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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

68
votes
10answers
23k views

How many tenses are there in English?

Do we have 16 tenses in English? With future present past future in the past in these forms simple continuous perfect perfect continuous Can we manipulate these together to create English ...
62
votes
5answers
7k views

How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another?

Non-native speakers often get confused about what the tenses in English mean. With input from some of the folk here I've put together a diagram that I hope will provide some clarity on the matter. I ...
57
votes
14answers
4k views

How to avoid ambiguity in “I am renting an apartment in New York”?

Does the sentence: I am renting an apartment in New York. imply that I am the landlord or the tenant? How can I unequivocally communicate that I am the tenant (or the landlord)?
51
votes
6answers
59k views

“Login” or “log in”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “log in to” or “log into” or “login to” Is there accepted terminology for the process of logging in? As a verb, would you say "Go to ...
44
votes
10answers
37k views

“Unregister” vs “Deregister”

The concept of "undoing a registration" is widely used in my line of work. While most dictionaries define unregister as the proper verb for it, several widely used and highly considered sources also ...
43
votes
15answers
5k views

Antonym of “recommend”

What's the antonym of recommend? For example: I recommend that item! I tried to use unrecommend, but the spell-checker throws an error and it sounds stupid as well!
43
votes
10answers
9k views

“Eat” is to “feed” as “drink” is to what?

I can say "I feed someone". Am I forced to say "I give someone a drink", or is there a single word for this (as in "I [verb] someone")? Unfortunately my thesaurus can't really help me.
42
votes
13answers
2k views

Central Pennsylvanian English speakers: what are the limitations on the “needs washed” construction?

In the Central Pennsylvania dialect of English (and possibly elsewhere), the following construction is possible: This car needs washed. (=needs to be washed) The room needs cleaned. (=needs ...
41
votes
9answers
3k views

Is “rather” shifting to become a verb?

In colloquial English, I constantly run across sentences of the form: I rather my [noun] [verb] A quick Google search returns tons of examples: I rather my opponents don't find out. I ...
37
votes
8answers
5k views

Can I “wear an umbrella”?

Does it make sense to say the following? Yesterday I wore an umbrella and a coat.
36
votes
9answers
8k views

When should I use “shall” versus “will”?

Which is the correct use of these two words, and in which context should one be used rather than the other?
35
votes
7answers
113k views

“The Dude abides” — what does “abide” mean in that context?

I'm unfamilar with the word "abide" which is famously used the the movie quote "The Dude abides" (The Big Lebowski). Looking it up in a German/English dictionary makes me believe it's "The Dude lives ...
30
votes
13answers
3k views

What is a verb for “illusion”?

What is a verb for illusion? I want to use it in a sentence like the following: The optical effect [illudes] my perception of its real shape. But illude does not exist. But I cannot find illude ...
30
votes
2answers
2k views

Revealing that someone else is gay — counterpart to “come out”

If I reveal to my friend that I am gay, I'd say I came out to my friend. How would I say that my friend told his friend (without asking me for permission) that I am gay? My friend [insert ...
30
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are clothes “hung” but men “hanged”?

It is said that clothes can be hung but men are hanged. Is this correct, and if so, why?
28
votes
8answers
13k views

If someone is electrocuted, do they have to die or can they just be injured?

Is it correct to say I electrocuted my friend if he was only injured by electricity?
28
votes
8answers
5k views

Is it appropriate to use short form of “have” ('ve) when it means possession?

I feel uncomfortable saying sentences like the following: "I've a car" instead of "I have a car" "They've a great time" instead of "They have a great time" "He's a pen" instead of "He has a pen" ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible for a new irregular verb to appear in English language?

Consider these verbs in past tense: faxed, emailed, googled they are all regular verbs made out of new nouns. Are there any new irregular verbs that I'm not aware of?
25
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the opposite of “skyrocket”?

I recently came across a situation where something was decreasing rapidly. My friend was led to say: The price of fuel has really skyrocketed downwards lately. Something about this statement ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

How is “Can anyone tell me how can I solve this” wrong?

I posted a question somewhere that said... Can anyone tell me how I can solve this? ...but someone edited it to... Can anyone tell me how can I solve this? ...and it was accepted. That's ...
23
votes
7answers
5k views

Using “utilize” instead of “use”?

My friend has been raising a ruckus about the abuse of the word "utilize" in place of the word "use." He complains that it just makes your sentences sound pretentious. u·ti·lize [yoot-l-ahyz] verb ...
23
votes
7answers
22k views

Can 'revert' be used as a synonym of 'reply'?

I am a native speaker of American English, and I have only ever heard this usage of the word revert from one person. This person is not a native English speaker (he is from India), so he may just be ...
22
votes
10answers
31k views

What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”?

What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb "help": with or without "to"? For example: Please, help me to understand this. or: Please, help me understand this.
22
votes
4answers
28k views

“Unselect” or “Deselect”?

If I want the user to revert their operation of selecting an item, should I say: "Unselect the option" or "Deselect the option"?
22
votes
2answers
4k views

When is “L” doubled?

Some verbs can have double Ls in the gerund form; for example: modeling; modelling traveling; travelling Which form should we use, or which form is used more in the literature?
21
votes
7answers
9k views

Is “must” ever grammatical as a past tense verb?

I have seen uses of must that appear to be in the simple past tense. Sometimes these seem grammatical, but sometimes not. Examples that help illustrate my confusion: He knew he must go to New York ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there any other way you can “wax” as you do when you “wax philosophical”?

The wax in the phrase "wax philosophical" is a pretty strange bird. Its wax is obviously not the ordinary definition of wax, which my dictionary summarizes as an "oily, water-resistant substance", a ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “lay” and “lie”?

How do I know when to use lay and when to use lie, and what are the different forms of each verb? I'm always getting them confused.
21
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it acceptable to use “is become” instead of “has become”?

In the King James version of the Bible there is a verse like this: The Lord is my strength, and my fortress, and my song. And He is become my salvation. Is it still feasible to use "is become" ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you conjugate Early Modern English verbs (other than present tense)?

I was wondering how one might conjugate verbs in early modern English in various tenses. I am aware of the fact that for second person and third person singular specifically, the verb endings are -est ...
21
votes
2answers
669 views

Send, sent; end, *ent?

The past tense of a number of verbs changes from -end to -ent: bend → bent lend → lent rend → rent send → sent spend → spent wend → went However, most do not, notably end. Granted, I say “I ent ...
21
votes
6answers
49k views

Which is correct: “troubleshooted” or “troubleshot”?

Troubleshooted is not a word, but troubleshot is. Is this really the correct word to use? I always feel like saying: I troubleshooted it. vs I troubleshot it For some reason, it just ...
20
votes
3answers
7k views

Difference between “delete” and “remove” [closed]

I am writing a mobile application that will, as a part of its functionality, display a list of recorded thoughts. Now I am deciding the textual content of the menus and that left me thinking whether ...
20
votes
6answers
26k views

What is the difference between 'make decision' and 'take decision'?

What is the difference between make decision and take decision? When to use the one and when the other?
20
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the origin of the 'do' construction?

Modern English seems to require this verb in several circumstances, where most other European languages don't seem to need it. (See? I just used it.) For example, in questions: "Do you have a dog?" ...
19
votes
10answers
2k views

What is the opposite of “abstain”?

We were thinking originally in terms of voting, but of course "abstain" has a more general meaning, of which the antonym is probably "indulge". But is there an opposite that would be more appropriate ...
19
votes
5answers
21k views

Word meaning “to make more efficient”?

I think this question came up in a conversation with a friend...we were discussing how serving lunch could be made more efficient. They could _____ the lunch line by doing this or that. The only ...
19
votes
10answers
6k views

What's the verb for making that “pffft” sound?

I have a dialogue like this: "All I wanted to do was to keep a low profile" "Pffft. That worked well, we not only have the entire police force but also the entire mafia chasing us" I don't ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

“Infer” vs. “imply” — can “infer” imply “imply”?

Okay that's a crazy title, but bear with me. Got into a good natured discussion with someone on another stack exchange site, and I was "correcting" him on the use of infer vs. imply. (The ...
18
votes
1answer
21k views

Suffixes for verbification: -ify, -icise, -ificate

The suffixes -ise/-ize -ify -ificate are all used for verbifying nouns and adjectives. What are the differences in meaning/connotation/usage between them? (This is generalising from the ...
18
votes
2answers
230 views

“Fire” a weapon before firearms existed?

Did the verb “fire a weapon” exist before the actual introduction of firearms on battlefields? More specifically, does it make sense for a creative work to have archers (or whatever ranged weaponry) ...
17
votes
6answers
178k views

“Paid” vs “payed”

I think I have always used these two words interchangeably without noticing until my professor was saying how some students misspelled the word and he was amazed. Can someone tell me when I should ...
17
votes
5answers
466 views

Why is “afford” always accompanied with “can”?

afford means "to have enough money or time to be able to buy or to do something". Why is it used with "can"? Why don't people simply say "I don't afford it" instead of "I can't afford it"? ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Isn't the word “uninstall” wrong?

I've never understood this. Why is the proper usage "uninstall"? You can't actually "unin" something at all and this isn't that case with most (all?) other use cases. Examples: You make someone ...
16
votes
10answers
40k views

Is “errored” correct usage?

If "errored" is not a valid word, then how should I say: The program errored at line 44 I guess I could say: The program threw an error at line 44 But why is "errored" wrong? Is there a ...
16
votes
3answers
527 views

''Honey'' Usage Question

my friend (he's from Europe, white in his 20s) was in the U.S. a while ago and went to a diner a few times. A woman there (in her late 40s, most likely), kept calling him ''honey'' and ''sweetie'' ...
16
votes
6answers
623 views

Where does the phrase “run code” or “run software” come from? Why “run”?

Historically speaking, it makes sense to me someone would say run "the computer". Early computers (not a human computer) were mechanical machines with moving parts that could achieve a velocity deemed ...
16
votes
4answers
43k views

Difference between “I have got” and “I have gotten”

I see these two expressions are used almost identically in different contexts. Is there a difference between I have got and I have gotten?
16
votes
5answers
727 views

Why are so many important verbs irregular?

In many languages, including English, the most important verbs are irregular. Examples include: to be to do to get to go to have to make The same applies (roughly) to many other languages I ...
16
votes
1answer
11k views

Why is “ask” sometimes pronounced “aks”?

We've recently moved from New Zealand to New York City, and have noticed that many people (most of whom have good English) pronounce "ask" as "aks". For example: Could you please go aks her ...