The paradigm of the verb in the present indefinite — КиберПедия 

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The paradigm of the verb in the present indefinite

Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I speak He (she, it) speaks We speak You speak They speak Do I speak? Does he (she, it) speak? Do we speak? Do you speak? Do they speak? I do not (don’t) speak He (she, it) does not (doesn’t) speak We do not (don’t) speak You do not (don’t) speak They do not (don’t) speak


a) Do I not speak? Does he (she, it) not speak? Do we not speak? Do you not speak? Do they not speak? b) Don’t I speak? Doesn’t he (she, it) speak? Don’t we speak? Don’t you speak? Don’t they speak?



The auxiliary to do can occur in the affirmative form as well, if special emphasis is required. In this case the auxiliary is always stressed:

Ask him again, he ‘does know what it was.

She ‘does help me so much!


§ 18. There are some verbs that form their present indefinite in a different way.

These are:


1) The verb to be, which has synthetic forms not only for affirmative, but also for interrogative, negative and negative-interrogative structures. Besides, it distinguishes the category of number and has in the singular the category of person*.

* See the table on p. 339.


2) The verb to have when meaning to possess also builds its interro­gative, negative and negative-interrogative forms synthetically.

When the verb to have has a modal meaning or when it is used as part of a phrase verb it makes its interrogative, negative and negative-interrogative forms in the ordinary way, that is with the auxiliary to do:


When do you have to get up in order to catch the first morning train?

She does not have any lunch at home.


3) All the modal verbs do not take the inflexion -s in the 3rd person singular. They form their interrogative and negative forms without the auxiliary to do.


The present indefinite.


1. To state facts in the present.


I live in St.-Petersburg.

Most dogs bark.

It’s a long way to Tipperary.


2. To state general rules or laws of nature, that is to show that something was true in the past, is true in the present, and will be true in the future.


It snows in winter.

Snow melts at 0°C.

Two plus two makes four.


3. To denote habitual actions or everyday activity.


They get up at 8.

On Sundays we stay at home.

Do you often go to the dancing hall?


4. To denote actions and states continuing at the moment of speaking (with statal and relational verbs, verbs of sense and mental perception.)


Who does the car belong to?

I do not see what you are doing.

Now I hear you perfectly well.

I do not understand you at all.


5. To express declarations, announcements, etc. referring to the moment of speaking.


I declare the meeting open.

I agree to your proposal.

I offer you my help.


6. To denote a succession of action going on at the moment of speaking.


Now watch me closely: I take a match, light it, put it into the glass and ... oh, nothing happens!


7. To denote future actions.


a) Mostly with verbs of motion (to go, to come, to start, to leave, to return, to arrive, to sail and some other verbs), usually if the actions denote a settled plan and the future time is indicated:


I go to Moscow next week.

They start on Sunday.

She leaves for England in two months.

What do you do next Sunday?


b) In adverbial clauses of time and condition after the conjunctionswhen, till, until, as soon as, as long as, before, after, while, if, unless, in case, on condition that, provided, etc.:


Whenshe comes, ring me up, please.

Do it as soon as you are through with your duties.

I promise not to tell her anything if you help me to get out of here.


However in object clauses introduced by the conjunctions when and if it is the future indefinite that is used to denote future actions:


I don’t know whenshe will come.

I’m not sure ifshe will come at all.


8. To denote past actions:

a) in newspaper headlines, in the outlines of novels, plays., films, etc.:


Dog Saves Its Master.

Students Say No to New Weapon.

Then Fleur meets Little Jon. They fall in love with each other.


b) in narratives or stories to express past actions more vividly (the so-called historic present):


It was all so unexpected. You see, I came home late last night, turned on the light and - whom do you think I see? Jack, old Jack, sleeping in the chair. I give a cry, rush to him and shake him by the shoulder.


9. To denote completed actions with the meaning of the present perfect(with the verbs to forget, to hear,

to be told).


I forget your telephone number.

I hear you are leaving for England?

I am told she returned from France last week.


The present continuous


§ 20. Meaning. The present continuous* denotes an action which is in progress at the moment of speaking.

* Nowadays it is sometimes called "the present progressive".


§ 21. Formation. All the forms of the present continuous are ana­lytic. They are formed by means of the present indefinite of the auxiliary to be and participle I of the notional verb.

In the interrogative the corresponding form of the auxiliary to be is placed before the subject and participle I follows it.

In the negative the negation ‘not’ is placed after the auxiliary.


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