English grammar

Module 8, Verbals and Phrases, Lesson 1:

Verbals

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English grammar

When is a verb not a verb? When it is a verbal.

You remember that in English there are only four forms of each verb: the present, the present participle, the past, and the past participle. Sometimes when you see these forms in a sentence, they are not actually being used as verbs.

Definition:
A verbal (or non-finite verb) is a verb form that is not being used as a verb. Verbals can act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. There are three types of verbals: the present participle, the past participle, and the infinitive, which is formed by putting to in front of the present tense form. (A verb being a verb is called a finite verb.)

Verb: We were walking along the midway at the carnival.
Verbal: Walking along the midway at the carnival, we ate our funnel cakes. (present participle)

Verb: All that dancing tired me out.
Verbal: Tired out by all that dancing, I went home and collapsed. (past participle)

Verb: We always sing the National Anthem at the ball game.
Verbal: I really like to sing. (to + present = infinitive)

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar

Part 1

Directions:
Identify the bold-faced word as verb or verbal.
1.
Running down the roof, the water dripped onto the leaves.
verb / verbal
2.
Squawking loudly, the mockingbird chased the crow away from its nest.
verb / verbal
3.
Learning to tie your shoes is something you work on in kindergarten.
verb / verbal
4.
Please turn off the running water in the sink.
verb / verbal
5.
The woman waving the pink umbrella is our tour guide.
verb / verbal
6.
I am falling asleep.
verb / verbal
7.
The boy crying in pain has been stung by a bee.
verb / verbal
8.
Going for a walk with your dog is good exercise.
verb / verbal
9.
We are going to go skating this afternoon.
verb / verbal
10.
I forgot to do my homework last night.
verb / verbal

Part 2

Directions:
Click on the verbal in each sentence. You may need to click on two words if the verbal is an infinitive.
11.
We could hear the running water of the creek behind the cabin.
12.
I found pieces of broken pottery around the foundation of the old homestead.
13.
The boys fighting in the hallway ended up in big trouble.
14.
In Germany we visited many ruined castles.
15.
We needed to wash our uniforms after the coach dumped sports drinks on our heads.
16.
The small boy running ahead of the rest of the class is my little brother.
17.
The tree branch, broken during the storm, missed our car by inches.
18.
To spell words from Greek, you often use ph to spell the f sound.
19.
Surviving the Great Depression was difficult for many people.
20.
We ran and chased each other across the lawn and into the pile of fallen leaves.
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