Finites and Non-Finites



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Finites and Non-Finites :



A finite verb is one which has a tense.

For example, the following are finite verbs.

1. helps (He helps me. - Simple present tense)
2. is helping (He is helping me. - Present continuous tense)
3. helped (He helped me. - Simple past tense)

A finite verb is also one which has a modal (like can, may, must, will, would).

For example, the following are finite verbs.

1. can write (He can write.)
2. must read (You must read.)
3. would come (They would come.)

To sum up, a finite verb is one which has a tense or a modal.

A non-finite verb is one which does not have a tense or a modal.

For example, the following are non-finite verbs.

1. helping
2. sing (He can sing.)
3. to write

Finite verbs can be called finites.
Non-finite verbs can be called non-finites.
There are several kinds of non-finites.

They are…

1. base form or bare infinitive, e.g. go (He will go.), speak, sit, ask

2. to-infinitive, e.g. to go (He wants to go.), to speak, to write, to keep

3. -ing form, e.g. going (He is going.), singing, reading

4. past participle, e.g. gone (He has gone.), spoken, written, grown

An ING form is called a present participle. When used in some patterns, it is called a gerund. There is difference between a present participle and a gerund.

Finites and Non-Finites



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