The Indicative Mood
The Imperative Mood
The Conditional Mood
The Suppositional Mood
Subjunctive I expresses a problematic
action. Subjunctive I is used in American English and in newspaper style.
Subjunctive I coincides with the Infinitive without the particle to. Ex.: Ring me up if he would be there.
is expressed in English to a very minor extent (e.g.: So be it then!).
It is only used in certain set expressions, which have to be learned as wholes:
Come what may, we will go
God save the Queen!
Suffice it to say that...
Be that as it may...
Heaven forbid that...
So be it then.
Long live the King!
Grammar be hanged!
This Mood is also used in that clauses, when the main
clause contains an expression of recommendation, resolution, demand, etc. The
use of this subjunctive I occurs chiefly in formal style (and especially in Am
E) where in less other devices, such as to - infinitive or should = infinitive.
necessary that he be there.
necessary that he should be there.
necessary for him to be there.
Subjunctive II denotes an unreal action
and it coincides in the form with the Past Indefinite Tense (Subjunctive II
Present) or Past Perfect (Subjunctive II Past). Ex.: I wish he had told the
truth. If only he were here!
Mood is expressed in English
to a much greater extent by past tense forms. E.g.:
taught me, I would learn quickly.
If she was/were to do
smth like that.
He spoke to me as if I
was/ were deaf...
I wish I was/were was
1) "Was” is more
common in less formal style
2) Only "were” is
acceptable in "As it were" (= so to speak)
3) "Were” is usual in
"If I were you".
The Conditional Mood denotes an unreal action
and is built by the auxiliary verb "world" + any Infinitive a
non-perfect infinitive expresses Simultaneousness while a perfect infinitive
expresses priority. E.g.: But for the rain we would go for a walk. But for the rain we would
The Suppositional Mood also expresses a
problematic action and is formed with the help of the auxiliary verb
"should" for all the persons + Infinitive. E.g.: Ring me up if he should
This mood can be used with any verb in subordinate that -
clauses when the main clause contains an expression of recommendation
resolution, demand etc. (demand, require, insist, suggest...) E.g.: It is
necessary that every member should inform himself of these rules = It is
necessary for every member to inform... It is strange that he should have left
Subjunctive I and the Suppositional
Mood are differentiated only by their form but their meaning is the same.
Taking into consideration the fact that
the forms of the Obligue Moods coincide in many cases with the forms of
the Indicative Mood, there arises a problem of homonymy or polysemy. E.g.: He
lived here. (The indicative Mood, Past Tense, Priority, real action).
If only he lived! (Subjunctive
II, simultaneousness, unreal action)
Grammatically, the verb is the most complex part of speech.
This is due to the central role it performs in the expression of the predicative
function of the sentence, i.e. the functions establishing the connection
between the situation named in the utterance and reality.
The complexity of the verb is inherent not only in the
intricate structure of its grammatical, categories, but also in its various
character of the grammatical and lexico-grammatical structure of the verb has
given rise to much dispute and controversy and also terminological
disagreements among the scholars. The general categorical meaning of the verb
A verb is a word (e.g.: to run) or a phrase
(e.g.: run out of), which expresses the existence of a state (love,
seem) or the doing of an action (take, play).
From the point of view of their outward structure, verbs may
be simple, composite and phrasal.
The original simple verbs are not numerous (go, take, real,
But conversion (zero-suffixation) as means of derivation,
greatly enlarges the simple stem set of verbs. It is one of the most productive
ways of forming verbs in ME.
Ex.: a cloud - to cloud, a house - to house, a man - to
man, a park - to park.
The typical suffixes expanding the stem of the verb are:
-ate; -en; -ify; -izy.
The verb-deriving prefixes are:
Be- (e.g.: belittle, befriend, bemoan);
En- (e.g.: engulf, embed);
Re- (e.g.: remake);
Under- (e.g.: undergo);
Over- (e.g.: overestimate);
Sub- (e.g.: submerge);
Mis- (e.g.: misunderstand)
The composite verb stems (blackmail, whitewash, etc).
Phrasal verbs occupy an intermediate position between
analytical forms of the verb and syntactic word combinations. Among such stems
2 specific constructions should be mentioned:
A) a combination of the head-verb (have, give, take and some
others) with a noun; the combination has its equivalent an ordinary verb. Ex.: to
have a smoke - to smoke; to give a smile - to smile; to take a stroll - to
B) а combination of a head verb with a verbal postposition
that has a specificational value. Ex. stand up; go on; give in; be off, get along.
On the basis of the subject-process relation all the
notional verbs be divided into actional and statal.
Actional verbs express the action performed by the
subject. To this class belong such verbs as do, act, make, go, read, learn,
Statal verbs denote the caste of their subject. To this subclass belong such verbs as be
live, survive, worry, suffer, see, know, etc. They usually occur in the
simple form in all tenses. They are not generally used in progressive forms.
But if there are used so there any change of meaning. E.g.: Oh, it hurts! —
Oh, it's hurting!
Finite & non-finite verbs
The complicated structure and character of the verb has
given rise to much dispute and controversy. The morphological field of the
English verb heterogeneous. It includes a number of groups or classes of verbs,
which differ from each other in their morphological and syntactic properties.
All English verbs have finite and non-finite forms.
The finite verb invariably performs the function of the verb- predicate.
Finite verbs are subdivided into regular and irregular depending on the way the
participle II are formed.
Non-finite verbs perform
different functions according to their intermediary nature (subject, object,
adverbial modifier, attribute). They may be used as any member of the sentence
but the predicate. Inside the sentence verbals make up complexes with other
members of the sentence.
The nucleus of the morphological field of the verb is
based on the finite verbs, and the periphery includes all other groups of verbs
The grammatical categories which find formal expression in
the outward structure of the verb are categories of person, number, tense,
aspect, voice, mood. This complete set is revealed in every word-form of the
notional finite form.
From the functional point of view
the class of verbs may be subdivided into the set of full nominative value and
partial. Notional verbs are verbs of full nominative value. The set of partial
nominative value represent semi-notional and functional verbs. The first set is
derivationally open it includes the bulk of the verbal lexicon. The second set
is derivationally closed, it includes limited subsets of verbs characterized by
individual relational properties.
Semi-notional and functional verbs include auxiliary verbs, modal
verbs, link-verbs. Semi-notional verbs (seem, happen, turn out, begin,
continue, stop, fall, try, etc).
Link-verbs: seem, appear, look, feel, become, get, grow, remain, keep.
Auxiliary verbs constitute grammatical elements of the categorical forms
of the verb. These are the verbs be, have, do shall, will, should, may,
might. Auxiliary verbs to give other information about actions and states.
Ex. be may be used with the present participle of a full
verb to say that an action was going on at a particular time ("in
progress"). I was swimming.
verb "to have” may be used with the past participle of a full verb to
say that an action is completed (I have finished my job).
Link-verbs introduce the nominal part of the predicate (the
predicative), which is commonly expressed by a noun, an adjective or a phrase
of a similar semantico-grammatical character. It should be noted that
link-verb, although they are named so, are not devoid of meaningful content. Their function is connecting (linking)
the subject and the predicative of the sentence. The linking function in the
purest form is effected by the verb be (pure link-verb). All the
link-verbs other than the pure links the pure specification express some
specification (specifying link-verbs). Two main groups:
A) perceptional link verbs: seem, appear, look, feel,
B) factual limk-verbs: become, get, grow, remain, keep.
Verbals make up a special grammatical category.
Among the various forms of the verb the infinitive
occupies a unique position. Its status is that of the principal representative
of the verb-lexeme as a whole. This is determined by the two factors:
A) its giving the most general dynamic name to the
B) its serving as the actual derivative base for all the
other regular forms of the verb.
The Infinitive is intermediate between the verb and the
noun. It combines the properties of the verb with those of the noun. It is
considered as the head-form of the whole paradigm of the verb.
The Participle is intermediate
between the verb and the adjective and adverb.
The Present Participle is the non-finite form of the verb which combines the
properties of the verb and those of the adjective and adverb, serving as
qualifying processual name. In its outer form the present participle is wholly
homonymous with the gerund and distinguishes the same grammatical categories.
Like all the verbals it has no categorical time
distinctions, and the attribute "present" in its conventional name is
not immediately explanatory; it is used from force of tradition.
Past Participle is the non-finite form of the verb which combines the properties
of the verb with those of the adjective, serving as the qualifying processual
name. It is a single form, having no paradigm of its own. It conveys implicitly
the categorial meaning of the perfect and the passive. The main functions in
the sentence are those of the attribute and the predicative.
The gerund is the non- finite form of the verb, which like
the infinitive combines the properties of the verb with those of the noun.
Similar to the infinitive, gerund serves as me verbal name of a process, but
its substantive quality is more strongly pronounced than that of the
A question might arise, why the Infinitive and not the
gerund is taken as the head-form of the verbal paradigm?
The gerund cannot perform the
function of the paradigmatic head-form for a number of reasons. In the first
place, it is more detached from the finite verb than the infinitive
semantically. Then it is a suffixal form, which makes it less generalized.
Finally, it is less definite, being subject to easy neutralization in its
opposition. Hence the gerund is no rival of the infinitive in the paradigmatic
The formal sign of the gerund is
wholly homonymous with that of the present participle: it is the suffix ”-ing”
added to the grammatically leading element. Like the infinitive the gerund is a
categorially changeable form. It distinguishes the aspective category of
retrospective coordination (perfect in opposition), and the category of voice
(passive in opposition). Consequently the categorical paradigm of the gerund
includes 4 forms: the simple, the perfect active, the simple passive the
Modal verbs express the attitude: ability, obligation,
permission, advisability, probability. Modal Verbs are defective in forms. They
do not differentiate the category of person, number, voice, aspect, perfect, no
future tense no verbals. They have lost many of their categorial meanings.
Modal verbs or modals are concerned with our relationship
with someone else. Modal have 2 major functions which can be defined as primary
Primary function of Modal Verbs. In their primary function MVs closely reflect the
A) of ability (can/could). / can lift 25 kg/I can type.
B) of permission (may/might). You may leave early.
C) of prediction (will/would) - (shall/should). It will
D) Of escapable obligation or duty (should/ought to). You
should (ought to) do as you are told.
E) Of inescapable obligation. You must be quiet. F)
Of absence of obligation. You needn't wait.
Secondary function of MVs
In their secondary function nine of modal auxiliaries can
be used to express the degree of certainly/uncertainly a speaker fuels about a
possibility. They can be arranged on a scale from the greatest uncertainty
(might) to the greatest certainty (must).
can be right
should have been right
You ought to
The aspective meaning of the verb
reflects the mode of the realization of the process. The opposition of the
continuous forms of the verb to the non-continuous represents the aspective
category of development. The marked member of the opposition is the continuous.
It is built by the auxiliary be plus the Present Participle. In symbolic
notation it is represented by the formula be...ing. The categorial meaning of
the Continuous is "action in progress".
The unmarked member is the indefinite, which leaves the
meaning unspecified. Four combinations of the continuous and the indefinite are
possible in principle in Modern English. E.g.: While I was typing, Mary and
Tom were chatting in the adjoining room. While I typing, Tom and Mary were
chatting in the adjoining room. While I was typing, they chatted in ... While I
typed, they chatted.
Clearly, the difference in meaning cannot lie in their
time denotations. The time is shown by their time signals (were - ed). The
meaningful difference consists in the following: the continuous shows the
action in the very process of its realization; the indefinite points it out as
a mere fact. We speak of the morphological category of the verb, but care
should be taken that the character of the development of the action may also be
expressed lexically or remain implicit. E.g.: When I entered the room he
was writing a letter. He wrote and wrote the letter (lexically). When I
entered the room, he wrote a letter.
In the last sentence the form of the verb doesn't express
the Continuous aspect explicitly because the speaker isn't interested in the
action, but in the object of the action. Traditionally forms like "is
writing" are called Present, Past, Future Continuous Tense, but that
is not quite right. Such forms should be called Present Tense, Continuous
aspect (is writing). The Present Tense is modified by the Continuous. It
the Continuous were a special tense then we should speak of 2 tenses at once.
But the action can't develop in 2 tenses at once. If the actions are not progressive
by themselves (if they are not shown as progressive), the description will go
without the continuous forms. The Continuous refers a to a definite time-point.
The category of development undergoes explicit various reductions:
1. The unlimitive verbs are very easily neutralized Ex. The
night is wonderfully silent. The stars shine with a fierce brilliancy, the
Southern Cross and wind. The Duke's face seemed blushed, and more lined than
some of his recent photographs showed. He held a glass in his hand.
2. As to the statal verbs, their
neutralization amounts to a grammatical rule. They are so called
"never-used-in-the-Continuous" verbs: a) the unique "to be”
and "to have”; b) verbs of possession, verbs of relation, of physical
perception, of mental perception
3. Worthy of note is the regular
neutralization with the introductory verb supporting the participial
construction of parallel action. Ex. He stood smoking a pipe. Not
normally: He was standing smoking.
the other hand, the Continuous can be used to denote habitual, recurrent
actions. Continuous verb forms are more expressive than non-continuous - they are used in emotional speech. Ex.: He
is always complaining.
note should be of the broadening use of the Continuous with unlimitive verbs.
Here are some typical examples. Ex. I heard a rumor that a certain member
here present has been seeing the prisoner this afternoon (E.M. Forster). I
had a horrid feeling she was seeing right through me and knowing all about me.
What matters is, you're being damn fools (A.Hailey)
6. Compare similar transpositions in the expressions of
anticipated future. E.g.: Dr. Aarons will be seeing the patient this morning
(A.Hailey). Soon we shall be hearing the news about the docking of the
spaceships having gone through.
Since the neutralization of
the Continuous with these verbs is quite regular, we have an emphatic reduction
serving the purpose of speech expressiveness.
The category of Voice expresses
relations between the subject and the object of the action or between the
subject and the action.
The opposition of the passive form of
the verb to the active form of the verb expresses the voice of the English
Verb. E.g.: writes - is written. The passive form is the strong member
of the opposition. On the plane of expression it is marked by the combination
of the auxiliary be with the Past Participle of the notional verb. The active
form as a weak member of the opposition expresses "non-passivity".
The Active Voice shows that the subject of the sentence is the doer of the
action. The Passive Voice shows that the subject is acted upon. The agent may
be expressed in the sentence and it's usually introduced with the help of the
preposition by. Ex. The book is written by a young writer.
The sentence with the passive voice may
include a means of the action, which is introduced, with the help of the
conjunction with. Ex. The book is covered with a newspaper.
The category of voice has a much broader
representation in the system of the English verb than in the system of the
Russian verb, since in English not only transitive but also intransitive verbs
can be used.
In accord with their relation to the
passive voice, all the verbs can be divided into 2 large sets: the set of
passivized verbs and the set of non-passivized verbs. In particular the passive
is alien to many verbs of the statal subclass, such as have, belong, cost,
resemble, fail, misgive, etc.
The demarcation line between the
passivized and non-passivized set is not rigid, and the verbs of the
non-passivized set may migrate into the passivized set in various contexts. Ex.
The bed has not been slept in. The house seems not to have been lived in.
Sometimes the opposition between 2 forms
may be reduced. It means that the verb may be used in the Active Voice form
with the meaning of the Passive Voice. Usually we observe it with medial verbs
and some authors speak of the medial Voice.
The matter is that verbs may be
transitive (which require a subject and an object) and intransitive (which do not
require an object) because an action of the verb is directed at a subject. Ex. He
reads a book. She smiled.
Medial verbs do not require any subject
but as the English sentence requires that the position of the subject should be
filled in, then the object fills in the position of the subject. Ex. The
book sells well.
that are Active in Form but Passive in Meaning
which are usually followed by an object (to sell, to cut, to wash) can be used
without an object and take on a passive meaning. In this, case, the person
carrying out the action of the Verb is not referred to. Ex. This book sells
well, i.e. it is sold to many people. The dress washes/irons, well, i.e. it is
easily washed/ironed. This material makes up nicely into suits, i.e. it can be
used by the tailor for making suits. The butter spreads easily, i.e. it can be
spread easily. The bread is cutting badly because it's very soft, i.e. to cut
the bread is difficult. Other tenses may also be used. The book sold well. The
dress has washed well. The material will make up nicely.
verbs are followed by adverbs in the above examples. It is also possible to
omit the adverb, if the meaning is clear. This is often the case in the
question form and in the negative. E.g.: The book didn't sell, so it wasn't
reprinted. The dress is very pretty. Will it wash? The material should make up
into a winter dress, shouldn't it? Butter won’t spread when it's been in the
fridge. Will the bread cut? If not, try the other knife.
There are some
other verbs of this sort, with the nouns (subjects) that they are often used
with in this construction