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English Conjugation

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default English Conjugation

Post by fairth on 28/11/14, 06:12 pm

I'm thinking about using this small lesson for my English classes, if you're already pretty fluent (And may be a native-speaker) can you give me your opinion ? Any advice ? Is it clear enough ? Does it properly cover basics ?

I'm not a native, so if I made any mistakes, please correct me OTZ


What's a basic sentence ?
Subject + verbe + other complementary things.
EX: Mary + eats + a lot of things.

That's a basic sentence. What we'll focus on, however is conjugation. When and how to use each tense.
I.Present
Present tense: (Subject+verbe)

This tense is used to state, declare, describe something (ex: It is red)
         I eat a fish
     you eat a fish
She/he eats a fish  (this one is what non-native always forget)

      We eat a fish
     You eat a fish
    They eat a fish

Present be +ing: (be+verbe-ing)

This tense is used to state, declare, or describe a scene which is happening (ex: I am currently running)
         I am reading a book
     you are reading a book
She/he  is reading a book

      We are reading a book
     You are reading a book
   They are reading a book

II.Past tenses
Preterit: (subject+verbe-ed)

This tense is used to state, declare or describe a past action, which happened once and is finished. (ex: Yesterday, I destroyed a house)
         I dropped my bag

     you dropped your bag
She/he  dropped her/his bag

      We dropped our bag
     You dropped your bag
   They dropped their bag
As you can see, all we need is to add "-ed" at the end of the verb. However, we all know there are also some "irregular" verb, to which you can't add "-ed" and you have to learn them by heart. I'll come to it in a moment~

Preterit be+ing (be+verbe-ing)

This tense is used to state, declare or describe an action which was happening in the past and which is finished now. (ex: Yesterday, I was playing)
         I was fighting in a bar

     you were fighting in a bar
She/he  was fighting in a bar
      We were fighting in a bar
     You were fighting in a bar
   They were fighting in a bar

Present perfect (Have +verbe-ed)

This tense is used to talk about something which has happened in the past, but still has consequences on the present (this is why it's called "present" perfect)

         I have lived here since last year

     you have lived here since last year
She/he has lived here since last year

etc...
For irregular verbs, the "-ed" here corresponds to "-en" ending verbs or the past participle column)
Present perfect be+ing
Basically the same thing, but an action which has been in action since a certain moment in the past:
Ex: Since I moved here, I have been sleeping well
Usually, this tense is used with preterit, because preterit describes a past and finished action. So preterit is the trigger for Present Perfect be+ing.
Present perfect is similar to preterit, the difference being that Preterit begins in the past and has to stop in the past, while Present Perfect begins in the past, and can continue until present days.

Last but not least ! (My favorite Tense)
Past Perfect
This tense is the mindf*ck tense: It's used to talk about a past action, which has happened BEFORE another past action. (ex: I went to work and realized that I had forgotten my keys !)
Actually, you can describe a lot of events which have happened to you on Wednesday, and then decalare that all this happened because of Monday's events !
Ex: On Wednesday, I dropped my bag, fought in a bar, destroyed my house and even my boss slapped me. All this happened because I had broken a mirror !!

You don't even have to precise that you broke the mirror before all the other actions because Past Tense is here.
For irregular verbs, the "-ed" here corresponds to "-en" ending verbs or the past participle column)

Past Perfect be+ing
You can figure it by now:
Last Week, I saved a lot of money, married my boyfriend, and slapped back my boss, because I had been working hard for 2 years.

"All this happened..."
"..., because..."
Those are important for this tense, since they precise that there is a link between preterit's events and past perfect's events. You can just replace them with: ":" because this also means "I'm gonna explain why this happened".

III: Preterit Verb

So what are irregular verbs ? It's basically some verbs which conjugation is weird:
Each verb has 3 forms you'll have to learn by heart, and a lot of them are pretty common:
Ex:
Break   => Broke (preterit) => Broken (past participle)
Forget  => Forgot (preterit) => Forgotten (Past participle)
Build     => Built (preterit) => Built (Past participle)

Preterit form is used for Past Tenses (In preterit and Preterit+be+ing)
Past Participle form is used in Perfect Tenses (and Passive constructions).

IV.Passive Constructions

...

fairth
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default Re: English Conjugation

Post by Sayuri on 29/11/14, 09:59 pm

Ok... there are some things I wish to point out

I'm pretty sure all of the "be + ing" tenses are actually called "continuous". 
Second, all of the tenses in English are actually split in two: simple and continuous

"I watch" - Present simple 
"I am watching" - Present continuous

"I watched" - Past simple
"I was watching" - Past continuous

"I have watched" - Present perfect simple
"I have been watching" - Present perfect continuous

"I had watched" - Past Perfect Simple
"I had been watching" - Past Perfect Continuous

I strongly suggest renaming your chapter titles using the official names. This way they will be MUCH more easier to remember: their names pretty much imply when to use them. Also, should the people you're teaching ever need to find more information on the internet, THOSE are the names that will direct them to the proper grammar sites and dictionaries.

I would also like to suggest a slightly altered model for the presentation of each tense:

TENSE NAME 
(short explanation of how the tense is formed)
Short explanation of the use of the tense
An example of conjugated verb

Example:

PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE
(verb "to have" conjugated in present simple + past participle)

Use and example (you've already done that quite well, so it's just copy-paste here)


Also, I recommend you introduce the three forms of the irregular verbs progressively, as soon as they are needed.
Meaning, talk about the irregular past tense of the irregular verbs when you first introduce the past tense and talk about the past participle as soon as you talk about the present perfect simple. This way the people you're gonna teach are going to remember everything easier and much more logical.


Lastly, you have some spelling and grammar errors. 
"verbe" - it's actually "verb"
The first line from the "Preterit Verb": : So what are irregular verbs ? They are basically some verbs with weird conjugation:  (it's a section I would recommend renaming "Irregular Verbs" though, since that's what you're actually talking about. If you made the changes that I suggested earlier though, this section would be more of a revision of what you already discussed during the Past Simple and Present Perfect Simple chapters)

Those are just the mistakes that really stood out, I didn't go hunting for every single typo, if I see more, I'm gonna let you know.


Phew... that was kinda long... sorry about that ^^ Overall, I liked your explanations of the use of the verbs, they were short and clear, it's good that you actually gave at least an example for every tense and I really admire your effort of putting this all together. 
Seeing your post made me remember the time when I was learning these things myself. Yes, you got it, I'm also a foreigner XD. So all these improvements that I suggested are actually what made MY life easier when I was learning grammar. So who knows, this might make it easier for others too ^^

Sayuri
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default Re: English Conjugation

Post by fairth on 01/12/14, 10:09 pm

Yep ! I had hesitated on using "continuous" or not, because I thought it might be too much information, but after reading you, I think it will be easier to remember !
You're suggesting I make the part explaining how to form the tense longer than the "verb+blabla" I wrote ?
Okay ! I tried to make something short and clear, but I eventually cut too much information xD

OMG !! I wrote "verb" in French ! Thanks a lot for pointing that ! (I think I added an "e" when checking, because it looked too weird without it OTL)

héhé, I'll be counting on you then, for any new lesson I'd have to make >< Thanks a lot !

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default Re: English Conjugation

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