Introduction to Reading English

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English is constructed of:

  1. Nouns - Nouns are Objects, meaning Persons, Places, or Things.
    1. Example - I threw the ball.
  2. Verbs - Lexical Verbs fall into three main categories, actions, states and events.
  3. [Action] Action verbs may have an object (transitive verbs) or they may have none (intransitive verbs)
    1. Example - Action (transitive):I threw the ball.
    2. Example - Action (intransitive) : He smiled.
  4. [state] State verbs are verbs like love, hate, think, believe. They tend to be verbs concerned with emotions and thinking, as well as the verb to be
    1. Example - I admire him for his courage
  5. [Event] Some verbs describe events rather than actions.
    1. Example - Stocks fell on Wall Street this morning.
  6. Auxiliary Verbs - These are the verbs be, do and have. They are used for interrogatives, aspect and passive. Note that the three verbs can also exist as lexical verbs.
    1. Example - Do you like her?
    2. Example - He has been living here for three years.
    3. Example - He was killed in an accident.
  7. Modal Verbs Core modal verbs (must, could, should, might, can, may, will, would, shall) indicate degree of probability/certainty/necessity and are also used to indicate politeness and tentativeness.
    1. Example - (probability) He could be in Birmingham but he might have gone to Nuneaton.
    2. Example - (necessity) You must sign it now or you'll lose the money.
    3. Example - (politeness) Would you step this way, sir?
  8. Adjectives - Words that DESCRIBE Nouns.
    1. Example - I threw the red ball.
  9. Adverbs - Words that DESCRIBE Verbs.
    1. Example - I quickly threw the red ball.
  10. Pronouns - Words that IDENTIFY the Actor or Object.
    1. Example - I quickly threw the red ball.
    2. Example - He quickly threw the red ball.
    3. Example - It quickly threw the red ball.
    4. Example - I quickly threw the red ball at it.