Grammar Reference Set

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INTERMEDIATE GRAMMAR REFERENCE SET

CONTENTS

1.  The English verb system

  1. The six forms of a verb

Using infinitives

  1. Using ING words

Using base form

Using the “s” form

  1. Using the past and participle forms

Verbs followed by base form or infinitive

  1. Verbs followed by gerund or infinitive
  2. Questions and Auxiliaries
  3. Negatives and Auxiliaries
  4. Questions with “Do” and “Be”
  5. Parts of speech
  6. Basic Sentence Structure
  7. List of Prepositions

12-13.  Phrasal Verbs

  1. Word order
  2. Introduction to Clauses
  3. Progressive and Perfect Tenses
  4. Noncount nouns list
  5. Modals
  6. Verbs list: Past and Past Participle

 

ENGLISH VERBS

Base Form                               Infinitive – To Go

    GO                                      Gerund – Going

 

   Third Person Singular                      Past Tense – Went

Present Tenses – Goes                      Past Participle – Gone

 

 

 

TIME

 

Past                                                     Present                                                            Future

 

Simple Tenses

Went                                             Go/Goes                                              Will Go

 

      Simple Past                                   Simple Present                                    Simple Future

 

 

Progressive (Continuous) Tenses

Was/Were  Going                          Am/Is/Are Going                                Will Be Going

 

      Past Progressive                           Present Progressive                            Future Progressive

 

 

Perfect Tenses

Had Gone                                     Has/Have Gone                                   Will Have Gone

 

      Past Perfect                                   Present Perfect                                    Future Perfect

 

 

 

PERSON

 

Singular           Plural

 

1st              I                    We

 

2nd          You                 You

 

3rd        He/She/It         They

I talk to YOU      about him, her, it, them               

1              2                     3

 

 

 

THE SIX FORMS OF A VERB

Base Form       Third Person       Infinitive                  Gerund                Past                 Past

                         Singular                                                                                              Participle

go                         goes                  to go                      going                    went                gone

run                       runs                   to run                     running                ran                   run

talk                       talks                  to talk                    talking                  talked              talked

bring                    brings                to bring                  bringing               brought            brought

Come          
Buy          
See          
Watch          
Eat          
Make          
Tell          
Write          
Read          
Learn          
Send          

 

 

 

INFINITIVES

  1. As second verbs after some main verbs (see list below).

I plan to go to her party.

She needs to buy presents.

 

  1. As the reason for a previously mentioned action. “Infinitive of Purpose”

A:  Why did you go to San Francisco?           B:  To see a play at the Curran Theater.

A:  Why were you waiting outside?               B:  To watch the sunset.

 

  1. As a noun subject or object

To sit at home all day is all I want!

My dream job is to play on the computer for money.

 

  1. Infinitive after adjectives

It is important to study

The fish is ready to cook now.

 

 

 

ING WORDS (Gerund, Present Participle, Participial Adjective)

  1. Progressive tenses after BE.

I am writing a sentence.

I was sitting in the garden when you called.

 

  1. As a second verb after some main verbs (can also be seen as an object as #3 below)

She quit trying to fix the computer

We feel like dancing tonight.

 

  1. As noun subject or object as the name of an activity.

Cooking is fun for me.

I enjoy reading.

My only exercise is walking.

 

  1. After prepositions

Thank you for picking me up.

I look forward to seeing you again.

We talked about going to New York.

 

  1. As a participial adjective – cause of a feeling

The museum was very interesting but the movie was boring.

 

  1. Reduced adjective clause.

The girl [who is] sitting in the front row is nice.

The girl sitting in the front row is nice.

The rain [which is] falling on the roof is loud!

The rain falling on the roof is loud!

 

  1. Sensory perception of actions in motion (continuously or in the middle of doing)

I see the leaves falling.

I hear the waves crashing on the shore.

 

 

BASE FORM                                                                                    Examples

  1. As basic present in 1st and 2nd person I work             You work
  2. As a second verb after “do” or modals I didn’t go She will go
  3. In imperatives (commands) Turn right       Stand up
  4. As a second verb in causatives (make, let, help, have) I made her do it    Let me go
  5. As a second verb after suggest, recommend, insist, demand I insist that she be there.
  6. After sensory verbs with fully completed actions I saw the car hit the tree.

 

 

“S” FORM (3rd Person Singular)

  1. As a first verb only She works       She doesn’t work
  2. In all present tenses when

the subject is 3rd person singular                                That store sells good stuff.

The bird is singing right now.

My son has gone to the store.

PAST TENSE

  1. As a first verb only I didn’t go      She liked to swim
  2. When you mean a past finished event I worked yesterday

 

PAST PARTICIPLE

  1. As a second verb only
  2. In present perfect tense after “have” I have eaten    I haven’t done it yet
  3. As an adjective The broken window
  4. In passive voice after “be” I was born      My car was stolen
  5. In past and future perfect after “have” I had finished   I will have eaten
  6. With past modals after “have” I shouldn’t have eaten so much.

 

 

LISTS OF VERBS FOLLOWED BY GERUND, INFINITIVE, BASE FORM, PARTICIPLE

 

VERBS FOLLOWED BY BASE FORM

Examples:  She didn’t study.   They will see.    He let me stay.

Auxiliary verb DO (do, does, did)
Modals (will, would, can, could, shall, should, may, must, might)
Causative Verbs  – Let, Make, Have and Help   He made me cry.  She lets me go early.

 

Suggest, Recommend, Insist, Demand – THAT+Subject+Base Form
I recommend that you turn in your homework.  He insisted that she be at the meeting.

(others that can take this form or Obj+Inf include ask, advise, propose, request, require)

This is called the “mandative subjunctive” and is used when there is a feeling of command.

 

VERBS FOLLOWED BY THE PAST PARTICIPLE

Examples:  I have driven.   The book was sold.

Have – in perfect tenses, past modals and causative passive
Be – in passive voice

Get – in passive voice

 

VERBS FOLLOWED BY THE INFINITIVE (There are many more than this list)

Examples:  I agree to help.  I hope to travel.  I learn to drive.   I need to go.

agree                                        ask                               can’t afford                 choose

decide                                     expect                          hope                            learn

mean                                        need                            plan                             want

 

 

VERBS FOLLOWED BY OBJECT THEN INFINITIVE (I ask YOU to do) (there are more)

Examples:  He pays me to paint.   You invite her to dance.   I tell you to study.

ask                                           allow                           encourage                    expect

force                                        hire                              invite                           order

pay                                          remind                         teach                            tell

 

 

VERBS FOLLOWED BY THE GERUND

Examples:  I don’t mind waiting.    I am staying.   I go shopping.  I can’t help making mistakes.

avoid                                       be                                can’t help                    consider

don’t mind                              enjoy                           finish                           go

miss                                         Quit                             resume                         spend time

 

VERBS FOLLOWED BY GERUND OR INFINITIVE WITH LITTLE/NO CHANGE OF MEANING

Examples:  I like cooking.  I like to cook.  I start studying.  I start to study.

begin                                       continue                      start

like                                          love                             hate

 

VERBS FOLLOWED BY GERUND OR INFINITIVE WITH A BIG CHANGE IN MEANING

Stop    Stop doing = quit doing         I stopped smoking in 2005.

Stop to do = stop doing something in order to do something else.   We will stop to have dinner on our way to LA.

 

Try    Try doing= you actually do it and then decide whether you like it.  I tried playing tennis,

but I wasn’t very good at it.  I finally tried eating sushi and I liked it!

Try to do= attempt (and fail).  I am trying to touch the ceiling, but I can’t reach.

 

Forget – Infinitive:  If I forget first, I don’t do it.  I forgot to do my homework.

               Gerund:  I did it in the past and then I forgot that I had done it.  I forgot telling

you that before..

 

Remember – Infinitive:  I remember first, so I do it.  I remember to lock the door.

                       Gerund:  I did it before and now I look back on it.  I remember running with my

friends as a child.

 

 

 

 

 

Auxiliary Plus What After? Verb Tense Name Time Words Example
Be (present= am, is, are) adjective, noun or prepositional phrase – no more verbs Simple Present Fact, usually, now Is she a student? (time=fact)

Are they at home?  (time=now)

Am I late?  (time=now)

Is it cold in SF?  (time=usually)

Do (present= do, does) Base form verb Simple Present Fact, usually, always, never, every day Do you drink coffee?

Does she dance?

Do I need to be at the meeting?

Be (present= am, is, are ING form verb Present Progressive NOW Are you studying chemistry?

Is she running to class now?

Am I speaking too fast?

Be (past= was, were) adjective, noun or prep. phrase – no more verbs Simple Past Yesterday, last week, 2 years ago Were you in the hospital last week?

Was she angry about the broken window?

Was your father an engineer?

Do (past= did) Base form verb Simple Past Yesterday, last week, 2 years ago Did you like the movie?

Did she work yesterday?

Be (past= was, were) ING form verb

 

 

Past Progressive at 7am this morning

while she was walking

Were you sleeping at 7am this morning?

Was she listening to music while she was walking?

Will Base form verb Simple Future Tomorrow, next week, 2 years from now Will he come to class on Wednesday?

Will you be at my party?

Can Base form verb Now or future time Can you help me with this?

Can he pick me up on Saturday?

May Base form verb now or future time May I bring you a sweater?
Would Base form verb various Would you like another glass of water?

Would you open the door, please?

Would you see stars in an arctic sky?

Have

(present= have, has)

past participle Present Perfect already, yet, for, since, up to now Have you eaten lunch yet?

Has your sister been married for 10 years?

Have you ever ridden a horse?

Have

(past=had)

past participle Past Perfect before a past time, up to a past time, the second step back Had you graduated before you came here?

Had the mail come when you left home?

Questions and Auxiliary Verbs


Negatives Need Auxiliary Verbs

 

RULES

  1. All negatives need an auxiliary
  2. If you don’t have an auxiliary be, will, can…) then add “do”
  3. You can’t add “BE” if it isn’t already there
  4. Do, can, will and all modals need a main verb after them
  5. Use the base form of the main verb after do, can, will and all modals
  6. Be sometimes has a verb after it, but sometimes BE has a noun, adjective or prepositional phrase, no more verbs. That’s OK. Just add “n’t” to the BE verb.
  7. Have can be an auxiliary (perfect tenses) or it can be a main verb. Be careful.
Statement Negative Question
I go I don’t go Do you go?
He is happy He isn’t happy Is he happy?
She saw She didn’t see Did she see?
They are running They aren’t running Are they running?
We will need one We won’t need one Will we need one?
You can type. You can’t type Can you type?

 

Simple Present  (be)  Be+not I am tired I’m not tired.
Simple Present no be (add do)    do+not  (don’t, doesn’t) I speak English

He speaks Chinese

I don’t speak English

He doesn’t speak Chinese

Present Progressive  (be)  Be+not   (isn’t, aren’t) I am studying hard. I’m not studying hard
Simple past  (be)    Be+not  (wasn’t, weren’t) I was at home last night

You were in school.

I wasn’t at home last night

You weren’t in school.

Simple past  no be (add do  Do+not  (didn’t)   I played soccer in school. I didn’t play soccer in school
Simple future  (will)  will+not  (won’t) I will go home after class. I won’t go home after class
Simple future (be going to)   be + not (isn’t, aren’t) I’m going to visit her. I’m not going to visit her.
Present Perfect “have”    Have+not  (haven’t, hasn’t) I have lived here for 5 years.

She has gone home.

I haven’t lived in Russia.

She hasn’t gone home.

“may”  may+not May I see that? You may not see this yet.
“can”  can+not   (can’t) I can ride a bicycle I can’t ride a bicycle
“must”  must+ not I must eat more. I must not eat more.
“should” should+not (shouldn’t) You should cook this. You shouldn’t cook this.
“would”  would+not (wouldn’t) She would tell me. She wouldn’t tell me.

QUESTION FORMS WITH “DO” AND “BE”

 

RULES

  1. A question must have an auxiliary verb.
  2. If you have an auxiliary in the sentence you must use the same one in the question.
  3. If you don’t have an auxiliary verb in the sentence, add the auxiliary verb ‘to do’.
  4. You can’t add ‘to be’ if it isn’t in the original sentence already.
  5. The first verb in a sentence has the time and person.
  6. Always use the base form of the main verb after ‘to do’ in negatives and questions.

 

Make a Question.   Use Do or Be as the first word in your question.

 

Examples:

The computer class is interesting.       _____Is the computer class interesting?___

  1. Janet likes the teacher __________________________________
  2. She’s from the United States __________________________________
  3. He comes from El Salvador __________________________________
  4. They need to learn English __________________________________
  5. He is the English teacher __________________________________
  6. They listen to the teacher __________________________________
  7. He is a great teacher __________________________________
  8. The class is in the evening __________________________________
  9. The students like the class             __________________________________
  10. He works at the factory __________________________________

 

Make a Question.  Use the auxiliary you find.  Only add “Do” if you have no auxiliary

Aux= do, be, have, will, can, would, should (all modals)

 

  1. My friend is coming to visit me next week. ________________________________
  2. They are happy with their apartment.     __________________________________
  3. She can dance well.                                __________________________________
  4. You will visit your friend tomorrow.      __________________________________
  5. I want to learn more quickly.                  __________________________________
  6. I am in class every day.                           __________________________________
  7. I would like pizza for dinner.                 __________________________________
  8. The books are on the table.                     __________________________________
  9. My kids will learn two languages.          __________________________________
  10. You need to return the books to the library. _______________________________

 

PARTS OF SPEECH

 

Nouns

Person _________father, mechanic___          _________________________

Place    _______Berkeley, kitchen____          _________________________

Thing   _______pencil, tree_________           _________________________

Concept ______cooperation, love____          _________________________

 

Articles

1._____A_______      2.______________     3._____________

 

Verbs

Action _______Write, run_________            _________________________

Non-Action _____Have, be________            _________________________

 

Conjunctions

1.___and________     2.___________       3.____________      4._____________

 

Adjectives

Feeling ________happy_________           _________________________

Description ____long, blue______            _________________________

Personality______generous______            _________________________

 

Adverbs

Time ________always___________          _________________________

Manner______quickly____________        _________________________

Intensity______incredibly________         _________________________

 

Prepositions

Time ________before___________          _________________________

Place ________under____________         _________________________

 

Pronouns

Subject________he_____________          _________________________

Object_________him___________           _________________________

Possessive______his____________          _________________________

 

Interjections

____________Oh!______________         _________________________

 

SENTENCE STRUCTURE

SUBJECT VERB OBJECT (noun) or or ADJECTIVE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE TIME
The student writes sentences in her notebook every day
My brother is happy with his job this year
eat
read
send
buy
sell
teach
bring
drink
make
do
have
like
enjoy
cook
look for
look at
pick up
turn on
turn off
put on
take off

 

 

ENGLISH  PREPOSITIONS  LIST

 

English              Your language (but remember, some will not translate exactly)

 

of                               _________________________

for                              _________________________

from                           _________________________

to                               _________________________

at                                _________________________

in                                _________________________

out (of)                      _________________________

into                            _________________________

inside (of)                  _________________________

outside(of)                 _________________________

with                           _________________________

without                      _________________________

before                                    _________________________

after                           _________________________

during                                    _________________________

on                               _________________________

onto                           _________________________

in front of                  _________________________

behind                        _________________________

over                            _________________________

above                         _________________________

on top of                    _________________________

under                         _________________________

below                         _________________________

beneath                      _________________________

between                     _________________________

next to                       _________________________

through                      _________________________

around                       _________________________

across (from)              _________________________

about                          _________________________

USING PHRASAL VERBS

 

A phrase is more than one word.

A phrasal verb is a verb that has two or three words.

We add prepositions to the verbs to make new meanings.

 

 

Look for – try to find

Look up – search for information

Look over – review

Look after – take care of

 

Put on – wear clothing

Put off – postpone/delay

Put out – stop a fire

Put away – in its correct place

 

We add prepositions to make longer verbs with different meanings.

There are many of these.  Look in your dictionary.  How many are there for “Put”?

 

 

Basic Sentence Structure

Subject Verb Object Prepositional Phrase Time
My mom looks after my brother at home every day
The students look up words in the dictionary before the test
I look over my homework before turning it in

 

 

Separable and Non-separable Phrasal Verbs

The object can sometimes go between the words of the verb.  If the verb can be separated, it must be separated when you use a pronoun.

Together with noun    Separated with noun   Separated with pronoun

Turn on the stove.     Turn the stove on.      Turn it on.                 Turn on it

Pick up my son.          Pick my son up.          Pick him up.               Pick up him

 

 

Some phrasal verbs cannot be separated.  The noun or pronoun goes after the verb.

Break up with my girlfriend.    Break up with her.

Run over a squirrel                 Run over it.

 

 

 

Use Gerund After Prepositions

If you have another verb after a phrasal verb, it will be in ING form.

I put off doing my homework until Sunday night.

I look forward to seeing you again.

I gave up trying to do everything right all the time.

 

 


Read the definitions below, then match opposites at right

back up – go to the back, reverse

break up with – stop a romantic relationship

clean up – clear a mess

come to – regain consciousness

dry out – become dry after being wet

get in – enter

get off – stop work, come down from a chair/ladder

get on – climb onto a chair or ladder

get out (of) – leave a car, avoid doing something

get up – rise from a bed or chair

give up – stop doing something (out of frustration)

go ahead – move forward, keep talking

go out with – see someone romantically

hand back – return papers to students

hand in – give papers to a teacher

hold on – keep in your hand, don’t release

lay down – go flat on a bed or table

let go – release something that was in your hand

mess up – disorganize, make dirty

pass out – lose consciousness

put away – put in the place it belongs – it’s proper place

put in – insert

put on – get dressed, add clothing

sit down – lower yourself onto a chair or the floor

slow down – go more slowly

soak through – get completely wet

speed up – go faster

stand up – rise to your feet

take off – remove clothing, airplane leaves the ground

take out – remove from inside a house or pocket

take up – start a new hobby

turn off – stop a machine

turn on – start a machine

 

Write the opposite phrasal verbs below:

 pass out                           come to hand back
turn on put away
go out with stand up
slow down put on
soak through take out
hold on turn off
take up get off
mess up get in
take off speed up
get out of clean up
put in dry out
back up get up
hand in let go
take out go ahead
sit down give up
lay down break up with
get on ü           come to

 

WORD ORDER

 

  1. Basic sentence S-V-O-PP-T

I put milk in my coffee yesterday

            S  V  O       PP                    T

 

My sister and I  learned to cook  rice and beans  by our mother’s side  in the 1960s

            S                        V                       O                       PP                              T

 

  1. Questions WH words-Auxiliary-Subject            Verb    everything else (O-PP-T)

When               did         you                see       her?

Who                do          you                live      with?

Do         you                like      walking on the beach?

Will       you                be        here on Tuesday?

—                     —          Who              broke   that cup?

(note: the question IS the subject)

  1. Negatives S-Aux-V-O-PP-T

She doesn’t eat meat.

They aren’t working today.

 

  1. Adverbs of frequency Subject-Aux- Adverb of Frequency -MainVerb- everything else

I often go to sleep on the couch (before the main verb)

She doesn’t usually run with me (after the first auxiliary)

They will always be thinking of you (after the first auxiliary)

We are never alone.  (“be” acts like an auxiliary – even if it’s the only verb)

 

  1. Adverbs of manner      S – V –O – Adverb of Manner –  PP – T

She drives her car slowly to work in the morning.

He speaks politely to his grandmother.

He does his homework too quickly.

 

  1. Adjectives (single words – before the noun) Article-Adjective-Noun

The lazy dog sleeps on the warm porch.

The big angry boss yelled at his terrified trembling employees.

 

  1. Adjective Phrases (after noun) Article-Noun-Adjective Phrase

The girl in the corner has a book with a blue cover.

 

  1. Indirect objects S-V-IO-DO-PP-T    (IO=indirect object, DO=direct object)

She gave him the money for his rent today.

(She gave the money for his rent to him today.)

They told her the story of the accident.

(They told the story of the accident to her.)

 

  1. Phrasal Verbs Verb-“Particle”-Object     or   Verb-Object-“Particle”

She takes off her shoes after work every day.

She takes her shoes off after work every day.

She takes them off

She takes off them.  (If the verb is separable, the pronoun must go in the middle)

 

INTRODUCTION TO CLAUSES

A clause is any group of words that includes a subject and verb.

Many sentences have more than one clause.

 

We need to do the dishes before we can go out.

 

This one sentence has two clauses.  Two subject-verb sets.  One of the two must have a conjunction word.  In this case, BEFORE we can go out.  This is a time clause.

 

They do their homework after class

They do their homework after they go home.

 

“After class” is a prepositional phrase.  There is no subject-verb set, so there is no clause.

“After they go home” is a time clause.  It has a subject and verb in it.

 

Part of Speech Word Clause
Adverb tomorrow when we get home
Adjective heavy that is too heavy to lift
Noun the post office where she went today

 

Adverbs

Words:  often, slowly, tomorrow

Clauses:  when we get home, because she didn’t like it, if you tell me

Word order – adverb clauses can go first or last.  Use a comma only if they go first.

 

Because she was late, she missed the quiz.

She missed the quiz because she was late.

 

Adjectives

Words:  big, red, beautiful

Clauses:  that I bought yesterday, which he didn’t know, who told you

Word order – adjective words go before a noun.  Adjective clauses go directly after a noun.

 

She has a heavy box.

She has a box that is too heavy to lift

 

Nouns

Words:  pencil, teacher, cup

Clauses: where she went, how she got there

Word order – A noun clause is the subject or object of the sentence or the object of a preposition.

 

What she said wasn’t true.

I don’t know where she went.

They worry about who they should trust

 

PROGRESSIVE

 

Progressive means an action is in progress at that time.  It is also called continuous.  It is not a one-time event, but a continued action.  Progressive can be past, present or future.  You have to identify the time when the action is in progress.  You can only use progressive with action verbs.

 

Form:  BE + ING( was/were+ing, am/is/are+ing, will be+ing)
Meaning: in progress at that time

 

Past progressive=in progress at that past time.

I was watching TV while my son was doing his homework

_____________________________ at 9:00am this morning.

 

Present progressive=in progress now.

We are reading about grammar.

_____________________________ at this moment.

 

Future progressive=in progress at that future time

The kids will be playing soccer at 2:00 on Saturday.

_____________________________ when he gets home.

 

You can identify the time with a clause (when/while) or a time word (4:00pm)

 

 

 

PERFECT

 

Perfect tenses mean something happened or was true before something else.  It doesn’t have to be an action.

 

Form:  HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE

Meaning:  up to that time

 

Past perfect = before a past time

We had already finished eating when they got home.

____________________________before I came to the US

 

Present perfect = up to now (maybe not finished)

My neighbors have lived there for 10 years.

____________________________since 2010

 

Future perfect=before/up to a future time

I will have finished my homework by the time I go to bed.

____________________________before I graduate

 

You can identify the time with a clause or prepositional phrase.

 

NONCOUNT NOUNS

Materials are

noncount (what it’s made of)

Languages and collective/mass nouns Gerund nouns, sports and school subjects Gasses and liquids Many foods, especially grains, powders, meats
wood
cloth
ice
plastic
wool
steel
aluminum
metal
glass
leather
hair
dust

gold

paper

Chinese
Spanish
English
luggage
equipment
furniture
experience
applause
traffic
harm
publicity
homework
advice
reading
boating
smoking
dancing
soccer
hockey
tennis

biology
history
mathematics
photography poetry

sunshine

weather
heat

electricity

air

steam

smoke

 

gas

water

coffee

oil

lotion

sauce

rice

corn

flour

sugar

salt

pepper

 

beef

chicken

 

lettuce

broccoli

bread

cereal

With most
no plural is
abstract nouns possible some abstract have nouns also
plural forms
These are only plural if you mean types of…
peace
warmth
hospitality
information
anger
education
melancholy
softness
violence
courage
knowledge
safety
shopping
justice
chaos
progress
speed
experience
time
friendship
trouble
work
culture
virtue
taste
evil
liberty
freedoms
democracy
death
grief
piety
water
milk
wine
beer
sugar
rice
meat
cheese

 

 

Count Nouns

   

Noncount Nouns

 
singular or plural, “a” or “s” a book

books

no singular, no plural, no “a” beef

freedom

How many?    Not many. How many kids?

Not many applies.

How much?  Not much. How much bread?

Not much coffee.

More, fewer More cookies.

Fewer students.

More, less More money.

Less grammar.

Few, a few Few problems.

A few friends.

Little, a little Little trouble.

A little homework.

container with plural A bag of oranges.

A jar of olives.

container with no plural A bag of sugar.

A jar of mayonaise.

Any or Some with plural I have some mangoes.

I don’t have any figs.

Any or some with no plural I have some furniture.

I don’t have any gas.

Use singular or plural verb The tree is big.

The cars go fast.

Use singular verb (‘s’ form in present) The air is polluted.

The meat cooks slowly.

MODAL AUXILIARIES

  • Modals are not verbs, but auxiliaries. They must be followed by verbs.
  • The verb after a modal is always in base form.

Modal and Functions                     Sample Sentences

 

Will (future)                           I will stay home tomorrow.

Be going to (future)              I’m going to stay home tomorrow.

Was going to (past plan)      I was going to call you, but I lost your number.

 

Can (ability)                           I can play the guitar.

Be able to (ability)                I’m able to play the guitar.

Could (past ability)               I could read when I was 5 years old.

 

May (possible-now or future)         It may rain tomorrow.

Could (possible-now or future)      We could have pizza at home or we could go out.

Might (possible-now or future)       I might go to Hawaii on my next vacation.

Can (always possible)            It can get really hot in the desert.

 

May have (past possible)      He may have been there, but I didn’t see him.

Could have (past possible)  I could have gone to the party if I’d know about it.

Might have (past possible)  She might have told me before, I don’t remember.

 

May (permission)                  You may go now.

Can (permission)                  Can I go to the bathroom?

Could (permission)               Could I open the window?

 

May (request)                        May I have another donut, please?

Can (request)                        Can you pass the salt?

Would (request)                   Would you close the door, please?

 

Must (requirement)              You must be in class on time.

Have to (required)                I have to be home by 2pm.

Had to (past requirement)   I had to get up very early this morning.

 

Should (advice)                     I should eat more vegetables.

Ought to (advice)                  You ought to see a doctor about that!

Had better (strong advice)  You had better study more, or you won’t pass!

 

Should have (regret)             I should have told you earlier.
Shouldn’t have (regret)         I shouldn’t have eaten to much!

 

Would (past habit-action only)       When I was young, we would play in the park until 5pm.

Used to (past habit/for a while in the past)           I used to live in Berkeley.

 

Must (Probably)                    I heard a knock.  There must be someone at the door.

Must have (past probably)  You must have been tired after working so hard!

 

Would (unreal/potential)    If I had money, I would go to Europe.

 

BASE FORM / PAST       PARTICIPLE

 

be                      was/were           been

beat                   beat                   beaten

become              became              become

begin                 began                 begun

bend                  bent                   bent

bite                    bit                      bitten

blow                  blew                  blown

break                 broke                 broken

bring                  brought              brought

broadcast           broadcast           broadcast

build                  built                   built

buy                    bought               bought

catch                  caught               caught

choose               chose                 chosen

come                  came                  come

cost                    cost                    cost

cut                     cut                     cut

dig                     dug                    dug

do                      did                     done

draw                  drew                  drawn

drink                  drank                 drunk

drive                  drove                 driven

eat                     ate                     eaten

fall                     fell                     fallen

feed                   fed                     fed

feel                    felt                     felt

fight                  fought               fought

find                   found                found

fit                      fit                      fit

fly                      flew                   flown

forbid                forbade              forbidden

forget                forgot                forgotten

forgive               forgave              forgiven

freeze                froze                  frozen

get                     got                     gotten

BASE FORM / PAST    PARTICIPLE

give                   gave                   given

go                      went                gone

grow                  grew                grown

hang                  hung                hung

have                   had                  had

hear                   heard               heard

hide                   hid                   hidden

hit                      hit                    hit

hold                   held                 held

hurt                    hurt                  hurt

keep                   kept                 kept

know                 knew               known

lay                     laid                  laid

lead                   led                     led

leave                  left                     left

lend                   lent                    lent

let                      let                      let

lie (bed)             lay                     lain

light                   lit                       lit/lighted

lose                    lost                    lost

make                  made                 made

mean                  meant                meant

meet                  met                    met

pay                    paid                   paid

put                     put                     put

quit                    quit                    quit

read                   read                   read

ride                    rode                   ridden

ring                    rang                   rung

rise                     rose                    risen

run                     ran                     run

say                     said                    said

see                     saw                    seen

sell                     sold                   sold

send                   sent                    sent

set                      set                      set

BASE FORM / PAST       PARTICIPLE

sew                    sewed                sewn

shine                  shined/shone     shined/shone

shake                 shook                 shaken

shoot                 shot                   shot

show                  showed              shown

shut                   shut                   shut

sing                    sang                   sung

sit                      sat                      sat

sleep                  slept                   slept

slide                   slid                    slid

speak                 spoke                 spoken

spend                 spent                  spent

spin                    spun                   spun

spread                spread                spread

stand                 stood                 stood

steal                   stole                   stolen

stick                   stuck                  stuck

swear                 swore                 sworn

sweep                swept                 swept

swim                  swam                 swum

take                   took                   taken

teach                  taught                taught

tear                    tore                    torn

tell                     told                    told

think                  thought              thought

throw                 threw                 thrown

understand        understood        understood

upset                  upset                  upset

wake                  waked/woke    waked/woken

wear                  wore                  worn

win                    won                   won

write                  wrote                 written

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