A verb is a word used to describe an action, state or occurrence and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence. A predicate is the part of a sentence or clause containing a verb and stating something about the subject. For example, in the sentence “I went home yesterday”, ‘went home’ is the predicate. A verb has 4 forms namely present, past, past participle and present participle forms.
Types of Verbs
1. Finite Verbs: The verbs that contain a definite relation with the subject (Noun/ Pronoun) are called as finite nouns.
E.g.: We went to market last night. (Here, the verb ‘went’ is related with the subject ‘we’)
2. Non-finite Verbs: Non-finite verbs are again divided into 3 types.
a) Infinite verbs: An infinitive is formed by adding the word ‘to’ before the main verb. An infinitive act as a noun, adjective or an adverb, as per its placement in the sentence.
E.g.: He loves to clean his car regularly.
b) Gerunds: A gerund is formed by adding ‘-ing’ to a verb. A gerund functions as a noun.
E.g.: Swimming is my hobby.
c) Participle verb: A participle verb is formed by adding ‘-ing’ or ‘ed’ to a verb. A participle verb acts as an adjective.
E.g.: The crying baby was the main attraction of the act. (Present participle)
v The wounded soldier was taken to hospital. (Past participle)
3. Transitive Verbs: A transitive verb is a verb that requires an object to receive the action.
E.g.: I played cricket yesterday.
4. Intransitive Verbs: An intransitive verb does not require a direct object after the verb. It only involves a subject and a verb.
E.g.: She cried.
Directions (Qs. 1 - 10): The given sentence has been divided up into four different parts a, b, c and d. Select the portion of the sentence which contains an error (spelling, grammatical or contextual). If there is no error, choose option ‘e’ (no error) as your answer.
1. Everyone considered him (a)/ as a brave man (b)/ but he fled (c)/ from the simple argument (d)/ No error (e)
Explanation: ‘As’ is used to refer to the function or character that someone or something has. But in this case, if we add ‘as’ after the object, the object directly referred as the subject, which is not the correct usage. So, ‘as’ should be removed from the sentence.
2. A few selfish legislators (a)/ are bent to damage (b)/ the very foundation (c)/ of the constitution (d)/ No error (e)
Explanation: ‘Bent on’ (verb) means determined to do something. So, the next word should be a noun. The gerund ‘damaging’ acts as a noun here. Here, ‘bent to damaging’ should be used in place of ‘bent to damage’.
3. I declined the party invitation not (a)/ because I did not want to (b)/ go, but because I (c)/ have no time (d)/ No error (e) Explanation: The given sentence is in past tense. So, we have to a past verb there. So, ‘had’ should be used in place of ‘have’.
4. The number of banks (a)/ are being increased (b)/ significantly to serve (c)/ the customers better (d)/ No error (e)
Explanation: Here, the subject of the sentence is a number, which is a singular noun. So, the verb to be associated with the singular noun should be a singular verb. So, ‘is’ should be used in place of ‘are’.
5. I walking along (a)/ the bank of the (b)/ river, the path (c)/ began to rise (d)/ No error (e)
Explanation: Here, two events were going on at the same time in the past. So, ‘while’ should be added before the subject. The structure of past continuous tense is Subject + was/ were + V1 + ing + Object. So, the singular verb ‘was’should be added after the subject. Add ‘while’before ‘I’ and add ‘was’ after ‘I’.
6. I should avoid (a)/ to go to college as I (b)/ have severe (c)/ throat infection (d)/ No error (e)
Explanation: Here, after the word ‘avoid’ (verb), the next word should be a noun. The gerund ‘going’ acts as a noun here. Here, ‘going’ should be replaced in place of ‘to go’.
7. Manoj abided by all (a)/ the rules which were (b)/ explained to him (c)/ before the programme (d)/ No error (e)
8. It being a windy day, (a)/ we must thought of postponing (b)/ all our commitments (c)/ till today evening (d)/ No error (e)
Explanation: The sentence is in present tense. So, we have to use the verb in present tense here. So, ‘think’ should be used in place of ‘thought’.
9. It is true that (a)/ the poor is unable to (b)/ get nourished (c)/ food even today (d)/ No error (e)
Explanation: Here, ‘the poor’ means poor people, which is a plural noun. So, the plural verb ‘are’ should be the correct usage here. So, ‘are’ should be used in place of ‘is’.
10. My friend does not mind (a)/ to be disturbed while (b)/ he is writing (c)/ the article (d)/ No error (e)
Explanation: Here, ‘not mind’ is a verb, the next word should be a noun. The word ‘being’ is a gerund here. So, ‘being’ should be used in place of ‘be’.
Directions (Qs. 11 - 23): Fill in the blanks with the correct form of verb.
11. If it does not rain tomorrow, we ........ go for a movie.
a) could b) have to c) can
d) will have e) would have
Explanation: ‘Could’ is used to denote the possibility of doing something in future.
12. We ........ brush our teeth twice a day.
a) may b) should c) might d) shall e) will
Explanation: ‘Should’ is used to indicate obligation, duty or correctness.
13. ........ you like to join me for a trip to Kodaikanal?
a) could b) should c) would
d) can e) might
Explanation: Here, ‘would’ is used to express a polite request.
14. You ........ pay 500 rupees if you want to take part in the contest.
a) cannot b) may not c) shall
d) should e) must
Explanation: ‘Must’ is used for something that is compulsory. Here, paying 500 rupees is compulsory for participating in the contest.
15. ........ I go to toilet please?
a) may b) might c) can d) will e) shall
Explanation: ‘May’ is used for expressing possibility. It is also used to ask for or to give permission. Here, it is used for taking permission.
16. You ........ leave the class early to catch the train.
a) could b) will c) should d) may e) might
Explanation: ‘Should’ is used to indicate obligation, duty or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions.
17. Children ........ respect their elders.
a) should b) ought not to
c) must d) ought to e) will
Explanation: ‘Ought to’ is used to indicate something that is correct or desirable or a moral duty.
18. Although Naresh is an obedient child, he ........ be rebellious at times.
a) will b) shall c) should
d) would e) can
Explanation: ‘Can’ is used to show ability of a person.
19. I ........ take a holiday after working tirelessly on this project.
a) need to b) dare to c) might
d) may e) need
Explanation: ‘Need to’ is used to express that something is important for you to do. This form is often used for something that is important one time, rather than referring to a responsibility or duty.
20. He ........ play cricket before his marriage.
a) use to b) used to c) need to
d) should e) ought to
Explanation: ‘Used to’ is generally used to talk about a past situation that is no longer true. Before his marriage he played cricket but not right now.
21. Ratan Tata ....... leave for the United States of America tomorrow for a business meeting.
a) would b) shall c) should
d) will e) may
Explanation: ‘Will’ is used to talk about the future tense. It is expressing the probability or expectation about something.
22. He ........ run faster if he was not so lazy.
a) should b) would c) may
d) can e) could
Explanation: ‘Could’ is used to denote the possibility of doing something in future.
23. It’s too cold. We ........ close the window.
a) must b) should
c) ought to d) can e) may
Explanation: ‘Must’ is used for something that is compulsory. Closing the windows is necessary in case of too cold.
Modal Forms of A Verb
a) Will: Will is used to talk about the future tense. In general, will is used with 2nd and 3rd person forms (you, he, she, it, they). But in modern English, will can be use with ‘I’ also, if required.
E.g.: He will call me tomorrow.
b) Would: Would is the past participle of will, also used to refer to the future.
E.g.: I would like to see you in the Indian cricket team in the next few years.
c) Can: Can is used to show the ability/ capacity.
E.g.: I can lift this 100 kg box.
d) Could: Could is the past participle of can, also used to show the ability/ capacity.
E.g.: We could save a lot of time, if we take this route.
e) Shall: Shall is used in affirmative sentences. It is used for taking permissions and to form the future sentences with the 1st person pronouns.
E.g.: We shall go to Shimla tomorrow.
Shall I take leave now?
f) Should: Should is used to denote the duty/ responsibility.
E.g.: We should respect our elders.
g) Ought to: Ought to is used to denote the utmost priority.
E.g.: I ought to visit my relative’s house because there happened a death today.
h) May: May is used to denote the possibility.
E.g.: I may go to the movie tomorrow.
i) Might: Might is the past participle of May, used to denote the possibility.
E.g.: We might have reached our destination, if the traffic was clear.
j) Must: Must is used to denote the necessity.
E.g.: We must brush our teeth regularly.