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Грамматика английского языка. Морфология. Синтаксис.1999 Кобрина, Е. А. Корнеева, М. И. Оссовская,

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Н. А. КОБРИНА, Е. А. КОРНЕЕВА,

М. И. ОССОВСКАЯ, К. А. ГУЗЕЕВА

ГРАММАТИКА АНГЛИЙСКОГО ЯЗЫКА

Морфология. Синтаксис

СОЮЗ

С.-ПЕТЕРБУРГ

1999

ББК 81.2 Англ.

К 85

Н. А. Кобрина, Е. А. Корнеева, М. И. Оссовская, К. А. Гузеева

К 85

Грамматика английского языка: Морфология. Синтаксис. Учебное пособие для студентов

педагогических институтов и университетов по специальности № 2103 "Иностранные языки". - СПб., СОЮЗ, 1999. - 496 с.

ЛР № 065425 от 30.09.97

ISBN 5-87852-108-3

Пособие представляет собой второе дополненное и переработанное издание ранее изданного курса практической грамматики в двух частях - Морфология (М., Просвещение, 1985) и Синтаксис (М., Просвещение, 1986).

Пособие было допущено Министерством просвещения СССР в качестве учебного пособия для студентов педагогических институтов по специальности №2103 "Иностранные языки".

Рецензенты:

Кафедра грамматики английского языка Минского ГПИИЯ;

профессор М. Я. Блох (МГПИ им. В. И. Ленина)

Авторы уделяют особое внимание тем грамматическим явлениям, которые не имеют аналогов в русском языке.

Оригинал-макет

Подготовила


К. П. Орлова


© Н. А. Кобрина, Е. А. Корнеева,

М. И. Оссовская, К, А. Гузеева

© "СОЮЗ", 1999

© В. А. Гореликов, оформление

обложки, 1999


Новелла Александровна Кобрина, Елена Александровна Корнеева,

Мария Ильинична Оссовская , Ксения Александровна Гузеева

ГРАММАТИКА АНГЛИЙСКОГО ЯЗЫКА

Морфология. Синтаксис

Учебное пособие

Подписано в печать 25 июля 1999 г. Формат 70х1001/16.

Гарнитура «Таймс». Бумага офсетная. Печать офсетная.

Объем: 31,0 печ. л. Тираж 10 000 экз. Заказ № 830.

Издательство «СОЮЗ»

195197, Санкт-Петербург, ул. Васенко, 6.

Отпечатано с готовых диапозитивов

в ГИПК «Лениздат» (типография им. Володарского)

Государственного комитета РФ по печати.

191023, Санкт-Петербург, наб. р. Фонтанки, 59.

ПРЕДИСЛОВИЕ

Настоящее пособие дает достаточно полное и систематическое описание строя современного английского языка, подробно излагая разделы грамматики, предусмотренные Программой Министерства просвещения СССР для студентов I-III курсов факультетов и отделений английского языка педагогических институтов. Задача пособия состоит в том, чтобы дать студентам практическое знание грамматического строя английского языка, необходимое для владения языком.

Основной материал учебника излагается с позиций современной английской литературной грамматической нормы, однако фиксируются и американские варианты, а также коллоквиализмы и архаические формы, используемые в поэзии.

Каждой новой теме предпосылаются краткие сведения, дающие общую характеристику описываемого явления.

Пройденный материал рекомендуется закреплять сериями упраж­нений, среди которых значительное место должны занимать упражне­ния коммуникативного типа.

Для удобства пользования весь материал учебника разделен на параграфы, имеющие сквозную нумерацию.

Основной иллюстративный материал почерпнут из англо-амери­канской литературы последних десятилетий.

Пособие было апробировано в течение нескольких лет на ан­глийском отделении факультета иностранных языков РГПУ им. А. И. Герцена.

Авторы

INTRODUCTION

The grammatical system of English, like that of any other language, possesses its own peculiar features.

The English language has comparatively few grammatical inflections. They are the plural and the Genitive case endings of some nouns, the com­parative degree endings of some adjectives and adverbs; personal inflections of verbs are confined to the third person singular and the opposition of the forms was - were. What is most characteristic of these inflections in com­parison with Russian is that they are more unified. Thus the plural ending -s in nouns is used with the majority of count nouns. The few exceptions (such as tooth - teeth, goose - geese, child - children, ox - oxen) are regarded as obsolete forms.

In the sphere of the verb, however, many complications arise, as there is no such regularity among the past tense and participle II forms. Some of them are formed with the inflection -ed (help - helped – helped), others by means of root vowel change (bring - brought - brought, come - came - come). The latter are considered as irregular verbs.

Alongside synthetic forms, the verb has an elaborate system of analytical forms (most of the tense, aspect and perfect forms, the passive voice forms, most of the subjunctive mood forms). The analytical forms, include an auxiliary verb, as the bearer of the grammatical meaning, and a notional part: has gone, was sent, would like, to be posted, being done, having been done, etc.

Many words are not inflected at all: most adjectives and adverbs, modal words, statives, non-count nouns, conjunctions, prepositions, particles and interjections. Moreover, most words are devoid of any word-forming (derivational) morphemes which would show that they belong to a certain class. This lack of morphological distinctions between the classes accounts for the fact that a great number of words (both notional and functional words) may easily pass from one class to another, their status being determined mainly syntactically, by their function in the sentence. The prevailing role of syntax over morphology is also revealed in the fact that words, phrases and clauses may be used in the same functions.

The order of elements in the English sentence is fixed to a greater degree than in inflected languages (as the Russian language). The order subject - predicate - object is most characteristic of statements, and any modi­fication of it is always justified by either stylistic or communicative conside­rations. Attributes may precede or follow head-word, the first pattern be­ing more usual. The most mobile element in the sentence is the adverbial, but that can be explained by its reference to different parts of the sentence.

A most peculiar feature of English is a special set of words employed as structural substitutes for a certain part of speech: noun substitutes (one, that), the verb substitute (do), the adverbs and adjective substitute (so).

Morphology

PARTS OF SPEECH

§ 1. All the words of the English language are grouped into different types of classes. This classification is based on three main principles:

1) their grammatical meaning;

2) their form and

3) their syntactical characteristics.

By the first we understand the meaning common to all the words of the class, such as thingness for the noun or either process or state for the verb.

By the second we mean the morphological characteristics of the class meant, such as the number of the noun or the voice of the verb.

By the third - the combinability and the syntactical functions of a type of word.

We distinguish between notional and functional parts of speech: the former denoting extralinguistic phenomena such as things, actions, qualities, emotions and the latter - relations and connections between notional words or sentences. Thus there are 9 notional parts of speech and 3 functional ones.

The notional parts

of speech are:

The functional parts

of speech are:


the noun

the adjective

the stative

the pronoun

the numeral

the verb

the adverb

the modal words

the interjection


the preposition

the conjunction

the particle

THE VERB

§ 2. Most verbs denote action or state. However, there are some verbs which have other meanings. They are modal verbs, causative verbs, some impersonal verbs, relational and link-verbs. They present a system of finite and non-finite forms, except for modal verbs, which have no non-finite forms.

The verb in its finite forms possesses the morphological categories of person, number, tense, aspect, perfect, voice and mood. Its syntactical function is that of the predicate.

The non-finite forms (or verbals) are four in number, they are: the infinitive, the gerund, participle I and participle II.

Non-finite verb forms possess the verbal categories of perfect, voice and to a certain extent aspect. Owing to the richness of its morphological catego­ries, the flexibility of its syntactical functioning and wide combinability, the verb is of the greatest importance in the structure of the sentence.

The morphological categories of the verb are interrelated, that is every verb form expresses all these categories simultaneously.

Formation of verb categories

§ 3. English morphological categories are formed in two ways, synthetically and analytically.

Synthetic or simple forms are those the formal elements of which are to be found within one word from which they are inseparable. These are the present and the past indefinite affirmative (sing, sings, sang); the non-perfect common aspect forms of the infinitive, participle I, the gerund, participle II (sing, singing, sung); the imperative mood (sing!).

Analytical or compound verb forms consist of at least two verbal elements, an auxiliary verb and a notional verb; the latter is presented by participle I, participle II, or the infinitive.

An auxiliary verb is devoid of its lexical meaning, its role is purely grammatical. It may be finite or non-finite, thus showing whether the whole verb form is finite or non-finite as in:

Jane is singing.

Someone seems to be singing in the next room.

The auxiliary verbs in English are not numerous, they are seven: to do, to be, to have, shall, will, should, would.

The notional verb of a compound verb form is always non-finite, it carries the lexical meaning of the whole verb form.

The analytical verb forms are the forms of the continuous aspect, the perfect forms, the passive forms, the future forms, the future in the past forms, some forms of the subjunctive mood, the interrogative, negative and emphatic forms of the present and past indefinite.

The meaning of the analytical form as a whole is the result of the complete fusion of the auxiliary and the non-finite form.

Morphological composition

§ 4. According to their morphological composition verbs can be divided into simple, derivative, compound and phrasal.

Simple verbs consist of only one root morpheme: to ask, to build, to come.

Derivative verbs are composed of one root morpheme and one or more derivational morphemes (prefixes and suffixes). The main verbforming suffixes are -ize, -fy, -en, -ate, as in: to criticize, to justify, to blacken, to enumerate.

Compound verbs consist of at least two stems: to overgrow, to undertake.

Phrasal verbs consist of a verbal stem and an adverbial particle, which is sometimes referred to as postposition. The adverbial meaning is evident in phrasal verbs of the type to come in, to look out, whereas it is quite lost in the verbs to give up, to give in, to bring up.

Basic verb forms

§ 5. Among the synthetic verb forms there are those which are used independently and those which are used to build other verb forms. They are four in number:

the infinitive

the past indefinite

participle II

participle I

  • work, rise;

  • worked, rose;

  • worked, risen;

- working, rising.

The infinitive stem and participles I and II are employed to build other verbal forms.

The past indefinite is the only basic form that is not used to build other forms.

Regular and irregular verbs

§ 6. Owing to the historical development of the verb system the English verbs fall into two groups: regular and irregular verbs.

The regular verbs, which go back to the Germanic weak verbs, constitute the largest group. The past indefinite and participle II of these verbs are formed by means of the dental suffix -ed added to the stem of the verb. This is the productive pattern according to which all new verbs form their past indefinite and participle II.

The irregular verbs form their past indefinite and participle II according tо some fixed traditional patterns going back partly to the Germanic strong verbs, partly to the weak verbs, which underwent some changes in the process of history.

The irregular verbs are about 250 in number. They can be arranged according to sound changes.

The list of irregular verbs arranged according to sound changes

Infinitive


Past Indefinite


Participle II


Translation


1


2


3


4


[ɪ]


[æ]


[ʌ]




begin [bɪgɪn]


began [bɪ'gæn]


begun [bɪ'gʌn]


начинать


drink [dnɪŋk]


drank [dræŋk]


drunk [drʌŋk]


пить


ring [rɪŋ]


rang [гæŋ]


rung [rʌŋ]


звонить


shrink [rɪnk]


shrank [sræŋk]


shrunk [rʌŋk]


сокращать(ся)


sing [sɪŋ]


sang [sæŋ]


sung [sʌŋ]


петь


sink [sɪŋk]


sank [sæŋk]


sunk [sʌŋk]


тонуть


spring [sprɪŋ]


sprang [spræŋ]


sprung [sprʌŋ]


прыгать


stink [stɪŋk]


stank [stæŋk]


stunk [stʌŋk]


вонять


swim [swɪm]


swam [swæm]


swum [swʌm]


плавать


[ɪ]


[ʌ]


[ʌ]




dig [dɪg]


dug [dʌg]


dug [dʌg]


копать


fling [flɪn]


flung [flʌŋ]


flung [flʌŋ]


кидать(ся)


spin [spɪn]


spun [spʌn]


spun [spʌn]


прясть


stick [stɪk]


stuck [stʌk]


stuck [stʌk]


втыкать


sting [stɪŋ]


stung [stʌŋ]


stung [stʌŋ]


жалить


swing [swɪŋ]


swung [swʌŋ]


swung [swʌŋ]


качать(ся)






win [wɪn]


won [wʌn]


won [wʌn]


побеждать


wring [rɪŋ]


wrungʌŋ]


wrung [rʌŋ]


скручивать


[ɪ]


[æ]


[æ]




sit [sɪt]


sat [sæt]


sat [sæt]


сидеть


spit [spɪt]


spat [spæt]


spat [spæt]


плеватъ(ся)


[i:]


[e]


[e]




bleed [bl:d]


bled [bled]


bled [bled]


кровоточить


breed [bri:d]


bred [bred]


bred [bred]


выводить, разводить








(животных)


feed [fi:d]


fed [fed]


fed [fed]


кормить


lead [li:d]


led [led]


led [led]


вести


meet [mi:t]


met [met]


met [met]


встречать(ся)


read [ri:d]


read [red]


read [red]


читать


speed [spi:d]


sped [sped]


sped [sped]


спешить


[е]

get [get]


[ɔ]

got [gɔt]


[ɔ]

got [gɔt]


получать


[æ]

hang [hæŋ]


[ʌ]

1) hung [hʌŋ]

2) hanged [hæŋd]


[ʌ]

hung [hʌŋ]

hanged [hæŋd]



вешать

вешать (казнить)


[aɪ]

bind [baɪnd] ]

find [faɪnd]

grind [graɪnd]

wind [waɪnd]


[au]


bound [baund]

found [faund]

ground [graund]

wound [waund]


[au]


bound [baund]

found [faund]

ground [graund]

wound [waund]




связывать

находить

молоть

виться


[aɪ]

light [laɪt]

slide [slaɪd]


[ɪ]

lit [lɪt]

slid [slɪd]


[ɪ]

lit [lɪt]

slid [slɪd]



светить, зажигать

скользить


[aɪ]

shine [aɪn]


[ɔ]

shone [∫ɔ n]


[ɔ]

shone [∫ɔn]



светить, сиять


[aɪ]

fight [faɪt]


[ɔ:]

fought [f ɔ:t]


[ɔ :]

fought [f ɔ:t]



бороться

[aɪ]

strike [straɪk]


[ʌ]

struck [strʌk]


[ʌ]

struck [strʌk]



ударять(ся)


[ou]

hold [hould]


[e]

held [held]


[e]

held [held]



держать


[u:]

shoot [u:t]


[ɔ]

shot[∫ɔ t]


[ɔ]

shot [∫ɔ t]



стрелять


[i:]

creep [kri:p]

keep [ki:p]

leap [li:p]


[e]

crept [krept]

kept [kept]

leapt [lept]

leaped


[e]

crept [krept]

kept [kept]

leapt [lept]

leaped



ползать

держать


прыгать


[i:]

sweep [swi:p]


sleep [sli:p]

weep [wi:p]


[e]

swept [swept]


slept [slept]

wept [wept]


[e]

swept [swept]


slept [slept]

wept [wept]



мести,

подметать

спать

плакать,

рыдать


[e]


[ou]


[ou]




sell [sel]


sold [sould]


sold [sould]


продавать


tell [tel]


told [tould]


told [tould]


говорить


[i:]


[e]


[e]




flee [fli:]


fled [fled]


fled [fled]


бежать,








спасаться








бегством


[ɪǝ]


[ǝ:]


[ǝ:]




hear [hɪǝ]


heard [hǝ:d]


heard [hǝ:d]


слышать


[eɪ]


[e]


[e]




say [seɪ]


said [sed]


said [sed]


говорить,








сказать


[i:]


[e]


[e]




deal [di:l]


dealt [delt]


dealt [delt]


раздавать,







распределять


dream [dri:m]


dreamt [dremt]

dreamed

dreamt [dremt]

dreamed

видеть сны; мечтать


feel [fi:l]


felt [felt]


felt [felt]


чувствовать


kneel [ni:l]


knelt [nelt]


knelt [nelt]


преклонять








колени


lean [li:n]


leant [lent]


leant [lent]


наклоняться


mean [mi:n]


meant [ment]


meant [ment]


значить


[aɪ]


[ɔ :]

[ɔ :]




buy [baɪ]


bought [bɔ :t]


bought [b ɔ:t]


покупать


[i:]


[e]


[e]




leave [li:v]


left [left]


left [left]


покидать


[u:]


[ɔ ]


[ɔ]




lose [lu:z]


lost [lɔst]


lost [lɔst]


терять


[aɪ]


[ou]


[I]




drive [draɪv]


drove [drouv]


driven ['drɪvn]


вести, ехать








(в экипаже,








автомобиле








и т. д.)


ride [raɪd]


rode [roud]


ridden [ 'rɪdn]


ехать верхом


rise [raɪz]


rose [rouz]


risen [ 'rɪzn]


подниматься,








вставать


write [raɪt]

4 f\


wrote [rout]


written ['rɪtn]


писать


[aɪ]

flу [flaɪ]


[u:]

flew [flu:]


[ou]

flown [floun]



летать



[i:]

freeze [fri:z]

speak [spi:k]

steal [sti:l]

weave [wi:v]


[ou]

froze [frouz]

spoke [spouk]

stole [stoul]

wove [wouv]


[ou]

frozen ['frouzn]

spoken [ spoukǝn]

stolen ['stoulǝn]

woven [ 'wouvǝn]



морозить

разговаривать

красть

ткать



[eɪ]

break [breɪk]


[ou]

broke [brouk]


[ou]

broken ['broukǝn]



ломать



[e]

forget [fǝ'get]


[ ɔ]

forgot [fǝ'gɔt]


[ ɔ]

forgotten [fǝ'gɔtǝn]



забывать



[ɛǝ]

swear [swɛǝ]

tear [t ɛə]


[ɔ :]

swore [sw ɔ:]

tore [tɔ :]


[ ɔ:]

sworn [sw ɔ:n]

torn [tɔ :n]



клясться

рвать



[aɪ]

lie [laɪ]


[eɪ]

lay [leɪ]


[eɪ]

lain [Ieɪn]



лежать



[aɪ]

bite [baɪt]

hide [haɪd]


[ɪ]

bit [bɪt]

hid [hɪd]


[ɪ]

bitten ['bɪtn]

hidden ['hɪdn]



кусать(ся)

прятать(ся)



[u:]

choose [tu:z]


[ou]

chose [touz]


[ou]

chosen ['touzǝn]



выбирать



[i:]

see [si:]


[ɔ:]

saw [sɔ:]


[i:]

seen [si:n]



видеть



[i:]

eat [i:t]


[e]

ate [et]


[i:]

eaten ['i:tn]



есть



[ɪ]

forbid [fe'bɪd]

forgive [fǝ'gɪv]

give [gɪv]


[eɪ]

forbade [fo'beɪd]

forgave [fǝ'geɪv]

gave [geɪv]


[ɪ]

forbidden [fǝ'bidǝn] forgiven [fǝ'gɪvn]

given ['gɪvn]




запрещать

забывать

давать



[eɪ]

shake [eɪk]

take [teik]


[u]

shook [uk]

took [tuk]


[eɪ]

shaken ['eɪkn]

taken ['teɪkn]



трясти

брать



[ɔ:]

fall [fɔ:l]


[e]

fell [fel]


[ɔ:]

fallen [fɔ:lǝn]



падать



[ɔ:]

draw [drɔ:]


[u:l

drew [dru:]


[ɔ:]

drawn [drɔ:n]



рисовать


[ou]

blow [blou]

grow [grou]

know [nou]

throw [θrou]


[u:]

blew [blu:]

grew [gru:]

knew [nju:]

threw [θru:]


[ou]

blown [bloun]

grown [groun]

known [noun]

thrown [θroun]



дуть

расти

знать

бросать



[e]

swell [swel]


[e]

swelled [sweld]


[ou]

swollen ['swoulǝn]



надувать(ся)



[eɪ]

make [meɪk]


[eɪ]

made [meɪd]


[eɪ]

made [meɪd]



делать



[ɪ]

bring [brɪŋ]

think [θiŋk]


[ɔ:]

brought [brɔ:t]

thought [θɔ:t]


[ɔ:]

brought [brɔ:t]

thought [θɔ:t]



нести

думать



[i:]

teach [ti:t]


[ɔ:]

taught [tɔ:t]


[ɔ:]

taught [tɔ:t]



учить



[æ]

catch [kæt]


[ɔ:]

caught [kɔ:t]


[ɔ:]

caught [kɔ:t]



хватать



[æ]

stand [stænd]

understand

[ʌnde'stænd]


[u]

stood [stud]

understood

[ʌndǝ'stud]


[u]

stood [stud]

understood

[ʌndǝ'stud]



стоять

понимать



[d]

build [bɪId]

lend [lend]


mend [mend]

spend [spend]

send [send]


[t]

built [bɪlt]

lent [lent]


ment [ment]

spent [spent]

sent [sent]


[t]

built [bɪlt]

lent [lent]


ment [ment]

spent [spent]

sent [sent]



строить

одалживать,

сдавать в аренду


чинить

тратить, расходовать посылать



bet [bet]

burst [bǝ:st]


bet [bet]

burst [bǝ:st]


bet [bet]

burst [bǝ:st]


держать пари

лопаться; взрываться (о снаряде)



cost [kɔst]


cost [kɔst]


cost [kɔst]


стоить,








обходиться



cut [kʌt]


cut [kʌt]


cut [kʌt]


резать



hit [hɪt]


hit [hɪt]


hit [hɪt]


ударять



hurt [hǝ:t]


hurt [hǝ:t]


hurt [hǝ:t]


причинять боль











let [let]


let [let]


let [let]


позволять, разрешать












put [put]


put [put]


put [put]


класть, положить












shut [∫ʌt]


shut [∫ʌt]


shut [∫ʌt]


закрывать(ся)



split [splɪt]


split [splɪt]


split [splɪt]


раскладывать(ся)



spread [spred]


spread [spred]


spread [spred]


развертываться



upset [ʌр'set]


upset [ʌp'set]


upset [ʌp'set]


опрокидывать (ся)









расстраивать,









нарушать (порядок)



Pronunciation rules of the suffix –ed

The suffix -ed is pronounced in three ways:

  1. [id] when the verb stem ends in the dental consonants [d] or [t]:

skate - skated

chat - chatted

decide – decided

end - ended

  1. [d] when the stem ends in any voiced sound except [d]:

live – lived

travel - travelled

stay - stayed

change – changed

  1. [t] when the stem ends in any voiceless sound except [t]:

talk - talked

stop - stopped

wish – wished

place – placed

Spelling rules of the verb forms with the suffix –ed

1) The letter -d is added to stems ending in -e:

skate - skated

free – freed

2) In all the other cases the letters -ed are added:

stay - stayed

talk – talked

The final consonant letter is doubled if it is single and follows a short vowel in a stressed syllable:

nod - nodded

stop- stopped

stir - stirred

permit - permitted

refer - referred

compel- compelled

The final - l is doubled even in an unstressed syllable (British English):

travel - travelled

cancel – cancelled

In some words the final -p is doubled in the same position:

kidnap - kidnapped

handicap – handicapped

worship – worshipped

The final -y is changed to -i if it is preceded by a consonant:

cry – cried

reply – replied

Formation of participle I

§ 7. Participle I of both regular and irregular verbs is composed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb. In writing the following rules of spelling are observed:

1) if the stem ends in a mute -e, the -e is dropped before adding -ing:

skate - skating

2) if the stem ends in a single consonant letter preceded by a short vowel of a stressed syllable, the consonant letter is doubled:

stop - stopping

nod - nodding

stir – stirring

permit – permitting

refer - referring

compel – compelling

3) if the stem ends in -l after a short vowel of an unstressed syllable, the -l is doubled (in British English):

travel – travelling

cancel – cancelling

The same refers to some words ending in -p:

kidnap - kidnapping

handicap- handicapping

worship – worshipping

  1. verbs ending in -ie drop the final -e and change i into у before taking the suffix -ing:

lie – lying

die – dying

Note:

The same rules apply to the formation of the gerund.

Semantic classifications of the verb

§ 8. Semantic classifications of the verb may be undertaken from different standpoints.

Grammatically important is the devision of verbs into the following classes:

Actional verbs, which denote actions proper (do, make, go, read, etc.) and statal verbs, which denote state (be, exist, lie, sit, know, etc.) or relations (fit, belong, have, match, cost, etc.). The difference in their categorical meaning affects their morphological paradigm: statal and relational verbs have no passive voice (though some have forms coinciding with the passive voice as in The curtains and the carpet were matched). Also statal and relational verbs generally are not used in the continuous and perfect continuous tenses. Their occasional use in these tenses is always exceptional and results in the change of meaning.

From the syntactic standpoint verbs may be subdivided into transivite (переходные) and intransitive (непереходные) ones.

Without the object the meaning of the transitive verb is incomplete or entirely different. Transitive verbs may be followed:

a) by one direct object (monotransitive verbs);

Jane is helping her sister.

b) by a direct and an indirect objects (ditransitive verbs);

Jane gave her sister an apple.

c) by a prepositional object (prepositional transitive verbs):

Jane looks after her sister.

Intransitive verbs do not require any object for the completion of their meaning:

The sun is rising.

There are many verbs in English that can function as both transitive and intransitive.

Tom is writing a letter. (transitive)

Tom writes clearly. (intransitive)

Who has broken the cup? (transitive)

Glass breaks easily. (intransitive)

Jane stood near the piano. (intransitive)

Jane stood the vase on the piano. (transitive)

The division of verbs into terminative and non-terminative depends on the aspectual characteristic in the lexical meaning of the verb which influences the use of aspect forms.

Terminative verbs (предельные глаголы) besides their specific meaning contain the idea that the action must be fulfilled and come to an end, reaching some point where it has logically to stop. These are such verbs as sit down, come, fall, stop, begin, open, close, shut, die, bring, find, etc.

Non-terminative, or durative verbs(непредельные глаголы) imply that actions or states expressed by these verbs may go on indefinitely without reaching any logically necessary final point. These are such verbs as carry, run, walk, sleep, stand, sit, live, know, suppose, talk, speak, etc.

The end, which is simply an interruption of these actions, may be shown only by means of some adverbial modifier:

He slept till nine in the morning.

The last subclass comprises verbs that can function as both termi­native and non-terminative (verbs of double aspectual meaning). The difference is clear from the context:

Can you see well? (non-terminative)

I see nothing there. (terminative)

The finite forms of the verb

§ 9. The category of person expresses the relation of the action and its doer to the speaker, showing whether the action is performed by the speaker (the 1st person), someone addressed by the speaker (the 2nd person) or someone/something other than the speaker or the person addressed (the 3rd person).

The category of number shows whether the action is performed by one or more than one persons or non-persons.

For the present indefinite tense* of the verb to be there are three contrasting forms: the 1st person singular, the 3rd person singular and the form for all persons plural: (I) am - (he) is - (we, you, they) are.

* The other term used for indefinite tenses is "simple tenses". Accordingly there are the simple present, "the simple past", "the simple future".

In the past indefinite tense it is only the verb to be that has one of these categories - the category of number, formed by the opposition of the singular and the plural forms: (I, he) was - (we, you, they) were. All the other verbs have the same form for all the persons, both singular and plural.

In the future and future in the past tenses there are two opposing forms: the 1st person singular and plural and the other persons: (I, we) shall go - (he, you, they) will go; (I, we) should come - (he, you, they) would come.

In colloquial style, however, no person distinctions are found either in the future or in the future in the past tenses. The only marker for the future tenses is ‘ll used with all persons, both singular and plural: I'll do it; He'll do it; We'll do it, etc. The marker for the future in the past tenses is ‘d, also used with all persons and numbers: I said I’d come; He said he’d come; We said we’d come, etc. Historically ‘ll is the shortened form of will, ‘d is the shortened form of would.

The categories of person and number, with the same restrictions, as those mentioned above, are naturally found in all analytical forms contain­ing the present indefinite tense of the auxiliaries to be and to have, or the past indefinite tense of the auxiliary to be: (I) am reading - (he) is reading - (we, you, they) are reading; (I) am told - (he) is told - (we, you, they) are told; (he) has come - (I, we, you, they) have come; (he) has been told - (I, we, you, they) have been told; (he) has been reading - (I, we, you, they) have been reading.

A more regular way of expressing the categories of person and number is the use of personal pronouns. They are indispensable when the finite verb forms in the indicative as well as the subjunctive moods have no markers of person or number distinctions.

I stepped aside and they moved away.

They had been walking along, side by side, and she had been talking very earnestly.

If you were his own son, you could have all this.

If she were not a housemaid, she might not feel it so keenly.

The verb is always in the 3rd person singular if the subject of the predicate verb is expressed by a negative or indefinite pronoun, by an infinitive, a gerund or a clause:

Nothing has happened. Somebody has come.

To see him at last was a real pleasure. To shut that lid seems an easy task.

Seeing is believing. Visiting their house again seems out of the question.

What she has told me frightens me*.

* For further details see § on Agreement of the Subject and Predicate.

The category of tense

§ 10. The category of tense in English (as well as in Russian) expresses the relationship between the time of the action and the time of speaking.

The time of speaking is designated as present time and is the starting point for the whole scale of time measuring. The time that follows the time of speaking is designated as future time; the time that precedes the time of speaking is designated as past time. Accordingly there are three tenses in English - the present tense, the future tense and the past tense which refer actions to present, future or past time.

Besides these three tenses there is one more tense in English, the so-called future in the past. The peculiarity of this tense lies in the fact that the future is looked upon not from the point of view of the moment of speaking (the present) but from the point of view of some moment in the past.

Each tense is represented by four verb forms involving such categories as aspect and perfect. Thus there are four present tense forms: the present indefinite, the present continuous, the present perfect, the present perfect continuous; four past tense forms: the past indefinite, the past continuous, the past perfect and the past perfect continuous; four future tense forms: the future indefinite, the future continuous, the future perfect and the future perfect continuous; and four future in the past tense forms: the future in the past indefinite, the future in the past continuous, the future in the past perfect, the future in the past perfect continuous.

The category of aspect

§ 11. In general the category of aspect shows the way or manner in which an action is performed, that is whether the action is perfective (совершенное), imperfective (несовершенное), momentary (мгновенное, однократное), iterative (многократное, повторяющееся), inchoative (зачинательное), durative (продолженное, длительное), etc.

In English the category of aspect is constituted by the opposition of the continuous aspect and the common aspect.

The opposition the continuous aspect <——> the common aspect is actualized in the following contrasting pairs of forms:

Continuous

Common

is speaking

was speaking

will be speaking

has been speaking

speaks

spoke

will speak

has spoken

The forms in the left-hand column (whether taken in context, or treated by themselves) have a definite meaning: they describe an action as a concrete process going on continuously at a definite moment of time, or characteristic of a definite period of time (hence its name - the continuous aspect). The forms in the right-hand column, if treated by themselves, are devoid of any specific aspectual meaning. They denote the action as such, in a most general way, and can acquire a definite and more specified aspective meaning due to the lexical meaning of the verb and specific elements of the context in which they are used. Thus, for example, the verb form sang, when regarded out of context, has no specific aspectual characteristics, conveying only the idea of the action of singing with reference to the past. However when the same form is used in the context, it acquires the aspectual meaning conferred on it by that context. Compare the following sentences:

When he was young he sang beautifully (пел = умел петь).

He went over to the piano and sang two folk-songs (спел).

He went over to the piano and sang (запел).

While everybody was busy lighting a camp fire, he sang folk-songs (пел).

The fact that these forms may express different aspectual meanings according to the context, accounts for the term - the common aspect.

§ 12. Whereas all verbs can be used in the common aspect, there are certain restrictions as to the use of the continuous aspect. Some verbs do not usually have the forms of the continuous aspect. They are referred to as statal verbs. The most common of them are the following:

1. Relational verbs have, be and some link verbs:

become, remain, appear, seem, sound.

However, both to be and to have can be used in the continuous aspect forms where to be has the meaning to act and to have has a meaning other than to possess.

She is so foolish!

I have three brothers.

She is being so foolish (acting foolishly) today.

I am having dinner (am dining) now.

Other verbs having the same meaning of relation are not used in the continuous aspect forms:

to apply to

to belong to

to compare (to)

to concern

to contain

to cost

to depend on

to deserve

to differ from

to exist

to hold

to interest

to matter

to measure

to own

to possess

to remember

to stand for

to weigh

2. Verbs expressing sense perception, that is involuntary reactions of the senses:

to feel (чувствовать),

to hear (слышать),

to see (видеть),

to smell (чувствовать запах),

to taste (чувствовать вкус).

However these verbs as well as other statal verbs may be sometimes used in continuous and perfect continuous forms, especially in informal English.*

* These verbs will be considered in detail in § 22.

3. Verbs expressing emotional state:

to care, to detest, to envy, to fear, to hate, to hope, to like, to love, to prefer, to want, to wish.

4. Verbs expressing mental state:

to assume, to believe, to consider, to doubt, to expect, to find, to forget, to imagine, to know, to mean, to mind, to notice, to perceive, to remember, to suggest, to suppose, to think, to understand.

Note:

Care should be taken to distinguish between some of these verbs denoting a mental state proper and the same verbs used in other meanings. In the latter case continuous aspect forms also occur. Compare, for example, the following pairs of sentences:

I consider (believe) her to be a very good student.

I expected (supposed, thought) you’d agree with me.

I feel (suppose) there is something wrong about him.

I think (suppose) you’re right.

I’m still considering (studying) all the pros and cons.

I could not come for I was expecting (waiting for) a friend at the time.

I’m feeling quite cold.


I am thinking over (studying) your offer.

I am forgetting things more and more now (beginning to forget).

She is understanding grammar better now (beginning to understand).

Moreover, all the verbs treated in § 12 can occur in the continuous aspect when the ideas they denote are to be emphasized:

Don’t shout, I'am hearing you perfectly well!

Why are you staring into the darkness? What are you seeing there?

Are you still remaining my friend.

You see, she’s knowing too much.

They don’t know that inside I know what they’re like, and that all the time I’m hating them.

The category of perfect

§ 13. The category of perfect is as fundamental to the English verb as the categories of tense and aspect, whereas it is quite alien to the Russian verb.

The category of perfect is constituted by the opposition of the perfect to the non-perfect.

The perfect forms denote action preceding certain moments of time in the present, past or future. The non-perfect forms denote actions belonging to certain moments of time in the present, past or future.

To see the difference between the two categories compare the following pairs of sentences containing non-perfect and perfect forms:

Perfect

Non-perfect

I have seen the film, and I think it is dull.

At last you are here! I’ve been waiting for you so long!

She had left by the 2nd of September.

She had been sleeping for half an hour when the telephone woke her up.

I shall have returned before you get the supper ready.

I see you are tired.

Whom are you waiting for?


She left on the 2nd of September.

When the fire began, everybody was sleeping.


I shall return at 10.

§ 14. The perfect forms belong either to the continuous or to the common aspect and as such they have specific semantic characteristics of either one or of the other. Thus the perfect continuous forms denote continuous actions taking place during a definite period of time preceding the present moment or some moment of time in the past or future. The moment of time in question may be either excluded or included in the period of time of the action, as in the following:

Don’t wake her up, she has only been sleeping for half an hour. (She is still sleeping at the moment of speaking.)

I’ve woken her up, she has been sleeping ever since dinner. (She is not sleeping at the moment of speaking.)

She had been living in St.-Petersburg for 10 years when we met. (She was still living there at that moment of past time.)

They had been living in St.-Petersburg for 10 years when they moved to N. (They were not living in St.- Petersburg any longer at that moment of past time.)

He will have been working here for 20 years next autumn. (He will still be working here at that moment of the future.)

He will have been working there for 5 years before he returns to our institute. (He will not already be working there any longer at that moment of the future.)

The perfect forms of the common aspect are devoid of any specific aspect characteristics and acquire them only from the lexical meaning of the verb or out of the context in which they are used. Thus terminative verbs in the perfect forms of the common aspect express completeness of the action:

She had shut the window and was going to sleep.

The completed actions expressed by such forms may be momentary or iterative, as in:

He had stumbled and fallen down before I could support him.

He had stumbled and fallen down on his knees several times before he reached the bushes.

Non-terminative verbs may express both completed and incompleted actions:

She had spoken to all of them before she came to any conclusion.(поговорила)

I have known him all my life. (знаю)


They may also express iterative or durative actions:

He had lived in many little towns before he settled in St.-Petersburg.

She had lived here since the war.

Thus the difference between the perfect and the perfect continuous forms is similar to the difference between the indefinite and the continuous non-perfect forms.

Before passing on to a thorough study of all verb forms in detail it should be clearly understood that every one of them is a bearer of three grammatical categories, those of tense, perfect, and aspect, that is every form shows whether the action refers to the present, the past, the future or the future viewed from the past; whether it belongs to a certain moment of time within each of these time-divisions or precedes that moment, and whether it is treated as continuous or not.

Table I

Tense, aspect and perfect forms of the English verbs


Tense


Perfect

Aspect

Non-Perfect


Perfect


Present


Common

Takes


Has taken

Continuous


Is taking

Has been taking


Past


Common

Took


Had taken


Continuous


was taking


had been taking


Future


Common


will take


will have taken


Continuous


will be taking


will have been taking


Future in the Past


Common


would take


would have taken


Continuous


would be taking


would have been taking


Thus each tense is represented by four verb forms involving such categories as aspect and perfect. There are

four present tense forms:

the present indefinite (the simple present)

the present continuous

the present perfect

the present perfect continuous

four past tense forms:

the past indefinite (the simple past)

the past continuous

the past perfect

the past perfect continuous

four future tense forms:

the future indefinite (the simple future)

the future continuous

the future perfect

the future perfect continuous

four future in-the-past tenses:

the future in-the-past indefinite (the simple future-in-the-past)

the future in-the-past continuous

the future in-the-past perfect

the future in-the-past perfect continuous.

Present tenses

§ 15. All the present tenses (The present indefinite, the present continuous, the present perfect, the present perfect continuous) refer the actions they denote to the present, that is to, the time of speaking. The difference between them lies in the way they express the categories of aspect and perfect.

The present indefinite

(The simple present)

Meaning. The present indefinite refers the action which it denotes to the present time in a broad sense.

It bears no indication as to the manner in which the action is performed, that is whether it is perfective (complete) or imperfective (incomplete), momentary or durative (continuous), iterative or inchoative, etc. Any of these meanings can be imparted to the form by the lexical meaning of the verb or by the context. Neither does it bear any indication as to the precedence of the action it denotes to the moment of speaking.

§ 16. Formation. Some of the forms of the present indefinite are synthetic (affirmative forms), some - analytic (interrogative and negative forms).

Affirmative forms for all persons singular and plural except the 3rd person singular coincide with the infinitive stem: to speak - I speak, you speak, they speak.

The 3rd person singular form is built from the same stem by means of the inflexion -s, -es: to speak [spi:k] - he speaks [spi:ksj; to land [lænd] - he lands [lændz]; to wish [wI] - he wishes [´wIIz].

As can be seen from the above examples, the pronunciation and spelling of the inflection of the 3rd person singular vary:

  1. Verb stems ending in vowels and voiced consonants (except voiced sibilants and affricates) take the inflection -s which is pronounced [z]:

to see [si:]

to play [pleɪ]

to stir [stǝ]

to come [kʌm]

- he comes [kʌmz].

The 3rd person singular of the verb to say (says) is pronounced [sez].

In verb stems ending in the letter у and preceded by a consonant the letter у is replaced by the letters ie:

to try [traɪ]

to carry ['kærɪ]

- he tries [traɪz]

- he carries ['kærɪz].

The verbs to go and to do and their compounds (to forego, to overdo, etc.) take the inflexion [z] spelled as

-es:

to go [gou] - he goes [gouz],

the verb to do (and its compounds) changes its root vowel:

to do [du:]

to overdo ['ouvǝdu]

- he does [dʌz],

- he overdoes ['ouvǝdʌz].

The 3rd person singular of the verb to have is has [hæz].

  1. Verb stems ending in voiceless consonants (except voiceless sibilants and affricates) take the inflexion -s pronounced [s]:

to work [wǝ:k]

to hope [houp]

- he works [wǝ:ks]

- he hopes [houps]


3. Verb stems ending in sibilants and affricates take either the inflexion -s or -es. Both are pronounced [ɪz]:

  1. -es if the final letters of the stem are -s, -sh, -ss, -x, -z, -zz, -ch, -tch:

to push [pu∫]

to pass [pa:s]

to box [boks]

to buzz [bʌz]

to catch [kæt]

- he pushes ['pu∫ɪz]

- he passes ['pa:sɪz]

- he boxes ['boksɪz]

- he buzzes ['bʌzɪz]

- he catches ['kæt∫ɪz];

b) -s if the final letters of the stem are -se, -ce, -ze, -ge, -dge

(i.e. sibilants and affricates plus the mute e):

to please [pli:z]

to place [pleɪs]

to freeze [fri:z]

to stage [steɪdʒ]

to sledge [sledʒ]

- he pleases ['pli:zɪz]

- he places ['pleɪzɪz]

- he freezes ['fri:zɪz]

- he stages ['steɪdʒɪz]

- he sledges ['sledʒɪz].

§ 17. Interrogative and negative forms of the present indefinite are analytical and are built by means of the present indefinite of the auxiliary to do and the infinitive of the notional verb.

Besides these there is one more type of forms, namely negative-inter­rogative forms, which has two possible patterns.

The paradigm of the verb in the present indefinite

Affirmative

Interrogative

Negative

I speak

He (she, it) speaks

We speak

You speak

They speak

Do I speak?

Does he (she, it) speak?

Do we speak?

Do you speak?

Do they speak?

I do not (don’t) speak

He (she, it) does not (doesn’t) speak

We do not (don’t) speak

You do not (don’t) speak

They do not (don’t) speak

Negative-interrogative

a)

Do I not speak?

Does he (she, it) not speak?

Do we not speak?

Do you not speak?

Do they not speak?


b)

Don’t I speak?

Doesn’t he (she, it) speak?

Don’t we speak?

Don’t you speak?

Don’t they speak?


Note:

The auxiliary to do can occur in the affirmative form as well, if special emphasis is required. In this case the auxiliary is always stressed:

Ask him again, he ‘does know what it was.

She ‘does help me so much!

§ 18. There are some verbs that form their present indefinite in a different way.

These are:

1) The verb to be, which has synthetic forms not only for affirmative, but also for interrogative, negative and negative-interrogative structures. Besides, it distinguishes the category of number and has in the singular the category of person*.

* See the table on p. 339.

2) The verb to have when meaning to possess also builds its interro­gative, negative and negative-interrogative forms synthetically.

When the verb to have has a modal meaning or when it is used as part of a phrase verb it makes its interrogative, negative and negative-interrogative forms in the ordinary way, that is with the auxiliary to do:

When do you have to get up in order to catch the first morning train?

She does not have any lunch at home.

3) All the modal verbs do not take the inflexion -s in the 3rd person singular. They form their interrogative and negative forms without the auxiliary to do.

§ 19. The present indefinite.

1. To state facts in the present.

I live in St.-Petersburg.

Most dogs bark.

It’s a long way to Tipperary.

2. To state general rules or laws of nature, that is to show that something was true in the past, is true in the present, and will be true in the future.

It snows in winter.

Snow melts at 0°C.

Two plus two makes four.

3. To denote habitual actions or everyday activity.

They get up at 8.

On Sundays we stay at home.

Do you often go to the dancing hall?

4. To denote actions and states continuing at the moment of speaking (with statal and relational verbs, verbs of sense and mental perception.)

Who does the car belong to?

I do not see what you are doing.

Now I hear you perfectly well.

I do not understand you at all.

5. To express declarations, announcements, etc. referring to the moment of speaking.

I declare the meeting open.

I agree to your proposal.

I offer you my help.

6. To denote a succession of action going on at the moment of speaking.

Now watch me closely: I take a match, light it, put it into the glass and ... oh, nothing happens!

7. To denote future actions.

  1. Mostly with verbs of motion (to go, to come, to start, to leave, to return, to arrive, to sail and some other verbs), usually if the actions denote a settled plan and the future time is indicated:

I go to Moscow next week.

They start on Sunday.

She leaves for England in two months.

What do you do next Sunday?

  1. In adverbial clauses of time and condition after the conjunctions when, till, until, as soon as, as long as, before, after, while, if, unless, in case, on condition that, provided, etc.:

When she comes, ring me up, please.

Do it as soon as you are through with your duties.

I promise not to tell her anything if you help me to get out of here.

However in object clauses introduced by the conjunctions when and if it is the future indefinite that is used to denote future actions:

I don’t know when she will come.

I’m not sure if she will come at all.

8. To denote past actions:

a) in newspaper headlines, in the outlines of novels, plays., films, etc.:

Dog Saves Its Master.

Students Say No to New Weapon.

Then Fleur meets Little Jon. They fall in love with each other.

b) in narratives or stories to express past actions more vividly (the so-called historic present):

It was all so unexpected. You see, I came home late last night, turned on the light and - whom do you think I see? Jack, old Jack, sleeping in the chair. I give a cry, rush to him and shake him by the shoulder.

9. To denote completed actions with the meaning of the present perfect (with the verbs to forget, to hear,

to be told).

I forget your telephone number.

I hear you are leaving for England?

I am told she returned from France last week.

The present continuous

§ 20. Meaning. The present continuous* denotes an action which is in progress at the moment of speaking.

* Nowadays it is sometimes called "the present progressive".

§ 21. Formation. All the forms of the present continuous are ana­lytic. They are formed by means of the present indefinite of the auxiliary to be and participle I of the notional verb.

In the interrogative the corresponding form of the auxiliary to be is placed before the subject and participle I follows it.

In the negative the negation ‘not’ is placed after the auxiliary.

The paradigm of the verb in the present continuous

Affirmative

Interrogative

Negative


I am speaking

He (she, it) is speaking

We are speaking

You are speaking

They are speaking


Am I speaking?

Is he (she, it) speaking?

Are we speaking?

Are you speaking?

Are they speaking?


I am not (I’m not) speaking

He (she, it) is not (isn’t) speaking

We are not (aren’t) speaking

You are not (aren’t) speaking

They are not (aren’t) speaking

Negative-interrogative

a)

Am I not speaking?

Is he (she, it) not speaking?

Are we not speaking?

Are you not speaking?

Are they not speaking?

b)

Aren’t I speaking?

Isn’t he (she, it) speaking?

Aren’t we speaking?

Aren’t you speaking?

Aren’t they speaking?

In spoken English contractions are commonly used (I’m, he’s, it’s, we’re, etc.).

A reduced negative for the first person singular is I’m not, but is replaced by aren’t in the negative - interrogative.

§ 22. The present continuous is used with all actional and some statal verbs (with the reservations destribed below):

1. To denote continuous actions going on at the moment of speaking.

Look, how happily they are playing!

Don’t bother him, he’s working.

Listen! The telephone is ringing. Go and answer it.

- Can I see Mary? - You must wait a little while, she is having breakfast.

The present indefinite, not the present continuous, is used to denote actions which though going on at the moment of speaking, are important as simple facts, rather than as actions in progress.

Why don’t you answer?

Why don’t you write? Where is your pen?

Stop talking! Why don’t you listen?

If two simultaneous actions are in progress at the moment of speaking, three variants are possible:

a) one action is expressed by the verb in the present indefinite, the other - by the present continuous:

Do you hear what I am saying!

b) both the actions are expressed by verbs in the present continuous:

Are you listening to what I am saying?

At home he is always sleeping while I am doing chores.

c) both the actions are expressed by verbs in the present indefinite:

Several students watch carefully while he writes it on the board.

The use of the present indefinite instead of the present continuous is due to the semantic peculiarities of the verb.

The present continuous is not generally used with some verbs - the verbs of sense perception, of mental or emotional state and with relational verbs. Still exceptions may occur with these verbs too.

With the verbs of sense perception the use of the tense form is closely connected with what kind of perception is meant - voluntary (deliberate) or involuntary. In case these verbs denote a voluntary action: to listen (слушать), to look (смотреть) or if they may denote both an involuntary and a voluntary action, such as: to feel (ощупывать), to smell (нюхать), to taste (пробовать на вкус), they can occur in continuous forms.

Voluntary actions

Involuntary actions


Why are you not listening?

Why are you looking at me like that?

The man must be blind, he is feeling his way with a stick.


Say it again, I don’t hear you.

Can you see me now?

Take care! I feel the walls shaking.

In the same way verbs of mental and emotional states can acquire a different meaning and occur in the present continuous and other continu­ous forms.

I consider (=believe) her to be a very good student.

I think (suppose) you are right.

I’m still considering (studying) all the pros and cons.

I’m thinking over (studying) your offer.

In some cases it is not so much a change of meaning as a change in the quality or intensity of the idea expressed by the verb that makes it possible to use the continuous form.

I am forgetting things more and more now.

She is understanding grammar better now.

Don’t shout, I'm hearing you perfectly well.

What are you seeling there in this complete darkness.

You see, she is knowing too mucht.

All this time I'm hating them.

I am feeling quite all right.

The relational verbs (belong, cost, etc.) are not used in the continu­ous form.

2. To denote actions characteristic of a certain period of present time, the moment of speaking

included. As a rule these actions are temporary.

They are spending their holidays at the sea-side this summer.

Your behaviour is killing your wife.

It is autumn now. The birds are flocking together.

  1. To denote (for the sake of emphasis) actions in progress referring to all or any time, the moment of

speaking included. In this case the adverbials ever, for ever, constantly, always are obligatory.

Our solar system together with the Milky Way is constantly moving towards Vega.

The Volga is for ever pouring its waters into the Caspian Sea.

Mankind is always developing its mental faculties.

4. To denote actions characteristic of a certain person within more or less long periods of present time,

the moment of speaking included and provoking certain emotions in the speaker (inpatience,

irritation, disapproval, praise, etc.). Sentences with such forms are always emotionally coloured.

Oh, I have no patience with you. Why are you always losing your things?

Though she is only ten, she is very kind-hearted, she is always pitying everybody.

In such sentences the adverbials always or constantly are also obligatory.

5. To denote future actions.

a) With verbs of motion to arrive, to come, to go, to leave, to return, to sail, to start and some others, usually

the actions are only intended or planned. The future time is usually indicated by some adverbials:

She is leaving tomorrow.

The boat is sailing next week.

He is returning on Monday.

What are you doing tomorrow?

Though the present continuous of the verb to go + infinitive is commonly used to denote an intention or plan, with some verbs the meaning is that of apprehention or presentiment.

He’s going to get ill.

The flowers are going to wither.

It is going to snow.

He’s going to be hanged.

b) In adverbial clauses of time and condition after the conjunctions when, while, as long as, if, in case,

unless, etc:

I’ll ring you up at 2, while you are having your break.

If he is working when I come, don’t bother him, I’ll wait.

As follows from the items enumerated above, the present continuous cannot occur in the context describing a succession of actions referring to the present. In such cases the present indefinite is used:

He comes up to the piano, opens the lid, and begins to play the first tune.

If several actions in a narrative have the form of the present continuous, it indicates that they are all simultaneous (and usually performed by different persons):

The boys are playing football on the lawn, Nell is reading in her room, and Father is having his rest.

In all its uses the present continuous is rendered in Russian by means of the present tense of the imperfective aspect.

The present perfect

§ 23. Meaning. The present perfect form denotes the action preceding the moment of speaking, though it is connected with it either directly or indirectly, that is: a) it continues up to the moment of speaking or b) takes place within a period of time before and including the moment of speaking, so it is relevant to the moment of speaking through its effect or virtually through its continuation at the moment of speaking. In the first case it is called the exclusive present perfect (the moment of speaking is excluded), in the second - the inclusive present perfect (the moment of speaking is included).

Formation. The present perfect is formed analytically, by means of the auxiliary to have in the present indefinite and participle II of the notional verb.*

* For the rules of the formation of participle II see § 5-6.

In the negative the corresponding negative forms of to have are used, participle II follows them.

The paradigm of the verb in the present perfect

Affirmative

Interrogative

Negative


I have spoken

He (she, it) has spoken

We have spoken

You have spoken

They have spoken


Have I spoken?

Has he (she, it) spoken?

Have we spoken?

Have you spoken?

Have they spoken?


I have not (haven’t) spoken

He (she, it) has not (hasn’t) spoken

We have not (haven’t) spoken

You have not (haven’t) spoken

They have not (haven’t) spoken

Negative-interrogative

a)

Have I not spoken?

Has he (she, it) not spoken?

Have we not spoken?

Have you not spoken?

Have they not spoken?

b)

Haven’t I spoken?

Hasn’t he (she, it) spoken?

Haven’t we spoken?

Haven’t you spoken?

Haven’t they spoken?

§ 24. In all its uses the present perfect directly or indirectly refers actions to the moment of speaking. This connection with the moment of speaking predetermines its use; the present perfect is found in conversations and communications dealing with the state of things in the present and is never found in narratives referring to the past.

The present perfect is used:

1. When the speaker means that he is interested in the mere fact that the action took place, but not in the time when it took place, nor in the circumstances. The time of the action is either not indicated at all, or is indicated only vaguely, by means of adverbs of indefinite time (yet, already, just, lately, recently, of late, ever, never, always, etc.).

I don’t know what he’s going to do, I haven’t seen him.

Has Mother returned?

I haven’t read the letter yet.

Why are you so hard on him? What has he done?

Let’s go, it has already stopped raining.

I’ve never seen him in this play.

2. When the speaker means that, though the action is over, the period of time within which it was performed is not yet over at the moment of speaking (with the words today, this week, this year, etc.).

I’ve seen her today.

She’s returned from England this week.

I’ve had a splitting headache this morning.

If the period of time is over or the action refers to some particular moment of time within that period the past indefinite, not the present perfect is used.

I had a bad headache this morning (said in the afternoon, in the evening, etc.).

She was at my party this month (at the time when the party was given).

In such cases (items 1 and 2) the exclusive present perfect is rendered in Russian by the past tense.

3. The present perfect is also used to denote actions still in progress, (the inclusive present perfect) which began before the moment of speaking and go on up to that moment or into it. In this case either the starting point of the action is specified (by means of the adverb since, a prepositional phrase with since, or an adverbial clause with the conjunction since), or the period during which it continued (by various adverbs or phrases with for). It is thus used in the following cases:

  1. with statal verbs which do not normally take continuous forms:

We met by chance last year, and I haven’t seen her since.

I’ve been here since 8.

I love you. I’ve loved you ever since we met.

I’ve known you all my life.

I haven’t seen you for ages.

b) with some actional (durative) verbs in which case the present perfect continuous is also possible. The

difference between the two forms lies in the following: in the case of the present perfect the logical stress

is laid rather on the fact than on the process, whereas in the case of the present perfect continuous it is

the process that is important.

I’ve worked here since 1960.

He has played football for five years already.

In such cases the inclusive present perfect is rendered in Russian by the present tense.

4. The present perfect is also used in subordinate adverbial clauses of time and condition introduced by the corresponding conjunctions to denote a future action taking place before a certain moment in the future.

I’ll stay with you until you’ve finished everything.

Wait till I’ve written the notice.

Sometimes adverbials of place and objects expressed by words describ­ing situations may serve in an oblique way as past time markers, connect­ing the activities not only with places and situations, but also with the time when the actions took place, accordingly the past indefinite is used.

Did you meet him in London? (when you were in London)

Did you like his singing? (when he sang)

The same is true of special questions beginning with where:

Where did you see him?

Where did you buy this hat?

Note 1:


In spesial questions with when only the past indefinite is possible, though the answer can be either in the past indefinite or in the present perfect depending on the actual state of affairs:


- When did he come?

- He came yesterday.

- He has just come.


Note 2:


The present perfect, not the past indefinite is used with the verb to be in the sense of to go, to visit even though the adverbials of place are used:

Have you been to London?

She says she’s been to Paris three times.


The meaning of such statements is ‘was there at a certain time, but is there no longer’.


Although the time of the actions denoted by the present perfect is not specified, it is generally understood as more or less recent, not long past.

§ 25. The ways of translating the present perfect into Russian vary due to the peculiarities of its time orientation and the vagueness of its aspective meaning. It can therefore be translated into Russian either by the past tense (if it is exclusive present perfect) or by the present tense (if it is inclusive present perfect). The latter applies to statal verbs and some actional durative verbs.

She has gone home.

Она уже ушла домой.

(The past tense, perfective.)


The red ballon has burst.


Красный шарик лопнул.

(The past tense, perfective, momentary.)


He has hit me twice.


Он ударил меня два раза.

(The past tense, perfective, iterative.)


I’ve already seen him.


Я его уже видел.

(The past tense, imperfective.)


She has seen the film three times.


Она смотрела этот фильм три раза.

(The past tense, imperfective, iterative.)


They’ve lived here for seven years.


Они живут здесь семь лет.


I’ve known her since 1975.


Я знаю ее с 1975 года.

(The present tense, inaperfective, durative.)

The present perfect continuous

§ 26. Formation. The present perfect continuous is formed analytically by means of the auxiliary to be in the present perfect (have/has been) plus participle I of the notional verb.

In the interrogative the first auxiliary (have/has) comes before the subject, the second auxiliary (been) and participle I follow the subject.

In the negative the corresponding negative forms of the first auxiliary (have) are used, the second auxiliary (been) and participle I follow them.

The paradigm of the verb in the present perfect continuous

Affirmative


Interrogative

I have been speaking

He (she, it) has been speaking

We have been speaking

You have been speaking

They have been speaking

Have I been speaking?

Has he (she, it) been speaking?

Have we been speaking?

Have you been speaking?

Have they been speaking?


Negative

Contracted negative


I have not been speaking

He (she, it) has not been speaking

We have not been speaking

You have not been speaking

They have not been speaking

I haven’t been speaking

He (she, it) hasn’t been speaking

We haven’t been speaking

You haven’t been speaking

They haven’t been speaking

Negative-interrogative

a)

Have I not been speaking?

Has he (she, it) not been speaking?

Have we not been speaking?

Have you not been speaking?

Have they not been speaking?

b)

Haven’t I been speaking?

Hasn’t he (she, it) been speaking?

Haven’t we been speaking?

Haven’t you been speaking?

Haven’t they been speaking?

The present perfect continuous is used mainly in conversation.

§ 27. The present perfect continuous is used with actional verbs to denote:

1. Actions in progress which begin at a certain moment in the past and continue into the present. In this case either the starting point of the action or the period of time during which it has been in progress is usually specified.

I’ve been writing since morning, and so I’ll soon stop.

They’ve been living here since 1970. Now they are going to move to N.

It has been raining ever since midnight, and it is still drizzling.

She’s a fourth year student, so she’s been learning English for at least 3 years already.

All these forms denoting actions continuing into the present (the so-called present perfect continuous inclusive) are translated into Russian by the present tense, imperfective (in the sentences above: пишу, живут, дождь идет, учит).

2. Actions in progress which begin in the past and continue up to the moment of speaking or till just before it. It is the present perfect continuous exclusive.

Oh, here you are at last! I’ve been waiting for you all day!

It has been snowing since morning, but now it has stopped.

You look so sad. Have you been crying?

It has been raining for at least two hours, but now the wind has driven the clouds away.

3. Actions in progress that both begin and end at some indeterminate time before the moment of speaking, though connected with it through their importance for the present.

My brother has been using my bicycle and has got the tyre punctured.

I have been thinking over your offer, but still can’t tell you anything definite.

I hear she has been calling on you again?

The forms denoting actions that are over by the moment of speaking (the so-called present perfect continuous exclusive) are translated into Russian by means of the past tense, imperfective (in the sentences in items 2 and 3 they are: ждал, снег шел, плакала, дождь шел, катался, обдумывал, приходила).

4. Future actions in progress before a certain moment in the future (in subordinate adverbial clauses of time and condition).

He will get accustomed to the surroundings after he has been staying here for a week or two.

§ 28. As is seen from above, the present perfect continuous cannot be used to denote a succession of actions and therefore cannot be used to describe the development of events. If two actions denoted by the present perfect continuous happen to come together it only means that they are simultaneous and are usually performed by two different persons:

I have been living here for two months while they have been travell­ing all over Europe. Now they are coming back, and I’ll soon move back to my own place.

Past tenses

§ 29. All the past tenses (the past indefinite, the past continuous, the past perfect, the past perfect continuous) refer the actions they denote to the past. The difference between them lies in the way they represent the I categories of aspect and perfect.

Owing to their past time reference all of them are used both in the written language in narrative and description, and in conversation, especially the past indefinite.

The past indefinite

(The simple past)

§ 30. Formation. The affirmative forms of the past indefinite are synthetic, the interrogative, negative and negative-interrogative forms are analytic.

Affirmative (synthetic) forms are represented by the second of the basic verb forms.

Interrogative forms are built by means of the auxiliary to do in the past indefinite (did), which is placed before the subject, and the infinitive stem of the notional verb, which follows the subject.

Negative forms are built by means of the negative form of the auxiliary, which has two varieties: a) didn’t (used in the spoken language) and b) did not (used in the written language) and the infinitive of the notional verb that follows it.

The paradigm of the verb in the past indefinite

Affirmative



Interrogative



I

He (she, it)

We

You

They



spoke (played)



Did

I

he (she, it)

we

you

they




speak (play?)



Negative






I

He (she, it)

We

You

They



did not (didn’t) speak (play)


Negative-interrogative

a)


Did

I

he (she, it)

we

you

they



Not speak? (play?)

b)


Didn’t

I

he (she, it)

we

you

they



speak? (play?)


The auxiliary did also occurs in affirmative forms in cases when the speaker wishes to emphasize his statement, as in:

But I assure you, he did tell me of it himself.

Actually, I did see him once last week.

There are a few verbs which form their past indefinite differently from the way described above. These are:

The verb to be, which has synthetic forms not only in the affirmative, but also in the interrogative, negative and negative-interrogative. It also distinguishes the category of number. The interrogative is formed by placing the verb before the subject.

The verb to have, which also has synthetic forms for all structures.

When having meanings other than ‘possess’ or when used as part of a phrasal verb (to have a look), to have forms its interrogative and negative in the ordinary way with the auxiliary to do.

§ 31. The past indefinite refers actions to past time quite cut off from the present, that is, these actions are in no way connected with the present).* The past indefinite can therefore be used only in contexts relating to the past. The past reference of the context can be shown:

* This is very important for distinguishing the situations in which either only the past indefinite or only the present perfect are to be used.

a) by various adverbials of time pointing to the past, for example, yesterday, the day before yesterday, last (that) Saturday (Sunday), etc., last (that) week (month, year), an hour ago (and other adverbials with ago), in 1970, on the 1st of September, and many others denoting certain moments and periods of time already past.

He left yesterday.

They married in 1975.

She returned two hours ago.

I saw them last Monday.

That night nobody slept.

b) by some other past actions (denoted by the verb in the past indefinite or past continuous).

He came when I was already at home.

They started when the sun was rising.

Thus the very fact that the past indefinite is used in a narrative or in a single sentence is generally an indication that some past time not connected with the present is referred to.

§ 32. The past indefinite is the verb form most frequently used; its range of application is immense, especially in all kinds of narratives.

The past indefinite is used:

  1. To state simple facts in the past.

The house stood on the hill.

She was beautiful.

I did not know who the man was.

I did not hear your question.

I did not see you at the theatre.

What did you say?

The past indefinite, never the present perfect, is used in questions beginning with when, even though no indication of past time is made, because when implies a certain moment in the past. The answer can be either in the past indefinite or in the present perfect, depending on the situation: When did you see him? - I saw him two days ago. - I have just seen him.

Likewise, the past indefinite, not the present perfect, is used in ques­tions beginning with where because in such questions the reference to some past moment is implied: Where did you buy that hat? The implication is: when you were at the place where the action was performed.

2. To denote habitual actions in the past.

All summer I got up at 7.

On Sunday evening he took her to the pictures.

He usually took the first morning train.

Note:

Besides the past indefinite there are other ways of expressing habitual actions in the past:

a) by means of the form used to + infinitive:

Some years ago he used to call on me, now he never does.

The negative construction of used to is formed in one of two ways: didn’t used to and didn’t use to.

She didn’t use to knit in the evenings.

The interrogative construction is: did (he) used to? or did (he) use to...?

Did she used to write her articles at night?

Did he use to do it?

b) The other way to express habitual actions is by means of the verb would + infinitive stem. But unlike used

to, would always conveys an additional modal colouring of will, insistance, perseverance.

This used to be my mother’s room, and I would sit there for hours.

3. To denote a succession of past actions.

He got up, put on his hat, and left.

The car stopped, the door opened, and a very pretty girl got out of it.

4. To denote actions in progress at a certain moment in the past, with verbs that cannot be used in

continuous forms.

He was not listening but still heard what they were speaking about.

At that time he was on the watch.

5. To denote future actions in subordinate adverbial clauses of time and condition depending on

principal clauses with the predicate verb in a past tense.

She said she would come when the film was over.

She said she would do it if nothing unexpected happened.

§ 33. The ways of rendering the past indefinite in Russian are varied, owing to its aspective vagueness. Depending on the lexical meaning of the verb and on the context, it can be translated by Russian verbs in the past tense of both perfective and imperfective aspects with all possible shades of their meanings.

In the morning I wrote two letters.

Утром я написал два письма.

(A perfective (completed) action.)


I got up from my chair and bowed.

Я встал и поклонился.

(Two perfective (completed) momentary actions.)


He breathed hard and stopped every few minutes.

Он тяжело дышал и останавливался каждые несколько минут.

(Imperfective (incompleted) and iterative actions.)


She lay on the sofa reading а detective story.

Она лежала на диване, читая детектив.

(Imperfective, durative action.)


On hearing it he laughed.

Услышав это, он засмеялся.

(A perfective, inchoative action.)

The past continuous

§ 34. Formation. The past continuous is formed analytically by the auxiliary verb to be in the past indefinite and participle I of the notional verb.

In the interrogative the auxiliary is placed before the subject and par­ticiple I follows the subject.

In the negative the corresponding negative forms of to be are em­ployed, and participle I follows them.

The paradigm of the verb in the past continuous

Affirmative



Interrogative



I

He (she, it)

was speaking

Was

I

he (she, it)

speaking?

We

You

They


were speaking


Were

we

you

they


speaking?

Negative



I

He (she it)

was not (wasn’t) speaking


We

You

They


were not (weren't) speaking


Negative-interrogative

a)

Was

I

He (she, it)

not speaking?

b)

Wasn’t

I

He (she, it)

speaking?


Were

we

you

they


not speaking?


Weren't

we

you

they


speaking?

§ 35. The past continuous is used mostly in narrative although it may occur in conversation as well.

The past continuous is used with all actional verbs and some statal verbs:

1. To denote a continuous action in progress at a certain moment in the past.

At 10 it was still raining.

When I called him up, he was still having breakfast.

The fire began at midnight when everybody was sleeping.

At that time she was already packing up.

In these examples the moment of time is specified directly, by means of adverbials of time or indirectly by some other past action mentioned in the same sentence. The moment of time at which the action is in progress can also be shown by the previous context, or understood from the situation:

He did not answer. His lips were trembling.

I stood motionless, as if glued to the ground. The enormous black bull was galloping towards me at full

speed.

I told him that Ralph was staying at the Three Boars.

2. To denote a continuous action in progress during a certain period of time in the past, marked by adverbials - prepositional phrases (from ... till, from ... to) or adverbs (all day long, the whole night, etc.)

We were quarrelling all day long yesterday.

She says she was washing from six till eight.

When actional durative verbs take the form of the past continuous the actions thus described do not actually differ from those in the form of the past indefinite, as both denote continuous actions in progress at some moment of time in the past:

When I saw him, he was standing by the door.

When I saw him he stood by the door.

Both examples may refer to the same situation. The difference between the two is that the past indefinite lays stress on the fact, while the past continuous emphasizes the process, thus presenting the action more vividly.

However in a complex sentence with a subordinate adverbial clause of time if the predicate verbs both in the principal and in the subordinate clauses express simultaneous continuous actions in progress it is usual (though not obligatory) to use the past indefinite in both the clauses:

While I ate and drank, I looked up the register.

She looked all the while at him as she spoke in her slow, deep voice.

But, the past continuous is rather frequent in adverbial clauses, introduced by the conjunction while, as, when, as long as, etc.:

While they were talking, the boy waited outside.

As he was climbing up, he all the while looked at the birds soaring high above him.

When I was working there, I played in the local jazz band.

She stayed in the car while I was talking to the nurse.

Sometimes the past continuous is found in the principal clause, while the past indefinite is in the subordinate:

They were talking inside while he stood watching the path.

The verbs to stand, to sit, to lie expressing actions in progress at a certain moment, or during a certain period of time in the past are commonly used in the past indefinite, if they are followed by participle I.

They stood by the door, talking loudly.

They sat beside their lorry, drinking soda water and eating sardines from a tin.

He lay in bed trying to forget what had happened.

However, the past continuous is also possible.

She was standing, staring at the open letter in her hand.

3. The past continuous is sometimes used to denote actions characteristic of certain persons in the past. In such sentences the adverbials always and constantly are generally included.

She had rather poor health and was constantly complaining of headaches.

As I remember her she was always fussing over something.

He seemed very absent-minded, he was constantly loosing things.

4. To denote future actions viewed from the past, with verbs of motion (to arrive, to come, to go, to leave, to return, etc.), usually if the action is planned or expected. In this case adverbials of future time are generally used, or the future reference of the verb is clear from the context or situation:

She said she was leaving in a week.

Then I understood that they were not returning either that year or the next.

The ship was sailing in a few hours.

If no future reference of the action is evident, it implies that though the action was planned, it was not and will not be carried out:

Listen”, I said. “I’ve brought a little cousin of mine along. Joanna was coming up too but was prevented.”

I said quickly: “She was coming to tea yesterday afternoon.” (was due to come, but did not).

§ 36. As follows from the meaning of the past continuous and from its uses described above, it cannot denote a succession of past actions. Two or more verbs having the form of the past continuous, whether used in the same or in adjoining sentences, always denote simultaneous actions performed by different persons or non-persons:

Nash made periodic appearances in the town but what he was doing and what traps the police were setting, I had no idea.

It was a glorious day. The sun was shining high in the sky. There was no wind. The larks were singing in the blue depth. Only far away, over the horizon, soft milky clouds were moving placidly towards the east.

In all its uses the past continuous is translated into Russian by means of the past tense of the imperfective aspect.

The past perfect

§ 37. Formation. The past perfect is formed analytically by the auxil­iary to have in the past indefinite and participle II of the notional verb. The interrogative and negative forms and built in the way usual for all analytic forms.

The paradigm of the verb in the past perfect

§ 38. In all its uses the past perfect denotes actions the beginning of which (always) and the end (usually) precede a certain moment of time in the past. The prepast period of time to which the actions in the past perfect refer is unlimited, that is, they may take place either immediately before some moment in the past or in the very remote past.

This tense is used with both actional and statal verbs. Its sphere of application is mainly that of narratives, though it is also used in conversation.

The past perfect is used:

1. To denote an action of which both the beginning and the end precede some moment of time in the past. This moment can be specified by an adverbial of time, or by another action, or else by the situation.

What should be borne in mind is that the use of the past perfect form is in itself a sufficient indication of the precedence of the denoted action to some moment in the past which therefore need not be specified.

He had finished his work by then.

I knew him a little: we had met in Rome a year before.

She felt wretched. She had not slept for two nights.

I opened the window. The rain had stopped, but the sharp east wind was still blowing.

After everybody had left, she rushed to her room and began packing hurriedly.

2. To denote an action in progress which began before a certain moment of time in the past and went on up to that moment and sometimes into it. In such cases either the starting point of the action is specified (by means of the adverb since, a prepositional phrase with since or an adverbial clause introduced by the conjunction since), or the period during which the action was in progress (by various adverbials):

a) with statal verbs, which do not normally allow of continuous forms:

He had been away for some months before his first letter came.

They had thought it over and over again since that dinner.

I could not believe the rumour. I had known him for a good many years.

b) with some actional durative verbs (in the similar way as with the past perfect continuous).

When we first met she had lived in the country for two years and was quite happy.

And thus he had sat in his chair till the clock in the hall chimed midnight.

Since her mother's death she had slept in the comer room.

In this case the past perfect continuous can also be used, though with a slight difference of meaning: while the past perfect lays the stress on the mere fact that the action took place, the past perfect continuous accentuates the duration of the action.

3. To denote a succession of past actions belonging to the time preceding the narrative as a whole, thus describing a succession of events in the prepast time.

I gave a slight shiver. In front of me was a neat square of grass and a path and the low gate. Someone had opened the gate, had walked very correctly and quietly up to the house, and had pushed a letter through the letter-box.

§ 39. The ways of rendering the past perfect in Russian are varied, owing to its aspective meaning of the verb or the context. It can be translated by Russian verbs in the past tense of both perfective and imperfective aspects with all possible shades of their meaning. These are mostly supported by lexical means:

I had admitted everything before.

Я все это признал еще раньше.

(A perfective (completed) action.)


Не had banged his fist on the table two or three times before they turned to him.

Он стукнул кулаком по столу два или три раза, прежде чем они обернулись.

(A perfective, iterative action.)


Of late years I had sometimes found him at parties.

В последние годы я иногда встречал его на вечерах.

(An imperfective, iterative action.)


He had looked scared during the prolonged examination.

Во время этого затянувшегося экзамена он казался совсем ис­пуганным.

(An imperfective, durative action.)

The past perfect continuous

§ 40. Formation. The past perfect continuous is formed analytically by means of the auxiliary to be in the past perfect (had been) and participle 1 of the notional verb.

In the interrogative the first auxiliary (had) comes before the subject, and the second auxiliary (been) and participle I follow the subject.

In the negative the corresponding negative forms of the first auxiliary (had) are used, the second auxiliary (been) and participle I follow the negation.

In the negative-interrogative the corresponding negative-interrogative forms of the first auxiliary are used first, the second auxiliary and participle I follow the subject.

The paradigm of the verb in the past perfect continuous

Affirmative



Interrogative



I

He (she, it)

We

You

They




had been speaking




Had


I

he (she, it)

we

you

they




been speaking?


Negative



I

He (she, it)

We

You

They



had not (hadn’t) been speaking


Negative –interrogative

a)



Had


I

he (she, it)

we

you

they




not been speaking?

b)



Hadn’t


I

he (she, it)

we

you

they




been speaking?


§ 41. The past perfect continuous denotes an action which began before a given moment in the past, continued for a certain period of time up to that moment and possibly still continued at that past moment.

The moment of time in the past before which the action begins is usually indicated by other past actions in the past indefinite or, rather rarely, by the past continuous. Sometimes it is indicated directly by adverbials (by that time, by the 1st of August, etc.).

The past perfect continuous is used with actional verbs to denote:

1. Actions in progress that began before a certain moment of time in the past and continued up to that moment, but not into it. As a rule no indications of time are present: the exact time of the beginning of the action is more or less clear from the situation, while the end, closely precedes the given moment of past time (the exclusive past perfect continuous).

Dick, who had been reading aloud Pit’s letter, suddenly stopped.

I had been feeling very tired, but now I grew alert.

They had been walking rapidly and now they were approaching the spot.

Her eyes were red. I saw she had been crying.

2. Actions in progress that began before a certain moment of time in the past and continued into it. In this case either the starting point of the action or its duration is indicated (the inclusive past perfect continuous).

Ever since his return he had been losing strength and flesh.

She had been acting for a long time without a rest and she badly needed one.

Even now he could not stop, though he had been running all the way from the village.

The past perfect continuous is usually rendered in Russian by the past tense, imperfective.

Future tenses

§ 42. All the future tenses (the future indefinite (the simple future), the future continuous, the future perfect, the future perfect continuous) refer the actions they denote to the future. The difference between them is due to their different relation to the categories of aspect and perfect.

Their specific time reference limits their use in comparison with the present and the past tenses.

Among the future tenses the future indefinite is the most frequently used, while the use of the future continuous and the future perfect is rather limited, because the situations to which they are applicable seldom arise. As to the future perfect continuous, it is hardly ever used.

The future indefinite

§ 43. Formation. The future indefinite is formed analytically by means of the auxiliary verb shall for the first person singular or plural and will for the second and third person singular or plural and the infinitive of the notional verb without the particle to.

The modern tendency is to use will for all the persons*.

* In modern spoken English no person distinctions are found in future tenses. The only marker for any future tense is ‘ll used for all persons singular and plural (I’ll speak, He’ll speak). Historically ‘ll is the contracted form of will.

The paradigm of the verb in the future indefinite

Affirmative


Interrogative


I shall speak

He (she, it) will speak

We shall speak

You will speak

They will speak



(I’ll speak)

Shall I speak?

Will he (she, it) speak?

Shall we speak?

Will you speak?

Will they speak?

Negative

I shall not (shan’t) speak

He (she, it) will not (won’t) speak

We shall not (shan’t) speak

You will not (won’t) speak

They will not (won’t) speak

Negative-interrogative

a)

Shall I not speak?

Will he (she, it) not speak?

Shall we not speak?

Will you not speak?

Will they not speak?

b)

Shan’t I speak?

Won’t be (she, it) speak?

Shan’t we speak?

Won’t you speak?

Won’t they speak?

§ 44. The future indefinite is used to denote:

  1. Simple facts in the future.

He will return tomorrow.

I shan’t stay with them.

It will be cold in the evening.

2. A succession of actions in the future.

He’ll ring you up and tell you everything.

I’ll take her up to town, we’ll do some shopping, and have lunch, so we shall be back in late afternoon.

3. Habitual actions in the future.

So I’ll see you often in winter?

He will stay with us as often as possible.

I hope you will write regularly.

The future indefinite is not used in subordinate adverbial clauses of time and condition introduced by the connectives when, while, till, until, before, after, as soon as, if, unless, in case (that), on condition that, provided, etc. In such clauses the present indefinite tense is used instead:

They will wait till it grows dark.

When she comes, ask her to type this letter.

Unless you’re careful, you'll get into trouble.

Care should be taken to distinguish between the adverbial clauses of time or condition and object clauses introduced by the conjunctions when and if, in the case of object clauses any tense required by the sense can be used:

I don’t know when I’ll come again.

Ask him if he’ll do it at all.

§ 45. The Future indefinite can express various shades of aspective meaning, depending on the lexical meaning of the verb and the context. Therefore the ways of rendering it in Russian may be different. It can be translated by the future tense of both perfective and imperfective aspects with all possible shades of their meanings. Here are some examples:

I’ll write this letter on Sunday.

Я напишу это письмо в воскресенье.

(A perfective action.)


She will stay with them for а whole week.

Она будет гостить у них целую неделю.

(An imperfective, durative action.)


I shall write to you every day.

Я буду писать тебе каждый день

(An imperfective, iterative action.)


Don’t be afraid, I shan’t hit him.

He бойся, я его не ударю.

(A perfective, momentary action.)

The future continuous

§ 46. Formation. All the forms of the future continuous are analytic. They are formed with the future indefinite of the auxiliary to be (shall be, will be) and participle I of the notional verb.

In the interrogative the corresponding form of the first auxiliary (shall/will) is placed in front of the subject, the second auxiliary (be) and participle I follow the subject.

In the negative the corresponding negative forms of the first auxiliary (shall/will) are used, the second auxiliary (be) and participle I follow them.

In the negative-interrogative the corresponding negative-interrogativte forms of the first auxiliary (shall/will) are used, the second auxiliary (be) and participle I follow the subject.

The paradigm of the verb in the future continuous

Affirmative

Interrogative


I shall be speaking

He (she, it) will be speaking

We shall be speaking

You will be speaking

They will be speaking

Shall I be speaking?

Will he (she, it) be speaking?

Shall we be speaking?

Will you be speaking?

Will they be speaking?

Negative

I shall not (shan’t) be speaking

He (she, it) will not (won’t) be speaking

We shall not (shan’t) be speaking

You will not (won’t) be speaking

They will not (won’t) be speaking

Negative-interrogative

a)

Shall I not be speaking?

Will he (she, it) not be speaking?

Shall we not be speaking?

Will you not be speaking?

Will they not be speaking?

b)

Shan’t I be speaking?

Won’t he (she, it) be speaking?

Shan’t we be speaking?

Won’t you be speaking?

Won’t they be speaking?

§ 47. The future continuous is used to denote:

1. An action in progress at a certain moment of time or during a certain period of time in the future (compare the corresponding use of the past continuous).

At that time she will be having her early morning cup of coffee.

In an hour I'll be flying over the sea.

When she comes, I think I’ll be packing already.

It will be too late. He will be sleeping.

From ten till twelve he will be writing in his study.

As can be seen from the above examples, the moment (or period) of time at which the action is taking place is either indicated by special adverbials of time, or is implied by another future action, or else by the context or situation.

2. An action the occurrence of which is expected by the speaker.

By the way, Megan will be coming to lunch.

She says she’ll be seeing you tomorrow.

In all its uses the future continuous is rendered in Russian by means of the future tense of the imperfective aspect (будет пить, буду лететь, буду упаковываться, etc.).

The future perfect

§ 48. Formation. The future perfect is formed analytically by means of the auxiliary to have in the future indefinite (shall/will have) and participle II of the notional verb.

In the interrogative the corresponding form of the first auxiliary (shall/will) is used in the front position and the second auxiliary (have) and participle II follow the subject.

In the negative the corresponding negative forms of shall/will are used and the second auxiliary (have) and participle II follow them.

In the negative-interrogative the corresponding negative-interrogative forms of shall/will are used in the front position and the second auxiliary and participle II follow the subject.

The paradigm of the verb in the future perfect

Affirmative

Interrogative


I shall have spoken

He (she, it) will have spoken

We shall have spoken

You will have spoken

They will have spoken

Shall I have spoken?

Will he (she, it) have spoken?

Shall we have spoken?

Will you have spoken?

Will they have spoken?

Negative

I shall not (shan’t) have spoken

He (she, it) will not (won’t) have spoken

We shall not (shan’t) have spoken

You will not (won’t) have spoken

They will not (won’t) have spoken

§ 49. The future perfect is very rarely used either in conversation or in writing.

It is used to denote:

1. An action that both begins and ends before, a definite moment of time in the future (the exclusive future perfect).

"I have no doubt," I said, "that I shall have seen anybody who is anybody by then."

You will have got my cable and I shall have received your answer long before this letter reaches you.

The moment in the future before which the action is to begin and end may be indicated by appropriate adverbials or other verbs denoting future actions, or by the whole context or situation.

2. An action that begins before a certain moment of time in the future and goes up to it or into it. This is the case when the action in question is expressed by statal verbs, which do not admit of continuous forms, or else by certain actional durative verbs, such as to live, to study, to work, etc., which denote a process (the inclusive future perfect).

She will have been in your service fifteen years next year.

The future perfect continuous

§ 50. Formation. The future perfect continuous is formed analytically by means of the auxiliary to be in the future perfect (shall/will have been) and participle I of the notional verb.

Their interrogative, negative and negative-interrogative forms are built similar to other future forms.

The paradigm of the verb in the future perfect continuous

Affirmative


Interrogative


I

We

shall have been speaking

Shall

I

we

have been speaking


He (she, it) You

They


will have been speaking


Will

he (she, it)

you

they


have been speaking?

Negative


I

We


shall not (shan't) have been speaking

He (she, it)

You

They


will not (won't) have been speaking

§ 51. The future perfect continuous is very rarely used, because situations which require it very seldom arise. It denotes actions which begin before a certain moment of time in the future and go on up to that moment or into it:

I shall have been living there for five years next February.

Future in the past tenses

§ 52. There are four more future tense verb forms in English: the future in the past indefinite, the future in the past continuous, the future in the past perfect, the future in the past perfect continuous, which differ from the previously discussed forms. They refer the actions not to the actual future, but to the future viewed as such from the standpoint of past time.

The future in the past forms are dependent, as they are used mainly in object clauses in reported speech after verbs in the past tense forms.

The most frequently used is the future in the past indefinite (the past simple).

§ 53. Formation. All the future in the past forms are analytical. They are formed by means of the auxiliaries should and would and the corresponding form of the notional verb (should speak, should be speaking, should have spoken, should have been speaking)*.

* The contracted form for both ‘would’ and ‘should’ is ‘d: I’d speak...

The paradigms of the verb in the future in the past

The future in the past indefinite

Affirmative


Interrogative*


I

We


should speak

Should

I

we

speak?


He (she, it)

You

They

would speak


Would

he (she, it)

you

they


speak?


Negative


I

We


should not speak


He (she, it)

You

They

would not speak


* The interrogative future in the past occurs only in sentences reproducing inner speech (conventional direct speech).

§ 54. The future in the past forms are mostly used in object clauses dependent on verbs in the past tense in the principal clause. None of them can be used in subordinate adverbial clauses of time and condition introduced by the conjunctions when, while, before, after, till, until, as soon as, as long as, if, unless, in case, on condition that, provided, etc. In all these clauses the corresponding forms of the past tense are used.

However the conjunctions when and if may be used to open object clauses, then the future in the past forms can be used if required by the sense:

She didn’t know when I should return.

I doubted if we should see him at all.

§ 55. The future in the past indefinite is used to denote simple facts, habitual actions and successions of actions in the future viewed from the past:

He said he would soon fake up French.

I knew she would still see him as often as she could.

He said they would start at dawn, reach the river in the afternoon and in an hour or two would proceed up

the road towards the cliffs.

The sun was setting. In an hour it would be quite dark.

§ 56. The future in the past continuous is used to denote an action in progress at a certain moment of time, or an action that is expected by the speaker as a result of a naturally developing situation, both referring to the future considered as such at a certain moment of time in the past:

And she thought, poor soul, that at this time next Sunday she would be approaching her beloved Paris.

Then she mentioned in a rather matter-of-fact way, that Jack would be calling the very next day.

§ 57. The future in the past perfect is used to denote an action com­pleted before a certain moment of time in the future treated as such at some moment in the past:

He realized that he would have accomplished his task long before midnight.

In subordinate adverbial clauses of time and condition described above (§ 54) the past perfect is used to denote the same kind of action:

He said he would do it after he had seen me.

§ 58. The future in the past perfect continuous denotes an action in progress that begins before a certain moment of time in the future viewed from the past and goes on up to that moment and into it. It is an exceptionally rare form, which is hardly ever found in any text.

He said lie would have been living here for ten years next year.

§ 59. Though the future in the past form refer the actions they denote to the future (viewed from the past), their actual time reference is broader than that of the future, for the actions thus expressed may refer not only to the actual future but also to the actual present or the past:

He said he would call tomorrow, and I’m going to stay in till he comes. (actual future)

I said I should come today, and so I’m here! (actual present)

I’m so upset. He said he would come the day before yesterday, but he didn’t. (actual past)

The sequence of tenses

§ 60. The rules of the sequence of tenses are one of the peculiarities of English. The sequence of tenses is a dependence of the tense form of the predicate in a subordinate clause on the tense form of the predicate in its principal clause. The rules mainly concern object clauses depending on principal clauses with the predicate verb in one of the past tenses, though it holds true also for some other subordinate clauses (such as subject, predicative and appositive ones).

The rules are as follows:

  1. a present (or future) tense in the principal clause may be followed by any tense in the subordinate object clause:

1.

I know


I say

I am just saying

I have always known

I’ve just been telling her

I shall tell her



(that)

he plays tennis well.

he is playing tennis in the park.

he has played two games today.

he has been playing tennis since morning.


he played tennis yesterday.

he was playing tennis when the storm began.

he had played two games before the storm began.

he had been playing tennis for some time when the storm began.


he will play tennis in summer.

he will be playing tennis all day long.

he will have played some games before you return.

he will have been playing tennis for some time before you come.

2) a past tense in the principal clause is followed by a past tense in the subordinate object clause.

I knew

I said

I was just saying

I had never known

She had been telling

(that)

he played tennis well.

he was playing tennis in the park.

he had played two games that day.

he had been playing tennis since morning.

he had played tennis the day before.

he had been playing when the storm began.

he had played two games before the storm.

he had been playing tennis for some time before the storm.

he would play tennis in summer.

he would be playing tennis all day long.

he would have played some games by the time you returned.

he would have been playing tennis for more than an hour before you came.

Thus the past indefinite or the past continuous tense in the subordinate clause denotes an action, simultaneous with that of the pripcipal clause. They are translated into Russian by the present tense.

For a moment she did not know where she was.

Joanna noticed suddenly that I was not listening.

Had she not hinted what was troubling her?

He had thought it was his own son.

People had been saying he was a madman.

My first thought was where they were now.

The past perfect or the past perfect continuous in the subordinate clause denotes an action prior to that of the principal clause. Both of these forms are translated into Russian by the past tense.

I perceived that something had happened.

I wasn’t going to tell her that Megan had rung me up.

I knew well enough what she had been doing.

Up to that moment I had not realized what they had been trying to prove.

The fact was that his sister Rose had married beneath her.

She had a feeling that she had been deceived.

The future in the past tenses in the subordinate clause denote an action following that of the principal clause.

I hoped she would soon be better.

I told Caroline that I should be dining at Fernley.

What she would say or do did not bother him.

The fact remained that none of us would see them till late at night.

The sudden thought that Nell would not come at all flashed through his head.

The fact that the action of the subordinate clause follows that of the action in the principal clause may be also indicated by other means.

She said she was going to see him the same night.

§ 61. The rules of the sequence of tenses concern subordinate clauses dependent not only on the predicate of the principal clause but also on any part expressed by a verb or verbal:

I received from her a letter saying that she was passing through Paris and would like to have a chat with

me.

She smiled again, sure that I should come up.

She turned her head slightly, well aware that he was watching her.

In complex sentences containing more than two subordinate clauses the choice of the tense form for each of them depends on the tense form of the clause to which it is subordinated:

I guess you told him where they had come from and why they were hiding.

As far as I can see he did not realize that very soon all would be over.

Besides the complex sentences described above the rules of the se­quence of tenses are also found in all types of clauses and simple sentences reproducing inner speech (conventional direct speech).

§ 62. As already stated the rules of the sequence of tenses concern object, subject and predicative clauses. In all the other clauses (attributive and adverbial ones) the use of tenses depends wholly on the sense to be conveyed:

Clyde thought of all the young and thoughtless company of which he had been a part.

He lifted the heavy latch which held the large iron gate in place.

She only liked men who are good-looking.

I was thinking of the day which will come only too soon.

He was standing where the creek turns sharply to the east.

At the moment he was standing where he always had stood, on the rug before the living-room fire.

She felt gay as he had promised to take her to the pictures.

You see, I could not follow them as I’m rather shy.

Mr. Direck’s broken wrist healed sooner than he desired.

He knew the job better than I do.

She had been a wife for even less time than you have.

In my youth life was not the same as it is now.

§ 63. The rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed in the following cases:

1) when the subordinate clause describes the so-called general truth, or something which the speaker thinks to be one.

Up to then Roy never realized that our Solar system is but a tiny speck in the infinite Universe.

The other day I read in a book that everything alive consists mostly of water.

She was very young and - and ignorant of what life really is.

2) when the subordinate clause describes actions referring to the actual present, future, or past time, which usually occurs in dialogues or in newspaper, radio, or TV reports.

Margaret, I was saying to you - and I beg you to listen to me – that as far as I have known Mrs. Erlynne,

she has conducted herself well.

Before the flier crashed,” the operator said ten minutes later, “he gave me information. He told me there

are still a few men alive in these mountains.”

I did not know he will be here tomorrow.

3) when the predicate verb of the subordinate clause is one of the modal verbs having no past tense forms.

She said I must come at once.

I thought you should come too.

The category of voice

§ 64. Voice is the grammatical category of the verb denoting the relationship between the action expressed by the verb and the person or non-person denoted by the subject of the sentence. There are two main voices in English: the active voice and the passive voice. There are also other voices which embrace a very limited number of verbs: reflexive (wash oneself), reciprocal (embrace one another), medial (the book reads well).

The active voice indicates that the action is directed from the subject or issues from the subject, thus the subject denotes the doer (agent) of the action:


We help our friends. - Мы помогаем нашим друзьям.

The passive voice indicates that the action is directed towards the subject. Here the subject expresses a person or non-person who or which is the receiver of the action. It does not act, but is acted upon and there­fore affected by the action of the verb.


We were helped by our friends in our work.

В работе нам помогли наши друзья.

The contrast between the two voices can be seen from the following examples:

I had asked no questions, of course; but then, on the other hand, I had been asked none.

They saw but were not seen.

Я не задавал вопросов, но, с другой стороны, и мне не задавали вопросов.

Они видели, но их не видели.

The difference in the meaning of the forms helped - were helped, had asked - had been asked, saw - was seen illustrates the morphological contrast between the active and the passive voice.

Of all the verb categories voice is most closely related to the syntax of the sentence. The interrelation of the active and the passive voice on the syntactical level can be presented in the following way:

Subject


Predicate Verb


Object


John


helped


Pete





















Pete


was helped


by John


A sentence containing a verb in the passive voice is called a passive construction, and a sentence containing a verb in the active voice is called an active construction, especially when opposed to the passive construction.

The subject of an active construction denotes the agent (doer) of the action, which may be a living being, or any source of the action (a thing, a natural phenomenon, an abstract notion).

The subject of a passive construction has the meaning of the receiver of the action, that is a person or non-person affected by the action.

The object of an active construction denotes the receiver of the action, whereas the object of the passive construction is the agent of the action. The latter is introduced by the preposition by. If it is not the agent but the instrument, it is introduced by the preposition with.

The cup was broken by Jim.

It was broken with a hammer.

Formation and the system of forms in the passive voice

§ 65. The active voice has no special means of formation. It is recognized by contrast with the passive voice, which is composed of the auxiliary verb to be and participle II. Thus the passive verb forms are analytical, the tense of the auxiliary verb to be varies according to the sense. The notional verb (participle II) remains unchanged and provides the whole analytical form with its passive meaning.

The category of voice applies to the whole system of English verb forms, both finite and non-finite.

Table II

The voice forms of the verb

Perfect


Tense


The active voice


The Passive Voice




Aspect


Present


Past


Future


Present


Past


Future



Non-perfect

Common


takes


took


will take


is taken


was taken


will be taken


Continuous


is taking


was taking


will be taking


is being taken


was being taken


-----------






Perfect

Common


has taken


had taken


will have taken


has been taken


had been taken


will have been taken


Continuous


has been taking

had been taking

will have been taking






-------------


-----------

-----------


Note:

The verb to get occurs as a passive voice auxiliary, emphasizing the result of the action denoted by participle II.

They got married last year.

I got hurt in an accident.

The active voice

§ 66. The active voice is widely used with all kinds of verbs, both transitive and intransitive. The meaning of the active voice depends on the type of verb and the syntactical pattern of the sentence.

1. The active voice of transitive verbs presents an action as directed from the subject and passing over to the object, that is from the doer (agent) of the action to its receiver.

John made a boat for his brother.

They are building a new railway.

We are talking about the new film.

One of the characteristic features of English is that verbs which were originally intransitive may function as transitive verbs without changing their morphological structure, with or without changing their lexical meaning.

They ran the distance in five minutes.

Frank will run your house.

James stood the lamp on the table.

2. The active voice of intransitive verbs shows that the action, directed from the subject, does not pass over to any object, and thus the verb only characterizes the subject as the doer of the action.

He came here yesterday.

The boy can run very fast.

You acted wisely.

He slept eight hours.

3. The form of the active voice of some transitive verbs, often accompanied by an adverbial modifier, does not indicate that the subject denotes the doer of the action. This specific use of the transitive verb is easily recognized from the meaning of the subject, which is a noun denoting a non-person, and by the absence of a direct object after a monotransitive, non-preposi­tional verb. In such cases the verb is used in the medial voice.

The bell rang.

The door opened.

The newspaper sells well.

The novel reads easily.

Glass breaks easily.

The place was filling up.

It said on the radio (in the article) that the weather forecast is favourable.

The passive voice

The use of tense, aspect and perfect forms in the passive voice

§ 67. As seen from table II, verbs in the passive voice may acquire almost all the aspect, tense and perfect forms that occur in the active voice, except for the future continuous and perfect continuous forms.

The examples below illustrate the use of the passive voice in different aspect, tense and perfect forms.

Common aspect, non-perfect

Students are examined twice a year.

They were examined in June.

They will be examined next Friday.

Continuous aspect, non-perfect

Don’t be noisy! Students are being examined.

The students were being examined when the Professor came.

Common aspect, perfect

Our students have already been examined.

They had been examined by 2 o’clock.

Everybody will have been examined by 3 o’clock.

The passive voice of different verbs

§ 68. The passive voice in English may be found with different types of verbs (mostly transitive) in various verb phrases; monotransitive (non-prepositional and prepositional) and ditransitive. The subject of the passive construction may correspond to a direct, an indirect object, or to a preposi­tional object in the active construction. Accordingly we discriminate a direct passive construction, an indirect passive construction, and a preposi­tional passive construction.

Monotransitive verbs are numerous and almost all of them can form a direct passive construction. These are the verbs: to take, to do, to make, to build, to discuss, to translate, to hate, to love, to meet and a lot of others.

A new railway is being built near our town.

“A Farewell to Arms” was published in 1929.

You will be met at the station.

Phrasal transitive verbs, that is, such verbs as to blow up, to bring in, to bring up, to carry out, to put on, to see off, to turn down, etc. are also often used in the passive voice.

The plan was successfully carried out.

The boats are being brought in.

Originally intransitive verbs may form a direct passive construction, as in these examples:

This distance has never been run in five minutes before.

He thought of the lives, that had been lived here for nearly two centuries.

In the vast majority of cases, English transitive verb + object corresponds to the same type in Russian. There are a number of transitive verbs in English, however, which correspond to Russian verbs followed by an indirect or a prepositional object, or sometimes an adverbial modifier. These verbs are:

To answer

To approach

To assist

To address

To admire

To affect

To attend

To believe

To contradict

To enjoy

To enter

to follow

to help

to influence

to join

to need

to obey

to speak

to succeed

to threaten

to trust

to watch

Sentences with these verbs are rendered in Russian by means of the indefinite personal constructions with the verb in the active voice, or if the doer of the action is mentioned of a personal construction with the verb in the active voice.

We are not trusted, David, but who cares if we are not innocent.

The British bicycle was much admired.

In the spring of 1925 Hemingway was approached by two Americans.

Нам не доверяют...


Этим английским велосипедом восхищались.

Весной 1925 года к Хемингуэю подошли два американца.

A direct passive construction is used in the sentences of the type:

  1. J. F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960.

The woman was called Brome.

We were kept busy most of the time.

The walls were painted blue.*

* For details see in Syntax, § 55.

  1. He is said (believed, known, reported) to be in town.

He was seen to enter the museum.

He was seen leaving the museum.*

* For details see in Syntax, § 53.

3. The direct passive of verbs of speech, mental activity, and perception is used in complex sentences with the formal subject it.


It was suggested

It was reported

that he was still in town.


It was said

It was believed

It was known

It was settled


that we should meet once more.

Restrictions to the use of the passive voice

1. Though in many cases there is an evident correspondence of the active and the passive voice construction it is by no means a one-to-one correspondence. There is a certain group of monotransitive verbs which are never used in the passive voice at all, or in some of their meanings; they are: to have, to lack, to become, to fit, to suit, to resemble.

There are semantic reasons for this constraint, as these verbs denote not an action or process, but a state or relation.

John resembles his father. (John looks like his father.)

He lacks confidence. (There is no confidence in him.)

Will this suit you? (Will it be suitable for you?)

The verb to hold can be used in the passive voice only with reference to human activity; for example: The conference was held in April. However, in a sentence like The auditorium holds 5000 people the verb does not denote human activity. The sentence means There can be 5000 people in this auditorium.

2. No passive construction is possible, if the object is a that-clause, an infinitive or a gerund.

John said that everything was all right.

John enjoyed seeing his native town.

Passive constructions with ditransitive verbs

§ 69. Ditransitive verbs take two objects, usually one indirect and one direct. Accordingly they admit of two passive constructions.


The referee gave Mary the first prize .

Mary was given the first prize by the referee.

The first prize was given to Mary by the referee.

The subject of the first passive construction (Mary) corresponds to the indirect object of the active construction, and the construction is therefore called the indirect passive construction. The direct object (the first prize) is retained unchanged after the passive verb and therefore, is called the retained object.

The subject of the second passive construction corresponds to the direct object of the active construction. In this case the indirect object becomes a prepositional one. The preposition to may be omitted.

The agentive by-object corresponding to the subject of the active construction is very rarely used in either type of construction. Of the two passive constructions the indirect passive is by far the most common. As there is no indirect passive construction in Russian, sentences with this construction are translated into Russian by means of the indefinite personal construction with the indirect object in the front position.

You will be given another ticket.

I was allowed an hour’s rest.

Вам дадут другой билет.

Мне разрешили отдохнуть один час.

The indirect passive construction gives greater prominence to the direct object, whereas the direct passive construction emphasizes the indirect object: The first prize was given to Mary implies that it was not given to anybody else. The construction may be translated in two ways, by an indefinite personal active construction or by a passive construction: Первую премию дали Мэри or Первая премия была дана (присуждена) Мэри.

The presence of the by-object makes it of great communicative value.


I was given this watch by my father.

The watch was given (to) me by mу father.

Часы эти мне подарил мои отец.


Ditransitive verbs used in the passive construction

I

II

to allow

to give

to grant

to lend

to offer

to pay

to promise

to teach

to tell

to ask

to answer

to envy

to forgive

to refuse

Verbs in group I follow the usage explained in the previous part of this section. The same refers to group II with the difference that all the verbs of this group are followed by two direct objects, though in the passive the difference is not so distinct.

I was asked a lot of questions.

Restrictions on the use of the passive of ditransitive verbs

1. The indirect passive is impossible with verbs of benefaction, when the action is performed for the benefit of somebody.

They bought me a dictionary.

The corresponding direct passive is:

They bought a dictionary for me.

A dictionary was bought for me.

2. The same applies to the verbs with the obligatory to of the type to explain something to somebody (to describe, to dictate, to suggest, etc.). With these only the direct passive is possible:

The rule was explained to them once more.

3. In verb-phrases containing a non-prepositional and a preposi­tional object only the non-prepositional passive is possible.

I was told about their victory.

Oliver was accused of theft.

4. The infinitive cannot be used as the subject of the passive construc­tion with a ditransitive verb.

§ 70. Passive constructions with prepositional monotransitive verbs

Active:

Passive:

The man referred to this book.

This book was referred to by the man.

In the passive construction the subject of the prepositional passive construction corresponds to the object of the active construction and denotes the receiver of the action. The peculiarity of the construction is that the preposition sticks to the verb.

Most verbs of this type denote the process of speaking, mental and physical perception.

The prepositional passive construction has no equivalent in Russian and is translated by an indefinite personal active construction.

Caroline was also still being talked about.

Не had never been spoken to that way in his life.

He’s well spoken of as a man of science.

О Кэролайн тоже все еще продолжали говорить.

С ним так никогда в жизни не разговаривали.

О нем хорошо отзываются как об ученом.

When the prepositional passive construction contains a modal verb, an impersonal active construction is used in Russian.

These pictures must be looked at again and again with sustained attention before they completely reveal their beauty.

На эти картины надо смотреть снова и снова с неослабевающим вниманием, прежде чем полностью раскроется их красота.

Here are some of the most important prepositional monotransitive verbs:

I

II

III

to account for

to agree upon

to appeal to

to call on

to comment on (upon)

to deal with

to decide on

to depend (up)on

to dispose of

to dwell upon

to hear of

to insist on

to interfere with

to laugh at

to listen to

to look at

to look for

to look into

to object to

to pay for

to provide for

to put up with

to read to

to refer to

to rely on

to send for

to speak about (of)

to speak to

to talk about (of)

to think about (of)

to touch upon

to wait for

to wonder at

to catch sight of

to lose sight of

to find fault with

to make fun of

to make a fuss of

to make use of

to pay attention to

to put an end (a stop) to

to put up with

to set fire to

to take notice of

to take advantage of

to take care of







to arrive at

to come to

to live in

to sleep in

to sit in (on)

Group I in the list contains the majority (but not all) of prepositional transitive verbs. The list could be continued, for a number of verbs of the kind are used occasionally, but the pattern itself is very productive.

Some prepositional monotransitive verbs have non-prepositional equivalents, e.g. to account for is a synonym for to explain, to look on - to regard, to speak (talk) about - to discuss.

Your absence must be accounted for. = Your absence must be explained.

Group II contains phraseological units based on the fusion of a monotransitive verb and a noun as direct object. These units express one notion and function as prepositional verbs. Many of them have synonyms among monotransitive verbs, prepositional and non-prepositional:

to take care of

to find fault with

to put an end to

to put up with

to make fun of

- to look after, to tend;

- to grumble at, about, to criticize;

- to stop;

- to reconcile oneself to;

- to laugh at, to mock.


Like single prepositional verbs the phraseological units with the verb in the passive voice are usually rendered in Russian by means of indefinite personal or impersonal constructions.

In hospital patients are taken great care of.

The boy was the only child and was made a

lot of fuss of.

I’m not prepared to think that I’m being made

a fool of.

В госпитале за больными хорошо ухаживают.

Мальчик был единственным ребенком в семье, и с ним много возились.

Мне не хочется думать, что меня дурачат.


Sometimes a phraseological unit is split and the original direct object becomes the subject of the passive construction (the direct passive).

No notice was taken of the boy at first. - Сначала мальчика не замечали.

Group III contains a short list of intransitive verbs used with preposi­tional nominal groups functioning as prepositional objects or adverbial modifiers. These may form passive constructions by analogy with other verbs used with prepositions:

No conclusion was arrived at.

His bed hasn’t been slept in.

Such a dress can’t be sat down in.

He пришли ни к какому заключению.

В его постели не спали. (Она не смята)

В таком платье нельзя садиться.


The use of the passive voice

§ 71. The passive voice is widely used in English. It is used alongside the active voice in written and spoken English. Passive constructions are often used instead of active constructions in sentences beginning with an indefinite pronoun, a noun or a pronoun of indefinite reference.

Somebody left the dog in the garden.

Has anybody answered your questions?

People will laugh at you for your trouble.

They told me to go away.

= The dog was left in the garden.

= Have your questions been answered?

= You will be laughed at for your trouble.

= I was told to go away.

It is evident that in the process of speech passive constructions arise naturally, not as a result of conversion from the active into the passive.

A passive construction is preferable in case when the speaker is interested in what happens to the person or thing denoted by the subject. The verb or the whole verb phrase is thus made more prominent. The agent or the source of the action is not mentioned at all, either because it is unknown or because it is of no particular importance in the utterance, or else it is evident from the context or the situation. The predicate verb with its modifiers contains a new and most important item of information and is of great communicative value.

We were brought up together.

I am always being contradicted.

Thank you for your help, but it is no longer required.

You will be met as you leave the airport, and you will be given another ticket.

In silence the soup was finished - excellent, if a little thick; and fish was brought. In silence it was

handed.

There are a number of conventional expressions where the passive voice is constantly used.

The novel was published in 1929.

Shakespeare was born in 1564.

The use of the agentive by-object

§ 72. The use of the agentive by-object is highly restricted, it occurs in one case out of five, and even less frequently in colloquial speech and imaginative prose. However, when it does occur, the by-object is of great communicative value, and its elimination would often make the meaning of the verb incomplete and the sentence devoid of meaning.

The agent may be a living being, or any thing or notion that can be the source of the action.

The whole scene was being enacted by puppets.

In some areas the picture has been barely touched by the brush.

I was wounded by a landmine.

The distant mountain had been formed by fire and water.

How much was she influenced by that fake idea?

Besides a noun and very rarely a pronoun, a by-object may be a gerundial phrase or complex, or a subordinate clause.

I was then awakened only by knocking on the window and Annie telling the person responsible to go off.

She didn’t really know anything about people, she was always being taken in by what they told her.

Owing to its communicative value and the final position in the sentence, the by-object may be expanded, if necessary, to an extent that is hardly possible in the subject group, as in this commentary on Cezanne's painting:

The Card Players.” The subject of this painting of two peasants playing cards was probably inspired by a similar composition by one of the brothers de Pack, French painters of the seventeenth century whose work Cezanne admired.

The category of mood

§ 73. The meaning of this category is the attitude of the speaker or writer towards the content of the sentence, whether the speaker considers the action real, unreal, desirable, necessary, etc. It is expressed in the form of the verb.

There are three moods in English - the indicative mood, the impera­tive mood and the subjunctive mood.

The indicative mood

§ 74. The indicative mood form shows that what is said must be regarded as a fact, as something which has occurred or is occurring at the moment of speaking or will occur in the future. It may denote actions with different time-reference and different aspective characteristics. Therefore the indicative mood has a wide variety of tense and aspect forms in the active and passive voice.

The imperative mood

§ 75. The imperative mood expresses a command or a request to perform an action addressed to somebody, but not the action itself. As it does not actually denote an action as a real act, it has no tense category; the unfulfilled action always refers to the future. Aspect distinctions and voice distinctions are not characteristic of the imperative mood, although forms such as, be writing, be warned sometimes occur.

The imperative mood form coincides with the plain stem of the verb, for example: Come here! Sit down. The negative form is built by means of the auxiliary do + the negative particle not (the contracted form is don’t). This form is always addressed to the second person.

Do not take it away.

Don’t worry about the child.

Don’t be a fool.

Note:

Do is also used in commands or requests to make them more emphatic: Do come and stay with us. Do be quiet.

In commands and requests addressed to a first or third person (or persons) the analytical form let + infinitive without the particle to is used. The verb let functions as an auxiliary, and it partly loses its lexical mean­ing. The person addressed is expressed by the personal pronoun in the objective case.

Let us go together.

Let him finish his dinner first.

Let Andrew do it himself.

In negative sentences the analytical forms take the particle not without an auxiliary.

Let us not argue on the matter.

Let him not overestimate his chances.

Let her not go any further.

Note:

In sentences like Don’t let him go the negation refers to the verb let, which in this case fully retains its original meaning of permission.

The analytical forms differ in meaning from the synthetic forms, because their meaning is closely connected with the meaning of the pronoun included in the form. Thus let us do smth denotes an invitation to a joint action, not an order or a request. Let him do it retains to some extent the meaning of permission. In the form let me (let me do it) the first person singular does not convey any imperative meaning and should not therefore be regarded as the imperative. It conveys the meaning of I am eager to do it, allow me to do it.

The imperative mood form can’t be used in questions.

The subjunctive mood

§ 76. The subjunctive mood is the category of the verb which is used to express non-facts: unreal or hypothetical actions or states. A hypothetical action or state may be viewed upon as desired, necessary, possible, supposed, imaginary, or contradicting reality.

Different forms of the verb are employed for this purpose.

The synthetic forms

§ 77. In Old English the subjunctive mood was expressed by a special system of forms with a special set of inflections, different from those of the indicative. In the course of time, however, most of the inflections were lost, and the difference between the forms of the subjunctive and those of the indicative has almost disappeared. In Modern English there remain only two synthetic forms of the old regular system of the subjunctive, which differ from the forms of the indicative. Although their meaning and use have changed considerably, they are often called by their old names: the present subjunctive and the past subjunctive.

I. The present subjunctive coincides with the plain verb stem (be, go, see) for all persons in both the singular and the plural. It denotes a hypothetical action referring to the present or future. Of these surviving forms only be is always distinct from the indicative forms and is therefore rather current.


I

he

she

it

we

you

they




be, take, resent, etc.


He required that all be kept secret.

Other verbs are rarely used in the subjunctive in informal style, because their subjunctive forms coincide with the indicative except in the 3rd person singular. They are confined mainly to formal style and formulaic expressions - prayers, wishes, which should be memorized as wholes.

It is natural enough the enemy resent it.

Heaven forbid! The devil take him!

Long live freedom! God save the king!

II. The past subjunctive is even more restricted in its usage; it exists in Modern English only in the form were, which is used for all persons both in the singular and plural. It refers the hypothetical action to the present or future and shows that it contradicts reality.

If I were you!

If you were there!

If it were true!

The modem tendency, however, is to use was and were in accordance with the rules of agreement (he was, they were).

The non-factual forms of the tenses

§ 78. Owing to the same process of the obliteration of distinctions between the old subjunctive and the indicative the same forms have come to be used for both purposes in Modern English. To differentiate those used to express hypothetical actions or states (non-facts) from tenses in the indicative they will be called non-factual forms of the tenses.

The non-factual past indefinite and past continuous are used to denote hypothetical actions in the present or future; the non-factual past perfect and past perfect continuous denote hypothetical actions in the past. These two pairs of forms differ not only in their time-reference but also in their degree of improbability: If I had only known expresses greater improbability than If I only knew because it refers to a time which has already passed. In Russian this difference is not reflected in the form of the verb.

The wide use of the non-factual past indefinite (If I knew, if he came...) probably accounts for the strong tendency in Modern English to substitute was for the past subjunctive form were, at least in less formal style. This tendency makes the system of subjunctive mood forms more similar and comparable to the system of indicative mood forms: if I knew..., if I was (instead of were), I wish I knew..., I wish I was (instead of were).

On the other hand, were is often used instead of was in the non-factual past continuous.

He smiled as if he were enjoying the situation.

The analytical forms

§ 79. Most of the later formations are analytical, built by means of the auxiliaries which developed from the modal verbs should and would, plus any form of the infinitive. The auxiliaries, generally called mood auxiliaries, have lost their lexical meaning and are used in accordance with strict rules in certain patterns of sentences or clauses. In cases where should and would retain their original modal meaning or their use is not determined by any strict rules, they should be regarded as modal verbs, forming a compound verbal (or nominal) modal predicate. You should be more palient with the child.

Still, some modal verbs are regularly used to denote hypothetical actions in certain syntactic patterns - may/might + infinitive, can/could + infinitive, but to a certain degree retain their original meaning. These will be regarded as quasi-subjunctive forms.

However much you may argue, he will do as he pleases (expresses possibility).

I wish I could help you (expresses ability).

If you would agree to visit my uncle, ... (expresses wish).

Analytic forms may be divided into three groups, according to their use and function.

I. The forms should + infinitive (for the first person singular and plural) and would + infinitive (for the other persons). This system coincides in form with the future in the past. These forms may be used either in a simple sentence or in the main clause.

There is a strong tendency in Modern English to use would for all persons, in the same way as will is used instead of shall in the indicative mood. Another tendency is to use the contracted form of would –‘d for all person in informal style. (Compare this usage with that of the contracted form ‘ll in the indicative.)

These forms denote hypothetical actions, either imagined as resulting from hypothetical conditions, or else presented as a real possibility.

I would not praise the boy so much.

Would you help me if I need your help?

He would smoke too much if I didn’t stop him now and again.

II. The form would + infinitive for all persons, both singular and plural. This form is highly specialised in meaning; it expresses a desirable action in the future. It may be used both in simple and complex sentences.

Let us invite him. He would gladly accept the invitation.

I wish you would go there too.

III. The form should + infinitive for all persons. This form stands apart in the system of the verb, as contrary to the general tendency to use either two forms - should and would, or else to use one form - would for all persons. The meaning of the form is rather broad - it depends on the context.

It is important that all the students should be informed about it.

It is strange that we should have met in the same place.

It can easily be seen that most of the forms used to express hypothetical actions are homonymous with the indicative mood forms, either with tense forms or with free combinations of modal verbs with the infinitive. Hence most forms are recognizable as subjunctive only under certain conditions:

1) when they are used in certain sentence or clause patterns. We shall regard such cases as structurally determined use of the subjunctive mood;

2) when their use is determined by the lexical meaning of the verb or conjunction (see below examples with the verb wish and the conjunction lest).

3) in some set expressions (formulaic utterances) which have to be learned as wholes and in which no element of the structure can be omitted or replaced. We shall regard these cases as the traditional use of the forms.

The first two conditions very often overlap.

The subjunctive mood and the tense category

§ 80. The category of tense in the subjunctive mood is different from that in the indicative mood: unlike the indicative mood system in which there are three distinct time-spheres (past, present, future), time-reference in the subjunctive mood is closely connected with the idea of unreality and is based on the following opposition in meaning:

Imagined, but still possible

(referring to the present or future indiscriminately)

imagined, no longer possible

(referring to the past)

The difference in meaning is expressed by means of the following contrasting forms:

1) The common or continuous non-perfect infinitive as contrasted with the perfect common or continuous infinitive in the analytical forms with should, would, and quasi-subjunctive forms with may (might).

Referring to the Present or Future

I fear lest he should escape.

He would phone you.

I suppose he should be working in the library.

Referring to the Past

I fear lest he should have escaped.

He would have phoned you.

I suppose he should have been working in the library.

2) The forms of the non-factual past indefinite and past continuous contrast with the forms of the non-factual past perfect and past perfect continuous in time reference:

Referring to the Present or Future

If I knew.

I wish I were warned when the time-table is changed.

Referring to the Past

If I had known.

I wish I had been warned.

In case these forms are used in subordinate clauses (as is usually the case) their time-reference is always relative. The non-factual past indefinite and past continuous indicate that the hypothetical action is regarded as simultaneous with the action expressed in the principal clause; the non-factual past perfect and past perfect continuous indicate actions prior to the action expressed in the principal clause.

We did things and talked to the people as if we were walking in our sleep.

His face was haggard as if he had been working the whole night.

The opposition of the non-perfect continuous infinitive and the perfect continuous infinitive is less distinct, as these forms are not so common: an imaginary action is usually presented as devoid of any aspective characteristics.

The old synthetic forms (he be, he come, he were) have no correspond­ing oppositions in time-reference.

Structurally determined use of subjunctive mood forms

§ 81. In Modern English the choice of the subjunctive mood form is determined by the structure of the sentence or clause even more than by the attitude of the speaker or writer to what is said or written. There exist strict rules of the use of the forms in different patterns of sentences and clauses.

The subjunctive mood in subject clauses

§ 82. 1. The use of the subjunctive mood forms in subject clauses in complex sentences of the type It is necessary that you should come.

Subject clauses follow the principal clause, which is either formal or has no subject (exclamatory). The predicate of the principal clause expresses some kind of modality, estimate, or some motive for performing the action denoted by the predicate in the subordinate clause. This close connection between the two predicates accounts for the nature of the subordinate clause, which completes, or rather gives meaning to general situation described in the principal clause.

Should + infinitive or present subjunctive is generally used in this pattern in the subject clause.

It is (was) necessary

It is (was) important

It is (was) only right

It is (was) curious

It is (was) funny

It is (was) good (better, best)

It is (was) cruel

It is (was) shameful

It is (was) a happy coincidence

It is (was) considered strange

It is (was) recomended

It becomes (became) a custom

It seems (seemed) to me prophetic

How wonderful

What a shame

How strange

etc.








that he should say so.

(that he say so).

It is sad that you should have heard of it on the day of your wedding.

It is a happy coincidence that we should meet here.

It shocked him that he should have been so blind.

It was suggested that somebody should inform the police.

It was more important that he should care for her enough.

In American English the present subjunctive is predominant in this sentence pattern:

It is sad that you be here.

In exclamatory complex sentences:

How wonderful that she should have such a feeling for you!

What a scandal that Palmer and Antonia should go to the opera together!

If the principal clause expresses possibility (it is probable, possible, likely) may (might) + non-perfect infinitive is used, because the action is referred to the future (Возможно, что...; похоже, что...; видимо...)

It is likely the weather may change.

It is possible the key may be lost.

In negative and interrogative sentences, however, should + infinitive is used:

It is not possible that he should have guessed it.

Is it possible that he should refuse to come?

Невероятно, чтобы...

Возможно ли, чтобы...

Note:

If in sentences introduced by it the reference is made to an existing fact or state of things, the indicative mood may be used in the subordinate clause.

It is strange that he behaves like that.

Is it possible that he has taken the key?

2. After the principal clause expressing time - it is time, it is high time -the past subjunctive or non-factual forms are used.

It is time you went to bed.

It is high time he were more serious.

It was hight time he had come to a decision.

The subjunctive mood in object clauses

§ 83. The choice of the subjunctive mood form in object clauses depends on the meaning of the verb standing before the object clause.

1. In object clauses after verbs expressing order (to order, to command, to give orders, to give instructions, to demand, to urge, to insist, to require), request (to request, to appeal, to beg), suggestion (to suggest, to recommend, to propose, to move, to advise) either should + infinitive or the present subjunctive is used, the first form being more common than the second.

We urged that in future these relations should be more friendly.

Mr. Nupkins commanded that the lady should be shown in.

In American English the present subjunctive in this sentence pattern is predominant.

People don’t demand that a thing be reasonable if their emotions are touched.

I suggested that she give up driving, but she looked too miserable.

The same form is used after the predicative adjectives sorry, glad, pleased, vexed, eager, anxious, determined, etc., if the action is regarded as an imagined one.

I am sorry she should take such needless trouble.

His brother’s suggestion was absurd. He was vexed his relatives should interfere into his private matters.

2. In object clauses after the verb wish and phrases expressing the same idea I had better, I would rather, or the contracted form I’d rather -different forms may be used, depending on the time-reference of the action in the object clause. If the action refers to the present or future, or is simultaneous with the action expressed in the principal clause, the non-factual past indefinite, past continuous, or past subjunctive is used. After I’d rather the present subjunctive is also possible.

I wish I knew something of veterinary medicine. There’s a feeling of helplessness with a sick animal.

I wish you came here more often. I hardly ever see you.

I would rather you went now.

I’d rather you didn’t help me, actually.

Note:

To express a realizable wish an infinitive, not a clause is generally used:

I want him to come.

I should like to discuss things in detail.

He wished it to be true.

If the action refers to the past or is prior to the moment it is desired the non-factual past perfect or past perfect continuous is used, no matter in what tense the verb in the principal clause is. Thus in both the sentences I wish I hadn’t come and I wished I hadn’t come the non-factual past perfect denotes a prior imaginary action, contradicting reality.

We wished we hadn’t left everything to the last minute.

I wish I had been taught music in my childhood.

If the desired action refers to the future the following subjunctive forms may be used:

would + infinitive (only when the subject of the subordinate clause and that of the principal clause do not denote the same thing or person). It denotes a kind of request.

could + infinitive

may (might) + infinitive

The form would + infinitive is used when the fulfilment of the wish depends on the will of the person denoted by the subject of the subordinate clause. If the fulfilment of the wish depends more on the circumstances, the quasi-subjunctive form may (might) + infinitive is preferable, to show that the realization of the action is very unlikely.

I wish you would treat me better.

I wish I could help you.

I wish he might have helped me.

When rendering wish-clauses into Russian it is possible to use a clause with the opposite meaning, introduced by the impersonal «жаль», «как жаль», «какая жалость» or by the finite form of the verb «сожалеть».

I wish I knew it.

I wish I didn’t know it!

I wish I had known about it!

- Жаль, что я этого не знаю.

- Какая жалость, что я это знаю!

- Жаль, что я не знал об этом!

3. In object clauses after verbs expressing fear, apprehension, worry (to fear, to be afraid, to be terrified, to be anxious, to worry, to be fearful, to be troubled, to be in terror, to tremble, to dread, etc.) two forms are used, depending on the conjunction introducing the clause:

  1. after the conjunction that or if the clause is joined asyndetically, the quasi-subjunctive may/might + infinitive is used. The choice of either may or might depends on the tense of the verb in the main clause.

They trembled (that) they might be discovered.

I fear (that) he may forget about it.

Они дрожали, что их могут обнаружить.

Боюсь, как бы он не забыл об этом.

b) after the conjunction lest the form should + infinitive is used.

The passengers were terrified lest the ship

should catch fire.

Пассажиров охватил ужас, как бы корабль не загорелся.

The indicative forms are also possible in clauses of this type if the action is regarded as a real one:

She was afraid that he had changed his mind.

4. In object clauses after verbs and phrases expressing doubt (to doubt, to disbelieve, to have doubts, to greet with scepticism, etc.) and after some other verbs in the negative form the past subjunctive may be used. The subordinate clause is introduced by if or whether.

We had doubts if it were possible to cross the river at this time of the year.

I doubted she had even been there.

5. In object clauses referring to the formal it + objective predicative, expressing opinion of some situation, the choice of the form depends on the general meaning of the principal clause:

We found it strange that he should speak so calmly after the events (the principal clause expresses the

idea of disbelief, hence the form should speak is used).

We regard it as highly probable that he may return soon (the principal clause expresses the idea of

probability, hence the form may return is used).

The subjunctive mood in appositive and predicative clauses

§ 84. The choice of the form in these clauses is determined by the lexical meaning of the words these clauses follow or refer to.

The order that we should come surprised me. (appositive clause)

The order was that we should come. (predicative clause)

His suggestion that we stop and have a look round the castle was rather sudden. (appositive clause)

His suggestion was that we stop and have a look round the castle. (predicative clause)

1. The forms should + infinitive or the present subjunctive are used after nouns expressing wish, advice, desire, proposal, doubt, hesitation, fear, apprehension, etc. After the last two nouns the conjunction lest is used.

Mary’s wish was that we should stay at her place as long as possible. (predicative clause)

Your advice that he wait till next week is reasonable. (appositive clause)

Our fear lest he should give away our secret was great. (appositive clause)

Our fear was lest we should get lost in the forest. (predicative clause)

2. In predicative clauses joined by the link verbs to be, to seem, to look, to feel, to taste, to smell, etc. the past subjunctive or non-factual tense forms are used. In this case the clause has a comparative meaning and is accordingly introduced by the comparative conjunctions as if, as though. If the action in the subordinate clause is simultaneous with the action in the principal clause the past subjunctive or non-factual past in­definite is used. If the action is prior to that in the principal clause, the non-factual past perfect is used.

He looked as if he were ill (his being ill is simultaneous with the time when his looks are commented upon).

He looked as if he had been ill (his being ill was prior to the time his looks are commented upon).

The house looked as if it had been deserted for years.

I felt as though I were talking to a child.

It was as if I were being attacked by an invisible enemy.

Note:

There is a tendency in informal style to use the indicative forms instead of the subjunctive ones, especially if one is confident of the exactitude of the comparison.

Ingrid looks as if she has a bath every morning.

You sound as if you’ve got the whole world on your shoulders.

The subjunctive mood in complex sentences with adverbial clauses of condition

§ 85. Complex sentences may include conditional clauses expressing real condition and unreal condition. In the first case the indicative mood is used, in the second the subjunctive. Both conditions may refer to the past, present or future.

In sentences with real condition any form of the indicative may be used.

If she heard it, she gave no sign.

Why did he send us matches, If he knew there was no gas?

If I have offended you, I am very sorry.

You may go away if it bothers you.

Now it was serious. If I had laughed about it before, I wasn’t laughing now.

If he was lying, he was a good actor.

Since the majority of conditional clauses are introduced by if they are often called if-clauses. Other conjunctions used to introduce conditional clauses are unless, in case, supposing (that), suppose (that), providing (that), provided (that), on condition (that). Each of them expresses a conditional relation with a certain shade of meaning, and their use is restricted either for semantic or stylistic reasons. Thus unless has a negative meaning, although it is not identical with if not. Clauses introduced by unless indicate the only condition which may prevent the realization of the action in the main clause. Unless can be rendered in Russian by 'если только не'.

He is ruined unless he can get a million to pay off his debts.

The Russian conjunction with negation «если не» cannot be rendered by unless if the negation refers only to the part of the compound predicate. In this case if not should be used.

Оденься теплее, если не хочешь заболеть.

Put on a warm coat, if you don’t want to catch cold.

The conjunction in case has a specific shade of meaning, combining condition and purpose and may be translated into Russian as на тот случай если'.

Take an umbrella in case if rains.

The conjunctions suppose (that) and supposing (that) retain their original meaning of supposition. The conjunctions provided (that) and providing (that) imply that the supposed condition is favourable or desirable.

Suppose you get lost in the city, what will you do?

Providing (that) there is no opposition we will hold the meeting here.

These conjunctions may also introduce clauses of unreal condition.

In complex sentences containing an unreal condition the subjunctive mood is used in both the conditional clause and in the principal clause, because the action expressed in the principal clause depends on the unreal condition and cannot be realized either. The choice of forms depends on the time-reference of the actions.

1. If the unreal actions in both the if-clause and the main clause refer to the present or future the non-factual past indefinite, or past continuous, or the past subjunctive is used in the subordinate clause and should/would + non-perfect common or continuous infinitive in the main clause.

If I were a young man now, you wouldn’t be looking for a porter.

You wouldn’t be talking that way unless you were hurt.

I shouldn’t speak to you unless I were determined.

2. If both actions refer to the past and contradict reality the non-factual past perfect or past perfect continuous is used in the if-clause and should/would + perfect or perfect continuous infinitive in the main clause.

If he had not insisted upon her going there, nothing would ever have happened.

Unless he had been grinning happily at us, I should have sworn he was mortally wounded.

Clauses of unreal condition with the verb in the non-factual past perfect, past perfect continuous, past subjunctive (also should + infinitive and could + infinitive, see below) may be introduced asyndetically. In this case inversion serves as a means of subordination.

Had the world been watching, it would have been startled.

Were you in my place you would behave in the same way.

§ 86. The actions in the main and subordinate clauses may have different time-reference, if the sense of the clauses requires it. Sentences of this kind are said to have split condition. The unreal condition may refer to the past and the consequence - to the present or future.

If we hadn’t been such fools we should all still be together.

How much better I should write now if in my youth I had had the advantage of sensible advice!

I shouldn’t be bothering you like this if they hadn’t told me downtown that he was coming up this way.

Split condition is possible for sentences with real condition as well:

If you saw him yesterday you know all the news.

If you live in this part of the city you knew of the accident yesterday.

The condition may refer to no particular time, and the consequence may refer to the past.

She wouldn’t have told me her story if she disliked me.

John wouldn’t have lost the key unless he were so absent-minded.

§ 87. There are three more types of conditional clauses with reference to the future.

1. In the first type should + infinitive for all the persons is used in the conditional clause and the future indefinite indicative or the imperative mood in the principal clause.

If you should meet him, give him my best regards.

If you should find another way out, will you inform me?

Conditional clauses of this type are sometimes joined to the main clause asyndetically, by means of inversion.

Should he ask for references, tell him to apply to me.

Should anything change, you will return home.

In these sentences the action in the conditional clause is presented as possible, but very unlikely. Such clauses are called clauses of problematic condition. They may be rendered in Russian as «случись так, что... », «если случайно...», «если так случится, что...», «вдруг что-нибудь», etc.

2. In the second type would + infinitive for all the persons in the singular and plural is used in the conditional clause and should/would + infinitive or the indicative mood in the main clause. Would retains its original meaning of willingness or consent (если бы вы согласились, изъявили желание, захотели бы).

If you would only come to our place, we’ll be very glad (we should be very glad).

3. In the third type the past subjunctive of the modal verb to be + (to) infinitive is used in the conditional clause and should/would + infinitive or the imperative mood in the principal clause. Both actions have future or present time-reference.

If you were to undertake it, everything would be different (if by chance you undertook it).

If I were to tell you everything, you would be amazed. - Если бы мне пришлось рассказать вам все, вы

бы удивились.

The form were + to implies greater remoteness and improbability of the action, but does not imply a rejection of it.

Sentences and clauses of implied condition

§ 88. An implied condition is not openly stated in a clause, but is suggested either by an adverbial part of the sentence, or else by the context -from the preceding or following sentence, or coordinated clause.

1. The form should/would + infinitive is used in simple sentences with an adverbial modifier of condition introduced by but for, except for (если бы не...) which imply an unreal condition with an opposite meaning:

But for luck he would be still living alone. - Если бы не удача, он бы все еще жил в одиночестве.

The implication is: if it had not been for luck, he would be still living alone. (In fact he was lucky and he is not living alone.)

These people would long ago have been forgotten, but for the artist’s genius.

That’s all I can remember. I wouldn’t have remembered anything at all but for you.

Except for the sound of his breathing, I wouldn’t have known he was there.

2. As stated above a condition may be implied by the preceding or following sentence or coordinated clause:

- What would you do if you had money?

- Oh, I should do many things!

This was the sort of thing he would have liked to explain to someone, only no one wanted to hear.

(If anyone had wanted to hear, he would have explained this sort of thing to them.)

They had no desire to spread scandal. Otherwise they would have demanded their due.

(Had they had the desire to spread scandal, they would have demanded their due.)

I would have gone too, but I was tied up to Joseph.

(If I had not been tied up to Joseph, I would have gone too.)

On the whole the non-factual use of tenses is rather rare in simple sentences, although they do occasionally occur.

As a child I’d given anything for that - В детстве я бы все отдал за это.

Modal verbs or phrases in conditional clauses

§ 89. The modal verbs can, will, may/might are freely used in the non-factual past indefinite to express unreality in conditional and principal clauses. Like the mood auxiliaries should, would they may be combined with different infinitives:

a)

in main clauses






If I had time

I could go there

I would go there

I might go there

I should go there



b)


in subordinate clauses





If I could translate this article

If he might translate this article

If I would translate this article

(if I consented to do it)

If I translated this article





it would be nice.


There may be a modal phrase in both clauses of the sentence, or in one clause only.

If you would be frank with me I might perhaps be of more help.

... and had he so desired he might have been persona grata with the diplomatic set.

If she could have been compressed to about three quarters of her actual width, she would have been very

attractive.

Anselmo grinned in the darkness. An hour ago he could not have imagined that he would ever smile

again.

I would have kept on going, if I hadn’t had to leave Paris.

The subjunctive mood in adverbial clauses of comparison

§ 90. Several forms of subjunctive are used in clauses of comparison depending on the time-reference.

1. If the action in the comparative clause is simultaneous with that in the main clause, the non-factual past indefinite or past subjunctive is used.

2. If the action in the comparative clause is prior to that in the main clause, the non-factual past perfect is used.

The usual conjunctions introducing comparative clauses are as if and as though.

His eyes wandered as if he were at a loss.

He paid no attention to us, as though we did not exist.

Miss Handforth was holding a tea-pot as if it were a hand grenade.

And so we faced each other after three years of letter-writing as if we had been having a beer every

afternoon for years.

3. If the action in the subordinate clause is presented as following the action in the main clause would + infinitive is used.

He was whistling gaily as if his heart would break for joy.

The subjunctive mood in adverbial clauses of purpose

§ 91. In clauses of purpose the form used depends on the conjunction introducing the clause.

1. After the conjunctions that, so that, in order that, so the quasi-subjunctive forms may (might) + infinitive or can (could) + infinitive are used. Only might and could are used if the action in the subordinate clause, though following the action in the main clause, refers to the past. But when the action refers to the present or future, both forms of each verb are possible (may or might, can or could).

I tell you this so that you may understand the situation.

She left the lamp on the window-sill, so that he might see it from afar.

She gave him the book that he might have something to read on the journey.

2. After the negative conjunction lest (чтобы не) should + infinitive is generally used.

The girl whispered these words lest somebody should overhear her.

He was afraid to look behind lest he should see something there which ought not to be there.

The subjunctive mood in adverbial clauses of concession

§ 92. Concessive clauses may either be joined to the main clause asyndetically, or else be introduced by a connective (however, whoever, whatever, whenever), a conjunction (though, although, even if, even though); also by a phrase, such as no matter how, no matter when.

If the action refers to the present or future the quasi-subjunctive form may + infinitive or present subjunctive is used in the subordinate clause. If the action refers to the past may + perfect infinitive or perfect continuous infinitive, or might + infinitive is used. Forms with should + infinitive, would + infinitive, and non-factual tense forms are also possible, though less typical.

He can be right, no matter whether his arguments be convincing or not.

Tired as he may be he will always help me.

Though he might have been suspicious he gave no sign.

No matter how he might try he couldn’t do it.

Much as I would like to help, I didn’t dare to interfere.

When a concessive clause is joined asyndetically, there is usually inversion. The front position is occupied by the part, that states the circumstance despite which the action in the main clause is carried out. Thus it lends a concessive meaning to the clause. In the following sentences the concessive meaning is focused on the part of the predicate:

Come what may, we shall remain here.

Cost what it may, I’ll give you the sum you ask.

Tired as he might be, he continued his way.

- Чтобы ни случилось ...

- Сколько бы это ни стоило...

- Как бы он ни устал ...

The focus of the concessive meaning may fall on the nominal or adverbial part of the clause.

Whoever he may be, he has no right to be rude.

Whatever you may say, our decision remains unchanged.

Whichever of the two roads we may take, the distance is great.


Wherever we might go, we found the same gloomy sight.

Whenever I may ask him a question, he always has a ready answer. Не will not convince us however hard he should try.

- Кто бы он ни был ...

- Чтобы ты ни говорил ...

- По какой бы из двух дорог мы ни пошли ...

- Куда бы мы ни пошли ...

- Когда бы я ни задал ему вопрос ...

- ... как бы сильно он ни пытался.

Concessive clauses introduced by even if, even though are built up on the same pattern as conditional clauses and the same subjunctive mood forms are used in the subordinate clause.

Even if it were true, he couldn’t say so.

Even though he had proposed, nothing has changed since that day.

Concessive meaning may be rendered by the indicative mood in the same patterns of clauses, if the fact despite which the action is carried out is a real one.

Cold as it is, we shall go out. (it is really cold)

Tired as he was, he continued his work.

Though he was 36, he looked very old.

It was not meant to offend you, no matter how ironic it sounded.

The subjunctive mood in simple sentences

§ 93. Besides cases when the subjunctive mood forms are used in simple sentences to express an unreal action as a consequence of an implied condition (see § 88), these forms are also used in simple sentences of the following kind:

1. In exclamatory sentences beginning with if only to express a wish. They follow the same pattern as conditional clauses, and would + infinitive, past subjunctive, non-factual tense forms are used.

If only it were true!

If only I knew what to do!

If only I had listened to my parents!

If only it would stop raining!

If only we could have stopped him!

2. In exclamatory sentences to express an emotional attitude of the speaker to real facts (surprise and disbelief). Here should + infinitive is used.

And this should happen just on this day!

That it should be you of all people!

3. In questions expressing astonishment or indignation the analytical form should + infinitive is used:

Why should you and I talk about it?

How should I know?

Why should you suspect me?

Why should you not do it?

The traditional use of the subjunctive mood in formulaic expressions

§ 94. These forms remained as survivals of old usage and they are used as wholes, in which no element of structure can be omitted or replaced.

Most of them have a religious origin and express a wish or a prayer: God bless you! (Bless you!) God save the king! Heaven forbid! The Devil take him!

In many cases, however, formulaic expressions may be expanded by variable elements (parts of the sentence or clauses), thus making productive patterns in Modern English. They vary in their meaning, although mostly express a wish. Among them are:

1. Forms used in slogans: Long live the Army! Long live patriotism! Long live the fighters for peace! Long live heroes!;

2. Forms used in oaths, curses, and imprecations: Manners be hanged! Confound your ideas! Confound the politics!

Far be it from me to spoil the fan!

Far be it from me to conceal the truth!

Far be it from me to argue with you!

Far be it from me to talk back!

- Чтобы я хотел испортить вам настроение!

- Чтобы я скрывал правду!

- Чтобы я стал спорить!

- Чтобы я грубил!

Forms with may + infinitive, unlike modern forms with the same verb, retain the old word order:

May success attend you! May you be happy! May he win!

The subjunctive mood forms with had better, had best, would rather, would sooner are used in sentences denoting wish, admonition, preference, advice. Very often they are used in a contracted form: You’d better go at once. You had best take note of my direction if you wish to make sure of it.

Formulaic expressions with concessive meaning are used in complex sentences as concessive clauses:


Happen what may,

Come what will,

Come what may,

Cost what it may,


we shall not yield.

The formulaic expression as it were (так сказать) is used as parenthesis, emphasizing that the content of the sentence is highly figurative or non-real:

... there is, as it were, a transparent barrier between myself and strong emotion.

He is my best friend, my second self, as it were.

Table III

The subjunctive mood forms



Types of Sentences


Synthetic Forms


Analytical Forms


Non-Factual

Tense Forms

Simple sentence


Ideas be hanged!

If only that were true!

May it come true!

I should like to see this film.

If I only knew!


Complex sentence with a subject clause


It is required that all be present.


It is important that all should come.

It is likely he may come.

It is time the boy came.


Complex sentence with a predicative clause


He looks as if he were surprised.


It looks as if the weather may change.

The order is that we should move.

It seems as if every­body knew.

It looks as if he had known it long ago.

Complex sentence with an appositive clause



The order that we should move surprised us.



Complex sentence with an object clause


I wish he were here.


He ordered that we should come.

We feared lest he should find it out.

I wish he would come.

I wish I knew it.

I wish I had never met him.


Complex sentence


The stranger looked




He glanced at me as if he

with an adverbial


at me as if he were




knew.


clause of comparison


surprised.




The girl spoke as if she








had learned it all by








heart.


Complex sentence with


It is true whether it be


Tired as he might be, he



an adverbial concessive


convincing or not.



continued his way.



clause



Though he might be tired, he continued









his way.








He will not manage it







however hard he should try.









Whatever faults the book may









have, it is interesting enough.










He would not have come


even if we had warned







him.









Complex sentence with




I tell you this so that you may





an adverbial clause of




understand the situation.





purpose




We put the matches away lest







the baby should find the box.




Complex sentence with


If I were you ...


I should not object to it.





an adverbial conditional




I should come ...


if I knew the address



clause




I should have called on you







yesterday ...


if I had known the address







Should I meet him, I shall tell







him about it.





NON-FINITE FORMS OF THE VERB (VERBALS)

§ 95. There are four non-finite forms of the verb in English: the infinitive (to take), the gerund (taking), participle I (taking), participle II (taken). These forms possess some verbal and some non-verbal features. The main verbal feature of the infinitive and participles I and II is that it can be used as part of analytical verbal forms (is standing, is built, have come, will do, etc.)

Lexically non-finites do not differ from finite forms. Grammatically the difference between the two types of forms lies in the fact that non-finites may denote a secondary action or a process related to that expressed by the finite verb.

Non-finites possess the verb categories of voice, perfect, and aspect. They lack the categories of person, number, mood, and tense.

None of the forms have morphological features of non-verbal parts of speech, neither nominal, adjectival or adverbial. In the sphere of syntax, however, non-finites possess both verbal and non-verbal features. Their non-verbal character reveals itself in their syntactical functions. Thus, the infinitive and the gerund perform the main syntactical functions of the noun, which are those of subject, object and predicative. Participle I functions as attribute, predicative and adverbial modifier; participle II as attribute and predicative. They cannot form a predicate by themselves, although unlike non-verbal parts of speech they can function as part of a compound verbal predicate.

Syntactically the verbal character of non-finites is manifested mainly in their combinability. Similarly to finite forms they may combine with nouns functioning as direct, indirect, or prepositional objects, with adverbs and prepositional phrases used as adverbial modifiers, and with subordinate clauses.

Non-finites may also work as link verbs, combining with nouns, adjectives or statives as predicatives, as in: to be/being a doctor (young, afraid). They may also act as modal verb semantic equivalents when combined with an infinitive: to have/having to wait, to be able/being able to stay. So the structure of a non-finite verb group resembles the structure of any verb phrase.

All non-finite verb forms may participate in the so-called predicative constructions, that is, two-component syntactical units where a noun or a pronoun and a non-finite verb form are in predicative relations similar to those of the subiect and the predicate: I heard Jane singing; We waited for the train to pass; I saw him run, etc.

The Infinitive

§ 96. The infinitive is a non-finite form of the verb which names a process in a most general way. As such, it is naturally treated as the initial form of the verb, which represents the verb in dictionaries (much in the same way as the common case singular represents the noun).

In all its forms and functions the infinitive has a special marker, the particle to. The particle to is generally used with the infinitive stem and is so closely connected with it that does not commonly allow any words to be put between itself and the stem. Occasionally, however, an adverb or particle may be inserted between them:

She doesn’t want to even see me once more.

The infinitive thus used is called the split infinitive, and is acceptable only to give special emphasis to the verb.

Although the particle to is very closely connected with the infinitive, sometimes the bare infinitive stem is used. The cases where the infinitive loses its marker are very few in number.

The use of the Infinitive without the Particle to


(Bare Infinitive)




Words and phrases




The rest of the




followed by a bare


Bare infinitive


sentence




infinitive






1


2


3


4




Auxiliary verbs:






I


Don’t


like


Jogging.


They


Will


see


you to-morrow.




Modal verbs:








(except ought to,







have to, be to)






You


can’t


play


football in the street.


I


must


go


there to-morrow.


You


needn’t


worry.






Modal expression:






You


had better






I


would rather








would sooner






She


d sooner


die


than come back


You


had better


come


at once.




Verbs of sense







I

He


perception:

(see, watch, observe,

notice, hear, listen to,

feel, etc.)

felt somebody

heard the door






touch

close.






me.






Verbs of inducement:

(let, make, have, bid)







What



Let me

makes you



help

think



you.

so?






Phrases with but:









cannot but,

do anything but

do nothing but

couldn’t but







Did you


do anything but


ask


questions?





Why-not sentences:

Why not



begin



at once?



Like other non-finite forms of the verb the infinitive has a double nature: it combines verbal features with those of the noun.

The verbal features of the infinitive are of two kinds: morphological and syntactical.

1) Morphological: the infinitive has the verb categories of voice, perfect and aspect:

The evening is the time to praise the day. (active)

To be praised for what one has not done was bad enough. (passive)

She did not intend to keep me long, she said. (non-perfect)

I am so distressed to have kept you waiting, (perfect)

She promised to bring the picture down in the course of ten minutes. (common)

At that time I happened to be bringing him some of the books borrowed from him two days before,

(continuous)

2) Syntactical: the infinitive possesses the verb combinability:

a) it takes an object in the same way as the corresponding finite verbs do;

b)it takes a predicative if it happens to be a link verb;

c) it is modified by adverbials in the same way as finite verbs:

Infinitive


Finite verb

  1. To tell him about it the same ­night was out of the question.

She did not mean to depend on her father.

  1. She wanted to be a teacher.

I don’t want to look pale tonight.

c) To draw his attention I had to speak very loudly.

She told me about it only yesterday.


You see, I depend on his word only.

He was a teacher of French.

She looked pale and haggard.

He spoke loudly, turning his head from side to side.

The nominal features of the infinitive are revealed only in its function:

To understand is to forgive. (subject, predicative)

That’s what I wanted to know. (object)

I saw the chance to escape into the garden. (attribute)

I merely came back to water the roses, (adverbial modifier of purpose)

The Grammatical Categories of the Infinitive

§ 97. As has already been stated the infinitive has three grammatical categories, those of perfect, voice, and aspect.

The system of grammatical categories of the infinitive is shown in the table below.

Table IV



Perfect


Voice


Active


Passive


Aspect

Non-Perfect


Common


to go

to take

-

to be taken

Continuous


to be going

to be taking

-

(to be being taken)

Perfect


Common


to have gone

to have taken

-

to have been taken

Continuous


to have been going

to have been taking

-

-

It is seen from the table, that the passive voice is found only with transitive verbs and there are no perfect continuous forms in the passive voice. As for the non-perfect continuous passive, forms similar to the one in brackets, do sometimes occur, although they are exceptionally rare.

The category of perfect

§ 98. The category of perfect finds its expression, as with other verb forms, in the opposition of non-perfect and perfect forms.

The non-perfect infinitive denotes an action simultaneous with that of the finite verb (I am glad to take part in it, I am glad to be invited there),

The perfect infinitive always denotes an action prior to that of the finite verb - the predicate of the sentences. The meaning of priority is invariable with the perfect and perfect continuous infinitive.


I am glad

I was glad

I shall be glad


to have seen you again.


The non-perfect infinitive is vaguer and more flexible in meaning and its meaning may easily be modified by the context. Thus, it may denote an action preceding or following the action denoted by the finite verb. It expresses succession, that is indicates that the action follows the action denoted by the finite verb, as in the following cases:

1) When used as an adverbial modifier of purpose:

She bit her lip to keep back a smile.

I came here to help you, not to quarrel with you.

2) When used as part of a compound verbal predicate:

You must do it at once.

You know, she is beginning to learn eagerly.

3) When used as an object of a verb of inducement:

He ordered the man to come at three.

She always asks me to help her when she is busy.

He will make you obey.

The category of aspect

§ 99. The category of aspect finds its expression in contrasting forms of the common aspect and the continuous aspect. The difference between the category of aspect in finite verb forms and in the infinitive is that in the infinitive it is consistently expressed only in the active voice:

to speak

to have spoken

- to be speaking

- to have been speaking


The passive voice has practically no aspect oppositions. (See Table IV). The semantics of the category of aspect in the infinitive is the same as in the finite verb: the continuous aspect forms denote an action in progress at some moment of time in the present, past, or future; the meaning of the common aspect forms is flexible and is easily modified by the context.

The two aspects differ in their frequency and functioning; the continuous aspect forms are very seldom used and cannot perform all the functions in which the common aspect forms are used. They can function only as:

1) subject (To be staying with them was a real pleasure.);

2) object (I was glad to be waking.)

3) part of a compound verbal predicate (Now they must be getting back; The leaves begin to be growing yellowish.)

The continuous aspect forms do not occur in the function of adverbial - modifiers and attributes.

The category of voice

§ 100. The infinitive of transitive verbs has the category of voice, similar to all other verb forms:

to say

to have said

  • to be said

  • to have been said


The active infinitive points out that the action is directed from the subject (either expressed or implied), the passive infinitive indicates that the action is directed to the subject:

Active

Passive


He expected to find them very soon.

They expected to be found by night fall.





She was born to love .




She born to be loved.




I know I ought to have told you everything long ago.



She ought to have been told of what had actually happened.

However, there are cases where the active form of the non-perfect infinitive denotes an action directed towards the subject, that is although active in form it is passive in meaning:


His to blame.


The house is to let.


The question is difficult to answer.


There was only one thing to do.

The active infinitive thus used is called retroactive.

The retroactive infinitive is rather productive although in nearly all cases it can be replaced by the corresponding passive form:

He is to blame —> He is to be blamed.

There was only one thing to do ——> There was only one thing to be done.

Syntactical functions of the infinitive

§ 101. The infinitive performs almost all syntactical functions characteristic of the noun, although in each of them it has certain peculiarities of its own. In all syntactical functions the infinitive may be used:

1) alone, that is, without any words depending on it:

She would like to dance.

2) as the headword of an infinitive phrase, that is, with one or more words depending on it:

She would like to dance with him tonight.

3) as part of an infinitive predicative construction, that is, as a logical predicate to some nominal element denoting the logical subject of the infinitive:

She would like him to dance with her.

She waited for him to dance first.

As to the functioning of single infinitives and infinitive phrases, they are identical in this respect and therefore will be used without distinction in illustrations. However it should be noted that in fact the infinitive phrase is much more common than the single infinitive.

The infinitive as subject

§ 102. The infinitive functioning as subject may either precede the predicate or follow it. In the latter case it is introduced by the so-called introductory it, which is placed at the beginning of the sentence:

To be good is to be in harmony with oneself.

It’s so silly to be fussy and jealous.

The second of these structural patterns is more common than the first, and the subject in this pattern is more accentuated (compare for example: It’s impossible to do it and To do it is impossible). The other difference is that in the second case the sentence can be both declarative and interrogative, while in the first one the sentence can only be declarative:

Declarative sentences



It’s nice to see you again.

It was not a good idea to bring her here

To find him still at home was a relief.

To see her again did not give him the usual pleasure.


Interrogative sentences



Is it bad to love one so dearly?

Wasn’t it a waste of time to sit there?


The infinitive subject in both structural patterns is a “to” - infinitive. If there are two or more homogeneous infinitive subjects in a sentence, all of them keep the particle to:

To be alone, to be free from the daily interests and cruelty would be happiness to Asako.

It was awfully difficult to do or even to say nothing at all.

The function of the subject can be performed by the infinitive of any voice, aspect and perfect form, although the common aspect non-perfect active forms are naturally far more frequent.

To expect too much is a dangerous thing.

To be walking through the fields all alone seemed an almost impossible pleasure.

To have seen her was even a more painful experience.

To be recognized, to be greeted by some local personage afforded her a joy which was very great.

To have been interrogated in such a way was a real shock to him.

§ 103. The predicate of the subject expressed by an infinitive always takes the form of the 3rd person singular. As to its type, it is usually a compound nominal predicate with the link verb to be, although other link verbs may also occur, as well as a verbal predicate.

To acquire knowledge and to acquire it unceasingly is the first duty of the artist.

To understand is to forgive.

To talk to him bored me.

To see the struggle frightened him terribly.

To write a really good book requires more time than I have.

The infinitive as part of the predicate

The infinitive is used in predicates of several types, both nominal and verbal.

The infinitive as predicative

§ 104. In the function of a predicative the “to”-infinitive is used in compound nominal predicates after the link verb to be:

His dearest wish was to have a son.

With homogeneous predicatives the use of the particle to varies. If the infinitives are not linked by conjunctions, the particle is generally used with all of them:

My intention was to see her as soon as possible, to talk to her, to calm her.

If they are linked by the conjunctions and or or the particle to is generally used with the first infinitive only:

Your duty will be to teach him French and play with him.

His plan was to ring her up at once, or even call on her.

The use of the infinitive as a predicative has some peculiarities.

1) In sentences with an infinitive subject the predicative infinitive denotes an action that follows, or results from, the action of the subject infinitive.

To see her was to admire her.

To come there at this hour was to risk one’s life.

Sentences in which both the infinitives are used without any modifiers are usually of aphoristic meaning:

To hear is to obey.

To see is to believe.

To define is to limit.

The predicative function is generally performed by the common non-perfect active forms of the infinitive. Still passive forms sometimes occur:

To be born in poverty was to be doomed to humiliation.

2) The set of nouns that can function as the subject of a compound nominal predicate with an infinitive predicative is very limited. It includes about 50 nouns describing situations:

action

advice

aim

ambition

attempt

business

consequence

custom

desire

difficulty

duty

experience

function

habit

happiness

hope

idea

ideal

instruction

intention

job

method

need

object

order

plan

principle

problem

purpose

reason

risk

role

rule

task

thing

wish, etc.

A predicative infinitive phrase may be introduced by the conjunctive, adverbs and pronouns how, when, where, what, whom, the choice depending on the lexical meaning of the noun:

Now the question was what to tell him.

The problem was how to begin.

3) The function of the subject may be also performed by the pronoun all or the substantivized superlatives the most and the least with an attributive clause attached to them:

All he wanted was to be left alone.

The least I can expect is to have this day all to myself.

In such cases the predicative infinitive can lose its marker to:

All I can do is get you out of here.

4) Occasionally the function of the subject can be performed by a gerund or a what-clause:

Living with hemophilia was to live off balance all the time.

What we want to do,“ said Brady, “is to fight a world.”

The infinitive as simple nominal predicate

§ 105. The infinitive as simple nominal predicate may be used in exclamatory sentences expressing the speaker’s rejection of the idea that the person to whom the action of the infinitive is ascribed is likely to perform this action, or belong to such sort of people*, as in:

* For details see Syntax § 41.

You - of all men - to say such a thing!

Me - to be your lover!

As a rule the infinitive in exclamatory sentences is used with the particle to, although it occasionally occurs without it:

Me - marry him! Never!

The infinitive may be also used as predicate in interrogative infinitive why-sentences, both affirmative and negative, where it expresses a suggestion:

Why let him sleep so long?

Why not go away?

In such sentences the infinitive is always used without the particle to.

The infinitive as part of a compound verbal predicate

§ 106. The infinitive is used in compound verbal predicates of three types.

I. In a compound verbal modal predicate after the modal verbs can, may, might, ought, must, shall, should, will, would, need, dare, to be, to have, and expressions with modal meaning had better, would rather.

I can tell you nothing at all about him.

She ought to have told me before.

II. In a compound verbal phasal predicate after verbs denoting various stages of the action, such as its beginning, continuation, or end. These verbs (to begin, to come, to start, to continue, to go on, to cease, etc.) followed by a “to”-infinitive form a compound verbal phasal predicate.

Now I begin to understand you.

Then she came to realize what it all meant.

They continued to whisper.

The verbs to begin, to continue and to start can also be followed by a gerund, although with a certain difference in meaning. Thus the verb to stop followed by a gerund means to put an end to an action, to interrupt, whereas followed by an infinitive means to pause in order to do something. So the infinitive after the verb to stop is used in the function of an adverbial modifier of purpose.

He stopped to see what it was.

Он остановился, чтобы посмотреть, что это такое.

He stopped seeing her.

Он перестал с ней встречаться.

III. The compound verbal predicate of double orientation* has no analogy in Russian. The three subtypes of this predicate can be distinguished according to the expression of the first part:

* For details see Syntax § 53.

1. The first part is expressed by one of the following intransitive verbs in the active voice: to seem - казаться; to appear - оказаться, казаться; to prove, to turn out - оказаться; to happen, to chance - случаться. After the verbs to prove and to turn out the infinitive is mostly nominal, that is presented by to be + noun or adjective. After the verbs to seem, to appear, to happen all types and forms of the infinitive are possible.

Simple sentences with this type of predicate are synonymous with complex sentences of a certain pattern:

He seems to be smiling.

She appeared to have said all.

It seems that he is smiling.

It appeared that she had said all.


Sentences with compound verbal predicates of double orientation are translated into Russian in different ways depending on the meaning of the first verbal element:

The strange little man seemed to read my thoughts. The man seemed to have come from far off.


Nothing appeared to be happening there.

Не appeared to have been running all the way.

Не proved to be a healthy child.

The night turned out to be cold.

Don’t you happen to know her?

Странный человечек, казалось, читал мои мысли.

Казалось, этот человек приехал откуда-то издалека.

Казалось, что здесь ничего не происходит.

Казалось, что он пробежал всю дорогу бегом.

Он оказался здоровым ребенком.

Ночь оказалась холодной.

Ты ее случайно не знаешь?

2. The first part of the predicate is expressed by the passive voice forms of certain transitive verbs. They are:

a) verbs of saying: to announce, to declare, to report, to say, to state, etc.

She was announced to be the winner.

Не is said to have returned at last.

Было объявлено, что победила она.

Говорят, что он наконец вернулся.

b) verbs of mental activity: to believe, to consider, to expect, to find, to known, to mean, to presume,

to regard, to suppose, to think, to understand, etc.

He’s supposed to be leaving tonight.


She is believed to be a clever girl.


Her father was thought to have died long ago.

Предполагают (предполагается), что он уезжает сегодня вечером.

Ее считают умной девушкой. (Считается, что она умная де­вушка.)

Считалось (считали, думали, полагали), что ее отец давным-давно умер.

  1. verbs of sense perception: to feel, to hear, to see, to watch.

Soon he was heard to open the front door.

She was often seen to walk all alone.

Вскоре услышали, как он открыл парадную дверь.

Часто видели, как она гуляет сов­сем одна.

d) the verb to make.

He was made to keep silent.

Его заставили молчать.

3. The first part is expressed by the phrases: to be likely, to be unlikely, to be sure, to be certain. In this case only the non-perfect forms of the infinitive are used, with future reference.

She is likely to be late.

He is sure to become your friend.

They are sure to be wanted as evidence.

In all these three subtypes the “to” - infinitive is always used.

The infinitive as object

§ 107. The infinitive can have the function of object after verbs, adjectives, adjectivized participles and statives.

After verbs the infinitive may be either the only object of a verb or one of two objects.

1. Verbs that take only one object are: to agree, to arrange, to attempt, to care (to like), to choose, to claim, to consent, to decide, to deserve, to determine, to expect, to fail, to fear, to forget, to hesitate, to hope, to intend, to learn, to like, to long, to love, to manage, to mean, to neglect, to omit, to plan, to prefer, to pretend, to refuse, to regret, to remember, to swear, to tend, etc.

She agreed to come at ten.

He planned to spend the day in town.

You’ll soon learn to read, sonny.

Among these verbs two groups can be distinguished:

a) the verbs to claim, to fail, to forget, to hate, to like, to omit, to regret, to remember, to swear, with which the perfect infinitive denotes actions prior to those of the finite verbs. It can be accounted for by the fact that semantically these verbs denote an action or state following or resulting from that of the infinitive (you can regret only what was or has been done).

I regret to have said it to her.

I remembered to have met him once.

She claims to have seen him before.

b) The verbs to attempt, to expect, to hope, to intend, to mean, to plan, to try, when followed by the perfect infinitive imply that the action of the infinitive was not fulfilled.

I hoped to have found him at home.

He intended to have reached the coast long before.

In this case the finite verb can be used only in the past tense.

Note:


As most of these verbs (item la) and b)) denote an attitude to the action expressed by the infinitive, the verb + infinitive may be treated syntactically as one whole. Thus the succes­sion of two verbs (... like to help ..., ... expect to arrive ..., ... plan to do ...) allow of two modes of analysis, as a verb + its object or as a compound verbal predicate with the first element expressing attitude.


Besides the above-mentioned verbs there are also some rather common phrases used with the infinitive-object. They are the phrases can afford, can bear in the negative or interrogative and such phrases as to make sure, to make up one’s mind, to take care, to take the trouble.

Can you afford to buy it yourself?

I can’t bear to hear of it again.

At last he made up his mind to answer Sibyl’s letter.

2. Verbs that take two objects, the first of which is a noun or a pronoun and the second an infinitive. These are the verbs of inducement; they all have the general meaning to persuade, to cause to do something.

to advise

to allow

to ask

to beg

to cause

to command

to compel

to direct

to encourage

to forbid

to force

to have

to impel

to implore

to induce

to instruct

to invite

to leave

to let

to make

to order

to permit

to persuade

to recommend

to request

to require

to tell

to urge

Tell him to hurry.

He asked her to keep an eye on the clock.

What would you recommend me to do?

With all these verbs, except to have, to let and to make, a “to”- infinitive is used. After the verbs to have, to let and to make it loses the particle “to”.

She’ll have you do it at once.

Don’t let it bother you.

Soon she made me see where I was wrong.

The object, which is a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case, denotes a person (or, very seldom, a non-person) who is to perform the required action expressed by the infinitive.

The verb to help can be used either with one or with two objects:

She helped to pack.

She helped me to make up my mind.

In either case a “to”- infinitive or a bare infinitive can be used.

And she actually helped find it.

I’ll help you do it.

With some verbs the function of object may be performed by a conjunctive infinitive phrase. These verbs are very few in number and fall into two groups:

a) Verbs that can take either an infinitive or a conjunctive infinitive phrase as their object. These are: to advise, to decide, to forget, to learn, to remember.

They advised me to go on.

He decided to begin at once.

I forgot to tell you about the last incident.

He advised me at last how to settle the matter.

He could not decide whether to come at all.

I forgot how to do it.

b) Verbs that can take only a conjunctive infinitive phrase as their object: to know, to show, to wonder.

She did not know what to say.

I know well enough where to stop.

Will you show me how to do it?

The infinitive can have the function of object after certain adjectives (adjectivized participles), mostly used as predicatives. Semantically and structurally these fall into two groups.

1. The most frequent adjectives of the first group are: anxious, apt, bound, careful, curious, determined, difficult, eager, easy, entitled, fit, free, hard, impatient, inclined, interested, keen, liable, powerless, prepared, quick, ready, reluctant, resolved, set, slow, worthy.

She’s determined to go on.

I am powerless to do anything.

He’s fully prepared to meet them any time they choose.

I was so impatient to start.

When used with these adjectives, the infinitive denotes actions either simultaneous with, or posterior to, the states expressed by the predicates, and cannot therefore be used in perfect forms.

2. The most frequent adjectives (adjectivized participles) of the second group are: amused, annoyed, astonished, delighted, distressed, frightened, furious, glad, grateful, happy, horrified, pleased, proud, puzzled, relieved, scared, sorry, surprised, thankful, touched.

He was amused to hear it.

I’m delighted to see you again, darling.

She is proud to have grown such a son.

Mother was furious to see them together again.

These adjectives and participles express certain psychological states which are the result of the action expressed by the infinitive object, so the latter therefore always denotes an action slightly preceding the state expressed by the predicate, and can have both non-perfect and perfect forms. The non-perfect forms are used to express immediate priority, that is, an action immediately preceding the state:

I’m glad to see you (I see you and that is why I am glad).

The perfect forms are used to show that there is a gap between the action and the resulting state.

I am glad to have seen you (I saw/have seen you and that is why I am glad).

3. After certain statives denoting psychological states, such as afraid, agog, ashamed:

He was ashamed to tell us this.

I’d be afraid to step inside a house that Rupert had designed all by himself.

In such cases the infinitive points out the source of the state expressed by the stative.

The infinitive as attribute

§ 108. The English infinitive functioning as an attribute is far more frequent than the Russian infinitive. This is because in Russian the infinitive attribute can combine with abstract nouns only, while in English it is used with a much wider range of words. In this function the infinitive always denotes a not yet fulfilled action, which is regarded as desirable, possible, advisable, necessary, etc. The modal meaning of the infinitive attribute is generally rendered in Russian by modal verbs or expressions, as is shown by the translations below.

The infinitive attribute can modify:

1. nouns, both abstract and concrete:

Because of his quarrel with his family he was in no position to get the news. (... не мог получить

известий)

The best thing to do would be to go back. (самое лучшее, что можно было сделать ...)

Не is just the man to do it. (он как раз тот человек, который может/должен это сделать)

I suppose there was nothing to he done, but depart. (ничего нельзя было сделать, оставалось только

удалиться)

2. indefinite, negative and universal pronouns in -body, -thing, -

one (one):

Have you anything to offer me? (Вы можете мне что-нибудь предложить?)

Не was someone to admire. (... тот, кем можно восхищаться)

Не had everything to make his life a happy one. (...что могло сделать его счастливым)

Occasionally the infinitive can have the function of an attribute to personal negative and reflexive pronouns or pronominal adverbs:

I’ve only you to look to.

Oh, but you have only yourself to praise.

Now I had nobody to see, nowhere to go.

3. substantivized ordinal numerals (especially first),

substantivized adjectives (next and last).

Jack was the first to come.

She was the last to reach the hall.

4. substantivized quantitative adjectives much, little, (no) more,

(no) less, little more, enough:

A man in your position has so much to lose.

I’ve no more to add.

5. the noun-substitute one:

I am not the one to run about and discuss my affairs with other people. (... кто может ...)

§ 109. The most common form of the infinitive functioning as an attribute is the non-perfect common aspect active voice form and non-perfect common aspect passive form.

When performing the function of an attribute a “to”- infinitive is always used. If there are two or more homogeneous attributes the second (and the following) retain to if joined asyndetically, but drop it if joined by conjunctions.

There was, however, my little Jean to look after, to take care of.

Did he give you any small parcel to bring back and deliver to anyone in England?

§ 110. The infinitive as an attribute may be introduced by conjunctive pronouns or adverbs:

He had sought in vain for inspiration how to awaken love.

I had now an idea what to do.

The conjunctive infinitive phrase may be preceded by a preposition:

They had no knowledge of how to live on.

He’s got no information about when to start.

The infinitive as adverbial modifier

§ 111. The infinitive can be used as an adverbial modifier of: purpose, subsequent events, consequence, attendant circumstances, comparison, condition, exception, time, cause, or motivation. In all these functions but that of the adverbial modifier of exception, a “to”- infinitive is used.

1. The adverbial modifier of purpose. In this function the action denoted by the infinitive is always a hypothetical one following the action denoted by the predicate. As such it can be expressed only by non-perfect common aspect forms of the infinitive (both active and passive):

I think I will go to England to improve my English.

We stood in the rain and were taken out one at a time to be questioned and shot.

In this function a “to”- infinitive is used, but if there are two or more homogeneous adverbials of purpose joined by and, usually, though not necessarily, only the first of them has the particle to. Compare the following sentences:

Mary, looking pale and worried, left him to go down to the kitchen and start breakfast.

Then I went upstairs to say how-do-you-do to Emily, and into the kitchen to shake hands with Mary-Ann,

and out into the garden to see the gardener.

The position of the infinitive used as an adverbial modifier of purpose varies. It usually stands after the predicate, though the position at the beginning of the sentence is also possible:

To occupy her mind, however, she took the job given her.

In both positions the infinitive may be preceded by the conjunction in order, so as or by limiting particle (just, only):

I keep a diary in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life.

In order to see her better he had to turn his head.

I’m here just to see you off.

He came down only to say good-night to you.

2. The adverbial modifier of subsequent events. In this function the infinitive denotes an action that follows the one denoted by the predicate. The position of this adverbial in the sentence is fixed - it always follows the predicate. The only forms of the infinitive occurring in this function are those of the non-perfect common aspect, usually active.

He arrived at three o’clock to hear that Fleur had gone out with the car at ten. (He arrived and heard ...)

I came down one morning to find Papa excited to the point of apoplexy. (I came down and found ...)

He hurried to the house only to find it empty. (He hurried and found ...)

In this function the infinitive may be preceded by the particles only, merely, simply, which change the meaning of the whole sentence: the action denoted by the infinitive preceded by these particles makes the action de­noted by the predicate pointless or irrelevant.

She returned to London in a few days, only to learn that Bess had gone to the continent. (She returned ...,

and learnt...)

3. As an adverbial modifier of consequence the infinitive depends on a) adjectives and adverbs modified by too; b) adjectives, adverbs and nouns modified by enough; c) adjectives modified by so, and nouns modified by such. In the last two cases the infinitive is introduced by as:

  1. Не was too tired to argue. (= He was so fired, that is why he couldn’t arque)

The story was too interesting to be passed over lightly.

He had gone too far to draw back.

b) He’s old enough to learn this. (= He is old enough, so he can learn this)

I thought I liked Letty well enough to marry her. (=1 liked Letty, so I wanted to marry her)

He was fool enough to enjoy the game.

He had seen enough blasted, burned out tanks to have no illusions.

c) She was so kind as to accept my proposal. (= She was so kind, therefore she accepted my proposal)

Do you think I am such a fool as to let it out of my hands?

In all these cases the infinitive denotes an action, which would become or became possible (enough, so, such) or impossible (too) due to the degree of quality or quantity expressed in the words it refers to.

The position of the infinitive is fixed, it always follows the words it modifies. The form of the infinitive is non-perfect, common aspect, usu­ally active. .

4. The infinitive used as an adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances shows what other actions take place at the same time as the action of the predicate.

He left the house never to come back.

I am sorry to have raised your expectations only to disappoint you.

The infinitive thus used always follows the predicate verb it modifies. As to its form, it is a non-perfect, common aspect, active voice form.

5. The infinitive used as an adverbial modifier of comparison refers to predicate groups including adjectives or adverbs in the comparative degree. The infinitive itself is introduced by than:

To give is more blessed than to receive.

Soon she realized, that it was much more pleasant to give than to be given.

He knew better than to rely on her.

Although the infinitive of comparison is generally used with to, it may also occur without it:

I was more inclined to see her safely married than go on watching over her.

6. The infinitive used as an adverbial modifier of condition denotes an action which pre-conditions the action expressed by the predicate.

To look at Montmorency you would imagine that he was an angel sent upon earth ... (If you looked ...,

you would imagine ...)

To touch it one would believe that it was the best of furs. (If one touched it, one would believe ...)

I’ll thank you to take your hands off me. (I’ll thank you, if you take ...)

The position of this infinitive as can be seen from the examples above varies; it may either precede or follow the predicate verb it modifies. The only possible form of the infinitive is the non-perfect, common aspect, active voice form.

7. The infinitive used as an adverbial modifier of exception denotes the action which is the only possible one in the situation. The infinitive is generally used without to and is introduced by the prepositions but and except. It is found in negative and interrogative sentences:

I had nothing to do but wait.

What could I do but submit?

There is nothing to do except turn back.

8. The infinitive used as an adverbial modifier of time denotes an action which marks out the moment of time up to which or at which the action of the predicate is performed. Very often it has a secondary meaning of condition.

His father lived to be ninety. (lived till he was ...)

I may not live to reach the airstrip this afternoon. (may not live till I reach ...)

Go away! I shudder to see you here. (I shudder when I see ..., if I see ...)

The position of the infinitive is fixed, it always follows the predicate it modifies. Its form is non-perfect, common aspect, active.

9. The infinitive used as an adverbial modifier of cause or motivation refers to a compound nominal predicate with the predicative expressed by an adjective, a noun, or a prepositional phrase denoting someone's qualities (intellectual qualities, morals, etc.)

The infinitive denotes an action which serves as a cause or a motiva­tion on which this or that charaterisation is based.

What an idiot I was not to have thought of it before! (I had not thought of it before, therefore I can justly

be called an idiot.)

She was silly to come here. (She came here, and it was silly of her.)

They’re out of their mind to have sent you here! (They have sent you here, so one can think them out of

their minds.)

The infinitive in this function follows the predicate. All the forms of the infinitive are possible.

The infinitive as parenthesis

§ 112. The infinitive used as parenthesis is usually part of a collocation, as in: to begin with, to be (quite) frank, to be sure, to make matters worse, to put it mildly, to say the least, to tell the truth, needless to say, strange to say, so to speak, to make a long story short, to crown all, to be more precise, to say nothing of ..., etc.

To begin with, you have been lying to me all the time.

To be quite frank, I don’t like him at all.

He was, strange to say, just an ordinary little chap.

Predicative constructions with the infinitive

§ 113. The infinitive is used in predicative constructions of three types: the objective with the infinitive construction, and the so-called for-to-infinitive construction*. Traditionally they are called the complex subject, the complex object, and the for-to-infinitive complex.

* It is possible, however, to distinguish one more infinitive construction generally called the subjective infinitive construction or the nominative infinitive construction. (See § 123 on the Subjective predicative construction).

In all these constructions the infinitive denotes an action ascribed to the person or non-person, though grammatically this relationship is not expressed in form: the doer of the action may be represented by a noun in the common case, a pronoun in the objective case (I saw him cross the street, it is for him to decide this) and the verbal element which is not in a finite form. Still, due to their semantics and because of the attached posi­tion the nominal and the verbal elements are understood as forming a complex with subject-predicate relationship.

The for-to-infinitive construction

§ 114. In the for-to-infinitive construction the infinitive (usually an infinitive phrase) is in predicate relation to a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case introduced by the preposition for. The construction is used where the doer of the action (or the bearer of the state), expressed by the infinitive, is different from that of the finite verb (the predicate):

The doer of the action of the finite verb and of the infinitive is the same:

The doer of the action of the finite verb and of the infinitive is not the same:


He longed to see the truth. -

Он очень хотел узнать правду.

All I want is to get out of here for good. - Единственное, чего я хочу, - это навсегда уехать отсюда.

He longed for me to see the truth.-

Он очень хотел, чтобы я узнал правду.

All I want is for Jack to get out of here for good. - Единственное, чего я хочу, - это чтобы Джек навсегда уехал отсюда.

The for-to-infinitive construction has the same functions as a single infinitive, though with some restrictions.

1. Subject. The for-to-infinitive construction in the function of the subject usually occurs in sentences with the introductory it, though it is occasionally placed at the head of the sentence:

It was difficult for him to do anything else.

For me to hear him was disturbing.

2. Predicative. In this function the construction is mostly used with the link verb to be:

The best thing is for you to do it now.

3. Object. The construction functions as object of both verbs and adjectives:

a) She watched for the door to open.

I don’t think I should care for it to be known.

b) His family were anxious for him to do something.

I’m so glad for you to have come at last.

4. Attribute:

There was no need for him to be economical.

5. Adverbial modifier of purpose and consequence:

She paused for him to continue.

The wall was too high for anything to be visible.

He had said enough for me to get alarmed.

In all its uses this construction is generally rendered in Russian by a subordinate clause.

The objective with the infinitive construction

§ 115. In the objective with the infinitive construction the infinitive (usually an infinitive phrase) is in predicate relation to a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case (hence the name of the construction). The whole construction forms a complex object of some verbs. It is rendered in Russian by an object clause.

The objective with the infinitive construction is used in the following cases:

1. After verbs of sense perception (to see, to hear, to feel, to watch, to observe, to notice and some others). In this case the only possible form of the infinitive is the non-perfect common aspect active voice form, used without the particle to:

No one has ever heard her cry.

I paused a moment and watched the tram-car stop.

The verb to listen to, though not a verb of sense perception, is used in the same way, with a bare infinitive:

He was listening attentively to the chairman speak.

If the verb to see or to notice is used with the meaning to realize, or the verb to hear with the meaning to learn, the objective with the infinitive construction cannot be used. Here only subordinate object clause is possible:

I saw that he did not know anything.


I hear you have dropped the idea of leaving him.



Не only had time to notice that the girl was unusually pretty.

Я видел (понимал), что он ничего не знает.


Я слышала (узнала), что ты отказалась от мысли уйти от него.


Он только успел заметить (осознать), что девушка была необычайно хорошенькой.

2. After verbs of mental activity (to think, to believe, to consider, to expect, to understand, to suppose, to find and some others). Here the infinitive is used in any form, though the non-perfect forms are the most frequent (always with the particle to).

I know him to be an honest man.

She believed him to have left for San Francisco.

I believed her to be knitting in the next room.

I should expect my devoted friend to be devoted to me.

3. After verbs of emotion (to like, to love, to hate, to dislike and some others). Here non-perfect, common aspect forms of the “to”- infinitive are the most usual.

I always liked him to sing.

She hated her son to be separated from her.

I’d love you to come with me too.

I hated him to have been sent away.

4. After verbs of wish and intention (to want, to wish, to desire, to intend, to mean and some others). After these verbs only non-perfect common aspect forms of the infinitive with the particle to are used:

He only wished you to be near him.

I don’t want him to be punished.

5. After verbs of declaring (to declare, to pronounce):

I declare you to be out of your mind.

He reported the boat to have been seen not far away.

6. After verbs of inducement (to have, to make, to get, to order, to tell, to ask, etc.) of which the first two take a bare infinitive. In the construction some of them acquire a different meaning: make - заставить, get - добить­ся, have - заставить (сказать, чтобы ...)

I can’t get him to do it properly.

She made me obey her.

7. The objective with the infinitive construction also occurs after certain verbs requiring a prepositional object, for example to count (up)on, to rely (up) on, to look for, to listen to, to wait for:

I rely on you to come in time.

Can’t I count upon you to help me?

The gerund

§ 116. The gerund is a non-finite form of the verb with some noun features. It is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb.

The grammatical meaning of the gerund is that of a process. Thus to some extent it competes with nouns of verbal origin, e.g. translating -translation, describing - description, arriving - arrival, perceiving - perception, helping - help. Nouns, however, tend to convey the fact or the result of an action, which in certain circumstances may be something material, whereas gerunds convey the idea of action or process itself.

Show me your translation: it is neatly done, and there, are no mistakes in it.

You will enrich your vocabulary by translating from English into Russian and vice versa.

If the meaning of the gerund is nearly the same as that of the noun, the former emphasizes the process, and the latter - the fact:

Thank you for helping me.

Thank you for your help.

It is natural that the verbal character of the gerund is more prominent in transitive verbs, owing to their combinability and their passive forms.

Morphologically the verbal character of the gerund is manifested in the categories of voice and perfect (see table V) and syntactically in its combinability. Thus the gerund may combine: a) with a noun or pronoun as direct, indirect or prepositional object, depending on the verb it is formed from; b) with an adjective or a noun as a predicative; c) with an infinitive.

Gerunds can be modified by adverbs and prepositional phrases function­ing as adverbial modifiers.

Gerund

Finite verb


I remember your telling me the story five years ago.


It’s no use arguing about trifles.


John dreams of becoming a sailor.


There is some chance of his being able to join us.


We enjoyed walking slowly along the silent streets.

You told me the story five years ago.


I never argue about trifles.


John became a sailor.


We hope he will be able to join us.


We walked slowly along the silent streets.

The nominal character of the gerund reveals itself syntactically, mainly in its syntactical function, partly in its combinability.

Like a noun, it can function as subject, object, or predicative.

Seeing you is always a pleasure. (subject)

I remember seeing you somewhere. (object)

I am thinking of seeing the film again. (prepositional object)

Peter’s hobby is seeing all new films. (predicative)

When it is an attribute or an adverbial modifier, a gerund, like a noun is preceded by a preposition.

There is a chance of catching the train.

Don’t forget to call me up before leaving London.

I reached my goal in spite of there being every reason against it.

The fact that the gerund can associate with a preposition is a sure sign of noun features.

Like a noun, but unlike the other non-finites, it can combine with a possessive pronoun and a noun in the genitive case denoting the doer of the action expressed by the gerund.

Excuse my interrupting you.

I insist on John’s staying with us.

It combines with the negative pronoun no in the idiomatic construction of the type: There is no getting out of it.

The grammatical categories of the gerund

§ 117. As already stated the gerund has only two grammatical categories, those of voice and perfect.

Table V

The Grammatical Categories of the Gerund

Voice

Perfect

Active


Passive


Non-Perfect


running

taking


-

being taken


Perfect


having ran

having taken


-

having been taken

The category of perfect

§ 118. The category of perfect finds its expression, as with other verb forms, in the contrast of non-perfect (indefinite) and perfect forms.

The non-perfect gerund denotes an action simultaneous with that expressed by the finite verb.

Students improve their pronunciation

John improved his pronunciation

You will improve your pronunciation


by listening to tape recordings.


The perfect gerund denotes an action prior to the action denoted by the finite verb.

I regret

I regretted

I will always regret


having uttered these words.


The perfect gerund is invariable in indicating priority, whereas the meaning of the non-perfect gerund is vaguer and more flexible and may easily be modified by the context. Thus according to the context the action denoted by the non-perfect gerund may precede or follow the action denoted by the finite verb. The non-perfect gerund may denote a prior action thanks to the lexical meaning of the verb or the preposition suggesting priority, so the non-perfect gerund is generally used after verbs of recollection, gratitude, blame, reproach, punishment and reward.

I shall never forget taking this exam.

I remember talking to him once.

Thank you for helping me.

The non-perfect gerund is to be found in gerundial phrases introduced by the prepositions on and after. The preposition on suggests immediate priority and an instantaneous action.

On reaching the end of the street we turned towards the river.

Tom, after reflecting a little, gave a long sigh.

The lexical meaning of the above-mentioned verbs and prepositions makes the use of the perfect form redundant. It is used, however, when the priority is emphasized, as in following examples:

And all of a sudden David remembered having heard the name before.

He came back after having been away for about ten years.

The non-perfect gerund expresses a succeeding action after verbs, adjectives and prepositions implying reference to a future event (such as to intend, to insist, to object, to suggest, to look forward to) and after the preposition before:

I insist on your staying with us.

We are looking forward to visiting new places.

Ann suggested going to the cinema.

I’m not keen on getting myself into trouble.

We met once more before parting.

The same form occurs after nouns suggesting futurity such as plan, intention, hope, prospect:

There is some hope of catching the last train.

The category of voice

§ 119. The gerund of transitive verbs possesses voice distinctions. Like other verb forms, the active gerund points out that the action is directed from the subject (whether expressed or implied), whereas the passive gerund indicates that the action is directed towards the subject.

Active gerund

Passive gerund


I hate interrupting people.

I am not used to talking in that way.

On telling me the time, he turned away.

He entered without having knocked at the door.

- I hate being interrupted.

- I am not used to being talked to in that way.

- On being told some impossible hour, he turned away.

- The door opened without having been knocked on.

The perfect passive gerund is very rarely used.

There are some verbs (to need, to want, to require, to deserve) and the adjective worth which are followed by an active gerund with passive meaning.

Your hair needs cutting.

This house wants painting.

Your suggestion is worth talking over.

Syntactical Functions of the Gerund

§ 120. The gerund can perform any syntactical function typical of a noun, although in each case it has peculiarities of its own. It may function (a) alone, without modifiers, or (b) as the headword of a gerundial phrase, or (c) as part of a gerundial predicative construction. Since the functions of gerundial constructions are identical with those of single gerunds or gerundial phrases, we shall treat them together. The gerundial constructions are usually translated by clauses.

a) I like driving.

b) I like playing the piano.

c) I like John’s (his) playing the piano.

A gerundial phrase consists of a gerund as headword and one or more words depending on it.

A gerundial construction contains some nominal element denoting the doer of the action expressed by the gerund and the gerund itself with or without some other words depending on it. The nominal element can be a noun in the genitive case or a possessive pronoun (if it denotes a living being), or a noun in the common case (if it does not denote a living being).

I remember John’s telling me that story once.

I remember the weather being extremely fine that summer.

We are absolutely against grown-up children being treated as babies.

There is a growing tendency, especially in informal speech, to use the pronoun in the objective case and a noun in the common case to denote the doer of the action expressed by the gerund with reference to living beings too.

They were all in favour of Tommy playing the main part.

The gerund as subject

§ 121. As a rule the gerund as subject stands in front position.

John(‘s) coming tomorrow will make all the difference.

Growing roses, collecting postage stamps or old swords are hobbies.

The subject stands in postposition in sentences opening with an introductory it, which happens when the meaning of the subject is accentuated and the predicate is a phrase such as to be (of) no use (no good, useless), to make all the (no) difference.

If you want me to help, it’s no good beating about the bush.

It will make no difference your being quiet.

In American English the pattern There is no use in doing it is preferable to It is no use doing it. In sentences with the introductory there the gerund is preceded by the negative pronoun no. Such sentences are usually emphatic.

Well, there’s no avoiding him now.

There is no accounting for his strange behaviour.

The gerund as part of the predicate

The gerund is used in compound predicates of both types - verbal and nominal.

The gerund as part of the compound nominal predicate (predicative)

§ 122. As predicative the gerund expresses either characterization or identity. In the latter case the predicate reveals the meaning of the subject.

John’s hobby is collecting all sorts of bugs and butterflies.

The gerund as part of the compound verbal predicate

§ 123. In combination with phasal verbs the gerund forms a compound verbal phasal predicate. The finite phasal verb denotes a phase of the action expressed by the gerund. The most common phasal verbs followed by the gerund are: to begin*,* to burst out, to start*, to cease, to continue*, to give up, to go on, to finish, to keep on, to leave off, to stop.

* The verbs marked by an asterisk may also be followed by the infinitive.

Again you start arguing.

On hearing the joke everybody burst out laughing.

They kept on arguing.

Your health will improve as soon as you give up smoking.

This is the only function of the gerund that is not characteristic of the noun, for it is caused by the verbal character of the gerund.

A gerundial predicative construction cannot form part of a compound verbal predicate.

The gerund as object

§ 124. The gerund can be used as a direct or a prepositional object. As a direct object it follows a number of monotransitive verbs, some of which take only the gerund, while others may be followed either by the gerund or by the infinitive. The gerund is also used after the adjective worth.

The following verbs are followed only by the gerund:

to admit

to appreciate

to avoid

to deny

to detest

to enjoy

to excuse

to fancy

to imagine

to mention

to mind

to miss

to postpone

to practise

to put off

to recollect

to resent

to resist

to risk

to suggest

to understand


can’t help

can’t stand

We all appreciate your helping us.

Avoid using very long sentences.

Fancy us (our) having to walk a mile in a wind like this!

I’m sorry that I missed seeing you!

Do you mind Ann’s joining us?

Practise listening to tape recordings. It’s good practice!

I find the book worth reading.

Verbs followed by either the gerund or the infinitive.

to have

to forget

to intend

to like (dislike)

to plan

to prefer

to remember

to regret


can’t bear

can’t afford*


* On the difference between the use of the gerund and the infinitive with some verbs see § 127.

I can’t bear your (you) being so sad.

We can’t afford going to the cinema too often now, we are revising for our exams.

I prefer walking home (to taking a bus).

After verbs taking an object and an objective predicative the gerund, or rather a gerundial phrase or construction, is preceded by an introductory object it.

I find it strange our going without you.

I think it no use your (you) arguing about trifles.

As a prepositional object the gerund may follow (a) monotransitive prepositional verbs, (b) ditransitive verbs taking a direct and a prepositional object, (c) adjectives and statives and (d) participle II, generally when used as a predicative.


a)

to agree

to object

to look forward



to

to count

to depend

to rely


on


to hear

to learn

to think



of




to persist

to consist

to succeed


in



We all agree to your opening the discussion.

Happiness consists largely in having true friends.

All depends on the doctor being sent for in time.

They are thinking of doing something for him.


b)

to accuse

to suspect

of

to thank

to blame to praise to punish

to sentence



for


to prevent

to stop

from


to assist

to help in

to have no difficulty


in



to congratulate smb. on

Roy accused me of disliking him.

What prevented you from becoming a professional actor?

Who will help me in hanging these pictures?

You should blame yourself for getting such a low mark.

I had no difficulty in getting the tickets for the concert.


Note:


As is seen from above a prepositional for-object has a shade of causal meaning.


c)

to be afraid

to be aware

to be conscious

to be capable

to be fond



of

to be ignorant

to be proud

to be sure


of


to be responsible for

to be sorry about

to be keen on

I don’t have the TV too loud, because I’m afraid of disturbing the neighbours.

We are all proud of our citizen’s getting the first prize.

Ned will be responsible for arranging the farewell party.

Don’t be sorry about missing the first scene, it was rather dull.

d)

to be accustomed

to be used

to

to be (dis)pleased with (at)

to be surprised at

to be tired of


to be absorbed

to be engrossed

in

I’m not used to being talked to in that rude way.

The teacher was displeased with the boys being noisy.

We were surprised at your leaving the party.

A teacher shouldn’t get tired of explaining things to his pupils.

The gerund as attribute

§ 125. When used as an attribute, the gerund modifies nouns, mainly abstract nouns. It is always preceded by a preposition, in the vast majority of cases by of, as in the following combinations: the art of teaching, the habit of speaking, a certain way of walking, a chance of seeing somebody, a hope of getting a ticket, an idea of going to the cinema, an intention of learning another foreign language, etc.

There is a chance of catching the train.

Professor N spoke about new methods of teaching English to foreign students.

The idea of him being in Paris was not a pleasant one.

Lucy had the impression of being carried upstairs.

Isn’t there any hope of your being able to go with us at all?

In some cases the choice of the preposition depends on the requirements of the modified noun, as in surprise at, experience in, skill in, apology (excuse) for, objection to.

The boy showed his skill in building model boats.

Imagine his surprise at seeing me.

When a gerund modifies a concrete noun it is preceded by the preposi­tion for and the whole gerundial phrase as attribute expresses the purpose or destination of the thing mentioned.

The barometer is an instrument for measuring the pressure of the air.

A gerund as attribute may precede the noun it modifies in phrases bordering on a compound noun. A premodifying attribute is used without a preposition, as in a dancing master, a diving suit, a reading lamp, a spending habit, a working method, a writing career, a swimming pool, a walking stick, etc.*

* See §132.

The gerund as adverbial modifier

§ 126. Owing to the variety of prepositions which may precede the gerund in the function of an adverbial modifier, a gerund may have different meanings.

1) As an adverbial modifier of time it may characterize the main verb from the viewpoint of priority, simultaneity, or posteriority. It may also indicate the starting point of the action. The prepositions used are on, after, in, before, since.

One day, on returning to his hotel, he found a note in his room.

At first he couldn’t understand. After thinking it over he hit upon the explanation.

And I’ll wash the dishes and clean up before coming to bed.

I had had a lot of thoughts since leaving the office.

2) As an adverbial modifier of reason it is introduced by the prepositions because of, for, from, for fear of, on account of, through.

So you see I couldn’t sleep for worrying.

We lost ourselves through not knowing the way.

He (Jolyon) took care not to face the future for fear of breaking up his untroubled manner.

3) As an adverbial modifier of manner the gerund generally occurs with the prepositions by or without.

You will achieve a lot by felling the truth.

She dressed without making a sound.

4) As an adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances it requires the preposition without.

They danced without speaking. (= They danced and didn’t speak)

The door opened without having been knocked on.

5) As an adverbial modifier of concession it is preceded by the preposition in spite of:

I don’t ask any questions in spite of there being a lot of questions to ask.

6) As an adverbial modifier of condition it takes the prepositions without, but for, in case of.

You won’t enrich your vocabulary without making use of an English dictionary. (= if you don’t make use

of...)

But for meeting John, I shouldn’t have become an English teacher.

7) As an adverbial modifier of purpose it is introduced by the preposi­tion for, though this pattern is rather rare.

They took her to the station for questioning.

The gerund and the infinitive compared

§ 127. The gerund and the infinitive have much in common since they both have some nominal and some verbal features. However, in the infinitive the verbal nature is more prominent, whereas in the gerund the nominal one.

The basic difference in their meaning is that the gerund is more general, whereas the infinitive is more specific and more bound to some particular occasion. When they combine with the same verb the difference in their meaning and use should be fully realized.

1. With the verbs to like, to hate, to prefer the gerund expresses a more general or a habitual action, the infinitive a specific single action:

I like swimming (I am fond of swimming).

I hate interrupting people.

They prefer staying indoors when the weather is cold.

I shouldn’t like to swim in this lake.

I hate to interrupt you, but I have to.

I’d prefer to stay at home in this cold weather.

2. With the verbs to begin and to start either form may generally be used, but again the gerund is preferable when the action is more general.

She began singing when a child.

She went over to the piano and began to sing.

No gerund is used:

a) when the finite verb is in the continuous form.

He is beginning to study French.

It’s beginning to rain.

b) with the verbs to understand and to see (meaning to understand).

He began to understand how it was done.

c) when the subject denotes a thing, not a living being.

The doors began to creak.

The clock began to strike.

3. The verb to remember is followed by a gerund when it means a prior action (to recall, to keep in one’s memory some past event), and by an infinitive when it means a simultaneous action (the working of one’s memory).

I remembered posting the letters.

(Я помнил, что опустил письмо).

I remembered to post the letters. =

I remembered and posted.

(Я не забыл опустить письмо).

The same refers to the verb to forget.

I shall never forget hearing him sing

(Я никогда не забуду как он пел).

Don’t forget to post the letters!

(Не забудь опустить письма).

I didn’t forget to post the letters.

(Я не забыл опустить письма).

4. The verb to regret is followed by the gerund to suggest priority, whereas the infinitive suggests a simultaneous action.

I regret not having worked harder at the language as a boy.

(Я сожалею, что не учил как следует языка в детстве).

I regret following his advice.

(Я сожалею, что последовал его совету).

I regret to inform you.

(С сожалением сообщаю вам это).

I regret to have to inform you.

(Сожалею, что вынужден сообщить вам это).

5. a) after to stop the gerund is used when it suggests the end of the action denoted by the gerund, whereas the infinitive is used as an adverbial of purpose.

Stop arguing!

(Перестань спорить!)

I stopped talking.

(Я замолчал).

I stopped to talk to a friend of mine

(Я остановилась, чтобы поговорить с другом).


b) The phrasal verb to go on with a gerund suggests the continuation of the action, denoted by the gerund and forms part of a compound verbal predicate; an infinitive points out a new stage in the sequence of actions.

The teacher went on explaining the use of verbals (continued).

(... продолжал объяснять ...)

The teacher went on to explain he use of the gerund after some verbs.

(... объяснял одно правило за дру­гим .... т. е. употребление герун­дия после разных глаголов).

6. The verb to allow is used with a gerund when it is not followed by an indirect object.

They don’t allow smoking here.

(Здесь курить запрещено).

They allowed us to smoke.

(Они разрешили нам курить).

The gerund and the verbal noun compared

§ 128. Although formed in the same way as the gerund, the verbal noun is another part of speech and has no verbal features at all. The following table shows the main differences between the gerund and the verbal noun.

Table VI

The characteristics of the gerund and the verbal noun

Forms

Grammatical

characteristics

The gerund


The verbal noun


M

o

r

Voice and perfect


being done, having done


-


f

o

l

o

g

y

The plural form


-

sufferings, comings and goings


S

y

n

t

a

x

Direct object

I like doing morning exercises.

-

Of-phrase and

adjectival attributes


-


The doing of morning

Exercises was very good for me.

The regular doing of morning exercises


Adverbs as a modifier


Doing morning exercises regularly

will improve your health.


-


Articles


-


The doing of morning exercises.

The acting was perfect.

From the table we can see that the distinctive features of the gerund are its verbal categories in the sphere of morphology and its verbal combinability. The distinctive features of the verbal noun are its nominal category of number and its noun combinability. It must be taken into consideration that a verbal noun is an abstract noun, and the use of the article and the plural form is determined by the requirements of the meaning and context.

It is more difficult to discriminate between a gerund and a verbal noun in cases where the verbal characteristics of the gerund are not apparent. This happens mainly when an -ing form is used as a single word without any modifiers or with such modifiers as occur with both the gerund and the verbal noun (His coming was unexpected. Her acting was perfect). In such cases the meaning of the form should be taken into account. Thus a gerund suggests a process, an activity, whereas a verbal noun denotes kinds of occupation (skating as compared to hockey), an art form (acting, painting), a branch of knowledge (engineering, spelling as opposed to pronunciation and as a synonym for orthography).

It goes without saying that an -ing form is a pure noun when it denotes an object, often the result of activity (a building - a house; a drawing, a painting - a picture). In such cases a noun unlike a gerund, may also combine with numerals, as in two drawings, four buildings, etc.

The participle

The participle is a non-finite form of the verb. There are two forms of the participle - participle I and participle II.

Participle I

§ 129. Participle I is a non-finite form of the verb with some adjectival and adverbial features. It is formed by adding the suffix -ing to the stem of the verb.*

* For rules of spelling and pronunciation see § 7. 138

The verbal character of participle I is manifested morphologically in the categories of voice and perfect (see table VII) and syntactically in its combinability. Thus, like the other non-finites, it may combine: a) with a noun or a pronoun as direct, indirect or prepositional object; b) with an adverb or a prepositional phrase as an adverbial modifier; c) with a noun or adjective as a predicative.

a) Seeing Jane, I rushed to greet her.

We didn’t utter a word while listening to the story.

b) Rising early, you’ll make your days longer.

Do you know the man sitting in the middle of the first row?

c) Being absent-minded, he went into the wrong room.

Participle I is used as a pure verb form in the formation of the continuous aspect forms.

The adjectival and adverbial features of participle I are manitested in its syntactical functions as an attribute and an adverbial modifier.

Arriving at the station, she saw him at once, leaning agains the railing.

(adverbial modifier of time, detached attribute).

Non-perfect participle I active has synonymous adjectives formed from the same verb stem, such as resulting - resultant, convulsing - convulsive, abounding - abundant, deceiving - deceptive. Some participles border on adjectives when used as attributes or predicatives, and have qualitative adjectives as synonyms; for example amusing - funny, boring - dull, deafening - (very) loud. There are even some deverbal adjectives that have completely lost their verbal meaning, for example interesting, charming.

When they lose their verbal character, participles may be modified by adverbs of degree used with adjectives, such as very, so, too, as in very (greatly, exceedingly, etc.) amusing, too boring, most exciting.

My job is with one of the ministers - too boring and distasteful to discuss.

All this was extremely gratifying.

Like an adjective, participle I forms adverbs with the suffix -ly: laughingly, jokingly, surprisingly, admiringly, appealingly, feelingly.

You surprise me, she said feelingly.

The grammatical categories of participle I

Table VII

The category of perfect

The category of perfect in participle I finds its expression in the contrast of the non-perfect and perfect forms.

The non-perfect form suggests that the action denoted by participle I is simultaneous with that of the finite verb. Thus the time-reference of the action expressed by participle I can be understood only from the context, that is it is not absolute, but relative.


Learning foreign languages

you know your native tongue better.

I used to begin my day with repeating new words.

you will learn a lot about your native tongue.

The perfect form of participle I indicates that the action denoted by the participle is prior to that denoted by the finite verb.



Having learnt the elements

of English

I shall start upon French.

our students start upon French or German.

we started upon French.

The meaning of priority may be accompanied by the notion of completion or duration, depending on whether the meaning of the verb is terminative or durative.

Dinny took the little packet, and having brought no bag, slipped it down her dress.

Having waited several hours in the snow to see me, he was not likely to show much patience when the

house was thrown into darkness.

Like that of the other non-finites, the perfect form of participle I invariably expresses priority, whereas non-perfect participle I varies in its meaning according to the context, expressing either a prior or a simultaneous or a posterior action.

Non-perfect participle I regularly expresses immediate priority and denotes an instantaneous action if it is formed from terminative verbs, such as verbs of motion (to come, to enter, to arrive, to turn, to leave), of sense perception (to see, to hear, to find) and verbs of certain specific actions associated with motion (to put, to put on, to take, to take off, to seize, to grasp, to open).

Arriving at the station, he found his train gone.

Leaving the house, Andrew continued his round.

Turning the comer, you’ll see the house you are looking for.

Hearing a noise in the garden, I looked out of the window.

Taking off our shoes, we tiptoed into the nursery.

The perfect participle of the same verbs is used when there is a lapse of time between the two actions, or when the action denoted by the participle is durative. Compare the following examples:

Seeing Jane, I rushed to greet her. But: Having seen tine girl only once, I didn’t recognize her.

Not having seen her for a long time, I didn’t recognize her.

Sometimes the perfect participle is used to emphasize priority. Compare these examples:

Her husband, finding the right key, fits it into the lock of the bureau.

Having found the place he sought, Bateman sent in his card to the manager.

Non-perfect participle I may denote a posterior action, immediately following the first action, forming its part or being its result, as in:

Lizzy left the room, banging the door shut.

John fell, hurting his knee.

There may be a lapse of time between the first and the second (posterior) action. This is evident from the context.

I then hired a car and went home, arriving just before twelve о'clock.

We left at dawn, returning late.

As seen from the above examples non-perfect participle I denoting a prior action usually precedes the predicate verb. When it denotes a posterior action, it stands always after the predicate verb. In both cases it corresponds to the Russian perfective adverbial participle (деепричастие) (приехав, повернув, услышав, сняв, поднявшись, найдя, хлопнув, вернувшись).

The category of voice

§ 130. Participle I of transitive verbs, both non-perfect and perfect, has voice distinctions, which are realized in the contrast of active and passive forms:

Translating from English into Russian, she should know well both languages.


Having translated the text into Russian, we handed it to the teacher.

Being translated into many languages, the novel is known all over the world.


Having been translated long ago, the novel is likely to be re-translated.

Participle I active denotes an action directed from the doer of the action, while participle I passive denotes an action directed towards it.

The carrier of the action may coincide with the subject of the sentence, as in the above examples. It may also be a noun modified by participle I used attributively, in whatever function the noun is used:

Do you know the students translating the text?

Have you read the text being translated by the students?

The doer of the action may be expressed by the nominal element of a predicative construction:

I heard someone mentioning your name.

I heard your name being mentioned at the conference.

Non-perfect participle I active of transitive verbs can be contrasted not only with participle I passive, but also with participle II:

taking

mentioning

teaching

holding

- being taken

- being mentioned

- being taught

- being held


- taken

- mentioned

- taught

- held


According to the syntactical function of participle I and the aspectual character of the verb, non-perfect participle I passive may denote process, as in:

Have you heard anything of the conference being held at the University? (of the conference which is

being held at the University)

The phrase The conference held at the University is ambiguous, because it might be understood as The conference that has been held or -was held or is being held.

Syntactical functions of participle I

§ 131. Participle I performs the syntactical functions characteristic of the adjective and the adverb, and can therefore be used as attribute, predicative, or as adverbial modifier.

It may be used (a) alone or (b) as headword of a participial phrase, or else (c) as part of a predicative construction:

a) Let sleeping dogs lie.

He drank his coffee standing.

b) There are some other people waiting for you.

The youth looked at him curiously, never having seen a Forsyte with a beard.

c) We found him working in the garden.

Participle I as attribute

§ 132. This function is peculiar to non-perfect participle I in its main sense, that of a process simultaneous with the action denoted by the main verb or with the moment of speech. It corresponds to the Russian imperfective participle, usually active: leading - ведущий, asking - спрашивающий, sleeping - спящий. The passive participle I corresponds to the Russian imperfective passive participle: being asked - спрашиваемый, being translated -переводимый, being built - строящийся.

When a participial phrase is used as attribute it follows the modified noun. Its verbal character is evident from its verbal combinability and sometimes from the passive form itself. A participial phrase may be (a) non-detached or (b) detached:

a) We went along the street leading to the seashore.

Emma sat in the armchair facing the door.

Another factor concerns the formality of the language being taught.

b) Once a month Tommy, arriving separately, came in for a brief drink.

A detached participial phrase is set off from the modified noun by a comma (or commas) in writing and by a pause (or pauses) in speech.

When a single participle is used as attribute, it generally functions as a premodifier. Here we usually find only participle I active of intransitive verbs. Its verbal character is clear from the processual meaning of the verb itself: living people, a sleeping dog.

Participle I as a premodifying attribute differs from the gerund in the same function. The noun serves as the subject of the action expressed by the participle, as in a living man = a man who lives, a burning house = a house that is burning, a dancing girl == a girl who is dancing (or dances). The gerund suggests the destination of the object or a person’s occupation, as in writing paper =paper for writing, dancing hall = a hall for dancing, a singing teacher = a teacher of singing. Note also the difference in stress patterns. There are two stresses in the pattern with the participle (a 'burning 'house), the second being the main stress, while in the pattern with the gerund only the first (gerundial) element is stressed (a ' dancing hall); if there are two stresses, the first component has the main stress, as in a 'speaking 'habit, a 'writing 'career.

When a prior action is meant no participle I can be used as attribute, only an attributive clause is used. Thus when we translate sentences with the Russian perfective participle active with the suffix-вш into English we must use an attributive clause: спросивший - who has asked, переводивший (ранее) - who has translated or who has (had) been translating, уехавший -who has gone, вернувшийся - who has (had) returned or who returned, depending on the context or situation:

Я разговаривал со студентами, вернувшимися с практики. – I’ve just talked to the students who have come back from their teaching practice.

Я разговаривал со студентами, вернувшимися с практики на прошлой неделе. – I’ve talked to the students who came back from their school practice last week. .

Женщина, стоявшая на крыльце, вошла в дом. - The woman who had been standing on the porch went into the house, (the action expressed by the participle is prior to that of the finite verb) But: Я обратился к женщине, стоявшей на крыльце. - I addressed the woman standing on the porch (simultaneous actions).

Participle I as adverbial modifier

§ 133. All the four forms of participle I can function as adverbial modifiers of different semantic types (time, reason, manner, attendant circumstances, and sometimes condition, concession, comparison).

The semantic type of the adverbial modifier is clear from the context and the predicate group, as in:

Being a newcomer, he felt ill at case. (adverbial modifier of reason)

In some cases, however, the functional meaning is not so obvious. For example, there may be a combination of causal and temporal meaning as in:

Seeing her, he stopped (he stopped because he saw her, or when he saw her).

or of causal and conditional meaning:

Living alone, one becomes self-centred (as one lives alone, or if one lives alone).

Very often to make the semantical relationship clearer, certain conjunctions are employed, such as: when, while, though, as if, as though, if.

1) Participle I as adverbial modifier of time may denote a simultaneous or a prior action. Here it corresponds to the Russian adverbial participle (деепричастие).

Non-perfect participle I active, when used as an adverbial modifier of time, usually conveys the meaning of the motion or state. Most often it is a participle of the verbs of motion (come, walk, go), or position in space (sit, lie, stand).

Walking along the track, Bowen burst into song.

Returning to London, Arthur had thrown himself into the work.

Standing there now on the corner of the stage, he went on as before.

Lying in the hospital with his rotting wound, he dictated his farewell letter to his brother.

The notion of simultaneity may be expressed more explicitly by the conjunctions when and while.

He felt horrible while saying this.

Don’t forget articles when speaking English.

Participle I passive in this function usually denotes priority.

He enquired hurriedly whether Mrs. Forsyte was at home and being informed that she was not, heaved a

sigh of relief.

Being left alone, Paulina and I kept silence for some time.

Perfect participle I as adverbial modifier of time, always denotes a prior action.

They wrote because they had to, and having written, thought only of what they were going to write next.

2) Participle I as adverbial modifier of reason can be expressed by all the four forms. The most frequently used non-perfect participles I are those of verbs denoting mental perception and emotions, for example, knowing, realizing, remembering, expecting, hoping, fearing; also the participles being and having.

Hoping to catch the train, we took a taxi.

She knew that we were guilty. And knowing it, the child in her was outraged.

Being there, I could see all.

He’s very conceited, you know, having parades and things all the time.

Having decided on this course of action some time ago, I was unable to stay at home.

Another characteristic feature of participles functioning as adverbials of reason consists in their combinability with negation (no matter what it is expressed by).

I turned back, not knowing where to go.

Even then he hadn’t been able to watch her, not having eyes in the back of his head.

3) The adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances is one of the most characteristic of participle I - it is considered to be the main grammatical meaning of non-perfect participle I. In this case participle I denotes some action or event parallel to the action or state denoted by the finite verb.

Deb was silent, fidgeting with the spoon in her saucer.

I laughed, and still laughing turned away eastward.

4) Participle I as an adverbial modifier of manner is akin to an adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances. The difference consists in the fact that an adverbial modifier of manner characterizes the action of the finite verb, whereas that of attendant circumstances denotes a parallel action or event.

He came in carrying a big parcel.

5) Occasionally participle I occurs as an adverbial modifier of comparison, concession or condition.

As an adverbial of comparison the participle is always preceded by the conjunction as if, as though:

As if obeying him, I turned and stared into his face.

When participle I is used as an adverbial modifier of concession the conjunction is not obligatory and then the idea of concession may be understood from the context. However the conjunction though will make the semantic relationship clearer.

Somebody was waiting: a man who, though moving irregularly, was making quite a speed in my direction.

In the same way participle I as an adverbial modifier of condition is recognized by its syntactical surroundings. It is either the subjunctive mood or the future tense form which allows a participial phrase to function as an adverbial modifier of condition:

She ought to be there and her absence might be resented, but being there she wouldn’t know what to say (но, если бы она была там ... , ... но будучи там ...).

Well, we’ll be in Scotland afore we know where we are, going at this speed (... если будем двигаться с такой скоростью).

Participle I as part of the compound verbal predicate

§ 134. Non-perfect participle I can be part of a compound verbal predicate of double orientation. Within this type of predicate participle I follows verbs of sense perception, such as to see, to hear, to feel, to find, to catch, also some causative verbs, such as to keep, to leave in the passive voice.

Jane was heard playing the piano.

Paul was found working in the garden.

The boy was caught teasing the cat.

I was kept waiting an hour or so.

I was left standing