Verbs are words that express an action, occurrence, or a state of being.

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“I had been done that” Is this correct?

I teach freshmen English in inner-city Baltimore, and I often get the following: Teacher : Did you complete the homework? Student : I had been done that! I have not been able to give a ...
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Meaning and usage of “languish”

I have a few questions about the verb 'to languish.' In the OED, it suggests that this word must be used for a living thing. Couldn't it be used metaphorically for something like an idea or a ...
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283 views

Early Modern English second person present tense when verb ends with ‑st

In Early Modern English you normally would add ‑st or ‑est to verbs to conjugate them to the second person singular indicative tense (past and present), but what do you do for verbs that already end ...
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Dropping the 'ing'

I always remember many verbs ending in .....ing Swimming club/cap and shaving foam for example. I now see increased use of swim club and shave foam. Why has this happened, is it correct use of English ...
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130 views

“Increase 10%” or “increase by 10%”

I was taught at the university that the correct usage of this verb is increase by, for example, like in the sentences stated below: The company's income increased by 10%. By 2015 the ...
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“If a son strike his father” - shouldn't it be “strikes”?

I am reading The Code of Hammurabi translated by Robert Francis Harper. Many times there are sentences in the format "if one do this, some action shall be done". Here's an example: If a son strike ...
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'lead to someone doing something' OR 'lead to someone's doing something'

Under the entry lead (v.), Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (5th edition) lists: lead to someone doing something example: His actions could lead to him losing his job. However, ...
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44 views

Should we always use a prepositional object after an intransitive verb?

I arrived at home. I arrived home. Arrive is intransitive verb and it needs a prepositional object but 'home' is adverb of place and I think we can't use any preposition before it as we were ...
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What is a noun derivative from a verb when being used in an assignment context?

I'm trying to find a noun that can only be derived only from a verb and is assigned as a role. E.g. in the following sentence: Fred assesses the test. Jack runs over the hill. Billy ...
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52 views

“The Words That Maketh Murder”

Re. the PJ Harvery song, "The Words That Maketh Murder". I have read some debate as to whether maketh is correct. See linguaphiles.livejournal.com. That discussion was I think inconclusive. One ...
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39 views

Forms of the verb “to be.”

I was just typing up a document in MS word and it seemed to take umbrage with the following: Key tasks tackled by this group are understanding and allaying fears, determining suitable and ...
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194 views

Response Faster / respond faster?

I am looking for a new laptop, and as I scrolled down the page of this specific model, I encountered this: So, bottom line: shouldn’t it be Respond Faster? I am didn’t post a link because I’m not ...
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238 views

How to tell the difference between predicate adjectives and action verbs

While analyzing essays, I often get confused between whether a word is a predicate adjective of an action verb. I found the definition of a predicate adjective to be "An adjective used in the ...
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parallelism in linking verbs and verbs

Is the following sentence parallel? "He was young, wore expensive clothing, and had good facial features." Isn't "was" in this sentence a linking verb and thus a verb making the whole sentence ...
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is there a name for adjectives that end in -ive formed from verbs?

Examples include 'declarative', 'manipulative', 'accusative'. Is there a name for these adjectives that describe something of or related to their base verb?
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Verbs used as infintives

I want to go home. We come to help him. He was the first guy in our crowd to marry. Why "to go" is use as a noun vs. "to help" is used as an adverb vs. "to marry" is used as an adjective?
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Ellipsis (Gapping) and Prepositions

A simple example of ellipsis is: Peter likes to eat apples, and Mary oranges. (Peter likes to eat apples, and Mary [likes to eat] oranges.) Recently, I've been engaged in a debate about a ...
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how to construct complete formula for making wishes “I wish I had a car” He wishes He had a car

I am teaching and I am trying to figure out the form for the construction of wishes for my language analysis. I wish I had a car S1 + wish + S2 + (past simple) however I got a bit confused in how to ...
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How to properly use conjugate verbs using -est

Recently I have been confused on conjugating verbs in the 2nd person. I understand the 3rd person, -eth, but -est is a bit odd. example: He flies south / He flyeth south. But 2nd person? You fly ...
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Can all dynamic (action) verbs be paired up with all existing prepositions to form compound verbs?, ie. “Throw- out,off,in, up, etc.”

I know that not all verbs can be compounded with all prepositions such as, "Believe-out, of, from, up, down." being a stative verb; and that action verbs can be paired up with lamost all prepositions. ...
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31 views

Create or re-create?

I'm wondering if 're-create' is a better word than 'create' in the following: The vegetarian chef is good at creating / re-creating meat dishes. I want to say the chef can make vegetarian dishes ...
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“ever in revolt” and its grammatical role in the sentence

"It freezes the water to prevent it running to the sea; it drives the sap out of the trees till they are frozen to their mighty hearts; and most ferociously and terribly of all does the Wild harry and ...
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Is “to relate to” ditransitive or intensive?

I'm working on ditransitive verbs, and I've found out a trouble concerning the following sentences: Benevolence in the students was related to parental appreciation of universalism, and vice ...
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Looking for a verb or phrasal verb

Sorry, I can't even express myself properly. Is there a word for a quick fanning of clothes in the air to extract the excess water or to the quick up and down fanning of cloth to drive away dust.
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Were or are with compound subject?

Someome asked me which of these sentences is correct: There are no pus or polyps. Or There were no pus or polyps. Honestly, both sound wrong to me. I'd say, "there was neither pus nor polys." I ...
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What is the difference between hand in, turn in and hand over?

What is the difference between these verbs. In which context should I use which? I think that these verbs may be interchangeable, but not all the times. For example: I turned in my homework to the ...
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“can” vs. “could”

"This case report suggests that a lung embolism CAN/COULD occur in a patient with no pulmonary vulnerabilities." Which of these verbs is correct in this sentence?
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Has or have confusion when we don't use does

I got a list of votes from many people on Google. The topic is: Anyone have any ideas? OR Anyone has any ideas? I believe that it is 'Anyone have any any ideas' for we don't use does. But ...
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Is the structure “need for somebody to do something” grammatically correct?

When you compare the following two sentences: John does his own work and does not need for others to do his work in his stead, nor does he involve himself in the works of others. and John ...
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56 views

Verb groups and phrasal verbs

Here's a quick one: In the (potential) verb phrase 'had competed for [gaining control]' (I know it's not very elegant) is 'competed for' a phrasal verb or does 'for' begin a prepositional group with ...
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40 views

Can you maintain a consideration?

More than 1 person has stumbled on this line in a draft report here: "...such that the considerations outlined in Section 1.2 are maintained" Can you maintain a consideration? Yes, the ...
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115 views

“I wouldn't have <past particle verb> if you wouldn't have <past participle verb>” not commonly heard from natives, why? Wrong or uncommon?

In my native language we often use complex sentences expressions like this: "I wouldn't have gone there if you wouldn't have told me to go there". Now when I say that in English it feel a bit verbose ...
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How to avoid redundancy here?

When I finally caught him, he was bleeding and was too weak to swim. The sentence seems awkward to me and I don't know how to rephrase it. I think "was" is kinda redundant but just omitting it ...
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Is there a term for nouns that describe the performance of a verb?

There are nouns that describe the performance of, or ability to perform a verb? E.g. perception / perceive communication / communicate collaboration / collaborate Is there a term for these nouns ...
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Can one say that “sythesization is the process of creating a synthesis”

Synthesize is the verb form of synthesis. That is "to create a synthesis". Is it possible to create a noun again from Synthesize to name the process rather than the product.
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280 views

Words that act as both noun and verb

Can all the verbs act as noun and vice versa ?
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Should I say “increased” is an adjective in the following sentence?

Is "increased" an adjective in the context which has come after the verb "get". Senselessness of leaders is getting increased. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advanced.
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Verb Categories

What is the term for verbs whose action is to take the shape of a particular object? Example: 'arch' The cat arched its back. The action of the verb is to reshape the cat's back into the form of an ...
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Use of collective nouns and verbs

I see the British normally use plural form of the verbs associated with collective nouns. An example, "The team have fired its coach" versus "The team has fired its coach". I have been told this is ...
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Is there a verb for the act of making an object oblate (or prolate)?

I'm looking for a verb denoting the act of making a circle elliptic, i.e. making it oblate (or prolate for that matter). Is there a single word for it, or do I need to rewrite? I tried searching for ...
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Where does the verb go?

Where does the verb go in the sentence below to make it grammatically correct? Please let me know what are the differences. Please let me know what the differences are.
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Why some verbs have their nouns form exactly like them while the others are not?

From the “Start from the beginning” vs “begin from the starting” question in ell.SE, user δοῦλος has explained that the noun form of begin is beginning, while the noun form of start is still start. ...
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468 views

Sift and Sieve definition

Recently, while reading a novel, I stumbled upon the word 'sifted'. This immediately got me questioning the difference between the verb 'sift' and the verb 'sieve'. Some dictionaries say 'sieve' is ...
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186 views

The meaning of “going over” something

I'm fond of old especially folk songs, but as a foreigner I often have troubles interpreting some phrases. Here is one from Wayfaring stranger: I'm going there to see my father I'm going there no ...
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A word for: the regular swallowing of one's saliva

Humans (and member of many other species too) must swallow their saliva fairly regularly, especially when awake. Is there any nice, plain-English word for this action? For example, instead of ...
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When to use -ed or not as part of objective portion of sentence

Which one of the following usage is correct and why? I would like to have the content changed to the following: ... OR I would like to have the content change to the following: ... The ...
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What are reasons for using Present Continuous instead of Present Simple?

AFAIK, the word "see" cannot appear in Continuous Tenses. But today I have met it in that tense in some text that is obviously not too informal. "Somewhat like the shields created by force fields ...
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Is reincarnated an action verb?

I'm writing an essay and linking verbs have to have action verbs. I am not sure if reincarnation is an action verb or not?
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185 views

Can a be verb and an ordinary verb share the same subject?

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? An apple is red and has a spherical shape. In comparison, I'm pretty sure that the following sentences are correct: An apple is red and green. ...
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Why present simple not continuous

I have a few sentences here: A) The instructor explains the diagram to students who ask questions during the lecture. Why are "explain" and "ask" used here in present simple, and not in the ...