Answers: writing about verbs (Text 3)

Verbs in Text 3

The verbs are printed in red, and then listed according to their type.


Slide-sensation student slithers to victory

1194985823890195425hotel_icon_waterslide_ge_01.svg.medOne lucky student has recently landed a splash-tastic job working for a well-known international water-resort chain.

Tim Smith, 22, sailed through the heats beating off fierce competition.  In the finals, he struck gold with his slick moves, sliding and skidding to victory with style.

For his new job, Tim will have to rate the slides at top resorts and record his travel experiences in a blog. And he‘s up for it.

‘I can’t believe they’re paying me to play,’ said the triumphant winner. ‘I’ll be travelling the world and paying off my student loan at the same time.’

News in Brief, national tabloid

Dynamic verbs

slithers, landed, working for, sailed through, beating off, struck, sliding, skidding, rate, record, paying, play, said, travelling, paying off

Stative verbs

believe, ‘s (up for it)

Lexical verbs

slithers, landed, working for, sailed through, beating off, struck, sliding, skidding, rate, record, ‘s, believe, paying, play, said, travelling, paying off

Primary auxiliary verbs

has (landed), ‘re (paying), be (travelling … paying off)

Modal auxiliary verbs

 will have to (= future obligation), can’t (= not able), ‘ll (= future)

Finite verbs

Past tense: sailed through, struck, said

Present tense: slithers, has, ‘s, ‘re

Finite, but not tensed: will, can’t, ‘ll

Non-finite verbs

-ed participles: landed

-ing participles: working for, beating off, sliding, skidding, paying, travelling, paying off

Base form verbs: have to rate … record, believe, be

Infinitives: to play

Multi-word verbs

working for, sailed through, beating off, ‘s up for it (colloquial verb idiom), paying off

Note 1

Verbal nouns are nouns formed from a verb + -ing suffix which communicates a sense of process or action (landing)

Verbs and text type

This text is an example of a News in Brief article from a tabloid newspaper. The audience will be readers who wish to be entertained as well as informed, with news items that are upbeat as well as serious. The dominant purpose of this particular item is clearly to entertain – the language is often colloquial and the subject matter frivolous. The context is defined by the kind of newspaper in which the article appears. Although it is from a national paper, the approach is quite informal: paragraphs are no more than two sentences in length; the lexical choice is stylised with neologisms like splash-tastic and water-related words used to create a light-hearted tone; multi-w0rd verbs, verb idioms and contractions contribute to the speech-like quality of the writing.

Five key points about the verbs:

  1. the headline uses a verbal noun to imply action, while the sub-headline uses the present tense to create a sense of immediacy
  2. the outcome is recalled using a present tense verb + -ed participle (has … landed) to describe an action in the past with present relevance (i.e. getting the job), and simple past tense verbs (sailed through, struck) to mark preceding events (i.e. the competition)
  3. modal verbs are used to indicate future events (will have to rate … , ‘ll be travelling), and obligation (have to rate … and record)
  4. non-finite -ing participles communicate on-going continuous action (working for, Beating off, sliding, skidding)
  5. direct speech introduced by the past tense quoting clause said … varies the pace of the report and gives the main participant the opportunity to respond in his own words

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