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Anyone studying English? Can you tell me the difference between a finite and non-finite verb?

(3 Posts)
MrsShalloway Sun 21-Sep-08 09:54:02

Wasn't sure whether to put this here or in with the Pedants smile

The definition in front of me is 'A finite verb is the form of a verb that can use a pronoun as its subject'. I do get that, but for some reason still find it hard to identify them in a text.

Could anyone put it another way for me?

Ta, mumsnetters

Elasticwoman Sun 21-Sep-08 14:47:24

It is hard to understand without some examples.

EG I like to read the paper.

"like" is the finite verb
"to read" is an infinitive. It is also a verb because it denotes an action, but it doesn't tell you when.

The same sentence with a different finite verb each time might be

He liked to read the paper.

We will have liked to read the paper.

Do you like to read the paper?

MrsShalloway Sun 21-Sep-08 15:01:06

Thanks Elastic,

I've had a couple of replies from the pedants too.

You've all described it slightly differently and I think I get it now so thanks!

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