Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Verb Constructions

Some people asked "what's shakin'?" It is an informal way of saying "what's going on?" or "What's new/up?" You can also say "What's happenin'/cookin'?" You drop the 'g' at the end because that's how most young people speak (they tend not to pronounce 'g' at the end of 'ing'.

Let's look at some verb constructions with two complements, that can be used with or without a preposition. For example:
"He gave the dog a bone" Vs "He gave a bone to the dog."
How does that sound?

First of all, many verbs accept two different complements after them (such as "He gave [the dog] [a bone]", where 'the dog' is a complement, and 'a bone' is a second complement). However, these complements are different. One is the recipient (the one who receives), one is the object (the actual thing that is given). Can you tell me, in the example I gave you, which one is:
the recipient: __________
the object: __________

 In "He gave the dog a bone", 'the dog' is the recipient, the one who receives. 'A bone' is the object that is given.
You have two choices to express two complements with verbs such as 'give', and both are correct:
1) Verb + recipient + object (he gave the dog a bone)
2) Verb + object + TO + recipient (he gave a bone to the dog)

Some verbs that work like 'give' and accept two complements are:
- award, bring, feed, give, grant, hand, leave, lend, offer, owe, pass, pay, promise, read, sell, send, show, teach, tell, throw, etc.

Complete the following with two complements of your choice:
1) "She offered ___________ ______________"
2) "She offered ___________ to ______________"

Now, there is a second category of verbs, such as 'order', which take a different preposition than 'to'. For instance:
1) "He ordered me a coffee" (structure 1, no preposition)
2) "He ordered a coffee ___ me". What is the preposition missing?

And the correct answer was..... FOR :) "He ordered a coffee for me."
Verbs such as 'offer' can also have two complements: a beneficiary (the one who benefits from something) and the object (the thing that they get).

Some verbs similar to 'offer' and used with the preposition 'for' are:
- buy, choose, cook, do, find, get, keep, make, paint, play, reserve, save, write, etc.

Let's practice! Complete the following with two complements of your choice:
1) I bought ___________ _____________
2) I bought ___________ for ____________

I think you now see the difference between the two types of verbs that take 'to' (give) and 'for' (order).

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