Friday, 28 December 2012

The Infinitive


The Forms of the Infinitive

  Active Passive
Indefinite to teach to be taught
Continuous to be teaching to be being taught
Perfect to have taught to have been taught
Perfect Continuous to have been teaching    ---

The Indefinite Infinitive expresses an action simultaneous with that expressed by the finite verb.
E.g.: I shall be glad to see him.

The Continuous Infinitive denotes an action in progress simultaneous with that expressed by the finite verb.
E.g.: He seemed to be waiting for us.

The Perfect Infinitive denotes an action prior to that expressed by the finite verb.
E.g.: I am sorry to have troubled you.

The Perfect Continuous Infinitive denotes an action which lasted a certain time before the action of the finite verb.
E.g.: He proved to have been teaching English for ten years.

The Active Infinitive denotes that the subject is the doer of the action.
The Passive Infinitive denotes that the subject is acted upon.
E.g.: The man came to teach us English.
         The man came to be taught English.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Modal Phrases (Had Better and Would Rather)


Semi-modal multi-word constructions 'had better' and 'would rather' are followed by the infinitive without to.

Examples: 
  • We had better go into the house because it is raining. 
  • I can come today but I would rather come tomorrow.

Had Better

'Had better' expresses advice and means 'would find it wiser or more suitable'.
E.g.: You had better go now (=it would be good, wise or suitable for you to go now).

Synonyms: ought to do something / should do something.

In negative structures, better comes before not.
E.g.: You had better not go now.

Patterns. Read and memorize!
  1. We had better take an umbrella. It may rain. (We’d (1) better…) 
  2. He’d better stop and have a rest if he feels tired. 
  3. You’d better go on the excursion. 
  4. You had better not eat so much. (You’d better…) 
  5. Hadn’t you better hurry if you want to catch the eight o’clock train? (2) 
  6. What had I better put on for the party?
Note 1: - The contracted form ‘d is very common.
Note 2: - The negative form 'hadn't better' is used mainly in questions: Hadn't we better try again later?

►'Had' is sometimes dropped in very informal speech.
E. g. : You better go now. 
           I better try again later.