Test your verbs

    Von Vanessa Clark

    In Spotlight 14/19, you can practice verb forms in the context of a fun Christmas story. Here, you find a few of the exercises along with some useful explanations about past tenses, modal verbs and gerunds.


    Regular verbs

    Regular verbs form their past tense with “-ed” (for example “turned”, “pulled”). Verbs ending in “-e”, simply take a “-d” (“gazed”, “settled”). Verbs ending in a vowel plus “-y” also take “-ed” (“played”), whereas verbs ending in a consonant plus “-y” form their past tense with “-ied” (“studied”).

    Irregular verbs

    Irregular verbs (for example “know”, “be”) have different forms in the past tense (“knew”, “was”). Their past participles also have different forms (“known”, “been”). Unfortunately, these all have to be learned. You can find a comprehensive list of irregular verbs on at spotlight-online.de/irregular-verbs.



    Modal verbs

    Modal verbs are verbs such as “might”, “must”, “can”, “could” “should”, “will” and “would”. They go in front of other verbs (for example “could have”, “will tell”, “must show”). In stories, they are often found in their past form and are called “past modal verbs” (“should have spoken”, “would have been”).



    Verbs followed by a gerund

    A gerund is the “-ing” form of a verb (for example “spending”, “doing”). Some verbs are followed by a gerund, as you can see in the story: “missed spending”, “imagine holding”, “avoided looking”, “bear participating” and “enjoyed preparing”. Other examples are: “admit doing”, “deny doing”, “spend time doing” and “risk doing”. You can find a list of these verbs at spotlight-online.de/gerunds-infinitives.


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