THE FCE BLOG by Claudia Ceraso

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Parts of Speech: What's in a verb?


Let's begin by clarifying the basics. Parts of speech are generally taken for granted in our advanced courses, yet some details need reviewing by focusing on small differences.

The parts of speech in a sentence are usually identified by structure, the right order is important. A simple question such as: What do you do? gets two different verbs with distinct functions, although they are spelled the same, but the position in the sentence will distinguish the auxiliary from the main verb.

You can put parts of speech to the test in order to identify them. Here is an image prepared by Mrs Gilbert for her class:

Now, taking a closer look at the verbs, we usually forget to distinguish a transitive from an intransitive verb. A distinction that will be very useful to master the different forms phrasal verbs can take.

Here is a video from the Cambridge Latin Course which takes a very interesting approach to explain the basics when it comes to parts of speech. Do you have 7 minutes? Watch this.

Now that you can tell the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, you might as well explore this website for a more extensive collection of examples. There in the Woodward English website, you will see a video to explain how these concepts relate to phrasal verbs, which they summarize in the following graph:

All right. This is a lot to take in at one single post!


Remember the time to learn these grammar distinctions will take you a long way in your future studies of the English language.


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