May Grammar Verb

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  1. Grammar Verb May
  2. May Modal Verb Grammar

Could, may and might - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary. Before giving this worksheet to your students, review and discuss when we use the 'be' verb in English (see chart at top of worksheet). Consider extending the task by having students change the sentences into Negative statements (see Answer Key on page 2 of the pdf file).

TOEIC Grammar: Verb Tense

Introduction

Every sentence has a subject and a main verb. Verbs describe what the subject is doing. To be able to show exactly what the subject does at any time, verbs have different forms and tenses. In order to speak and write English correctly, you must learn the various verb forms and tenses.

Learning Hint:

To use verbs accurately, learn the standard verb forms and tenses. Memorize common irregular verb forms that do not follow standard forms.

Verb Forms

Verbs have five forms:

FormVerb ExampleIrregular Verb Example

Infinitive

walk

run

Past tense

walked

ran

Past participle

walked

run

Present participle

walking

running

-s or -es form

walks

runs

The only verb with more than 5 forms is be

Form

Verb

Infinitive

be

Past tense

was (for I / he / she / it); were (for we / you / they)

Past participle

be, been

Present participle

being

-s / -es form

--

The verb be also has 3 present tense forms (am, is, are) while all other verbs have one.


Infinitive Form

The infinitive form is the plain or dictionary form. It is used when the verb's action happens in the present and the subject is a plural noun or the pronouns I, we, you,or they:

I go to work.

You cook very well.

We live downtown.

They help me.


Past Tense Form

The past tense shows the verb's action happened in the past. It is usually made by adding -d or -ed to the infinitive. The past tense is formed differently for most irregular verbs:

We lived downtown.

They helped me.

I went to work. (Irregular verb)


Past Participle and Present Participle Form

The past participle is used with the verb have (have / has / had) to create the present and past perfect tenses. The past participle form is also used to modify nouns and pronouns. One example is the phrase sliced bread.

The past participle is usually the same as the past tense form. Only some irregular verbs have a past participle that is different than their past tense form.

We have lived downtown.

They have helped me.

I have gone to work. (Irregular verb)

The present participle is made by adding -ing to a verbs infinitive form:

Working

Buying

Eating

The present participle can modify nouns and pronouns. One example is the phrase running water. When used as a noun (example: smoking is bad), the present participle is known as a gerund. The present participle is also used to create the progressive tense.


-S Form

The -s form of a verb is made from the infinitive of the verb. This form is used when the verb's action is in the present and the subject is third-person singular. Third-person singular is a singular noun (examples: desk, John), or a singular indefinite pronoun (examples: everybody, someone), or the personal pronouns he / she / it.

How the -s form is made depends on the last letter of the verb:

Verb Ending

To Make Third Person Singular

Example

s

add -es

Pass - It passes

sh

add -es

Wish - Everyone wishes

ch

add -es

Watch - She watches

consonant + y

change y to i and add -es

Try - He tries

Any other letter

add -s

Drink - He drinks

Verb Types

Irregular Verbs

Grammar Verb May

Many verbs do not follow the rules to make the different forms. They are called irregular verbs. No single rule explains how to make their past tense and past participle forms. The irregular verbs must be memorized. These are some of the common irregular verbs:

InfinitivePast TensePast Participle

choose

chose

chosen

do

did

done

drink

drunk

drank

eat

ate

eaten

give

gave

given

forget

forgot

forgotten

lie

lay

lain

let

let

let

see

saw

seen

sleep

slept

slept

throw

threw How to learn english like a native speaker.

thrown

write

wrote

written


Helping Verbs

Another important type of verb is the helping or auxiliary verb. Helping verbs show tense and can show person, number, voice or mood. These verbs combine with a main verb to form a verb phrase. A main verb is an infinitive, a present participle or past participle. These are verb phrase examples:

will give

has been working

can go

Some helping verbs combine with main verbs to show time and voice. These helping verbs are shall, will, have (has / had), do (does / did) and the forms of be (am / is / are / was / were / been / being):

We will live downtown.

We did not live downtown.

They shall help me.

They were helped.

I have been working.

I had worked.


Modal Verbs

Helping verbs such as can, could, may, might, must, ought, shall, should, will, and would are used to add extra meaning to main verbs. These helping verbs are called modals. They show a necessity, possibility, ability, permission, prediction or responsibility:

You should write that report.

We must go.

He can carry heavy objects.

I might leave.

The helping verb do (does) or its past tense did is used together with the infinitive of a verb to ask questions, make the negative form, or to show added importance:

Does she work this week?

Do they go to school?

Where does he live?

Where did they live?

She does not sleep well.

She did not sleep well.

You do work every day.

He does run on weekends.


Verbals

A verbal (nonfinite verb) is no longer a verb. It is a verb form used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. A verbal can never be a main verb.

VerbalExampleVerb Form

Noun

Running is great exercise.

present participle

Adjective

Blocked printers cannot print.

past tense

Adverb

We were ready to work.

to + infinitive

Verb Tenses

Tense shows the time of a verbs action or being. There are three verb tenses: simple, perfect, and progressive. Each tense has past,present and future forms.

Note: Because tense shows time, a time word in a sentence helps to decide what tense is being used. Most time words can only go with a certain tense. These are some examples:

Present

Past

Future

Progressive

often

yesterday

tomorrow

now

every hour / day / week

last week / month

next week / month

today

every month/year

last year

next year

this month

usually

amount of time + ago

in + amount of time

for + amount of time

sometimes

today

for + amount of time


Simple Tense

The simple tenses show that an action or state of being is past, present, or future. The present tense shows action that is happening now as a person speaks or writes. The present tense is also used to describe actions that are factual or habitual (commonly repeated over a period of time). The present tense uses the verbs infinitive or the -s form for third person singular subject.

The past tense shows action that has finished as a person speaks or writes. The past tense uses the verbs past tense form.

May Grammar Verb

The future tense shows action that has not happened yet as a person speaks or writes. The future tense uses the helping verb will or shall plus the verbs infinitive.

Tense

Regular Verb: Walk

Irregular Verb: Run

Present

I / you / we / they walk.

He / she / it walks.

I / you / we / they run.

He / she / it runs.

Past

I / you / we / they / he / she / it walked.

I / you / we / they / he / she / it ran.

Future

I / you / we / they / he / she / it will walk.

I / you / we / they / he / she / it will run.


Perfect Tense

The perfect tenses show that an action was or will be finished BEFORE another time or action happens. The perfect tenses are made with the helping verb have (have / has / had) plus the verbs past participle. All subjects use had for the past perfect tense. All subjects use will have or shall have for the future perfect tense. The infinitive have or has for singular third person is used for the perfect present tense.

Examples:

Tense

Regular Verb: Walk

Present Perfect

I / you / we / they have walked.

He / she / it has walked.

Past Perfect

I / you / we / they / he / she / it had walked.

Future Perfect

I / you / we / they / he / she / it will have walked.

Tense

Irregular Verb: Run

Present Perfect

I / you / we / they have run.

He / she / it has run.

Past Perfect

I / you / we / they / he / she / it had run. Exclamatory sentence definition.

Future Perfect

I / you / we / they / he / she / it will have run.


The present perfect tense can also show that an action started in the past and is still going on in the present.

Examples:

He has lived downtown. (Action is finished at the time it is written.)

He has worked for three hours. (Action started in the past and is still going on.)

She has always written in a diary. (Action started in the past but continues now.)


Progressive Tense

The progressive tenses show continuing action. They can also show how long an action has been going on for an amount of time in the present, past, or future. A verb's present participle joins with some forms of the verb be (am, is, are, was, were) to make the simple progressive tenses.

Tense

Example

Present Progressive

I am working.

You / we / they are working.

He / she / it is working.

Past Progressive

I / he / she / it was working.

You / we / they were working.

Future Progressive

I / he / she / it / they / we / you will be working.

The past progressive can show an action that happened in the past and was not finished:

He was doing his work. (He was working, but he may not have finished the work.)

The perfect tense form plus been plus the verbs present participle makes the perfect progressive tenses:

May Modal Verb Grammar

Tense

Example

Present Perfect Progressive

I / you / we / they have been working.

He / she / it has been working.

Past Perfect Progressive

I / he / she / it / they / we / you had been working.

Future Perfect Progressive

I / he / she / it / they / we / you will have been working.

Not all verbs can make a progressive tense. Verbs that have qualities not able to show change cannot make the progressive tense. These are some of the verbs:

be

guess

seem

see

believe

include

think

smell

cost

like

understand

taste

desire

love

want

need

doubt

remember

wish

have

Examples:

Incorrect: She is being pretty.

Correct: She is pretty.

Incorrect: That is owning to him.

Correct: He owns that.

Incorrect: They are wanting a raise.

Correct: They want a raise.


TOEIC Grammar: Verb Tense

English verbs have four moods: indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and infinitive.

Mood is the form of the verb that shows the mode or manner in which a thought is expressed.

1. Indicative Mood: expresses an assertion, denial, or question:

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas.
Ostriches cannot fly.
Have you finished your homework?

2. Imperative Mood: expresses command, prohibition, entreaty, or advice:

Don’t smoke in this building.
Be careful!
Don’t drown that puppy!

3. Subjunctive Mood: expresses doubt or something contrary to fact.

Modern English speakers use indicative mood most of the time, resorting to a kind of “mixed subjunctive” that makes use of helping verbs:

If I should see him, I will tell him.

Americans are more likely to say:

If I see him, I will tell him.

The verb may can be used to express a wish:

May you have many more birthdays.
May you live long and prosper.

The verb were can also indicate the use of the subjunctive:

If I were you, I wouldn’t keep driving on those tires.
If he were governor, we’d be in better fiscal shape.

4. Infinitive Mood: expresses an action or state without reference to any subject. It can be the source of sentence fragments when the writer mistakenly thinks the infinitive form is a fully-functioning verb.

When we speak of the English infinitive, we usually mean the basic form of the verb with “to” in front of it: to go, to sing, to walk, to speak.

Verbs said to be in the infinitive mood can include participle forms ending in -ed and -ing. Verbs in the infinitive mood are not being used as verbs, but as other parts of speech:

To err is human; to forgive, divine. Here, to err and to forgive are used as nouns.

He is a man to be admired. Here, to be admired is an adjective, the equivalent of admirable. It describes the noun man.

He came to see you. Here, to see you is used as an adverb to tell why he came.

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