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TROUBLESOME PAIRS OF VERBS

Some pairs of verbs confuse learners of English because their meanings are related but not the same. Others confuse them because they sound similar, but their meanings are different. Others are similar in appearance but different in meanings. The pairs meaning Present tense, Past tense, Past participle. Examples of its usage

1 Sit

Set: To be in a seated position

To put or place Sit

Set Sat

Set Sit on that chair.

Set the cage down.

 

  1. Lie

Lay: to rest in a flat position

To put or place Lie

Lay: Lay

Laid: lain

Laid: The cat lies on the table.

Lay the cloth on the table.

 

  1. Rise

Raise: To move upward

To move something upward or to lift rise

Raise rose

Raised: risen

Rise: The children rise up early in the morning.

The scout raised the flag.

 

  1. Let

Leave: To allow or permit

To depart or to allow to remain where it is let

Leave let

Left: let

Left: Let the bird go free.

Leave this house now!

Leave the door closed.

 

  1. Learn

Teach To gain knowledge or skill

To help someone learn or to show how or explain Learn

Teach: Learned

Taught: Learned

Taught: I learned a lot in school.

That teacher taught me in Biology.

 

  1. Can

May: To be able

To be allowed: I can ride my bike well.

You may go out.

 

Exercise

Pick the correct verb from the ones given in brackets in the following sentences.

  1. Studying spiders closely can (learn, teach) us how they get their food.
  2. An insect that (lays, lies) motionless on a leaf can become prey to some other animal.
  3. The lion will (lay, lie) there waiting for its prey.
  4. The monster spider (sits, sets) patiently near its web.
  5. Experience has (taught, learned) me not to take things for granted.
  6. A bird (raises, rises) its body using its wings.
  7. This (raises, rises) another question,
  8. Nature has (learned, taught) spiders new tricks.
  9. The watchman instantly (raises, rises) the alarm when there is danger.
  10. The trappers have (lain, laid) fresh traps for the porcupines.

 

Answers on Verbs

Exercise 1

  1. Seems – Linking verb
  2. Watched – Action verb
  3. Cheered – Action verb
  4. Seems – Linking verb
  5. Is – Linking verb
  6. Aimed – Action verb
  7. Blew – Action verb
  8. Was – Linking verb
  9. Is – Linking verb
  10. Seems – Linking verb

 

Exercise 2

Helping verb, Main verb

  1. Is singing
  2. Has begun
  3. Can travel
  4. Had waited
  5. Will be visiting
  6. Have come
  7. Must buy
  8. Has chosen
  9. Is hitting
  10. Will go

Exercise 3

  1. Studies
  2. Splashes
  3. Washes
  4. Hurries
  5. Discuss

 

Exercise 4

  1. Watched
  2. Cried
  3. Yelled
  4. Baked
  5. Shopped

Exercise 5

  1. Will write
  2. Will stop
  3. Will decide
  4. Shall practice
  5. Will multiply

Exercise 6

  1. Like
  2. Brushes
  3. Rotates
  4. Visits
  5. Rises

 

Exercise 7

  1. Started 6. Breathed
  2. Added 7. Roamed
  3. Trapped 8. Obeyed
  4. Annoyed 9. Worried
  5. Pitied 10. Fitted

Exercise 8

  1. will/shall see 6. will/shall develop
  2. will/shall go 7. will/shall begin
  3. will/shall exist 8. will/shall consume
  4. will/shall introduce 9. will/shall hunt
  5. will/shall bring 10. will/shall become

Exercise 9

  1. John has come here every year. – present perfect
  2. John has been coming here every year. – present perfect progressive
  3. John had come here every year. – past perfect
  4. John had been coming here every year. – past perfect progressive
  5. John will have come here every year. – future perfect
  6. John will have been coming here every year. – future perfect progressive.

 

Exercise 10

  1. Jane is playing the guitar. – present progressive
  2. Jane has been playing the guitar. – present perfect progressive
  3. Jane was playing the guitar. – past progressive
  4. Jane had been playing the guitar. – past perfect progressive
  5. Jane will play the guitar. – future progressive
  6. Jane will have been playing the guitar. – future perfect progressive

Exercise 11

  1. Guard 6. Cleans
  2. Stands 7. Study
  3. Cross 8. Visits
  4. Use 9. Wed
  5. Feed 10. Run

Exercise 12

                 Present                         Past                        Past participle

  1. Prevent                              prevented                          prevented
  2. Donate                               donated                             donated
  3. Hurry                                 hurried                               hurried
  4. Worry                                worried                               worried
  5. Train                                  trained                               trained
  6. Aid                                      aided                                  aided
  7. Relieve                              relieved                              relieved
  8. Share                                 shared                                shared
  9. Enrol                                 enrolled                              enrolled
  10. Save                                   saved                                   saved

 

Exercise 13

             Present                         Past                        Past participle

  1. Arise                                  arose                         arisen
  2. Tear                                   tore                            torn
  3. Wear                                  wore                          worn
  4. Lay                                     laid                             lain
  5. See                                     saw                             seen
  6. Fall                                    fell                              fallen
  7. Blow                                 blew                             blown
  8. Freeze                              froze                            frozen
  9. Fly                                    flew                              flown
  10. Write                              wrote                           written

 

Exercise

  1. Presented – active
  2. Were taken – positive
  3. Ordered – active
  4. Restored – passive
  5. Cleared – active
  6. Was harvested – passive
  7. Stressed – active
  8. Were urged – passive
  9. Is developing – active
  10. 10. Was started – passive

Exercise 15

Action verbs direct object

  1. Carried his bag
  2. Discussed the examination paper
  3. Took a trip
  4. Splashed me
  5. Gave interesting facts
  6. Searched the house
  7. Cheered the team
  8. Bought a camera
  9. Admires Papa Shirandula
  10. Viewed the shooting star

Exercise 16

  1. Transitive 6. Intransitive
  2. Transitive 7. Transitive
  3. Intransitive 8. Intransitive
  4. Transitive 9. Transitive
  5. Intransitive 10. Intransitive

Exercise 17

  1. Teach 6. Raises
  2. Lies 7. Raises
  3. Lie 8. Taught
  4. Sits 9. Raises
  5. Taught 10. Laid

 

See also

TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS

ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VERB FORMS

REGULAR AND IRREGULAR VERBS

SUBJECT – VERB AGREEMENT

THE PROGRESSIVE VERB FORMS

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