New English word? Translate any word using double click.
If not, it is not a verb, but a participle. (Example: …have watched…watched is a ‘past participle’)
What’s wrong with the following utterances (sentences people said – the * denotes a truly wrong form):
- *They might went
- *We could wrote
- …*to said..
Let’s look at some examples
|We||went||shopping in the afternoon.|
|They||played||cards last night.|
|She||taught||English (before she retired).|
|We||looked at||each other.|
|The dog||barked||at the delivery van.|
|I||walked||my dog this morning.|
|They||biked||to work all year long.|
|We||hiked||in Italy this summer.|
If you wanted to express that none of the things stated above happened…..
|We||didn’t||go||shopping in the afternoon.|
|They||didn’t||play||cards last night.|
|She||didn’t||teach||English (before she retired).|
|He||didn’t||see||anything (note the change of ‘nothing’ to ‘anything’).|
|We||didn’t||look at||each other.|
|The dog||didn’t||bark||at the delivery van.|
|I||didn’t||walk||my dog this morning.|
|They||didn’t||bike||to work all year long.|
|We||didn’t||hike||in Italy this summer.|
The function of the English auxiliary is very important to understand. Whenever there is an auxiliary in a verb phrase: a form of BE or HAVE, may, might, should, could, must, will or would, the main verb – the verb that carries the meaning of e.g. an activity – is in the INFINITIVE form or a PARTICPLE. There are NO exceptions. It is ALWAYS like that. To understand DO or DID as auxiliaries you need to accept this fact of the English verb structure.
And after an infinitive TO (not TO the preposition), the verb is ALWAYS in infinitive form. So …to say and not …
When we have a sentence in the simple past, that is all there is in the verb phrase: one verb in the simple past (see first group of examples). Nothing else.
Forming questions follows the same principle as stating something DID NOT happen. Using the examples above, form some questions.
Example: What did you do yesterday? When did you go shopping?
Note that, again, you have DID and an infinitive.