Verb patterns: with or without objects?

Verbs in English can be divided into two groups:
Transitive verbs and Intransitive verbs.

TRANSITIVE VERBS

OS VERBOS TRANSITIVOS PEDEM UM OBJETO PARA COMPLETAR SEU SIGNIFICADO.

Imagine que eu diga:

  • I bought.

Esta frase está incompleta. Há informações que estão faltando.

Você deve estar se perguntando o que eu comprei. (O que você comprou?)

VERBO TRANSITIVO NECESSITA DE UM OBJETO DEPOIS DELE PARA COMPLETAR A FRASE/SITUAÇÃO. O objeto depois de um verbo transitivo pode ser um substantivo ou um pronome.

  • I bought a car.

Agora a frase está completa e podemos entendê-la, pois adicionamos o objeto “a car” após o verbo.

Veja outros exemplos. Se alguém disser:

  • She likes.

Você provavelmente pensa… Ela gosta de QUE ou de QUEM? (De que ou de quem ela gosta?)

Like é um verbo transitivo, então precisamos de um objeto após o verbo.

  • She likes chocolate.

Agora sabemos de que ela gosta, então a frase está completa e correta.

  • I invited Angelica.

Você não pode simplesmente dizer eu convidei, pois a frase está incompleta. A pessoa que está ouvindo provavelmente perguntará “Quem você convidou?” Portanto, precisamos de um objeto (neste caso, uma pessoa) após o verbo transitivo convidar.

  • I cut my finger.

Você não pode simplesmente dizer, eu cortei, porque a frase está incompleta. A pessoa que está ouvindo provavelmente perguntará “Cortou o quê?” Cortar é um verbo transitivo porque você corta algo (um objeto, uma coisa).

  • The man stole a bike.

Precisamos dizer O QUE o homem roubou para entender a frase/situação. Roubar é um verbo transitivo. O objeto nesta frase é a bicicleta.

Então, vimos que os verbos transitivos precisam de um objeto depois deles. Este OBJETO SOFRE A AÇÃO DO VERBO.

Subject + transitive verb + object

Os VERBOS TRANSITIVOS SEMPRE PERGUNTAM “O QUÊ?” ou “QUEM?”

  • What did you buy? – I bought a car.
  • What did you cut? – I cut my finger.
  • Whom did she invite? – I invited Angelica.

As mesmas regras aplicam-se aos phrasal verbs. Se alguém disser:

  • “I’m looking for

Você pensaria automaticamente “Procurando o quê? Procurando quem?” Precisamos adicionar um objeto para completar a frase.

  • I am looking for my passport.

Meu passaporte é o objeto (que você está procurando).

Example sentences using TRANSITIVE verbs:

  • We enjoyed the concert.
  • I opened the door.
  • She kicked the ball.
  • He took me to a restaurant.
  • I saw an accident.
  • He copied my answer.

INTRANSITIVE VERBS

VERBOS INTRANSITIVOS NÃO PODEM TER UM OBJETO DIRETO DEPOIS DELES.

O sujeito está executando a ação do verbo, e nada está recebendo a ação.

  • He arrived.

Não podemos ter um objeto após o verbo intransitivo chegar. Você não pode “chegar algo” (incorreto).

Um verbo intransitivo expressa uma ação que é completa em si mesma e não precisa de um objeto para receber a ação.

  • The baby smiled.

Não podemos ter um objeto depois do verbo intransitivo sorrir. Você não pode “sorrir algo” (incorreto).

  • The apple fell from the tree.

Você não pode “cair alguma coisa” então o verbo é intransitivo. “Da árvore” não é um objeto, é uma frase adverbial (= atua como um advérbio e nos diz onde aconteceu).

As mesmas regras aplicam-se aos phrasal verbs intransitivos. Não podemos ter um objeto após um phrasal verb intransitivo.

  • get up at 6 every morning.

More examples:

  • They jumped.
  • The dog ran.
  • She sang.
  • A light was shining.

Nenhum desses verbos requer um objeto para que a frase faça sentido, e todos eles podem terminar uma frase.

Algumas formas imperativas de verbos podem até formar frases compreensíveis de uma palavra.

  • Run!
  • Sing!

VERBS THAT ARE TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE

Muitos verbos podem ser transitivos e intransitivos. Eles podem ser transitivos em uma frase e intransitivos em outra frase.

Compare: (transitive) – (intransitive)

stopped the car. –  The car stopped.
broke my coffee mug. – My coffee mug broke.
The summer heat melted my ice cream. – My ice cream melted.
She speaks Arabic. –  She speaks very quickly.
Mike is reading a book. – Mike is reading.
New Zealand won the match. – New Zealand won.

Nestes exemplos, embora um deles tenha um objeto e o outro não, o significado é similar. Mas às vezes pode ser diferente:

  • He runs along the beach every morning. / Ele corre pela praia todas as manhãs. (intransitive: run – the action/sport)
  • He runs a small grocery store. /  Ele dirige uma pequena mercearia. (transitive: run = manage)

Na dúvida entre transitivo e intransitivo e seu significado, consulte um bom dicionário.

PRACTICE

Try the game about transitive vs intransitive verbs.

To wrap up

O phrasal verb to wrap up é muito comum, e tem vários usos em inglês.

Os verbos frasais (phrasal verbs) são formados por um verbo e por uma partícula (advérbios ou preposições). Eles possuem um sentido que leva em consideração a sua unidade como um todo, isto é, o verbo + preposição ou o verbo + advérbio.

Da mesma forma, Idioms (expressões idiomáticas) são expressões consolidadas, próprias do idioma, e cujo significado não corresponde diretamente com o significado literal das palavras individuais.

Vejamos alguns usos de WRAP UP:

1 – EMBRULHAR

  • Don’t forget to wrap up Dan’s present before you go to the party.
    Não se esqueça de embrulhar o presente do Dan antes de você ir para a festa.
  • Thank you! You don’t need to wrap it up. Obrigada! Não precisa embrulhá-lo/la.

2 – AGASALHAR

  • Wrap up well – it’s cold outside. Agasalhe-se bem – está frio lá fora.
  • I can hear my mother telling me to wrap up warm.
    Eu posso ouvir minha mãe dizendo-me para me agasalhar.

3 – ENCERRAR ou FINALIZAR

  • We need to wrap up this meeting and get back to work.
    Precisamos concluir esta reunião e voltar ao trabalho.
  • I can wrap up this little project in a week.
    Eu posso finalizar este pequeno projeto em uma semana.
  • She wrapped up a deal just before she left on vacation. Ela fechou um acordo pouco antes de sair de férias.

4 – RESUMIR

  • He wrapped the proposal up in the final paragraph.
    Ele resumiu a proposta no parágrafo final.
  • The reporter wrapped up the mayor’s speech in a few sentences.
    O repórter resumiu o discurso do prefeito em algumas frases.

5 – “Wrap up in“, como ESTAR ABSORVIDO EM / ENVOLVIDO COM

  • He’s so wrapped up in himself that he rarely calls me. Ele está tão absorto em si mesmo que ele raramente me liga.

Now listen carefully to this video to learn how Australians use the word WRAPPED (adjective) to describe a person’s feelings when they are extremely excited or happy about something. Take notes of the examples.

E se quiser além, assista o vídeo até o final para aprender expressões como:

WRAP AROUND (OR WRAP ROUND) – colocar algo em torno de outra coisa;

TO HAVE (SOMEONE) WRAPPED AROUND (ONE’S) FINGERidiom – ter total controle sobre alguém;

KEEP (SOMETHING) UNDER WRAPSidiom – dizer que algo está sendo mantido em segredo;

THAT’S (IT’S) A WRAP!idiom – anunciando o fim de algo

Write down the examples and look up the words you don’t know. 😉

ON time vs. IN time

Are you normally ON TIME for things?
(Or do you often arrive late to things?)

The meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m. / A reunião foi marcada para às 10h.

Do I say…. I arrived on time. … or … I arrived in time?

Ambas expressões, ON TIME e IN TIME, basicamente significam o mesmo, NOT LATE, mas com uma pequena diferença.

On time = punctual

Quando algo acontece ON TIME, acontece na hora prevista, pontualmente.

= punctual
= on schedule /
conforme marcado
= at the planned time
= at the correct time
= neither early nor late

  • The meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m.

Apesar de estar preso no trânsito, consegui chegar ON TIME/ no horário da reunião.
Isso significa que eu não estava atrasado. Cheguei no horário planejado.

  • Susan always arrives late to work. She is never on time. / Susan sempre chega atrasada ao trabalho. Ela nunca chega no horário.

Isso significa que ela nunca chega na hora certa. Ela nunca é pontual.

IN time = before a set time

IN TIME, significa a tempo, com tempo suficiente para fazer alguma coisa ou em um momento que parece ser perfeitamente adequado.

= before something happens
= before the scheduled time /
antes do horário marcado
= with time to spare
/ com tempo de sobra

  • The meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m.

I arrived at 9.30 so I could have some coffee before the meeting started.
I arrived in time to have some coffee before it started.

Isso significa que cheguei antes do horário planejado de 10 h e tive tempo suficiente para tomar um café antes do início da reunião. Cheguei antes do horário marcado para a reunião, cedo o suficiente para poder fazer outra coisa.

Just in time

Just in time refere-se a algo acontecendo no último momento, pouco antes do prazo ou pouco antes de algo acontecer. Significa que algo estava quase tarde demais.

The project was due at 10 a.m. / O projeto estava previsto para ser finalizado, entregue, às 10h.

We finished it a couple of minutes before it was due. / Terminamos alguns minutos antes do prazo.

  • We finished the project just in time.

Outro exemplo:

  • I arrived home just in time to avoid the heavy rain. / Cheguei em casa bem a tempo de evitar a chuva forte.

Check this all out in the video.

Note que é tudo uma questão de contexto. Se a ideia for dizer NA HORA EXATA, use ON TIME. Caso a intenção seja a de dizer A TEMPO, então use IN TIME.

PRACTICE: Complete the sentence with on time and/or in time.

  1. He’s very punctual. He always arrives _____.
  2. We’ve missed the boarding time but if we run to the gate, maybe we can make it ______ to stop the airplane doors closing.
  3. We weren’t ______ for the start of the ceremony, but we were ______ to see the bride and groom exchange rings.

Carefully watch the video and notice the new vocabulary.

So don’t be late! Instead, be always on time or in time. 😉

Answers: 1. on time; 2. in time; 4. on time / in time

Finished actions: present perfect or simple past?

PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE*: WE THINK ABOUT THE PAST AND PRESENT TOGETHER

When we think about the past and present together, we normally use the present perfect.

  • I‘ve written to John, so he knows what’s happening now.
  • I‘ve made a cake. Would you like some?
  • Look! I‘ve bought a new dress.

SIMPLE PAST*: WE THINK ONLY ABOUT THE PAST, NOT THE PRESENT

*Check the complete lessons for each one of these verb tenses.

When we think only about the past, we most often use the simple past.

  • My grandfather wrote me a lot of letters. (He’s dead now; I’m not thinking about the present.)
  • I made a cake for the children, but they didn’t like it. (I’m not talking about the present.)
  • I bought a new dress for the party last Tuesday. (I’m thinking only about last Tuesday.)

We don’t normally use the present perfect with words for a finished time.

I‘ve seen Ann. or

I saw Ann yesterday.

but not: I’ve seen Ann yesterday.

EXERCISE 1 Use either the present perfect or the simple past:

  1. I ________________ (drink) a beer yesterday.
  2. When ________ you __________ (go) to the beach?
  3. She ______________ (see) him in 1999.
  4. What time __________ they ___________ (leave) this morning?
  5. We __________________ (swim) there many times.
  6. They _______________ (arrive) 15 minutes ago.
  7. He is very tired. He ____________ (not sleep) much.
  8. I _____________ (visit) the mountains last summer.
  9. ________ you ________ (see) that new movie?

EXERCISE 2 Are these sentences right or wrong? Correct the ones that are wrong.

  1. I haven’t read a newspaper last week.
  2. Chang lives in Beijing. He has lived there all his life.
  3. I don’t know her parents. I have never met them.
  4. Have you seen Marta on Saturday?
  5. I didn’t never ski in my life.

EXERCISE 3 Read the sentences and questions, and choose the correct answers.

  1. Ann has bought a new coat. Has she got the coat now? Yes / Perhaps
  2. Grandma came to stay with us. Is grandma with us now? Yes / Probably not
  3. I made a cup of tea. Is there tea now? Yes / Probably not
  4. Eric has made a cake. Is there a cake now? Yes / Probably not
  5. Jane went to France. Is she there now? Yes / Don’t know
  6. Alan has gone to Scotland. Is he there now? Yes / Don’t know
  7. Pat and Al started a business. Is the business still running? Yes / Don’t know
  8. Sue has started guitar lessons. Is she taking lessons now? Yes / Don’t know
  9. The cat has run away. Is the cat at home now? No / Don’t know
  10. The doctor sent Bill into hospital. Is he there now? Yes / Don’t know
  11. Pete lost his glasses. Has he got his glasses now? No / Don’t know
  12. Ann has cut all her hair off. Has she got any hair now? No / Don’t know

NOTE: The answers for the exercises will be provided as soon as I finish working on them with all my students.
I do apologize for the inconvenience.

Talking about the past

Do you want to talk about experiences you’ve had, tell a good or funny story, or talk about something you regret in the past?

We use the present perfect for something that started in the past and continues in the present:

  • We have lived here since 2017. [and we still live here]
  • have been working at the university for over ten years.

We also use it for something that happened in the past but is important in the present:

  • I can’t open the door. I‘ve left my keys in the car.
  • Jenny has found a new job. She works in a supermarket now.

Be careful! We do not use the present perfect with words which refer to a finished past time:

  • have seen that film yesterday.
  • We have just bought a new car last week.
  • When we were children we have been to California.

But we can use the present perfect with words which refer to a time which is not yet finished:

  • Have you seen Helen today?
  • We have bought a new car this week.

However, as soon as you mention a time, you need to switch to a past tense. For example:

  • I went windsurfing three years ago.
  • I didn’t drink a lot last night.
  • Did you eat a lot of sushi when you were in Japan?

For this reason, when you’re talking about life experiences, you often start with the present perfect, and then switch to a past tense when you mention a specific time.

For example, someone might ask you, Have you ever been to Australia?

You might answer, Yes, I went there two years ago, for my friend’s wedding.

The question is present perfect, because it’s asking about experiences without mentioning a time. The answer mentions a time—two years ago—and so you need the past simple.

There are past structures which you can use to show a difference between the past and the present:

USED TO

You can use used to to talk about something which was true in the past, but isn’t true now. For example:

  • He used to have a beard. –> He had a beard in the past, but he doesn’t have one now.
  • I used to live in Berlin. –> I lived in Berlin in the past, but I don’t live there now.

You can also use the negative form—didn’t use to—to talk about things that weren’t true in the past, but are true now. For example:

  • They didn’t use to get on so well. –> They didn’t get on well in the past, but they do now.
  • I didn’t use to wear glasses. –> I wear glasses now, but I didn’t in the past.

You can also make questions:

  • Did you use to play a musical instrument?
  • Didn’t he use to work here?

WOULD

You can also use would to talk about actions or habits which you did in the past, but you don’t do now.

Would is the past tense of will. We use it when we talk about the future in the past. For example:

  • He thought he would buy one the next day.
  • Everyone was excited. The party would be fun.

WAS/WERE GOING TO

Was/were going to, also refers to the future in the past:

  • John was going to drive and Mary was going to follow on her bicycle.
  • It was Friday. We were going to set off the next day.

We also use the past continuous to talk about the future from a time in the past.

  • It was September. Mary was starting school the next week.
  • We were very busy. Our guests were arriving soon and we had to get their room ready.

ANY MORE

Finally, you can also use a present verb plus any more. This has a similar meaning to used to. Let’s look:

  • She doesn’t live here any more. –> She lived here in the past, but she doesn’t live here now.
  • I don’t have time to listen to music any more. –> I had time in the past, but now I don’t.

‘SET THE SCENE’ WITH PAST CONTINUOUS

‘SET THE SCENE’ means you need to describe the background of the story. What was happening at the start of the story? Who was there, and what were the people in your story doing at the start?

To give background to a story, you use the past continuous. For example:

  • We were sitting on the bus, ready to leave.
  • It was raining so hard you couldn’t even see out of the window.

This isn’t just useful when you’re telling long stories; you can use this any time you’re giving a slightly longer answer about the past.

However, if you do want to tell a longer story, there are some other things you’ll need to know.

SHOW THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS IN THE PAST

When you start a story, you usually say when these things took place. You’ll say something like:

  • Last week…
  • This happened two years ago, in summer.
  • So, yesterday, I was walking down the street…

This time reference ‘fixes’ the time when your story starts.

PAST PERFECT

We use the past perfect when we are looking back from a point in the past to something earlier in the past.

For example:

  • Helen suddenly remembered she had left her keys in the car.
  • When we had done all our shopping, we caught the bus home.
  • They wanted to buy a new computer, but they hadn’t saved enough money.
  • They would have bought a new computer if they had saved enough money.

Use the past perfect to talk about things that happened before the start of the story.

Let’s see another example:

  • When I was 25, I quit my job and decided to train as a pilot. I had always wanted to learn to fly.

Here, you have a time reference which ‘fixes’ the start of the story: when I was 25.

If you’re talking about the events of your story, just use the past simple, like this:

  • We drove out of the test centre.
  • We sat in a traffic jam for ages.
  • I had a small accident on the way home.

Using these verb tenses, you can make it clear when things happened in the past, and whether something happened before or after something else.

THE PAST WITH MODAL VERBS

Could – the past tense of can:

  • You could get a good meal for a pound when I was a boy.

Would – the past tense of will:

  • He said he would come but he forgot.

May havemight have and could have 

To show that something has possibly happened in the past:

  • I’ll telephone him. He might have got home early.
  • She’s very late. She could have missed her train.

Should have – the past form of should

  • I didn’t know he was ill. He should have told me.
  • You shouldn’t have spent so much money.

Would have and could have

We use would have and could have to talk about something that was possible in the past but did not happen:

  • could have gone to Mexico for my holiday but it was too expensive.
  • would have called you, but I had forgotten my phone.
  • They would have gone out if the weather had been better.

TALKING ABOUT REGRETS IN THE PAST

There are three different forms you can use to talk about regrets in the past:

Wish

You can use wish plus the past perfect to talk about something you regret. For example:

  • I wish I’d learned other languages when I was younger.
  • I wish I hadn’t said that.

Remember that here you’re talking about the opposite of what really happened. If you say I wish I hadn’t said that, you did say something in reality, and now you regret it.

If only

You can also use if only plus the past perfect, like this:

  • If only I’d kept my Spanish going.
  • If only I hadn’t wasted so much time.

The meaning is very similar to wish: you did something, or didn’t do something, in the past, and now you regret it.

Could have

Finally, you can sometimes use could have to express regrets in the past, often as part of a longer if-sentence. For example:

  • I could have tried harder.
  • If I hadn’t left things to the last minute, I could have passed easily.

Now that you have already seen the words, phrases, and structures you need to talk about the past in clear, fluent English, the next step to improve your conversation and grammar skills is to practice!

Start by testing your understanding of the lesson with this quiz. Next, you can listen to the complete lesson.