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Category : Mechanics

Compound Verbs

A compound verb is a combination of two verbs: 1) A so-called “auxiliary” verb – meaning, basically, an “additional” verb, and 2) a participle – past or present – that is essentially the “main” verb and that follows the auxiliary verb. For example:

  • Sarah was walking to the store when it started to rain.

“Walking” is the present participle (of “to walk”), and “was” is the auxiliary verb used in addition to “walking” (which is the main activity), to indicate that the walking Sarah did was ongoing.

The past participle of “to walk” can also be used in compound verbs, as in:

  • By the time Sarah had walked to the store, it had started to rain.

In this example, “had” is the auxiliary verb, and “walked” and “started” are the past participles (of “to walk” and “to start”).

Here are some other examples of compound verbs:

  • The point that Joan was trying to make was lost on her audience.
  • The meeting will reconvene in ten minutes.
  • Our professor has been talking for a very long time.
  • Our professor had been talking for a very long time when the bell rang.

Note that the auxiliary verb always orients the action in time – indicating whether the action is occurring, has already occurred, or will occur at some point in the future. Also, consider that:

“Had” (as in “had been talking”) is generally used to indicate that an action “had already occurred” (the “already” is implicit) – usually by the time that some other action took place.

“Has” (as in “has been talking”) is typically used to indicate that an action has already occurred and imply continuity (implied in “our professor has been talking for a very long time” is the thought “and may continue to keep talking”).

i.e. vs. e.g.

Consider the following pairs of examples:

Here is a variety of dry fruits, i.e., fruits that are dried to remove moisture.

Eddy is fond of eating dry fruits, e.g., fig, apricot, raisins, prunes, dates, etc.

The hospital is working towards prevention of communicable diseases, i.e., infectious diseases that are transmitted from person to person.

The hospital is working towards prevention of communicable diseases, e.g., malaria, gastroenteritis, dengue, measles, etc.

My kids love wind instruments, i.e., instruments that produce music by the vibrating sounds of air.

My kids love musical instruments, i.e., clarinet, harmonica, trumpet, flute, etc.

In the first example in each of the above pairs, “i.e.” is followed by a specific explanation to what has been said preceding it (i.e.). So the second part of the sentence (after i.e.) talks about the first part as a matter of explaining the preceding part.

In the second example in each of the above pairs, “e.g.” is followed by specific examples about what has been said before it (e.g.). So the second part of the sentence (after e.g.) talks about the first part by way of citing examples.

Both i.e. and e.g. are Latin abbreviations for “id est” (meaning, that is) and “exempli gratia” (meaning, for example) respectively, but their usage has been established in English as well. So “i.e.” and “e.g.” are written without italics. In American English, i.e. and e.g. are invariably followed by a comma while forming sentences.

A good tip to remember their exact usage:

i.e. = in other words

e.g. = example

Affect vs. Effect

Here is a comparative study of the homonyms—affect and effect.

AFFECT EFFECT
is a verb is a noun
It means “to influence,” “going to happen,”  “to set off a consequence,” etc It means “a result of,”
It must be pronounced with an “a” (as in, “a” for apple, arrow, ate, ant,  etc) It must be pronounced with an “e” (as in “e” for eagle, eat, eager, etc)
The trick is to remember “Affect” as something that will happen to bring about an affect. The trick is to remember “effect” as something that has happened because of the affect of something.
Therefore, affect is followed by effect. Therefore, effect is the consequence of an affect.
Examples for “affect:” Examples for “effect:”
The medicine affects the kidney. The effect of the medicine on the kidney was encouraging.
The poison affected the roots of the plant. In effect, the roots of the plant got burnt.
Moonrise affects the waves and tides. The high waves and tides are the effect of moonrise.
The nuclear deal between the two countries affected their otherwise cordial relationship. The effect of the nuclear deal impacted the relationship between the two countries.
What affected her throat?

The water affected her throat.

What was the effect of the water on her throat?

The effect of the water on her throat was fatal.

Can be used in phrases like “after-effect,” “side-effect,” “with effect from,” etc.