The Verb. Aspects and Voices. Examples

The verb is one of the most important parts of speaking, because without it there is no action and no communication.




Along with a solid vocabulary, mastering the use of the verb is very important in order to communicate efficiently.

In this article we are going to discuss about the verb’s aspects as well as about the english voices.

  1. In the English language, the verb has two aspects:




  • the common aspect (expresses a general, a finished or a short action). Examples:
  1.  I buy bread from Peter’s.
  2. I play the guitar.
  3. She likes chocolate.
  4. Mum watches this TV show.
  5. Luca loves baseball.

 

  • the continuous aspect (expresses an action which is done in the moment of speaking – now). Examples:



  1. I’m buying (now, as we speak) bread.
  2. I’m playing the guitar.
  3. She is eating chocolate (the verb “to like” can not be used at the -ing form)
  4. Mum is watching a TV show.
  5. Luca is participating to a baseball match (he verb “to love” can not be used at the -ing form).

2. The English voices: the active voice, the passive voice, the reflexive voice.

  • the active voice – the subject does the action designed by the verb:
  1. John boils an egg.
  2. The student is reading the lesson.
  3. The cat catches mice.
  4. Michael writes a funny story.
  5. Dad painted this flowers.
  • the passive voice – the subject receives the action of the verb:
  1. The egg is boiled (by John).
  2. The lesson is read (by the student).
  3. The mice are caught (by the cat).
  4. A funny story is written (by Michael).
  5. This flowers were painted (by dad).

As we can see,  the passive voice is formed by using the auxiliary “to be” + the past participle of the verb.

  • the reflexive voice – the action that the subject does is directed on the subject itself:
  1. The boy washes his hands.
  2. I’m teaching myself tennis.
  3. You might cut yourself with that sharp knife.
  4. She enjoys this brunch.
  5. He called himself the ambulance.

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