Secrets of English Verbs An Introduction to X-Word Grammar Presented by Nicole Safranek MATE Conference January, 2013
20 Questions Guess What’s in My Backpack!Write 20 yes/no questions about what’s in my backpack. Start each sentence with a different word.1. Is it spherical?2. Can it be used up?3. … (try to think of 19 more)
Meet the X-Words1. Is 8. *Shall 15. Do2. Am 9. Should 16. Does3. Are 10. Will 17. Did4. Was 11. Would 18. Have5. Were 12. Might 19. Has6. Can 13. May 20. Had7. Could 14. Must 21. *Ought
How are X words used?• They are used to make negatives.• They are used to make questions.• They are used to find the subject of a sentence.• They are used to indicate time (tense).• They are used to add shades of meaning.
Making NegativesShe is good at yoga.She is not good at yoga.He can play guitar.He can’t play guitar.
Forming QuestionsShe will get married next summer.Will she get married next summer?He drives a taxi.Does he drive a taxi?
Finding the Subject She will get married next summer.Will she get married next summer? He drives a taxi.Does he drive a taxi?
Indicating TimeShe was good at yoga before her injury.He could play guitar when he was a kid.We’ll finish the project tomorrow.She had just finished the project when her friend called.
Adding Shades of MeaningShe will practice Arabic with you if you ask.She might want to practice Arabic with you; you should ask.She must practice Arabic every day to have improved so much.
X-word CharacteristicsX-words are small but mighty.They are difficult to define.They can be combined to create additionaltimes (or tenses) and shades of meaning. My brother could have finished his homework if he hadn’t gone hiking instead.
X-word Characteristics X-words have, has, and had can also be main verbs, so be careful:I have two cats. I don’t have two cats. Do I have two cats?I have traveled to nine countries. Have I traveled to to nine countries. I haven’t traveled nine countries?How can you tell? Makenegative statement. Or a a yes/no question!
X-word Characteristics X-words do, does and did can hide inside a main verb.Does Mary lovelove Bob.Mary does not Bob? Bob.love loves
X-word Characteristics X-word grammar gives students a set of rules about verbs that are always true.Use a form of the verb sleep in thefollowing sentences:Did yousleepingslept last sleptin sleepThis _________ well so wellI wasbed_______ soundly______ in. have never ________ night? has never been beforemy firethe life. alarm went off.