
linguistics the forms of a verb group indicating that an action or event happens regularly or is taking place now, or that a situation exists or is true now. For example ‘she works’ and ‘she’s working’ are both in the present.
in English, the ‘-ing’ form of a verb, that is used for forming the ‘continuous’ present and past, and as a noun or noun modifier. For example in the sentence ‘They were behaving in a threatening manner’, ‘behaving’ and ‘threatening’ are present participles.
the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous are the tenses used to talk about actions, behaviour, or situations that began in the past and are complete or still continuing at the present moment. The present perfect simple consists of a form of ‘have’ and a past participle, for example the verb group ‘have bought’ in the sentence ‘I’ve bought the tent so let’s go camping!’ The present perfect continuous consists of a form of ‘have’ followed by ‘been’ and a present participle, for example ‘has been living’ in the sentence ‘My niece has been living with us all her life’.
an infinitive in which there is an adverb between the word ‘to’ and the verb, as in the phrase ‘to completely understand’. Some people avoid this because they think it is bad style or incorrect.
the form of a verb that is used for expressing doubts and wishes. For example, in the sentence ‘I wish I were taller’, ‘were’ is in the subjunctive. The indicative is used for making statements and asking questions about facts, and the imperative is used for telling someone to do something.
the forms of a verb group indicating whether an action, event, or situation happens or exists now, before now, or in the future. In English, the verb has present and past tense forms such as ‘arrive’ and ‘arrived’. Other verb groups indicating tense or time include participles and auxiliary verbs, for example ‘are arriving’, ‘have arrived’, ‘had arrived’, and ‘will arrive’.
linguistics in English, voice refers to the choice of either an active verb group or a passive verb group. In the active voice, the subject is the person or thing that does or is responsible for the action of the verb. In the passive voice, the subject is the person or thing that is affected by the action of the verb. For example in the sentence ‘The kids have learnt the importance of a healthier diet’, the verb group ‘have learnt’ is active. In the sentence ‘Lessons will be learnt from this disaster’, the verb group ‘will be learnt’ is passive.
the forms of pronouns or verbs that show who is being referred to. People use the first person (I) to refer to themselves, the second person (you) to refer to the person or people they are talking to, and the third person he/she/they to refer to anyone else
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