Read the following sentences:
What can we gather from the above sentences? In the first sentence, the verb RISES agrees with the subject ‘building’ and also shows the tense. In the second sentence, the verb RAN agrees with the subject ‘spectators’ and also shows the tense. Do we see any commonality? The verbs agree with the subject in person and number and also show the tense. Such verbs are called FINITE VERBS.
Coming to sentences 3, 4 and 5 the verbs APPROACHING, HAVING HEARD and TO BUBBLE do not agree with any specific subject and also don’t show tense. Such verbs are called NON-FINITE VERBS. Non-finite verbs are of three kinds namely Gerund, Infinitive and Participle. A gerund is formed by adding ‘ing’ to a verb, an infinitive is formed by adding ‘to’ to the verb and a participle is formed by adding ‘-ing’, ‘-d, ‘-ed, ‘-en, ‘-t or ‘-n’ to the base verb.
’Running is a good way to keep fit’ is a sentence where ‘running' is a gerund.
‘I’ll arrange to see the doctor’ is a sentence where ‘to see’ is an infinitive.
‘I have been reading’ and ‘I have worked’ are sentences where ‘have been reading’ and ‘have worked’ are participles.
Verbs are very tricky but not impossible to understand. Take this quiz and learn more about finite and non-finite verbs.