English is a language of rules and conventions. These rules are known as grammar, which is important for proper understanding in the written and the spoken language. Verbs are one of the main parts of any basic communication and they are used to denote action. Verbs that are associated with the person and number of their subjects are known as main verbs. Main verbs can be classified in one way as finite and non-finite verbs (non-finites). This quiz on High English Grammar is all about the differences between finite and non-finite verbs.
Finite verbs are those that depend on the person and number of the subject, in addition to the tense, like so:
‘He plays,’ ‘I play’ and ‘She plays.’
‘He plays’ and ‘he is playing.’
In the first three examples the verb changes with the person, in the fourth with the number and in the fifth and sixth with the tense. Non-finite verbs are those that do not depend on the person, number or the tense and they are of three kinds – gerund, infinitive and participle.
All three non-finites are formed by tweaking the base verb. In the case of gerunds we add ‘-ing’ to the verb, in the case of infinitives we add ‘to’ to the base verb, and, in the case of participles we add ‘-ing’, ‘-d, ‘-ed, ‘-en, ‘-t or ‘-n’ to the base verb.
‘I HAVE EXERCISED and EXERCISING is a good way TO STAY fit.’ This sentence has all the three non-finites in it. HAVE EXERCISED, EXERCISING and TO STAY are participle, gerund and infinitive respectively.
In order to understand non-finites we must first learn to distinguish between finite and non-finite verbs. In the next four Grammar quizzes we will learn more about non-finites as they are very important and help us to make our communication very compact and devoid of repetition. Take the quiz that follows, which is the first of the four quizzes, and learn to distinguish between finites and non-finites and also learn to identify the kind of non-finites.