Verb grammar in context – a little verb grammar practice

New English word? Translate any word using double click.

Check the texts below. Tip: Before you start filling in appropriate forms, note what kind of text you are dealing with. Is it a technical text, non-fiction, opinion, part of a novel etc. Certain text types tend to be structured and written in a certain way. In a novel, for instance, a narrator tells a story mostly using a past tense form. Nevertheless, the story-telling feels immediate or present, which is why you would find something like: All was quiet tonight – ‘tonight’ suggesting present time. For this reason, some call the past tense form in stories ‘literary past tense’: though using the past tense, the story still feels as if it is unfolding ‘now’ while you are reading (see also: Tenses in fiction writing).

Text one

Every language _____________ (be) different and something expressed one way in your native language  _____________ (express) completely different in another.Try not  _____________ (understand) an English construction through translating into your mother tongue.  When struggling with a grammar construction in English, for instance, a translation into German most likely _____________ (not help).  It might even _____________ (obstruct) your learning process,  as the mistakes you make might actually _____________ (cause) by your – false – translation. Trying to understand something in a language you ______________ (learn) using translation ______________ (confuse) you further.

(Adapted from: About translation).

Text two

During the pandemic, software engineer Josh Wardle ______________ (create) a simple little game for him and his partner. He called it Wordle. Those who remember the game Master Mind easily _______________ (understand) the rules of the game. At some point, Mr Wardle ______________ (decide) to share his game online; the success was overwhelming. So much so that when the New York Times ______________ (offer) to buy it for an undisclosed seven digit sum, he agreed to sell. As there is only one Wordle a Day, people talk about it, and it _____________(become) a staple warm-up in one or the other online English course.    (P.B.)

Text three

As we move to a new work environment in which the rules still _____________ (define), the key to success _____________ (be) an open learning culture. This_____________ (involve) acknowledging good performance, but also calling out underperformance. For years, leaders _____________ (struggle) to establish effective feedback cultures and to be learning consultants for their teams. In the hybrid Wild West, leaders must help individuals and teams to learn quickly what _____________ (work) for them and ___________ (use) the classic performance ‘traffic light’ more intensively: what should we  stop, what should we change and what should we _____________(continue) doing?

Adapted from: Bob Dignen: Apart and Together. Business Spotlight 10/2021

Text four

I _____________ (express past habit + find) it easy to immerse myself in a book or a lengthy article. My mind ____________ (past habit with ‘would’ + catch up) in the twists of the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I _____________ (past habit + spend) hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration _____________(start) to drift after a page or two. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do.  I feel like I always ____________ (have to + drag) my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally ____________(become) a struggle.

Adapted from: Carr, Nicholas (2020-03-02T22:58:59). The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains . W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle-Version.

Text five

Something __________ (be) different tonight. There was an edge to this darkness that made his hackles rise. Nine days they ___________ (ride), north and northwest and then north again, farther and farther from the Wall, hard on the track of a band of wildling raiders. Each day had been worse than the day that ___________ (come) before it. Today was the worst of all. A cold wind _____________ (blow) out of the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) (S.2). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle-Version.

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