Verbs can be finite or non-finite. Finite verbs change their form when there is a change in the subject or the tense.
Study the examples given below.
- I work hard for my family.
The verb work becomes works when the subject is a singular noun/pronoun.
- Maya works hard for her family.
- He works hard for his family.
Work becomes worked when the sentence is in the past tense.
- I worked very hard yesterday.
- He worked very hard yesterday.
- Maya worked very hard yesterday.
Such verbs which change their form are called finite verbs.
Non-finite verbs do not change their form when there is a change in the number or person of the subject. Examples are: to-infinitives and –ing forms.
- I need a pen to write.
- He needs a pen to write.
- Rani needs a pen to write.
- Ravi needed a pen to write.
Here the verb need is finite because it has different forms (need, needs, needed) whereas the verb to write is non-finite.
More examples are given below.
- Supriya enjoys swimming.
- I enjoy swimming.
- Do you enjoy swimming?
- I enjoyed swimming when I was a child.
Can you identify the finite and non-finite verbs in the sentences given above?
Enjoy is finite whereas swimming is non-finite.
Identify all the verbs in the following sentences.
1. My son likes to watch TV for hours on end.
2. She did not recognize him at all.
3. She said that she was coming.
4. The injured women were taken to the hospital.
5. I want you to finish the job before you go home.
6. She does not want to waste time watching TV.
7. The dog wagged its tail to show its happiness.
8. I went to the market with my father to buy some clothes.
9. Have you ever wanted to live in another country?
10. Mother is baking a fresh batch of pastries.
11. The hawkers shouted at the top of their voice to attract customers.
12. I wish I had studied medicine.
1. My son likes (finite) to watch (non-finite) TV for hours on end.
2. She did not recognize (finite) him at all.
3. She said (finite) that she was coming (finite).
4. The injured (non-finite) women were taken (finite) to the hospital. (Here the past participle injured acts as an adjective modifying the noun women.)
5. I want (finite) you to finish (non-finite) the job before you go (finite) home.
6. She does not want (finite) to waste (non-finite) time watching (non-finite) TV.
7. The dog wagged (finite) its tail to show (non-finite) its happiness.
8. I went (finite) to the market with my father to buy (non-finite) some clothes.
9. Have you ever wanted (finite) to live (non-finite) in another country?
10. Mother is baking (finite) a fresh batch of pastries.
11. The hawkers shouted (finite) at the top of their voice to attract (non-finite) customers.
12. I wish (finite) I had studied (finite) medicine.