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GRAMMAR NOTES: VERBS

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LSEG: categories of verbs







Due to its importance, in most English grammar books the first chapter is dedicated to presenting the verb; however, in
LSEG4 that structure is considered a logic mistake. The verb is the most complex morphologic element; therefore, understanding the verb is strongly dependent on all previously gained knowledge about the morphologic elements grouped into the noun cluster. Even more; in order to define the “forms” it takes, the verb introduces a few new, fairly difficult grammatical concepts, in addition to the topics already presented for the noun cluster. Finally, any logic structure must start from simple to complex, not backwards.

Now, despite the fact that it is one of the simplest on the planet [if not “the” simplest], English grammar is far from being easy to learn. Consequently, for about 50 years or so, English researchers (teachers and authors of grammar books included) have worked diligently on “simplifying” English grammar, hoping the students/readers would understand “a little something” about it. Unfortunately, things never worked as planned; the result today is deep (if not total) confusion among students and teachers as well. Note however that regardless of how complex Grammar (or any other science) could be, people can learn it easily if Grammar (or any other science) is structured and explained logically.

Now, for each verb in a sentence, the morphologic  analysis  needs to identify all categories presented in the picture on left. However, those intimidating steps/tasks become fairly easy and quite straightforward using
LSEG4.


LSEG4: CONTINOUS ASPECT
GREEN LEAF RIt is worth highlighting the exceptional “symmetry” of the English tenses. Note that there are four “primary indicative tenses”, and they match perfectly with four “perfect indicative tenses”. For example, we have:

1. “future”    --> “future perfect”;
2. “present”  --> “present perfect”;
3. “future in the past” --> “future perfect in the past”;
4. “past”      --> “past perfect”.

Overall, despite the fact the English verb is rather “specific”, when it comes to tenses, all international verb-related  concepts are explained perfectly and completely, in LSEG4, using precisely the English verb. Even more, there are little chances the readers would discover a similar grammar book, in any language, about the universal grammatical principles outlined in LSEG4 and L4EW.


LSEG4: FRAGMENT FROM CHAPTER VERBS

The moods and the tenses of the English verb are presented in LSEG4 unlike in any other English grammar book ever published! It is not only the (far more) advanced level of details; what matters most is the “perspective”! Note that the English verb has never been presented considering its rightful place&function within the universal and traditional grammar—at least, not to our knowledge.
GREEN LEAF L
About 150 (double) pages in LSEG4 are dedicated to presenting the morphologic verb in its totality, which is way more thorough than in any other (general-public) book, in the entire World. Note that the complete verb's conjugations for moods and tenses need to be discriminated into:

GROUP A: common aspect, active voice;
GROUP B:
continuous aspect, active voice;
GROUP C:
common aspect, passive voice;
GROUP D:
continuous aspect, passive voice.

The following table illustrates the available moods and tenses for each mentioned group of conjugations.
 


TABLE 1:  THE AVAILABLE MOODS AND TENSES FOR EACH GROUP OF
VERB'S CONJUGATIONS
 
MOODS & TENSES GROUP A GROUP B GROUP C GROUP D
 
PERSONAL MOODS
 
INDICATIVE
FUTURE X X X -
FUTURE PERFECT X X X -
[NEAR FUTURE] X X - -
PRESENT X X X X
PRESENT PERFECT X X X -
FUTURE IN THE PAST X X X -
FUTURE PERFECT IN THE PAST X X X -
[NEAR FUTURE IN THE PAST] X X - -
PAST X X X X
PAST PERFECT X X X -
 
SUBJUNCTIVE
PRESENT X X X X
PERFECT X X X -
OLD FORM X X X -
 
CONDITIONAL
PRESENT X X X -
PERFECT X X X -
 
IMPERATIVE
PRESENT X X X -
PERFECT X - - -
 
IMPERSONAL MOODS
 
INFINITIVE
PRESENT X X X -
PERFECT X X X -
 
PARTICIPLE
PRESENT X X - -
PERFECT X X - -
PAST X X - -
 
GERUND
PRESENT X X - -
PERFECT X X - -

 


The common aspect active voice conjugation of a regular verb is presented completely, in the following table. However, the readers need to be aware that, in order to learn working with verb's moods & tenses, in complete conjugations of aspect and voice, they need to see the conjugation forms of the irregular verbs.

Now comes the beautiful part: no book in the entire World presents verb's conjugations using irregular verbs, except LSEG4! Even more, that unique feature is far from everything, dear readers; in LSEG4 you are going to discover a few additional aspects about the English verbs, extremely important, you never heard about--even if you were an English teacher.
 

TABLE 2: VERB'S CONJUGATION
COMMON ASPECT ACTIVE VOICE
 
 
PERSONAL MOODS
 
INDICATIVE
FUTURE I/we shall ask; you/he/she/it, they will ask
FUTURE PERFECT I/we shall have asked; you/he/she/it, they will have asked
[NEAR FUTURE] I am going to ask; he/she/it is going to ask; we/you/they are going to ask
PRESENT I/you/we/they ask; he/she/it asks
PRESENT PERFECT I/you/we/they have asked; he/she/it has asked
FUTURE IN THE PAST I/we should ask; you/he/she/it/they would ask
FUTURE PERFECT IN THE PAST I/we should have asked; you/he/she/it/they would have asked
[NEAR FUTURE IN THE PAST] I/he/she/it was going to ask; we/you/they were going to ask
PAST I/you/he/she/it/we/they asked
PAST PERFECT I/you/he/she/it/we/they had asked
 
SUBJUNCTIVE
PRESENT I/you/he/she/it/we/they asked
PERFECT I/you/he/she/it/we/they had asked
OLD FORM I/you/he/she/it/we/they ask
 
CONDITIONAL
PRESENT I/we should ask; you/he/she/it/they would ask
PERFECT I/we should have asked; you/he/she/it/they would have asked
 
IMPERATIVE
PRESENT (you) ask
PERFECT (you) have (st/so) asked
 
IMPERSONAL MOODS
 
INFINITIVE
PRESENT (to) ask
PERFECT to have asked
 
PARTICIPLE
PRESENT asking
PERFECT having asked
PAST asked
 
GERUND
PRESENT asking
PERFECT having asked

 


A few observations, particularly important, need to be highlighted about the table 2 above.

1. In table 2 is presented the complete conjugation of a regular verb ["to ask"] in common aspect active voice. The point to note is, only a handful of books in the entire World describe all moods and tenses, exactly as they are presented in table 2. Among the mentioned books, LSEG4 is the most accurate and the best detailed. [As a note, common aspect active voice is just one conjugation out of four!]

2. Using a regular verb ["to ask"] to present verb's conjugations cannot help the readers to understand the mechanics behind verb's conjugations; the best thing is to see the conjugations of an irregular verb, as it is presented in LSEG4. However, LSEG4 could be the only book in the entire World to present the complete conjugations of an irregular verb. [During 20 years of grammatical research we couldn't discover another book.]

True, in some very good grammar books are presented the conjugations of a few irregular verbs: "to have", "to do", "can", "must", etc. What happens, those irregular verbs are particular: they are auxiliaries or modal defectives. Therefore, such verbs cannot be representative for verb's conjugations [since they are all defective of moods and/or tenses].

3. Note that some verb forms in the table above appear to be identical. For example, present conditional ["I should ask"] is identical to future in the past ["I should ask"]. As a result, most grammar books on the market do not bother to present all moods and all tenses [truth is, it is a pure miracle to discover the subjunctive or the conditional mood in a "serious" English grammar book].

However, the mention forms that appear to be identical are very much different in meaning, and in the manner of contextual implementation. For example, the present conditional form ["I should ask"] works in a present time, time-frame, while the future in the past form ["I should ask"] marks a past event that had been planned to happen in the future of another past event.


LSEG4: FRAGMENT FROM CHAPTER VERBSAttention: present and perfect subjunctive function in English (in meaning) exactly as they do in any other language. Note that, in English grammar, the function and the meaning take precedence over the (deceivingly simple) morphologic form.

LSEG4: FRAGMENT FROM CHAPTER VERBS

The equivalent present conditional constructions” are formed using the modal defective verbs “can” and “may”, instead of the auxiliary “shall” and “will”. The result is two sets of equivalent present conditionals used to suggest increased consideration towards the interlocutor(s). As an observation, equivalent present conditionals are used a lot in conversation, as they seem to be preferred to other similar/alternative forms of expression.
 

LSEG4: FRAGMENT FROM CHAPTER VERBSGREEN LEAF RUsing contractions in writing is not a mistake, if their number is limited to a few, necessary ones. Generally, a limited set of negative contractions, “don’t/doesn’t/didn’t”, “can’t/couldn’t” (or “cannot”: “cannot” is not a contraction), “shouldn’t/wouldn’t”, “haven’t/hasn’t/hadn’t”, “let’s” may be used in writing without worries. Further contractions, however, are not recommended because they do create confusion, and they may also indicate a poor command of grammar.

LSEG4: FRAGMENT FROM CHAPTER VERBS

It is possible the English grammar is the simplest one on our Planet. Further, the English grammar simplicity is most remarkable exactly when it comes to the forms of impersonal verbs. On the other hand, the mentioned (deceiving) simplicity is in a sharp contrast with the inherent complex functionality of those impersonal verbs.

Note that, in LSEG4, impersonal verbs are presented according to their “international” morphologic functionality—which is a bit different (meaning, more complex) compared to what is commonly “described” in most English grammar books.

LSEG4: FRAGMENT FROM CHAPTER VERBS
The category of auxiliary verbs helps forming the aspect, the voice, the moods, and the tenses of the verbs. In addition, a few auxiliaries help forming interrogative and negative sentences. Modal defective verbs work similar to auxiliaries, and they may even replace them; however, modal defectives help building particular (better said, “equivalent”) tenses.
GREEN LEAF L
LSEG4: FRAGMENT FROM CHAPTER VERBS

Modal defective verbsshall” and “should” have a double nature: of auxiliary verbs, and of modal defectives. The auxiliary character is highlighted by the indicative and conditional tenses that require the auxiliary “shall/should”. The modal defective nature is marked by the “equivalent subjunctive” constructions.

L4EW: FRAGMENT OF AN EXERCISE FROM CHAPTER VERBSAttention: modal defective verbs are presented incompletely in most grammar books, in any language. Note that modal defective verbs have a specific syntactical functionality which, unfortunately, was never explained correctly in Grammar—this is, in any grammar.

On the other hand, the (major) problems generated by the complex functionality of the modal defective verbs—again, in any language—are issues known to the linguist researchers for a long time. However, instead of studying modal defective verbs seriously, to come up with simple logic interpretations, researchers have chosen (up to now) to solemnly ignore them, and to work with . . . other “things”—just with anything else instead.


L4EW FRAGMENT OF AN EXERCISE FROM CHAPTER VERBS










L4EW:fragment of an exercise from chapter Verbs.


L4EW: FRAGMENT OF AN EXERCISE FROM CHAPTER VERBS

GREEN LEAF R






L4EW:fragment of an exercise from chapter Verbs.


LSEG 4TH EDITION
RED LEAF L





A complete grammatical reference, very easy to learn: Logically Structured English Grammar 4—as theory plus exercises!

 
 
 
 
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