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Every clause has a finite verb phrase! 

 

English clauses are understood by word order. 

The finite verb phrase in every clause follows the subject, and precedes other information in the predicate.  

Examples of other information in the predicate include adverbial prepositional phrases, subordinate adverbial clauses, or direct objects.  

Finite  verb phrases include the main verb and auxiliary verbs. 

Verb  phrases must obey a strict word order.

clause

auxiliary verb

main verb

The teacher reads to her students every day.

 

do: does  

 

read

read + s

The boy remembered the story. 

do: did  

 

remember

remember + -ed

The children have drawn many pictures. 

  

have: present tense, have / has

 

draw

drawn: perfect-passive participle

The child is learning many words.

new words

 

jungle

desert

mountain

 

lion

rabbit

stick

 

be: present tense :  is

learn

learn + -ing continuous participle

 

clause

auxiliary verbs

main verb

The child will be reading books by himself very soon! 

will: modal

be: basic form

read

read + - ing continuous participle 

 

clause

auxiliary verbs

main verb

By this time next year, the child will have been reading many books by himself.

  

will: modal

have: basic form 

be + -en: perfect-passive participle  

read

read + -ing                    continuous participle 

 

Click here for the problem of two or more auxiliaries.

  Finite verb phrases must maintain the word order of  auxiliary--main verb.