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Verbs15

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  • 1. VERBS 15: Non-Finites Materials by Liz Siler
  • 2. Non-finites • All the verb phrases we’ve looked at so far -- active, passive, transitive, intransitive, whatever -- have been finite verb phrases. • They are finite because they can show tense and agreement with a subject.
  • 3. Characteristics of Non-finites • Non-finite verbs are another category of verbs. These verbs: – Do not show tense or agreement with a subject AND – Do not have a -do or modal auxiliary AND – If the nonfinite has a subject, the subject pronoun is not in subject case. It is generally in the possessive form.
  • 4. Categories of Non-Finites • Infinitives: full and bare • Gerunds • Participles: -ing and past
  • 5. • • NON-FINITES: Example When friends arrive at your home, a dog goes into a frenzy, barking, leaping and pawing at the newcomer. “Attention!” he begs, as his excited nails rake a guest's linen blazer. While the dog does everything possible for approval, from racing around the room to bouncing like a basketball, the cat is usually nowhere to be seen. Cats prefer to observe new arrivals from afar. For instance, under the bed or atop the refrigerator. Maybe, if the cat is in the mood, she will come out to acknowledge this New Person with a tail twitch, a cautious once-over. But that is it. No jumping on laps or humping of legs. Invited to your dinner party, a cat will stay discreetly out of the way, while a dog lusts for -- and sometimes runs away with -the main course. FROM: http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/i-like-top-ten-catsbetter-dogs.htm
  • 6. NON-FINITE: INFINITIVES • Non-finites can be infinitives. • There are two types of infinitives: full and bare. • The bare form does not have a “to” in front of it and is, essentially, just the base/simple form of the verb. • Example: That dog made me go crazy!
  • 7. Infinitive Examples • The cat is usually nowhere to be seen. • Maybe, if the cat is in the mood, she will come out to acknowledge this New Person with a tail twitch, a cautious once-over. • Cats prefer to observe new arrivals from afar.
  • 8. NON-FINITE: GERUNDS • Non-finites can also be gerunds. • Gerunds look like participles (they have -ing forms), but they aren’t.
  • 9. Gerund Examples • While the dog does everything possible for approval, from racing around the room to bouncing like a basketball, the cat is usually nowhere to be seen. • No jumping on laps or humping of legs.
  • 10. NON-FINITE: PARTICIPLES • Non-finites can also be participles (both -ing and past participles).
  • 11. Participle Examples • When friends arrive at your home, a dog goes into a frenzy, barking, leaping and pawing at the newcomer. • Invited to your dinner party, a cat will stay discreetly out of the way, while a dog lusts for -- and sometimes runs away with -- the main course.
  • 12. MORE: Participle Non-finites • Except in rare structures, participles generally don’t have subjects, but they can mark perfect aspect: – When friends arrive at your home, a dog goes into a frenzy, having barked at the newcomer.
  • 13. Ing-Participles vs. Gerunds • MAJOR DIFFERENCE: Gerunds do the work of nouns and therefore they can be replaced by pronouns. • Participles can’t. – Gerund: I enjoy criticizing WSU’s administration. >>I enjoy it. – Participle: Criticizing WSU’s administration, I left the room in a huff. >> BAD: It, I left the room in a huff?????
  • 14. Other Differences • Participles generally don’t have subjects. • Gerunds can have subjects in the possessive form. – Participle: Walking down the street, I got angry at all the trash! – Gerund: His walking down the street enraged me.
  • 15. Possessives • We’ll learn more about possessives later in the course, but for now, keep the following in mind. • A possessive is either a noun with an apostrophe (the teacher’s book, Liz’s computer) or a possessive pronoun.
  • 16. • Possessive Determiner Pronouns Singular Plural 1st person My Our 2nd person Your Your 3rd person Her/his/its Their
  • 17. More Differences • Participles in certain functions (adverbial) can move around in the sentence. – Example: Walking down the street, I felt sick.>> I felt sick, walking down the street. • Gerunds cannot move. – Example: I enjoy walking down the street.>> BAD: Walking down the street I enjoy.
  • 18. Dangling Participles • A participle is said to “dangle” when its understood subject is not the subject of the main clause (the one with the finite verb phrase in it).
  • 19. Detecting DPs - 1 • Check out the finite verb first and be sure you know what the subject is. • Blowing down the street, I kicked some leaves. • FINITE VERB PHRASE: kicked SUBJECT: I
  • 20. Detecting DPs - 2 • Figure out the understood subject of the participle. • Blowing down the street, I kicked some leaves. • Understood subject: Leaves. Leaves (not people) blow down streets.
  • 21. Detecting DPs - 3 • When the subject of the finite verb (I) is not the same as the understood subject of the participle (leaves), you have a dangling participle. • If possible, move the participle so that the subject-participle relationship is clearer. – I kicked some leaves blowing down the street. – I kicked some leaves as they blew down the street.
  • 22. Dangling Past Participles • These types of participles are best read as passives to understand the subject. – Licensed, the owner brought the puppy home. – SUBJECT OF FINITE VERB: OWNER. – SUBJECT OF PAST PARTICIPLE: PUPPY (PUPPY IS/WAS LICENSED). – Correction: The puppy licensed, the owner brought it home. – The puppy was licensed so the owner brought it home.