Finite and Non-finite Verbs

Finite and Non-Finite Verbs

 

Finite and Non-Finite Verbs

Finite and Non-finite Verbs

The Verb is of two types – Finite and Non-finite Verbs.  Finite verbs are used as the main Verbs and are limited by subject, tense and number whereas non-finite verbs are not limited by subject, tense and number.

A Finite Verb:

A verb that has a subject and shows grammatical tense, person and number is called a Finite Verb.  These verbs are also called Main Verbs.

Examples:

  • I go to school regularly.
  • She goes to the office by bus.
  • We are working on this project.
  • They have already visited this place.

A Non-Finite Verb:

A verb that has no subject and does not show grammatical tense, person and number is called a Non-Finite Verb. These verbs are usually infinitives, gerunds, or participles.

Examples:

  • Snehith loves to play chess.
  • To err is human.
  • You can impress them with your smiling face.
  • Smoking is injurious to health.

Note:

Sagarika learns to speak English.

In the above sentence, ‘learns’ is a Finite Verb because it has a Subject and is limited by the Number and Person of its Subject, namely Sagarika.

But the verb ‘to speak’ is a Non-Finite Verb because it has no subject and is not limited by the Number and Person.  We do not change this Verb whatever be the Subject of the Sentence.

Examples:

  • He learns to speak English.
  • We learn to speak English.
  • They learn to speak English.

 

Kinds of Non-Finite Verbs

Non-Finite Verbs are found in three different groups – Infinitives, Participles and Gerunds.

 

Infinitives:

The Infinitives are the verbs that are not limited by any subject, tense, person and number. They are generally used to show the actions and events in a more general way rather than to show the particular time and action.

 

Examples:

  • To find fault with others is easy.
  • To confuse others is his hobby.
  • He decided to attend the interview.
  • My idea is to go there.

 

There are two kinds of Infinitives:

  1. To Infinitive: to eat, to play, to drink, to clean etc.,
  2. Plain/Bare Infinitive (without to): eat, play, drink, clean etc.,

 

The Participle: (Verbal Adjective)

A participle is a form of the verb that is used as an adjective. A participle is used to modify either a noun or a pronoun. It is also known as a verbal adjective.

Examples:

  • I saw a student jumping.
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.
  • Driven by passion, he entered the teaching profession.
  • Having finished my work, I left my office.

 

There are three kinds of Participles:

  1. Present Participle: eating, playing, drinking, cleaning etc.,
  2. Past Participle: eaten, played, drunk/drunken, cleaned etc.,
  3. Perfect Participle: having eaten, having played, having drunk, having cleaned etc.,

 

The Gerund: (Verbal Noun)

The Gerund is a form of the Verb ending in ‘-ing’ and used as a Noun.  It is also called a Verbal Noun.

Examples:

  • Seeing is believing.
  • I like playing chess.
  • Teaching is my profession.

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